Who couldn’t use an extra $1000? Especially now that the Payroll tax holiday has expired, all of us could use more money. I can think of 100s of ways that I would use $1000, but to kick start my New Year goals, I need this money for (1) Bringing my emergency fund back up to a level I find comfortable (2) Start saving for our move to a cheaper place. During the next 30 days, I will be going through all my bills, negotiating any recurring bills, brainstorming ideas to earn more money and setting up a system to automatically save me money.
Each day in January, I will post a tip to save money or earn money. Each tip could take anywhere between 5 minutes to 2 hours (mostly less than an hour). If it all works out I can easily end up with >$1000 in the next 30 days. Even if some of my tips take more time to pan out (like the earning money part) I will have >$500 that I don’t have now. So let’s dive in.
I have separated the tips into 4 categories – Negotiate, Save, Earn more and Optimize. I believe all 4 of these are very important part of a balanced personal finance system.
I will be starting with the negotiate category because
- It is easy and won’t take much of my time
- It is one time and I can reap recurring benefits until the terms expire.
- It doesn’t require any sacrifices from me. I would like to start off easy.
- Tip #1: Negotiate your cell phone contract
- Tip #2: Negotiate a lower rent and save hundreds
- Tip #3: Negotiate your Credit card APR and save money on interest
- Tip #4: How to cut the cost of your cable TV
- Tip #5: How to negotiate your car insurance
- Tip #6: Negotiate your way to a lower internet bill
- Tip #7: Save cost on transportation by negotiating a telecommuting arrangement
I am not an extreme frugality expert and I don’t intend to become one. So there won’t be any frugality tips on skipping lattes or cutting coupons (though you can do them, if you see fit to do so). I am mainly aiming for higher savings, which means there won’t be any tips that save me $1. I am going for big, recurring savings.
- Tip #8: Analyze your spending and figure out in which category you spend the most
- Tip #9: Go cash for the rest of the month
- Tip #10: Do an energy audit and save money on utilities
- Tip #11: Make use of the credit card, insurance and workplace perks
- Tip #12: Save money eating out by reverse engineering restaurant menu’s psychology
- Tip #13: How to save money on prescription drugs
- Tip #14: Involve your friends/family and let them help you save money
- Tip #15: Other tips on saving money
I can optimize my spending and save money but I can only work with what my husband makes. To really start filling the pot, I need to earn more. I am hoping to earn at least $500 in January and by the end of the year I want to increase it to $1000/month consistently.
- Tip #16: What are the barriers to earning more money?
- Tip #17: Sell your clutter
- Tip #18: Sell your skills
- Tip #19: Sell your time
- Tip #20: Teach your skills
- Tip #21: Bartering to earn more
- Tip #22: How to find the right freelancing idea to make money?
I believe in systems and automation. Saving money became much easier for us when we automated our finances and optimized our area of weakness. January will be the first month after I quit my job that we won’t have any huge expenses. It is the first normal month, so I have to go through our finances to set up a spending plan to match the reduced income.
- Tip #23: Automate your finances
- Tip #24: Learn the art of decision making vs mindless spending
- Tip #25: Check your credit card/bank statements for the last 6 months to see any zombie bills
- Tip #26: Get into the habit of buying stuff for less
- Tip #27: Set up passive barriers to save money
- Tip #28: Spend some money to save money
- Tip #29: How I plan to keep saving $1000 every month
Will you join the challenge with me? If you spend 1 hour every day, just for the next 30 days in this “Save $1000 in 30 day challenge”, you can save hundreds of dollars even if you don’t save the entire $1000. I will share my successes and failures in this challenge as I go along. So are you in?