If you found your way to this article, it's because you want to learn how to save up your first $1,000. Maybe you just graduated from college and are out on your own for the first time. Or, maybe you want to stop living paycheck-to-paycheck. Or, perhaps you've heard about what a profound difference having a $1,000 rainy day fund can make.
Whatever the reason and how you find yourself on this page, I'm glad you're here. We're about to make some financial magic happen.
Did you know that having $1000 in the bank puts you ahead of 60% of Americans. (That's 2019 research from CNBC.) Grown ass adults (maybe even your parents) don't have $1,000 in the bank to cover a basic emergency like a popped tire or ER visit.
We want you to be smarter and more prepared than the average bear. Not only does having $1,000 saved put you ahead financially, but it does a lot for your confidence as well.
There are a lot of ways to save $1,000:
- You can set aside money from your salary each month and incrementally save to your goal that way (more here.)
- You can hack your discretionary budget to try and find extra money to save. (For example: cutting back on eating out or a DIY bill audit.)
- You can do the 52-week savings challenge (e.g. $1 week 1, $2 week 2, and so on until the end of the year)
- You can pick up a side hustle and earn an extra $1,000 (would take about a month and a half if you're leveraging one of these side hustles that earn $1,000+ a month. But this would take you between 15-20 hours each week for that month or so to get to your first $1k in earnings.)
- Leverage automatic savings apps, like I did. I also sold a few items to make some extra to get me to that first $1,000 faster. Keep reading to see how I did it.
Or a combination of all of the steps above will get you to that first $1,000 saved lightning fast.
Getting to that first $1,000 is hard work, but once the milestone is behind you, it is easier and easier to continue to save and build your nest egg.
How to Save 1000 Dollars in 45 Days
The impetus for this “mini challenge” – to save 1000 as quickly as possible – came from my realization the other day that at 31 I only possess one savings account.
I'd never really noticed it before until we started getting big gifts to help fund our wedding expenses. I didn't want to mix in funds earmarked for the event with my own savings. So, I decided to open up another savings account (the one I'm using for this project is with Ally, but I got so motivated I opened up one with CIT Bank as well.)
I began to wonder if all of my “lack of savings woes” is due to the fact that maybe I just wasn't doing enough; that having more than one savings account could be the magic bullet I need to finally build a really strong, healthy savings muscle. I have savings, but I don't save consistently and I want to make this savings muscle stronger.
What do we do to muscles we want to get stronger? We work them. Day in and day out.
And before say, “you can save 1000 in 45 days because you work full-time and have a blog,” let me stop you right there.
- First of all, anyone can earn the extra cash to save up $1,000. It's not hard if you're willing to sacrifice your free time to do it.
- Also – other than the initial $100 I used to open the account, this account was funded through found money – a.k.a. cash I wasn't expecting or didn't intentionally plan to save.
- Most of my affiliate commissions come through Paypal or through my bank account, not via check. And lately, all of my “extra” money is tucked away for the wedding/honeymoon/new house purchase.
- Right now, I don't have a ton of money just lying around to sit on. So don't @ me about how I was able to do this. Just try it and see for yourself.
How I Managed to Save 1000 in Just 45 Days
Mainly, I want to show how easy it is to scrounge up cash from all the little corners of your life. Think of it as the equivalent of finding coins in your couch cushions. I have a million (just kidding…. like, four) “save the change/roundups” apps on my phone. And that made a big difference.
So, here's how it went:
7/10 – $100 initial deposit (from my personal savings)
7/11 – $10 transfer from Qapital
7/12 – $350 savings from my Acorns account – (This one is a tad misleading. I'd been saving up this money for about three months and had “forgotten” it.)
7/13 – (Multiple)
- $43 Venmo cash out from a dinner out with friends
- $68 unexpected affiliate commission check from a closed account
- $25 transfer from Qapital
- $28.50 Ebates cash back from shopping. (I use the Ebates Chrome Extension and it automatically gets me cash back anytime I shop online.)
Total for July= $624.50
8/5 – $26.00 – small affiliate commission check
8/12 – (Multiple)
- $65.00 – Another transfer from Qapital
- $142 – Albert transfer (my new fav)
- $73.71 – cash out from ThredUp for clothes I sold in July
8/16 – $79.23 – transfer from Acorns
+ $.78 in interest
Final Total = $1,011.22
80% of the contributions above are from the pockets of cash the money-saving apps stash away for me that I do not feel at all.
Truthfully, I wasn't paying attention at first. $70 here and there isn't that sexy. But look at how much I was able to save in a month and a half just by letting the tech do its thing! Truly, every little bit helps.
This challenge (to save 1000 as quick as possible) works for individuals who KNOW they could be saving more but end up living paycheck to paycheck each month.
The Tech/Services I Used for This Challenge
I hope this piece proves my point: that really anyone could use the found money they have: birthdays, holidays, raffles, etc. and get up to that $1,000 threshold pretty quick. Instead of spending it, though, you have to put it in a savings account and not touch it. Not touching it is some of the hardest work of all. Trust me, I know.
But, I believe everyone has these small pockets of money sitting around. Instead of spending it, put it away and save it so you can stay out of credit card debt or fund the emergency in cash when the unexpected occurs.
Once you save up $1000 you just might get motivated to continue saving even more. Keep going! Every little bit counts, especially when it comes to saving money. I still but these extra “bits” of cash I'm not expecting into the Ally account and it feels so good to watch it grow.