Americans have savings goals on their minds in 2024. Key findings from a November 2023 GOBankingRates survey of 1,039 Americans revealed that 25% of overall Americans want to save more money in the new year. Fourteen percent said they wanted to save at least $1,000.
If you want to save $1,000 by the end of 2024, the best approach is to set and follow a realistic plan. GOBankingRates spoke to financial expert Rachel Cruze and personal finance expert Erika Kullberg about the key steps to take to reach this savings goal.
Incorporate Your Goal Into Your Monthly Budget
Those planning to save $1,000 next year should start by writing down this goal and breaking down the amount into smaller chunks.
If you start saving in January for a $1,000 savings goal, Kullberg said you will need to save $84 each month to reach this goal by the end of 2024.
Once you have this amount broken up, add it into your monthly budget for January as a fixed expense. Don’t be afraid of your budget either, as Cruze said budgets are just plans for where every dollar goes.
Open a High-Yield Savings Account and Automate Your Savings
Kullberg recommends putting the money saved toward the $1,000 goal into a high-yield savings account. Doing this helps keep the funds separate from those in a regular checking account and allows you to grow your money even faster.
“If you put $84 a month into a high-yield savings account all year, you’ll end up with over $1,000,” Kullberg said. “Since interest rates on high-yield savings accounts are really high right now, you’ll get to enjoy all the extra interest!”
Additionally, Cruze said you can automate your savings. “Once you’ve settled on the monthly amount you decided to save, transfer it to your savings automatically from your paycheck.”
Decrease Your Expenses
Where can you cut back on monthly expenses and put that extra money toward your $1,000 savings goal? Cruze recommends exploring some of (or all of) these options:
- Buy generic brands. Think trash bags, paper products and cleaning products. To cut costs even further, consider shopping for some of these items at the local dollar store.
- Make meal plans. If you’ve never done this before, Cruze’s 10-step meal planning guide helps break down the process into easy steps.
- Skip eating out. Meal plan and make coffee at home instead.
- Cut out a streaming service. Unsubscribe from whichever one you watch the least.
- Create a no-spend month. Engaging in a no-spend challenge can help boost your savings.
Increase Your Income
Here are a few of Cruze’s recommendations for those looking to increase their income to reach a $1,000 savings goal:
- Work overtime. Check with your employer to make sure this is OK first.
- Work a side hustle. You can have fun doing this, too! Some side hustles Cruze recommends include hosting a jewelry cleaning workshop, selling baked goods and getting your car wrapped. You can also look into doing freelance work, like book editing or IT work, depending on your skill set.
- Sell your stuff. Some items in your home, like vintage clothes, musical instruments and books, may be worth selling on platforms like Facebook Marketplace to earn extra cash.
Put Windfalls Toward This Goal
“To get to $1,000 even faster,” Kullberg said, “put any windfalls, like birthday money or work bonuses, into your savings on top of the money you are saving each month.”
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