I usually don’t give myself a word of the year, but for this year I’ve decided that my word will be ‘building’. I’m going to work on building in various different aspects of my life, but especially when it comes to my savings accounts. Here are my best tips and steps to take if you want to save the most money you’ve ever saved in one year.
I have a goal to save at least $10,000 this year which means I’ll invest $6,000 into my Roth IRA to max it out and the remaining $4,000 will be added to my emergency fund. In addition, I plan to rebuild several of my sinking funds so let’s just say I’ll be saving a ton of money this year.
If you have aggressive savings goals this year as well, you may be wondering how you can bring those goals to fruition.
Make Saving Your Top Priority
This is obvious, but if you want to save the most money you’ve ever saved in one year, you’ll need to make it top priority over everything else. For me, this means even putting saving over our final debt payoff this month.
We just have my husband’s student loans left and a little credit card debt, but we will be paying ourselves first and making whatever sacrifices are necessary to meet this steep savings goal.
Saving a ton of money in 12 months means you may have to put other things on the back burner for the moment and you have to be okay with that.
Give Up a Sizeable Expense
To jumpstart your savings progress, you’re may want to give up a sizeable expense to make room in your budget. For us, that’s travel. I love taking trips and exploring new places.
However, we only have one trip planned this summer to Washington D.C. and it’s going to be super frugal. I wanted to take a family trip to Disney World for Christmas and go on a cruise but plan to put this off for now. Going on that trip would run us around $2,000 as a family and that’s money that could be going to savings.
Consider which sizeable expense you may put off in order to save more money this year.
Get on a Budget and Use More Cash
Of course, budgeting is the key to gaining control of your finances and meeting any money goal. It’s important to know what your goals are going into each month along with what you have coming in and going out.
That way, you can rework some of your spending amounts and free up more money to save. Looking at my budget each month gives me clarity and peace of mind because I know I have a plan.
Make sure you include a budget category for your specific savings goal and set up automatic transfers so that you always contribute something to your savings account.
Have a Super Frugal Year
How frugal can you be for 12 months? That’s right, make it a challenge. Find reasonable ways to cut expenses that don’t make you feel deprived 24/7. It’s okay to feel a little stretched when you’re being super frugal, but you should never feel like you have to sacrifice important priorities like your health or the wellbeing of your family.
Just like you can cut big-ticket items for the year like travel, housing, and more, try your hand at being frugal and considering some of these strategies like:
- Cooking 95% of your meals at home and taking your lunch to work each day – Or, go for 100% if you’re up for the challenge
- Eating less meat to lower your grocery bills
- Going on a shopping ban
- Only buying clothes and other specific items from thrift stores
- Borrowing tools and household items that you may only use once or twice
- Biking and walking more instead of driving
- Trying out a cheaper prepaid phone service to lower your bills
- Downloading a coupon or cashback app to help you save on planned purchases
- Going a full 12 months with no cable or streaming services
- Cutting your own hair
- Find free entertainment and events
- Downsize to a one-car family
Even though I consider myself to be pretty frugal, there are still a few things I can do to stretch and save even more money if I wanted to.
For example, a monthly subscription to Netflix and basic Hulu is about $15 combined. By cutting these expenses, I could save $180 per year. Not a ton of money, but it adds up.
By planning my grocery shopping trips more efficiently and shopping the sales, I can easily scale back $50/month or $600 for the year.
If I learned how to cut my husband and son’s hair, we could save $70/month or $840 for the year.
Downsizing for a one-car family would save us a ton of money. For starters, our $90/month auto insurance premium would be cut in half. We’d also save on expenses like oil changes, brakes (often $300 – $400) and other repairs (approx. $400 – $500 per year per car).
As you can see, by committing to be more frugal and adding all my savings, I can potentially be adding an extra $2,860 to savings.
Side Hustle Like a Mad Woman (or Man)
Take pride in the fact that you can earn extra money if you need to. When you’re trying to save the most money you’ve ever saved in one year, extra side jobs can come in handy.
Seeing if you can work a part-time job that brings in an extra $1,000 per month could be a big help. You can also consider offering your services to others for a fee whether that means doing photography, dog sitting or even proofreading or editing.
Set a goal for how much you want to earn and consider what your schedule is like for picking up extra work.
Saving what seems like an insane amount of money can seem intimidating at first but you can surprise yourself when you take action with these tips.
You’ll have to prioritize saving over anything else. Stick to a budget, make sacrifices, get frugal and earn more money. Before you know it, you’ll start to see your account balances grow as you get closer to reaching your goal.
What are your savings goals this year?