How to Add $5,000 to Your Savings by the End of the Year
You can do it!
Your goal: Grow your slush fund by $5,000 by the end of the year. Sure, it can feel like a daunting task, but with a handful of minor lifestyle tweaks, you can seriously up the amount of cash you’re setting aside for the next six months. Here, nine ways to save.
FUND YOUR SAVINGS LIKE IT'S A BILL: $1,500 SAVED
You’re already auto-paying your utility bills and rent. Once a month, automate your bank account so that $250 is directly deposited into your savings account. Think of it as a bill you owe yourself. Set it and forget it, and by the end of the year, you’ll have an additional $1,500 in your emergency fund.
RENEGOTIATE CABLE AND SET ASIDE THE SURPLUS CASH: $240 SAVED
It sounds impossible, but you can call the cable company to ask for a better deal. Nowadays, there are so many TV alternatives (Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime) that you actually have the upper hand when it comes to bargaining for a better rate. Pick a number and don’t budge, and then take the amount you’ve shaved off your bill (say $40 a month) and direct it toward your savings instead.
TURN LEFTOVERS INTO LUNCH: $910 SAVED
Eating lunch out (even if you spend just $7 a day) seriously adds up. Instead, strategize when you do your meal prep so that your weeknight dinners (like that delicious cacio e pepe) all work as weekday lunches, too. Then put that $35 a week toward your year-end goal.
SET UP WEEKLY SAVINGS CHALLENGES: $585 SAVED
Apps like Qapital make it a cinch to set up weekly savings challenges and redirect the money you’d ordinarily spend on frivolous things. For example, if you cut back on your weekly Starbucks (two $4.50 lattes a week instead of seven), the app will transfer the amount you’d normally shell out, taking it from your checking account and depositing it into your savings.
COOL IT ON THE HAIR COLOR: $400 SAVED
We’re not saying you have to totally go without. But if you’re getting your roots touched up once every eight weeks (six or seven times a year), you could definitely stand to cut back. Try going every three or four months instead, and you could add an extra $400 to your savings this year.
SKIP PEDICURES DURING COLDER MONTHS: $325 SAVED
October through December, nobody really sees your toes anyway. Consider it an opportunity to give your feet a break and add the money (about $25 every week) to your savings instead.
START A WINE CLUB INSTEAD OF HITTING HAPPY HOUR: $540 SAVED
There’s nothing you and your mom friends love more than hitting up happy hour twice a month. But instead of shelling out $50 each time for a few glasses of Chardonnay and hors d'oeuvres, rotate hostess duties for a BYO club at home. At the end of the night, set a calendar alert to put the cash you saved straight into savings.
RESIST THE URGE TO UBER: $360 SAVED
Surge pricing is the worst. Sometimes, cabbing it home is your only option, but if you can find ways to avoid it (take public transit or, you know, walk), you’d be amazed how much cash you can save. Taking just two Ubers a month can set you back as much as $60…or $360 for the rest of the year.
REPURPOSE AN OLD OUTFIT FOR A BIG EVENT: $140 SAVED
Just because you have a wedding to attend doesn’t mean you need to treat yourself to a new dress. Make a pact with yourself to shop your closet instead. Something as simple as taking a full-length gown to the tailor and hemming it into a cocktail dress means more money in your wallet--and in your emergency fund.