Looking for ways to save $3,000 in 6 months? Great! It can be a decent goal for starters who have just started earning or who have failed to save several times.
Saving money can be a great accomplishment in managing money. Learning how to save money is a key step in building good financial habits.
You can do many things with a $3,000 saving. Saving for a vacation, building an emergency fund, down payment for a car, or maybe paying off credit card debt.
Today I’ll show you the exact practical blueprint to save $3,000 in 6 months.
Before we start, I just want to clarify – I need to make certain assumptions to design a workable saving plan. So, I assume an American individual on average makes around $1,010 per week. This is based on the latest report of the US Bureau of labor statistics.
Let’s do some number crunching.
Our time frame is 6 months to save $3,000, which comes to 26 weeks. So, that means, we need to save $115.38 per week to save $3,000 in 6 months ($115.38 x 26 weeks).
If we further break it down to per day, that comes to around $16.44 ($16.44 x 182.5 days).
But this is not true for everyone, some might be earning more than $1,010 per week and some are under $1,010. There are many factors, your earnings may vary depending on age, gender, skills, and occupation.
The above figure of $115.38 is just a guide. If you earn less than $1,010 then you need to increase the amount you save to meet the 6-month time frame. Else you can just extend the time by a few more weeks.
It doesn’t matter, you get paid bi-weekly or monthly. Just stick with the weekly saving target of $115.38 or a daily target of $16.44. And you’ll hit the goal.
Well, I’ll not tell you to cut costs on housing, gas, or utilities because these expenses may vary if you live in more expensive cities or a small town. But if you live with a spouse, you can easily save more by splitting rent and utilities.
10 practical ways to save $3,000 in 6 months
To be very frank, to achieve your goal there are only two ways – reduce your expenses and increase your income. Here I’ll show you where you can cut back your expenses and how you can earn extra income to save $3,000 in 6 months.
1. Put yourself on a budget
If you’re serious about saving then budgeting is a crucial step. Take a closer look at your monthly or bi-weekly budget. Identify where your money goes. Review your expenses and find where to cut back expenses. You need to be creative in reducing expenses.
Here I want to emphasize the key rule of personal finance i.e. pay yourself first. What that means, whenever you receive your paycheck or any sort of income for that matter, before spending on anything first contribute it to your savings and investments.
It can be done in many ways, set aside a portion of your income to:
- Automatic transfer to your saving account – high yielding accounts
- Transfer to your 401k or IRA
- Pay off credit card debt or any other loan.
- Park some money towards the emergency fund
- Contribution to long term investments like index funds
Why pay yourself first? Because prioritize your saving and investments that create long-term wealth rather than spending first on food and entertainment.
2. Cut back on eating out
Here comes meal planning, it is crucial to saving money on food and groceries. Meal planning means, figuring out in advance what you’ll cook for the week and creating a shopping list accordingly. In this way, nothing goes waste that adds to your savings.
Fast food and takeaways are where most of the money goes. Consider cooking food at home. Look for cheap meat cuts at the deli to save money on groceries. Use leftovers to make the lunch. Make your own coffee. Avoid taking energy drinks, because they may cost around $2 – $3 each. You can easily save $10 to $20 each week if you skip energy drinks.
3. Cut on entertainment
In today’s age of instant gratification, we spend too much on entertainment. Movies, games, and events are the things of the past now, now we spend more on video games and paying our favorite streamers on Twitch. Reconsider these addictions to save money.
There are so many streaming services – Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO max, Amazon prime, and so on. Just ask yourself, do I really need all of these? The point is all these costs add up. So, try to stick with one service and ditch all others.
4. Practice delayed gratification
Don’t renew your Amazon Prime membership and test your patience. Cancel subscription to Grocery delivery services like Instacart and other food delivery. It will help you to save on subscription fees plus tips you pay to delivery people.
5. Limit your trip to the store
It is well-known consumer behavior, the more you visit a store you are more likely to spend on shopping. Always make a shopping list, stick to it and limit your trip to stores to save more.
6. Postpone vacation for six months
Vacations are indeed expensive. If you go on frequent vacations during a year, you can easily cut back this cost by postponeing vacation for six months
7. Start spending in cash or use the cash envelope method.
The fact is we use the credit cards or Apple pay because of its convenience but on the flip side we end up overspending. I tell you why, let’s say you have only $50 in cash for shopping. You will never buy anything costing more than $50 but on other hand, if you got a credit card or mobile payment app then you end up shopping for more items. Simply because you have a large pool of money available.
So, avoid using credit cards or mobile payments, instead use the cash envelope method. In this method, you set aside a fixed amount of cash in an envelope for each expense. It makes sure, you never overspend.
8. Learn to do your hair and nails at home
You can learn basic hairstyling and manicure from Tik tok, Instagram and YouTube tutorials. And get all the supplies and equipment from Amazon for cheap. This can save you a decent amount of money you otherwise spend on a beauty salons.
9. Bargain hunting
Always look for the best deal. Don’t be shy to ask for a rebate or any sort of benefit program. Whenever you go shopping, visit a spa or beauty salon for hair or nails. Ask for a discount. Same you can do while visiting the vet
10. Work out at home and save gym membership fees.
11. Delay buying
I use this method when I need to buy something in the last week of the month, it’s very tempting, but I curb this temptation and delay that purchase and push it to next month.
12. Save on electricity
Limit the use of air conditioner and heater to save few bucks on electricity.
13. Sell unused items or old stuff
You can easily make some extra cash by selling your old clothes, sneakers, jewelry, and accessories. Also look for other old stuff like a guitar, video games, smartphone, tabs, sports, or fitness gear. You can sell them on sites like Poshmark, Etsy, eBay, Facebook Marketplace, and Craigslist.
14. Automate money to high yield saving account
If you have poor saving habits then consider an automated saving account as a tool to consistently save money. A portion of your paycheck or income is automatically transferred to a high-yielding saving account.
15. Review your cell phone bills
Review your cell phone bills and consider switching to a discount service provider to save more money on calls and the internet.
Boost your income with these ideas
1. Do side hustle
In order to save extra money, you have to consider a second job outside of your regular 9 to 5 job. I suggest, first, you look for any job that requires your existing skills. Plus look for skills that you can easily learn online to start your side hustle.
These are a few side hustles you can consider – freelance proofreader, starting a blog, becoming a virtual assistant who can help like graphic designer, managing a blog, editing podcast or YouTube videos, becoming a social media manager, or a virtual bookkeeper.
2. Consider joining food delivery apps such as – Doordash, Uber eats, Grubhub, Postmates to earn extra cash in spare time.
3. Bartending on weekends can earn you decent bucks. If you have a good knowledge of your city’s main attractions then work as a tour guide on weekends.
4. Rent out your spare rooms at Airbnb.
5. Flip products from the flea market,
Make some extra cash by flipping products from the flea markets, yard sale,s or thrift stores and sell them on eBay, offer them up, Facebook marketplace, craigslist and let go. Items like vintage furniture, clothes, smartphones, iPad, cameras, power tools, musical instruments, jewelry, fitness equipment, video games, and sneakers are hot sellers on these platforms.
6. Work part-time at a grocery store.
7. Work as a wedding photographer or videographer.
8. Do hair, makeup, and nails at weddings.
9. Help local farmers and bakers to sell bread and produce at farmer’s markets.
10. Sell handmade items on Etsy
Etsy is a great platform to sell handmade items. If you got a skill or hobby to make crafts, crochet, jewelry, personalized gifts, and home décor items start selling on Etsy.
11. High school tutoring – helping kids with physics, chemistry, and maths lessons. $500/week
12. Teach English online to foreign students. A platform such as VIPkid and Qkids can pay up to $15-$20 per hour to teach English online.
13. Join Lyft or uber to earn in free time.
14. Apply amazon flex and deliver packages to earn $18-25/ hr. It is flexible. The best part is, they make everything so convenient. All deliveries are routed in the same neighborhood, you just need to make deliveries. You can pick a time block based on your convenient time and start delivering. Plus, you also get tips over that.
15. Babysitting is also a very popular side gig you can try.
16. Dog walking
If you’re a pet lover then consider becoming a dog walker at Rover.
The bottom line
Saving $3,000 in 6 months is not that hard. You just need to break down that number into a weekly goal or even a daily goal. Make a budget to figure out where you’re spending the most. Cut back unnecessary expenses. Look for new ways to earn an incremental income that goes towards your saving goal.
Remember the golden rule, pay yourself first before you start spending on other things. But at the same time, don’t be too harsh on yourself. Eating out or shopping once in a while isn’t a bad idea. Take a balanced approach, giving yourself a treat for good work always motivates you to do more.