10 Tips to Help You Save $1,000 by Christmas

Photo by Freephotographer / Shutterstock.com

If you’re like many people, at the beginning of every year you resolve to get your finances in better shape by paying off debt and adding to your savings. But like many resolutions, the reality often doesn’t meet the goal.

All is not lost. There are still five full months left in the year – time for a quick review of simple ways to save. The goal? To set aside at least an extra thousand dollars by Christmas, without sacrificing your quality of life. Going on a “dollar-diet” is no way to get the job done – painless savings are the only kind you should attempt because they’re the only kind that work.

Let’s start with a recent news story that includes five ways to save, then meet me on the other side for lots more.

Here’s a recap of the ideas from the video, as well as a bunch more.

Simple Savings

  1. Lower your cell phone bill. Potential savings: $100. If you’re not using minutes you’re paying for, switch to a cheaper plan. That could save you $20 a month, or $100 by Christmas.
  2. Lose your land line. Potential savings: $140. If you find that your land line is gathering dust, lose it. And even if you want to keep your land line, if you have a broadband internet connection, get your phone service through it rather the phone company. A service like Magic Jack will give you unlimited calling for $2/month rather than the $30 you might be paying for traditional phone service providers.
  3. Staycation instead of vacation. Potential savings: $1,000+. The savings from staying home vs. traveling for vacation are obvious. The trick is to maintain your quality of life while you do it. No working allowed. Turn off the computer and the phone. Relax, have fun and take day trips exploring your local area.
  4. Raise your insurance deductibles. Potential savings: $250. Raising your car and home insurance deductibles could have zero impact on your quality of life, but it could have a big impact on your savings. Decide what you can afford to pay out of pocket, spend a few minutes on the phone and see what you can save. Another way to save – shop your insurance and see if you can get a better deal. We have a simple insurance shopping tool right here.
  5. Drop the gym. Potential savings: $150. Unless you’re training for competition, a gym can be expensive overkill. You can buy cheap weights at yard sales or places like Play It Again Sports. Better yet, find them free at sites like craigslist or Freecycle. You can buy cheap workout videos and exercise in front of the TV, or get both exercise and fresh air by walking, jogging or biking in your neighborhood.
  6. Drop premium cable channels – or drop cable altogether. Potential savings: $50 – $600. One of the most popular stories we’ve done this year was You Don’t Have to Pay for Cable – a step-by-step guide to bypassing your cable company while still watching your favorite shows. Even if you decide against that, however, consider dropping premium channels. They’re expensive and often filled with lousy fare anyway.
  7. Sell Stuff. Potential earnings: $400+ If you’re like most people, you’ve got clothes you don’t wear, CDs you don’t listen to, books you don’t read, DVDs you don’t watch, furniture you don’t sit in – you get the picture. Take it to a consignment shop or a swap meet; sell it online at eBay or craigslist; have a yard sale. If nothing else, donate it and create a tax deduction. But don’t mess up your quality of life by stressing out and trying to do everything at once: pick one thing (or room) every month from now until the holidays, clear out the clutter and make some money!
  8. Save on Food. Potential savings: $300+ The web is full of tips to save on food. Some will be obvious (use a list) but some might surprise you. For example, did you know that you might find groceries at 50% off at a salvage grocery store? Here’s a story we did that includes 28 tips to save on groceries.
  9. Haggle. Potential savings: $500+ According to this survey by Consumer Reports, negotiating a lower price is not only possible, it’s likely. What can you negotiate? Pretty much everything. You can call your credit card company and ask for a better interest rate. You can ask for a lower price from your doctor. You can negotiate a lower price on your cable bill. The fact is you can negotiate a lower price on anything from home electronics to hotel rooms. Here’s a story that explains exactly how I do it.
  10. Carry only cash: Potential savings: $250+ Try an experiment between now and the holidays. Carry only cash – no plastic. This simple idea can easily result in major savings. The reasons are simple: If you carry only the cash you need to buy what you went out for, you’ll avoid impulse buys. Plus, it’s psychologically more difficult to spend actual money than “plastic” money. It might even help your diet: check out this recent story: A Plastic Diet Can Make You Fat.

Combine those ideas and you’ll have at least an extra $1,000 by the time the holidays roll around. And if you need more ideas to make it work, no problem. We have 205 ways to save right here, and the web is overflowing with hundreds, if not thousands, more.

The key is to carve out a little time, check out some resources, decide what you’re willing to try and get on with it. But remember to avoid anything that might make your life less enjoyable. The key to making it is making it easy on yourself. So if you want an extra grand by the time the holidays roll around, start today!

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.

Read Next
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts
5 Memberships That Offer Car Insurance Discounts

These discounts may save you hundreds — even thousands — of dollars a year.

This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance
This Is the Best Age to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

If you wait too long to apply for coverage, you could be denied. So, when’s the sweet spot to apply?

7 Small Appliances You Don’t Need — and What to Use Instead
7 Small Appliances You Don’t Need — and What to Use Instead

Here’s how to get the job done without blowing money — or losing counter space.

29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day
29 Purchases That Can Save You Money Every Day

Sometimes, you’ve got to spend to save.

11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020
11 Home Upgrades With the Best Payback in 2020

The home remodeling projects that deliver the best bang for the buck tend to have one thing in common.

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Most Popular
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco
7 Kirkland Signature Items to Avoid at Costco

Even if it seems you save a bundle buying Costco’s Kirkland Signature brand products, they may not be the bargain they appear to be.

How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership
How to Buy Gas At Costco Without a Membership

The warehouse club often has some of the cheapest gas in town. Here’s how you can get it as a nonmember.

10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home
10 Things to Stop Buying If You Want a Clutter-Free Home

If you like to keep things simple, avoid these purchases.

A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today
A Simple Way to Silence Robocalls Today

A few steps can keep your phone from ringing when a spammer calls.

This Company Makes the Best Tires in America
This Company Makes the Best Tires in America

Driver satisfaction with tires is at an all-time high, but one brand stands out.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

Vacuums from this brand can last a half-century, if not longer — and they’re hot on the resale market.

This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance
This Health Issue Can Hint at Dementia Years in Advance

One type of pain is especially associated with cognitive decline.

Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?
Can I Switch to Spousal Social Security Benefits When My Ex Dies?

Knowing when to claim can help you maximize benefits.

If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It
If You Find This Thrift Shopping, Buy It

This iconic dinnerware is prized for everyday use as well as reselling for profit.

Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs
Medicare Will Not Cover These 6 Medical Costs

Don’t let these health care expenses catch you off guard in retirement.

8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon
8 Things You Should Always Buy on Amazon

The giant retailer shines when it comes to these things, from basics to hard-to-find specialty goods.

Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken
Beware This Hidden Ingredient in Rotisserie Chicken

Something foul may lurk in those delicious, ready-to-eat birds.

5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free
5 Ways to Get Amazon Prime for Free

Hesitant to drop $119 a year on an Amazon Prime membership? Here’s how to get it for free.

5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food
5 Ways to Fill Your Pantry With Free Food

Anyone can take advantage of these resources.

5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees
5 States With the Worst Health Care for Retirees

All of these states are located in the same region of the nation.

6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home
6 Reasons You Should Stop Hiding Cash at Home

Stashing money around the house is anything but harmless.

3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free
3 Ways to Get Microsoft Office for Free

With a little ingenuity, you can cut Office costs to zero.

7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make
7 Big Purchases You Should Never Make

Sometimes a big-ticket purchase is nothing more than a big waste of money.

5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic
5 Products You Should Never Buy Generic

Sometimes the brand-name version is clearly superior.

View More Articles

View this page without ads

Help us produce more money-saving articles and videos by subscribing to a membership.

Get Started

Add a Comment

Our Policy: We welcome relevant and respectful comments in order to foster healthy and informative discussions. All other comments may be removed. Comments with links are automatically held for moderation.