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Save $1000 in 30 days challenge

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.

Save $1000 in 30 days

Negotiate

I will be starting with the negotiate category because

  1. It is easy and won’t take much of my time
  2. It is one time and I can reap recurring benefits until the terms expire.
  3. It doesn’t require any sacrifices from me. I would like to start off easy.

Save money

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.

Earning more

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?

Optimize

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?

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

My Financial Independence Journey

That’s a pretty comprehensive list. I think you should be able to make some headway on at least 50% of those. I’ll be following along as you go.

IMHO, analyzing your spending categories ought to be tip #1. The first time I did that many years ago, I had to pick my chin up off the floor when I saw just how much money was being drained away by things that didn’t provide me with much satisfaction.

Reply

Suba

I agree with you on analyzing deserving the top spot, but I wanted something easy to start with. Completing analyzing the spending is quite daunting, the last time I did that was a few years ago. I have everything in auto pilot but now that I have quit and have quite a reduction in income, it should be done again. I wanted a few quick wins before embarking on the bitter reality :)

Reply

Petra

To me, negotiating deels like the hardest and scariest category of all. I’ll be following you this month, curious how you fare…!

Reply

Suba

I hear you Petra! I was horrified to negotiate anything until a few years back. And I grew up in a country where you have to bargain for everything from Apples to Airfare. I took me sometime and lot of practice to get used to negotiating. Now, I am much more comfortable doing it.

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Pauline

Great challenge! Your one income early retirement plan is very ambitious, and that is a great way to get a head start, good luck!

Reply

Suba

Thanks Pauline. Hopefully I won’t regret becoming a single income family.

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Holly@ClubThrifty

Awesome plan, I think. Any reason is a good reason to save. =)

Reply

Suba

Very true!

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maria@moneyprinciple

Hi Suba, cool challenge. I may take it actually :).

Reply

Suba

Thanks Maria. Yes, please take the challenge. Even saving part of the $1000 is better than not saving that right?

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Kathleen, Frugal Portland

Wow, welcome back in a big way! I can’t wait to read all of this series!

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Kim@Eyesonthedollar

A few months back, I lowered our internet bill from $39.99/month to $22/month just by asking. I used to also be horrible about buying books for my kindle, which I haven’t completely cut out, (that instant gratification thing catches me sometimes), but I’ve tried really hard to use the public library instead. Free wins every time, even if it’s not as cool. The biggest money save I’ve done over the last year is to cut my grocery budget. Mostly, this is due to posting all my shops for the Grocery Game Challenge at Canadian Budget Binder. I’ve gone from over $500 a month to $350. I’m always looking for new ways to save, so thanks for this list.

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