If you’ve read anything about the steps to becoming debt free, then you know that you need to save for an emergency fund and then start your debt snowball. You’ll want a minimum of $1,000 in your emergency fund so that you are ready to combat anything that comes your way without going any further into debt. To do this, you’ll want to save up money as fast as possible so you can get started on your snowball. There are several ways you can save $1,000 fast.
Budgets Are Your Friend
One of the best ways to save money fast is to make a budget each pay period. Making (and sticking to) a budget can easily save you hundreds of dollars each month! If you’re one to whine and complain about budgeting, then you need to change your mindset now! Learn more about how to make a budget HERE. A budget essentially tells your money where to go. Before you start spending your money for the upcoming pay period, decide how much you want to allocate to each category in your budget. The less you plan to spend, the more you can save. Imagine if you skipped out on restaurants, clothing shops, and extra groceries for the month! Those savings add up and can be sent straight to your emergency fund. Budgeting and living on less won’t kill you. In fact, it might even help you and your family appreciate your life a little more.
It’s time to pull out all your old clothes, kids toys, and extra junk that’s up in the attic. You know what people say, right? One person’s junk is another person’s treasure! You will be surprised by how much money you can make from selling things that you haven’t even laid eyes on in over a year. I have a rule that if it hasn’t been used in a year then I don’t need it! List items on local Facebook groups, Craigslist, or eBay. The money you make will far outweigh the space that item was taking up! And chances are you won’t even miss it. Start by going through all your own personal items. Once you have sold some of your personal items, talk with the family about what they are willing to part with. They will be more willing to sell their unused stuff when they see the money rolling in! If your spouse is apprehensive, help them understand the purpose of selling the items so that they can see the benefits.
Take On A Side Hustle
If you’re completely desperate for that $1,000, then you’ll be willing to take on a side hustle for some extra cash! A side hustle is any work you do on the side of your regular job. Think of how you can earn extra money by using your most valuable resource: your time! There are many couples out there that would be willing to pay for a reliable babysitter for a date night (I’m one of those couples!). Does your neighbor need someone to watch her children after school for a few hours each day? Maybe you know someone that is going out of town and needs a house sitter or dog sitter. Also, think about your talents and how you can use them to earn extra money. If you’re a teacher then you can always tutor outside of school. Creative? Then consider opening an Etsy shop to sell handmade items! Maybe you are excellent at sewing and you can make children’s clothes on the side or just have a hemming service? Think about what people around you need and create a market for yourself!
Have A Spending Freeze
Lastly, and probably one of the best ways to save $1,000 fast is to have a spending freeze. When you choose to have a spending freeze, you are committing to not spending any money for a certain amount of time. Maybe you want to have a spending freeze just for one weekend, or one day each week. If you really want to save money fast, then commit to a full month of no spending! No matter your length, you are making the conscious effort to not spend any money during this time period.
To have a successful spending freeze, you need to make a plan! For instance, when you sit down to meal plan, look at everything you have in your freezer, refrigerator, and pantry. Cook the foods that will expire first so that you are not wasting any food. Then, head to your freezer and pantry and determine what types of meals you can prepare with your remaining food. Now is not the time to be picky! Make whatever you have and don’t go to the grocery store until the spending freeze has ended!
This also means that you will be saying no to dinners and lunches out. Pause any caffeine stops. Although it may be difficult to halt the luxuries that you have grown accustomed to, it will be worth it in the end. To stay motivated, keep track of just how much money you are saving! This might make you think twice about your spending once your freeze is over.
Track Your Progress
Make sure that you are tracking your progress as you sell things, spend less, and save more! As you see just how much you can save in a short amount of time you will be motivated to continue the process. If you’re on your debt free journey, don’t let this motivation end here. Keep up the intensity so you can pay off debt faster than you ever thought was possible. Just remember that sacrificing now means experiencing abundance later!