Need to Save $1,000 Fast? Follow These 3 Steps

Need to Save $1,000 Fast? Follow These 3 Steps article image.

Whether you're trying to build an emergency fund, cover an unexpected car repair or fund a tropical vacation, there may come a time when you need to save a grand—and stat.

While it may require some hard work and creativity, it's not impossible to save $1,000 fast. Here are three basic steps to get you started.

Determine a Time Frame and Budget

As with any goal, saving $1,000 fast will be easier if you set a deadline for yourself. That will help you figure out how much you need to save each month, week or day in order to meet your goal.

To give you an idea of what it'll take, here's how much you'll need to earn or set aside if you want to save approximately $1,000 in …

  • One week: $143/day
  • Two weeks: $72/day
  • One month: $34/day or $250/week
  • Three months: $11/day or $84/week

Once you've got your numbers in mind, you're ready to make a budget. Write down how much money you'll earn over the time period during which you want to save $1,000. Then write down all of your necessary expenses for that same time period.

Let's say you want to save $1,000 in the next month. After taxes and other deductions, you bring home $2,000 per month. Your rent, utilities, groceries and other essential bills add up to $1,600 each month. That leaves $400 left over, which is a great start toward your $1,000 goal—but still $600 short.

Now you can look for areas to cut back. Can you pause your Netflix subscription for a month? There's $13.99. Can you skip all meal deliveries, only cooking for yourself? There's another $80. Even if your budget doesn't reflect your expenses exactly, simply sketching it out may spark ideas that will help you save $1,000 fast.

Look for Ways to Earn Extra Income

Finding a few extra dollars, of course, isn't the quickest way to your goal. If you truly want to save $1,000 fast, you'll need to make some extra cash. Luckily, there's a plethora of opportunities for earning extra money quickly—both while out and about and from the comfort of your home.

Here are a few ideas.

  • Drive for a ride-hailing or delivery app. If you own a car and live in a populated area, one way to earn money is to start working for an app like Lyft, Uber, Instacart or Grubhub. Think about which services are popular where you live, and start preparing ASAP.
  • Sell your stuff. Scour your house for items—especially electronics and jewelry—that you no longer use or need. While you might get the highest price by selling individual pieces on Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, pawn stores or consignment shops can be a convenient alternative. If you're creative, you can also flip furniture by getting it really cheap (or free!) online, sprucing it up with some paint and selling it for a profit.
  • Find temporary gigs. Search Craigslist, post in local Facebook groups and join apps like TaskRabbit to see who's looking for an extra pair of hands. Ask your personal network too; maybe a neighbor's fence needs painting or an aunt's dog needs walking.
  • Rent out your pad. If you own your home, consider renting out a room on Airbnb. Or, if you can crash with a friend for a few weeks, perhaps rent out your entire place. If you rent, you can still try listing your spot; just make sure you get your landlord's permission first.
  • Earn money online. What do you have to offer? Maybe you're a TikTok pro, a Photoshop genius or a math whiz. Whatever your skills are, put 'em to work by hanging your online shingle. You can find gigs on Upwork or Fiverr, advertise your services on social media, or tutor on sites like Chegg or Wyzant. If you enjoy working with kids, you can also try teaching English through a service like Skooli or VIPKID.

Save Money Every Day—and Every Month

Though earning money can be the quickest route to saving $1,000, practicing smart financial habits will be a big help too.

To kickstart your frugality journey, here are some easy ways to save money on your big expenses, both in the short and long term.

  • Groceries: Make your list based on what's on sale—and stick to it religiously. Shop at discount stores like Aldi or Food 4 Less, and always go for the generic brand. Find new, budget-friendly recipes by downloading a free copy of "Good and Cheap." Use the Ibotta app to get cash back on groceries and other purchases.
  • Transportation: Shop around for car insurance—and, if you don't need your car for the time being, consider suspending your insurance altogether. Carpool or take public transportation to save on other auto expenses. If your car payment is costly, think about trading in your car for something more affordable.
  • Housing: Ask your landlord if you can do some work around your unit or building (think painting and landscaping) in exchange for a discount on rent. Consider getting some roommates, or moving to a lower-cost place entirely. And, no matter where you live, follow these tips to lower your energy use.
  • General bills: Switch to a low-cost cellphone carrier (many of them use the same networks as the big guys, at a fraction of the cost). Download a tool like Truebill to manage your subscriptions and negotiate your recurring bills. Try a comprehensive budgeting app, like Mint or Clarity Money, to better track your expenses and meet your savings goals.

Alternatives to Saving $1,000 Fast

Don't feel like the ideas above are going to cut it?

If the reason you need $1,000 fast is to pay off a bill, try calling your lender before missing the payment. Depending on the type of loan or service, you may be able to set up a payment plan or defer your payments: Here's how to do so for your mortgage, auto loan and student loans.

Otherwise, if you have strong credit scores, you can consider applying for a personal loan or a credit card with a 0% intro APR. For the latter, strive to pay off your balance before the promotional period ends so you won't owe interest.

When considering your options, try to avoid payday loans. With their combination of exorbitant interest rates and short repayment terms, these loans can quickly become a debt trap.

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