At first glance, 10,000 dollars seems like a lot of money, almost too much to easily save within one year. But, if you want to build up an emergency fund, beef up your retirement account or get on the road to saving up a down payment, putting 10,000 dollars aside over the course of one year is an easy way to do it. It does involve saving nearly 1,000 dollars per month, but money savers across the US have shown that it is possible, as long as you put your mind to it and commit to saving.
Choose a Goal
Putting that 10,000 dollars aside over one year can be a bit easier to do if you know why you’re doing it. Before you get started, picture a goal. You might want to buy a house in five years, and saving 10,000 dollars will put you that much closer to having enough for a down payment. You might not have a large emergency fund and saving 10,000 dollars will give you enough of a financial cushion to weather any storms that come your way.
Know Where You Stand
Your parents were right: Money doesn’t grow on trees. Before you can start saving 10,000 dollars, you should have a good idea of where you stand financially so that you can figure out where that money is going to come from. Creating a strategic plan for your money involves knowing what you earn, what you owe—if anything— and what your standard expenses are. Some money savers might call this step making a budget, but it’s a bit more in depth than that.
You’re reviewing what you earn and spend, as well as evaluating where you can make changes to help you reach your 10,000 dollar goal. For example, if your income is low and saving more than 800 dollars per month will put a lot of strain on your budget, you might decide to find a way to increase it, by adding a part time job or picking up the occasional freelance gig.
Cut Back, Cut Back
Aside from increasing your income, cutting back on expenses is the most efficient way to save a considerable amount of money. Take a close look at your expenses and start trimming, doing the math to see how much you can save if you cut out certain things. For example, if you have a cable and Internet package that costs 150 dollars per month, if you drop down to just Internet, you might be able to save 75 dollars per month. All those coffees and lunches can also add up. If you usually spend 50 dollars per week on lunch or a cup of coffee on the go, try bringing your own from home instead and put that money into a bank account.
Make Things Automatic
Once you’ve found a way to come up with the 10,000 dollars per year, it’s time to automate things so that you don’t have to think about them anymore. Set up a savings account and an automatic transfer, so that the money you want to save each month is immediately funneled into the account. You can’t make excuses to yourself or find ways to avoid saving if you never really see the money in the first place.
Having 10,000 dollars in the bank can feel great. Once you’ve hit that first savings milestone, you might find that you’ve been bitten by the saving bug and that you want to keep setting aside money to help you reach any and all financial goals.
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