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. Get cash back for things you’re buying online with Ebates.
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.
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.
Sign up here for Ebates and get $10 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.
It takes a bit of hustle to sell stuff online but once you get going, the feeling is addicting and you can make some quick cash.
3. Track your spending with the free app Personal Capital and try to stay away from your spending weaknesses.
Mine is Chipotle.
I used to go out to eat every day for lunch and it adds up!
Personal Capital is free to sign up and it tracks your net worth too.
You link your accounts and then it automatically computes graphs for you, showing your spending across different categories such as food, groceries, and entertainment.
The net worth tracker is the best part though!
My net worth used to say negative $100,000 but with some dedication and time, it improved quickly. I’m motivated to keep saving when I see it go up each month.
Get $20 FREE from Personal Capital for signing up through this link.
4. 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, consider SoFi, which is a company that refinances your student loans (meaning you get a lower interest rate).
If you can get a lower interest rate on your loans, you can put more money towards savings each month.
I paid a 6.8% interest rate on my student loans and wish I had looked into refinancing sooner. I might have qualified for a lower interest rate, which would have saved me thousands.
To use SoFi, you just fill out a quick survey and it shows you the various refinancing rates you qualify for across different companies.
We’ve already helped over 100 readers get better interest rates on their student loans.
Fill out the SoFi questionnaire here.
5. Start batching your meals
I broke down and finally got the Instant Pot after my friends have been raving about it for a year.
I hate to say it but I love it too!
I’ve been making meals in about 25-30 minutes and batching them for multiple days.
Before, I used to get home from work and be too tired to make dinner and then order takeout. Now, I’m making more meals at home.
- Invest in an Instant Pot here on Amazon.
6. Save when you buy things online with Honey.
Honey is a browser extension that automatically searches for coupons when you buy things online.
It searches for any code that may be available for you to use and save on your purchase.
I was just buying something online the other day and Honey automatically popped up with a coupon and it was awesome!
It’s free to join and you get a $5 welcome bonus for signing up using this link:
- Sign up for Honey and get $5 FREE
7. 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 now use an HDTV antenna from Amazon that I bought for under $30
- I get all of the channels I want to to watch (around ~40 channels)
You can still get your favorite premium channels by using a service like Sling TV.
Sling TV is a streaming service that gives you cable for about $20 per month.
It has HGTV, Disney, A&E, ESPN, and all of your favorite channels.
You pay monthly and don’t have to worry about cancellation fees or anything like that.
You can also get the sports package for an extra cost to get ESPN, NHL Network, NBA, Golf Channel, etc.
Check out Sling TV here and do a FREE TRIAL
8. 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 free 7-day course, How to Start A Blog Course.
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
Related: My April 2017 Income Report – $2851
9. 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.
10. Practice the 24 hour rule: If you are tempted to buy something, wait 24 hours and see if you still want it.
11. Avoid social spending.
Invite your friends over to dinner instead of meeting out at a restaurant.
If you like eating out, try meeting friends for coffee or lunch instead of dinner and drinks.
12. Get outside more.
Hiking, going to parks, and going to the beach are all cheap activities if you do them right.
13. 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.
14. 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 as an adult but it was worth the money.
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.
Seek out people who inspire you
I recently started a podcast called Fire Drill Podcast so that I could interview people who have achieved amazing things, like paying off thousands of dollars in student loan debt or saving enough money so they could walk away from their jobs in their twenties and thirties.
If you like the episode or don’t have time to listen now, I recommend you sign up for the Fire Drill Podcast email list to be notified of new episodes.
We’ve interviewed normal people who quit their jobs to travel the world full-time, built six figure side hustles, and other crazy inspiring things.
You can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes and listen via the podcast app on your phone.
How do you save more money faster? Are you contributing to any savings or retirement accounts not mentioned here?
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