Do these cold, short days have you dreaming about summer vacation?
While you read travel site reviews, compare car rentals and shop for airline tickets, start a dedicated savings account so you can prepay part or all of your vacation costs.
Following are 14 easy ways to save $1,000 in the next several months.
1. Cancel your gym membership
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Cut your gym membership cost and — for the price of a pair of sneakers — go outdoors and walk or run. You could save more than $100 by swimsuit season.
Also, note that there are various kinds of free fitness apps to help you stay motivated and on track.
2. Sell your old smartphone
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Be sure that before you sell, you erase all personal data from your device.
3. Get a cheaper cell plan
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We get it. Changing cellphone plans is tricky and something many of us avoid because providers make pricing so complicated. But if you haven’t compared cellphone plan prices in a while, you can almost certainly save money.
Start by checking out Money Talks News’ free cellphone and plan search tool.
4. Trim your cellphone data use
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While you’re shopping around for cellphone plans, downscale your data service for more savings. You may find that dropping just one tier from your current plan will save $15 a month.
5. Be a mystery shopper
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Yes, mystery shopping is a real, paying gig. The former mystery shopper who wrote “Weird Ways to Make Money: Mystery Shopping” made anywhere from $5 to $150 per assignment.
6. Raise your insurance deductibles
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If you agree to pay more out of pocket when making an insurance claim — that is, raise your deductible — you can substantially lower your premiums.
You can apply this concept to multiple policies — like car and homeowners insurance policies — to further increase your savings.
7. Save your pocket change
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You probably watched your parents do it. Now you should do it: Empty your pockets or purse every day.
If you hold on to just $12 a month, you’ll have nearly $50 after four months. If you save that money in a high-paying savings account, you’ll have a little more.
8. Get a smaller cable TV package
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If you are paying for TV programming through cable or satellite, you know that monthly bill can really hurt.
To cut costs without sacrificing viewing options, ditch traditional pay-TV altogether and switch to streaming video services like Hulu or Netflix. This saved one Money Talks News contributor around $720 a year, as he details in “How to Cut the Cable TV Cord in 2018.”
If you’re not ready to take that step, try scaling back on your package or hiring a service to negotiate your bill.
9. Open a bank account
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Banks want your business, and many offer cash incentives for opening an account. For example, some banks are currently offering up to $500 when you open a checking account.
Read the fine print to make sure what hoops you need to jump through to claim your reward.
10. Drink tap water at restaurants
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For the next few months, order tap water in restaurants instead of other drinks. If you typically spend $20 a month on restaurant beverages, you’ll save $80 in four months. If you’re inclined to drink alcohol in restaurants, the savings will be substantially greater.
11. Automate your savings
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One of the marvels of online banking is your ability to set up and change automatic savings deposits on the fly. Establish a small transfer from your checking account to your savings account — $50 a month, for example. Break it down into smaller weekly amounts if it’s easier.
You likely won’t notice the money is gone.
12. Get a part-time job
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Take a part-time gig to scrape up some savings. If you net $10 an hour for 20 hours a month, you’ll have $800 saved — before taxes, of course — in four months.
If you want something more flexible, check out “20 Unusual Ways to Earn Extra Cash” for more ideas.
13. Sell clothes on consignment
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Give your closets an early spring cleaning, and take any clothes in good shape to a consignment store. Or go through an online equivalent — see “Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top Dollar.”
You probably won’t make a fortune, but $15 to $20 a month isn’t out of the question.
14. Hold a yard sale
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Make more room for yourself and make some extra cash by decluttering. No need to make it a big project. Just ask yourself as you move around your home, “Can I get rid of this?” Put several boxes in an easily accessible spot, and toss in whatever you find for a sale.
Then check out our post about tips for a profitable yard sale. Let’s say you net $250. That puts you a fourth of the way to your $1,000 goal.
What are your favorite ways to save money for a special goal? Tell us by posting a comment below or on Money Talks News’ Facebook page.
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