Having an emergency savings fund can be a big help when you’re facing tough times. Even if you don’t have a lot saved, every dollar helps. If you’re facing a mountain of debt and need to develop a plan to dig out of it, some financial experts recommend first saving up $1,000 in an emergency fund and then focusing on paying down debt. But how do you save that much money when you’re drowning in bills and living paycheck-to-paycheck? We’ll show you how.
Here are five ways to save $1,000 fast.
1. Use cash instead of credit
Paying for items with a credit card just makes it too easy to overspend. When you’re swiping with a card, you don’t really feel the impact (at least not right away) of how much you’re spending. However, when you have cash in your hand, you can see and feel the money leaving your hand. Consequently, your instinct is likely to spend as little as possible.
2. Cut back on meals out
Although eating out saves time, it doesn’t save money. Make an effort to cook meals at home so you won’t be tempted to eat out every day. If you don’t have much time to cook, set aside a block of time on the weekends to cook meals for the week and then freeze them. Need some recipes? We’ve got you covered. The Cheat Sheet recently spoke with Claudia Sidoti, head chef and recipe developer at HelloFresh. She provided us with recipes for quick, healthy meals for when you have little time to cook at home.
3. Cancel subscriptions
Take a moment to go through all the subscriptions you have. It could be for magazines, streaming videos, or food services. Eliminate services you hardly use. It doesn’t make sense to pay for a service you aren’t using. That money would be of better use in your savings account.
4. Get a side hustle
Use your down time to make extra cash. A survey conducted by Bankrate found the average income earned per month from a side hustle is $686. According to the survey, it’s possible to earn more than $8,200 within a year. If you work a second job at least once per month, you can earn an average of $836 monthly. About 15% are lucky enough to make more than $1,000 each month.
If you’re concerned about the salary, have no worries. A FlexJobs survey found there are plenty of high-paying side jobs out there. Some of the highest-paying side jobs include curriculum writing, business consulting, project management, and web design.
5. Negotiate your bills
Another quick way to save money that you can set aside for savings is to negotiate your bills. Some monthly expenses you might consider negotiating are bank fees and credit card interest. It’s as simple as making a call to your bank or lender and asking for a rate decrease. If you’ve been a long-time customer and you’ve kept up with payments you should have an easier time getting a break on your monthly fees. All you have to do is take the first step and pick up the phone.
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