picture of someones feet as they relax on a dock overlooking a lakePhoto by S Migaj on Unsplash

Are you finally looking to put together your emergency fund? Or perhaps saving for that long-awaited vacation? Maybe you're starting to save for your first and last month’s rent?

Whatever your reason, you'll need a plan for saving your first $1000.

Make A Goal

bulls eye with text overlay This is what you'll keep in mind when you have to make tough decisions. Write down:

  • Your reason for saving (is this long-term saving, like an emergency fund or retirement? Or planned spending like a vacation or down payment on a new car?)

  • How much you’d like to have saved

  • By what date you want to achieve the goal

Determine Your Earnings And Spending

Now it’s time to see if your goal is realistic. 

Know how much you earn.

You may have a set salary each month, or your income may fluctuate based on:

  • number of hours worked

  • tips

  • business revenue, etc.

If your income fluctuates, calculate your average income over the last several months. 

Example:

icon of woman

Jane is a server and made the following amounts over the last three months:

  • January: $1900

  • February: $2350

  • March: $1975

Therefore the average Jane made over the last three months is $2075 per month.

cartoon gif of character counting money

Know how much you spend.  

Calculate your:

  • Fixed expenses:  internet and gas bills, rent, pet expenses, car payments etc. 

  • Variable expenses: food, shopping, entertainment, household items etc.

Check out this Byte for more on expense tracking!

Create A Budget

Do you have anything left over after subtracting your expense from your income? If you do, check to see how long it would take you to save $1000. Is it in line with your goal timeline? If not, you may need to create or tighten your budget. 

What's getting in your way of saving? Do you need to:

Earn more?

icon of hand holding money bag

If you're already spending very little, consider ways you may be able to earn more per month:

  • Look for a higher paying job

  • Ask for a raise

  • Work more hours at your current job

  • Start a side hustle — babysitting, driving for Uber, dog walking, creating handmade items, teaching night school, etc.

  • Sell some items you don't use any more

Spend less?

icon of hand handing over a bill of money

This means having an intentional plan. You can:

  • Switch to buying off-brand items

  • Eliminate non-essential spending — spas, dining out, clothes

  • Cancel subscriptions you don’t use anymore — apps, games, gym

  • Shop grocery flyers and sales

  • Switch to free entertainment

  • Call service providers for options on reducing bills

Restructure your earning and spending habits in a way that's most valuable to you. Keep in mind why you’re saving up, and why it's a meaningful goal.

Now make a new budget that supports your savings goal!

Keep Track

Keep track of how much you spend each week. You can:

  • Save receipts and write down spending at the end of each day

  • Use an appto track spending

  • Develop an envelope and cash system — your monthly budget amounts per category in separate envelopes – once the cash is gone, you're out of budget for that month!

Use whatever method works for you.

 

icon of calendar

Schedule check ins.

Check in with yourself frequently to make sure you’re reaching your savings milestones. 

Example:

 icon of man

Joel made a goal to save $1000 over 6 months. He set milestones to save $167 each month. 

  • Month 1 he saved $172

  • Month 2 he saved $167

  • Month 3 he saved $150

Quiz

Is Fred on track to reach his savings goal?

Yes

Not Sure

No

Take Action

cartoon gif of hand adding money to a piggy bank

Now you're ready to start saving! You can do it!

License:

Your feedback matters to us.

This Byte helped me better understand the topic.

I feel confident that I can apply what I learned.

I would recommend this Byte.

Connect with Rumie learners

Browse more content, receive support, share your expertise, and keep learning through text and voice chat!

This Byte has been authored by

RH

Robin H

Volunteer Learning Designer