For those of you who have gone through the Budget Workshop in TGV or work 1:1 with me for financial coaching, you will know that the first thing I have you do is set aside or save $1,000 for your emergency budget.
This $1,000 is meant to cover anything in an emergency—such as your car breaking down, the A/C needing to be repaired, etc. In the Budget Workshop, I teach you the importance of paying off debt and not using a credit card for emergency situations. Instead, having a $1000 set aside for situations like these will allow you to focus on paying off debt and saving for your future goals, such as a house, wedding, vacation, or whatever will bring you long term joy (not a splurge shopping session that will only bring you short term happiness).
So, here are some of my tips in how I save $1,000 quickly so you can begin paying off debt and start saving for your future.
1. Meal plan and decide when it feels really worth it to eat out
Each Sunday, I sit down with Pinterest, my grocery list, and coffee to plan out what meals we want to have at home for the week. We love to eat out, so I budget each month for this—we usually eat out once per week.This feels good for us, but making a grocery list and loose meal plan has allowed us to save so much money.
2. Make coffee at home most mornings, and save getting coffee out for when it feels really special
I love going to a coffee shop with friends and sipping on coffee while catching up. Even with a budget, I plan for these coffee dates that feel so fun and fulfilling, and make my coffee at home most other mornings. Getting coffee out each day can add up, and it makes it that much more special when I do treat myself to a coffee out.
3. Cancel gym memberships or see if there are cheaper options
My assistant has discovered so many free workout options on YouTube during these past few (COVID-19) months, and has completely cut out her gym membership. I love running outdoors with Abby, and no longer pay for a gym membership either. If you do love going to the gym, see if there are cheaper options in your area.
4. Create a budget and log your spending each month (I show you how to create a budget specific to your needs in the Budget Workshop in TGV)
As you go through the Budget Workshop, I will show you step by step how to create a budget that is specific to your needs and what brings you joy. I believe in creating a joyful budget that does not require you to cut things out. I show you how exactly you can leave in purchases that truly bring you joy and fulfillment.
5. Pay with debit card or cash, not a credit card
Remember, you are making a plan to pay off those credit cards, so leave them at home and use cash or debit cards when making purchases.
6. Cut unused subscriptions or negotiate lower prices
Take an inventory of which subscriptions you use daily, and which ones you don’t really use that often. Can you cancel those? Or are there promotions or deals that you can take advantage of to save in your monthly subscriptions, such as WiFi? You would be surprised at how much money you can save here.
7. If you do have any cash back cash from credit cards, put this into your emergency fund
Click through to your rewards with your online bank from using a credit card, pull out the points, and deposit them into your savings account (and then put the credit card away, especially while you’re paying off debt). Have you ever heard the saying “No one ever became rich off of credit card points? It’s so true, and shows us how luring points seem, but how small a difference they actually make. Once you pay off your debt and your habits have changed, talk to me if you want to use a credit card like a debit card. But get it paid off first.
8. Split a bill with a roommate or friend (such as a Netflix subscription)
If you and your roommate both use Netflix, could you ask to split the cost and have one account? See if there are utility bills that could be split or shared easily with your spouse or friend! We don’t have roommates and we still do this with friends!
9. Marie Kondo your home and closet to see if there is anything you can sell, or create a challenge to wear everything once before you buy anything new. Whatever you don’t want to wear, it’s time to donate or sell
You can even do this challenge with a friend or roommate! Share your outfit ideas with each other, and make it an opportunity to find new ways to wear your clothes such as fun outfit pairings or dressing up with no plan in mind.
10. Add up the monthly payments for all of the debt you have (car payments included) and make a plan to pay it off-when you do this, you free up THAT much more money each month (you give yourself a raise)
The motivation you will gain as you get closer to paying off that debt will make the feeling of being debt free that much more exciting.
If you would like more ideas on how to save money and begin paying off debt, or if you’re looking for even more support on budgeting, you can join The Growth Vault here and access the Budgeting & Saving Class right away, or you can share your info using the form below and I’ll email you with how to grab just the budgeting class alone (it’ll help you to feel great about budgeting – as I’ve been told time and time again it’s a very different approach to budgeting than you’ve heard before).