The holiday gift-giving season is about to arrive and you are trying to pump up your funds for shopping. You could also be saving up for a car or a home deposit. Or how about that well-deserved vacation in a dreamy beach destination?
No matter which of these things you are saving up for, even if it’s just an emergency fund or future expenses, it is important to exert enough willpower to stop spending and actually save.
If you keep on paying lip service to a task that you should have otherwise already done, you will end up with no funds at all. This is precisely the reason why it pays to have a realistic goal and a deadline when saving money.
Let’s say that you are trying to boost your holiday shopping fund so you won’t have to charge your purchases on your credit card. You can have a pretty realistic goal of saving $100 per week. If you keep on reaching your goals for the next month, you would have $400 before the holiday actually starts.
By steering clear of impossible savings goals, you will see actual progress, be inspired at how far you have come in saving, and work towards saving even more for the future.
How Can I Save $100 in a Week?
If your goal is to save $100 per week, what are the individual tasks that you can do in order to meet your short-term financial goals? Here is a list of our top 12 suggestions:
1. Track your spending and make a budget
The shortest and most effective way to save $100 in one week is to track your spending and make a budget.
By monitoring the ins and outs of your expenses, you would know exactly where the money is going. With an itemized budget, you will realize how much you are spending on food, takeout pizza, fancy coffee, movie tickets, etc.
By trimming all the luxuries and paying for only the basics, you can easily meet your savings goal in a week’s time.
2. Be in better shape and save on health insurance
You’re a couple whose kids have already moved out of the house. You are not retired yet, but you are paying a significant amount on you and your spouse’s health insurance plans. If you’re both overweight, it could be that the extra payment goes towards the security of the insurance company to protect your health.
When you take the healthy route and live a healthier lifestyle, lose a significant number of pounds and lower your blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar levels, you will pass the medical exams with flying colors. This means that your health insurance provider can switch you to the lowest possible rates. Not only will this help you save money, but it will also make you a lot healthier and happier.
3. Stop relying on convenient food/drinks for sustenance
If you’re living alone and do not like to cook, you might be ordering too much pizza or relying on greasy Chinese to feed yourself on a daily basis. This can even happen if you are living with a family – working moms who are too tired to cook might be tempted to simply order in when the kids ask what’s for dinner.
Although there is nothing wrong with relying on the convenience of food to go every once in a while, it will take its toll on your budget after some time. If not food, it’s the fancy lattes from coffee chains that will burn a hole in your pocket.
What you can do to stop reliance on convenient food and drink items is to do your grocery shopping weekly. Plan out your menu, if you can, and learn how to cook and prepare healthy yet delicious meals at home.
4. Cancel unused subscription services at home
In a typical house, there are four separate bills that you would typically have to pay: Internet, cable, landline and maybe a business line or two. These can easily add up to around $500 per month.
If you can, ditch the landline and cable – and simply rely on high-speed Internet for your calling and premium cable TV show watching needs. You can also ask your cable company if they offer bundled services, something that can easily save you a couple of hundred dollars per month.
5. Scout for coupons before doing your weekly grocery shopping
When doing your grocery shopping, scout for either online or physical coupons that you can cut out from magazines or newspapers. These coupons offer great discounts especially when you are buying products in bulk.
However, it does not make sense to cut out coupons for items that you would not normally buy in the first place. Even if it says on the coupon that using it will save you $10, the savings will all be for naught if you end up not liking the product in the end.
6. If you must use your credit card
There are those who fail to maximize the benefits that they can earn from using credit cards, and fall into a debt trap instead.
A better way of using your credit card is to pay off the full balance every month. Doing so will earn you anywhere from $500 to $700 per year, depending on the deal offered by your credit card provider.
Aside from cash back rewards, you can also use your credit card to buy gift cards, earn discounts on gas purchases, earn price slash offs from partner establishments, or earn frequent flyer points.
7. Reuse, repurpose and repair
When you need an item that you will use only once, do you really need to buy a brand new one from the store? How about simply borrowing it?
Buying gifts from thrift stores will give you the best value for your money. Repairing defective appliances is usually cheaper than replacing it with a new one.
You can also re-purpose items which you are not using anymore into something else, or simply donate it for others to reuse or repurpose. This reduces your home’s carbon footprint and saves you money in the long run.
8. Assess your living situation
If you want to have a quick way of saving hundreds of dollars per week, assess your current living situation.
If you’ll move into a smaller home, won’t your living expenses be significantly lower? If you’re single and are living right in the middle of the city, won’t moving to a less ritzy neighborhood save you hundreds of dollars in rent?
This may not be applicable for everybody but when it comes to your living situation, there’s really no need for you to pay any more than you have to in rent or daily expenses when there are cheaper options out there.
9. De-clutter and make or save money in the process
Spring is not the only season when you should be doing a de-cluttering. If you want to make some extra money, do a general cleaning of your bedroom, the basement the attic and other parts of the house.
Organize the items into what you should throw away, donate or sell at a garage sale. Resist the temptation to hold on to memorabilia which simply add clutter to your life, and take up precious space.
You’ll be surprised at how much less stuff you would need after de-cluttering your home. For the extra stuff that you accumulated during the de-cluttering, you can sell them at a garage sale and make money in the process.
10. Go for generic and store brands
A body lotion that’s specifically formulated for those with dry skin will cost a lot if it is manufactured by a popular cosmetics company. However, if you will take the time to look for a store brand or a generic brand, you can have the same lotion formula at a fraction of the price.
The same thing holds true for any medication that you are taking – generic brands cost a lot less.
11. Make it a point to save a minimum amount per day
If your goal is to save $100 per week, that’s around $14.50 per day. You can put together the funds from the change that you have when buying stuff, the money that you saved by skipping the fancy latte drink this morning – and looking for other ways to save that specific amount.
When you religiously follow such a routine in saving, you can easily reach your saving goals in one fell swoop.
12. Don’t forget to pay yourself for good financial deeds
Finally, do not forget to pay yourself for good financial deeds. If you were able to save $100 for one week, do it again the next week and reward yourself in the process. The reward can come in the form of more savings, or maybe a small treat.
All in all, having realistic goals in saving is what will make you succeed in the long run. Follow these tips so that you can save $100 in just a matter of seven days.