How to Save $1000 in 6 Months

by RC on January 26, 2011

When it comes to frugality, little things do add up. The problem with small savings or “wins”  is that it takes time for small savings to equal a significant, big dollar savings.

We all have heard about giving up a latte once a week, but at $4 a week, you are looking at a savings of $208 over a year’s time. It’s good, but not necessarily enough to motivate you towards frugal living all of the time.

We like to see bigger results, and faster- $100, $500, or a $1000 in a shorter period of time seems more appealing than taking almost 5 years, like a savings of $4 per week will get you. If you just can’t get your self to cut your spending in a noticeable way, make a game out of it or a challenge- with a reward at the end, if you so desire.

Saving $1000 in 6 months seems like a good place to start- a large enough amount in a short enough period of time.

Below are a few ways you could save up $1000 in 6 months- Many of you may already be doing some or even most of these- but there are a lot of people who don’t. Even if these don’t work for you, you can probably come up with some other areas you can cut back on to reach your $1,000 goal in 6 months.

We don’t always look at where we are spending there money, and whether everything you buy or pay for is something you really need. Examining all expenditures can  lead to some areas  in your life you can cut back on expenses or ways you can save on what you spend.

Lettuce
Creative Commons License photo credit: A Girl Next Door

Save $1,000 in 6 Months

Coupons- Coupons do work, if you use them properly. If you use them consistently, and only use them for things you were already going to buy, you can easily save $5 per weekly grocery trip if you spend $100 or more regularly.

$5 a week for 24 weeks = $120

Drop down a tier on your cable bill- Do you pay for more channels than you watch or really need?
Drop down a tier on your cable TV service, and you could save $15 to $20 a month.

$15 a month  x 6 = $90

Reduce your socializing- Do you go out once a week for a few drinks, or other social activity-the movies, golfing, etc.? Cut back on one a month, and the savings can add up.

$20 a month  x 6 = $120

Eat out less every month- Skipping one meal in a restaurant a month or just a couple of lunches a month during the work week can add up to real savings.

$25 x 6= $150

Cut Your own Hair (Or color it yourself for the ladies)- I just started cutting my hair again (I cut it short with clippers), so I am doing this one myself. If you are a woman and aren’t so excited about cutting your own hair, consider coloring it yourself if you pay a hair stylist to do that now.

$20 a month x 6 = $120

Buy in Bulk-You can save money buying in bulk, especially items like toiletries, household products, diapers if you have small kids, and even food. You do need to compare prices, because not everything is cheaper at a warehouse club. Also,  make sure you’re going to use it up if it has an expiration date.

$20 x 6= $120

Reduce your cell phone plan- See where you can cut back on your cell phone plan. For example, if you have a smartphone like the iPhone, you can get a separate number from Google Voice and use the Google voice app for all of your texting. Unlimited texting for AT&T is $20 a month! If you have a lot of roll-over minutes, try reducing your plan so you don’t carry them over. (This is the case for me!) Let’s assume at least $15.

$15 x 6= $90

Pay off High Interest Debt- If you can pay off a $2,000 balance on a credit card bill of $2,000 @ 20% interest in 6 months instead of letting it sit there for a year, you just saved approx. $200 (actually probably more, but you get the idea).

1 x $200= $200

Cut back on lawn or gardening costs- If you pay someone to cut your grass, consider doin’g it yourself. At the very least, instead of them coming once a week, tell them to come every 10 days- you
just saved 1 payment a month. Assume its $25/week (on the low side around here) and you eliminate one per month.

$25 x 6 = $150

Total saved in 6 months time= $1,160

As I mentioned above, these are really just examples that can add up to significant savings over a 6 month period- there are countless others out there. If you feel like you just have trouble saving try these out or think of where in your life you can make cuts that will add up over time- saving on gas, bringing your lunch to work, or others.

Once you make these cuts or changes, you need to SAVE the money you are saving, or you may end up spending it on something else!

Start sending automatic deposits to an online savings account, or stash it somewhere else instead of leaving it in your checking account you use for all of your other purchases.

Do you have tips on other ways to save $1,000 in 6 months? leave them in the comments!

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Gillian January 31, 2011 at 10:14 pm

The cell phone option is the only one I have done so far and its been a really big help since last year when I started cutting down and saving – I actually switched over to prepaid rather than using Google Voice solely. I did some fact checking and price checking ( a lot of that) before I decided on Straight Talk and their $45 unlimited plan – a huge step up from my old plan with 750 minutes and so many extra fees that it was well near $90 a month and often more with overages. Straight Talk actually uses two networks I have been on before, Verizon and ATT, so I lost nothing in terms of coverage. My friends tell me they pay less with Metro PCS, but I laugh when they tell me how many missed calls they have a month. In money terms, on the average, I’m saving about $40 a month – its added up, with the math, to nearly $500 – I’m even shocked.

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RC February 1, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Gillian-

Sounds like you figured out how to save a LOT on your phone bill- $500 a year is really great. Congrats and thanks for the tip!

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