I’ve saved over $26,000 in the past 7 months. Even saying that number surprises me because it didn’t feel like I was saving that much at all!.
Below is exactly how I saved over $26,000 in 7 months and how you can do it too!
First Choose Where to Save Your Money
The first step I took was to educate myself about all of the different places I could save money.
Through my research, I found that I could save money in a 401(k), an IRA, a Savings account, and a Health Savings Account (HSA).
I then started automating my savings in each of those accounts.
Automate your savings to make it super easy
After I increased my income enough to cover my savings, I set up auto-deposits directly into my savings accounts.
I highly recommend that approach because then you are not tempted to spend the money.
My 401(k) and HSA deposits come directly out of my paycheck from my employer.
I set up the other accounts to auto-deposit from my checking account on pay day.
But what if you don’t have the $26k to save?
Here are 12 ideas on how to make extra money so you can save more.
1. Take online surveys and watch videos for money.
You can possibly make $100 to $1,000 per year with the right survey companies.
Here are two companies I recommend:
Swagbucks is definitely my favorite and they pay out over 7,000 gift cards per day.
You can get paid to answer surveys, watch videos, or online shop.
They also have an app so you can find videos whenever you have a few free minutes.
The best part about Swagbucks is that you can redeem your points for all different kinds of gift cards such as Amazon gift cards, Starbucks gift cards, etc.
Sign up here for Swagbucks and get $5 FREE.
(Swipe down to view the sign up box on mobile).
Inbox Dollars is another good one that I use.
You can get paid to watch videos and take quick surveys, just like Swagbucks.
It’s easy money and every little bit adds up.
Sign up here for InboxDollars and get $5 FREE.
2. Sell items you don’t need to consignment shops and on Craigslist.
I made $4,500 in April selling stuff I had lying around the house.
You would be surprised by how much money you can make with your extra stuff!
I sold everything from mugs to frying pans to furniture.
3. Get cash back for things you’re buying online anyways with Ebates.
Ebates works by giving you a percent of your money back each time you buy something online.
Ebates has been a huge money-maker for me! I have $230 in cash back sitting in my Ebates account right now.
The key is to download their browser tool so you can see every time you are on a website that offers cash back.
You get a $10 welcome bonus for signing up for Ebates through this link.
And if you refer three friends to Ebates, you can get a $75 bonus!
That’s $85 right there, plus all the cash back you will earn with your regular shopping.
4. Get a roommate.
I made $550 a month while I was paying down debt by living with a roommate.
It wasn’t fun to live with a roommate but it was worth the money.
5. Cut cable.
I recently cancelled my DirecTV subscription and now put that money towards savings.
No one should be paying for cable TV in 2017 when they don’t have to!
I bought an HDTV Antenna from Amazon. You can use it to watch traditional TV (think NBC, ABC, and 40+ regular channels).
You can also supplement with a Fire TV Stick (for Netflix, Hulu, etc.).
You can buy these two products for less than the cost of one month of cable and continue to watch good TV.
Make sure you sign up for the Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial if you don’t have Prime already.
Prime gives you free two-day shipping on all Amazon products.
6. Start a blog.
Nothing keeps me more accountable to saving than having to post my numbers online each week.
I created this blog in fifteen minutes with Bluehost and chose the cheapest plan they offer.
If you want to learn more about starting your own blog, check out my tutorial, How to Start Your Own Website.
At first it was kind of embarrassing to put myself out there on the internet but I’m so glad I did it.
Blogging motivated me to achieve my financial goals.
I’m also making some extra money on the side from blogging.
Related: My January 2017 Income Report – $793
7. Apply for new jobs and negotiate your salary.
I was afraid the first time I negotiated my salary but it worked! I’m now super confident.
Here is my story of how I negotiated my compensation $80k more.
8. Pay off your loans so you can put that money towards savings!
I recently paid off nearly $90,000 of debt.
It was super hard but so worth it. I now have an extra hundred dollars going to savings each month.
If you still have student loans, you can consider looking for better interest rates on LendEDU, which is a marketplace that lets you compare interest rates from the top student loan refinancing companies.
If you can get a lower interest rate, you can put more money towards paying down the debt each month.
9. Track your spending with Personal Capital and try to stay away from your spending weaknesses.
Mine is Chipotle.
It adds up!
Personal Capital is free to sign up and it tracks your net worth too.
10. Avoid social spending.
Invite your friends over to dinner instead of meeting out at a restaurant.
11. Get outside more.
Hiking, going to parks, and going to the beach are all cheap activities if you do them right.
12. Save money on travel by collecting hotel miles and airline points.
I no longer pay for flights and hotels after collecting thousands of points. I went on a 10-day trip to Europe with points.
Protect your savings by keeping an eye on your accounts
Once you save all of this money, you should probably protect it.
I use the free app Credit Sesame to monitor my accounts and check my credit score.
Credit Sesame emails me when anything changes with my accounts such as a higher balance on one of my credit cards or other suspicious activity.
It also finds all the accounts associated with my name so it found an old Bank of America credit card I forgot I had!
Credit Sesame is free to use.
Remember why you’re saving in the first place
I was in massive debt two years ago and now I’m aggressively saving as much as I can.
I hated living paycheck to paycheck and feeling like I was never going to get out of the hole.
I’m saving all of this money now so that I can give my family a good future and so that I can eliminate my stress.
I used to get SUPER stressed out about money and I never want to feel that stress again.
How do you save more money faster? Are you contributing to any savings or retirement accounts not mentioned here?
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