About one in five Americans is targeting at least $10,000 in savings in 2024.
GOBankingRates surveyed 1,039 American adults, asking how much money they hope to stash away in 2024. About 85% of respondents expressed their desire to save at least $1,000, and more than half want to save at least $4,000. However, some have set their sights on more ambitious targets: Around 9% said they want to save $10,000 to $15,000, and 13% are aiming to tuck away more than $15,000.
Organize Your Finances
To save $10,000 a year, you must have an organized and meticulous budget. If you have no idea where your money goes each month, start by reviewing your credit card and bank statements, your PayPal, Venmo and Apple Pay to get a more accurate perspective.
“This way, you can see the amount of interest you pay, any overdraft fees that may have occurred, the number of subscriptions you have, how much you spend on coffee and/or dining out, etc.,” Koosa said. “Knowledge is power. Once you know better, you can do better.”
Consider downloading budgeting apps on your phone to help you track expenses and organize your budget categories, so you know where to cut back on spending to achieve your $10,000 savings goal.
Create an Actionable Savings Plan
Once you have an idea of where your money goes each month, you can start crunching numbers to work out an actionable savings plan that’s doable for you. One of the best ways to stick to your savings plan is by automating it so you aren’t tempted to touch the money.
“You can easily open online high-yield savings accounts paying over 4.25% APY and link them to your current checking account,” Koosa suggested.
Depending on your preference, you can set up an $833 monthly, $385 bi-weekly or $192 weekly automated transfer from your checking to your savings account to sock away $10,000 in a year.
Remember, if unexpected challenges arise, such as a job loss or unforeseen medical expenses, it’s OK to tweak your savings plan temporarily. Once you’re back on steady ground, you can then ramp up your efforts to make up for lost time.
Another way to reach your $10,000 savings goal is by shopping strategically. Since food is usually one of the top expenses for most people, Koosa recommends maintaining a grocery shopping list, whether on a magnet notepad on the fridge or on your phone, to help you stay mindful of how much you’re spending.
“As things run out or come to mind,” she said, “write them down on the list to keep you on track at the store and save you time and money.”
Depending on where you shop, Koosa also recommends looking for ways to save within that store, such as coupons or sales.
“I’m not suggesting you spend hours scouring ads and the internet to save a few dollars,” she said, “but paying attention to what items are on sale this week could help decide the menu while also saving you money.”
Shopping strategically doesn’t just apply to food but also to spending on items such as clothing, travel and entertainment. If you can, consider traveling during the offseason and timing your wardrobe upgrades and big-ticket purchases around events like Black Friday sales. This way, you can redirect those savings toward your $10,000 goal.
Change How Your Brain Thinks About Saving
According to Hanna Morrell, a holistic financial coach, the key to staying on track with your budget is to trick your brain into viewing your savings not as money stashed away but as money already put to good use.
Let’s say you saved $700 this month. There are two ways you can think about that savings, Morrell said: “I saved $700 this month. Or I spent $700 on savings this month.” It’s subtle, but there’s a difference.
“The second sentence signals to your brain that money is already spent, while the first sentence tells you that the money is still available to you in your savings,” she explained.
This small shift in language allows you to think of your savings not as money tucked away but as an expense that empowers your financial journey. Also, because you now see your savings as money already spent to fund your future, you’ll feel less tempted to dip into it since doing so implies a backward step in your financial progress.
Boost Income Through Side Hustles
While being mindful of your spending is important, perhaps the fastest way to ramp up your savings is by generating extra income. Here’s why: You can trim your expenses only by so much, but there’s virtually no cap on your earning potential.
Let’s say you’re pulling in $5,000 a month from your 9-to-5 grind. In an ideal scenario where you have zero expenses (which is quite unlikely), the maximum you can sock away each month is $5,000. However, if you could boost your monthly income to $10,000 or even more, you could easily double your savings rate without penny pinching.
So, if time permits, consider exploring side hustle opportunities such as freelance work or part-time jobs aligned with your current skills.
While $10,000 may seem like an overwhelming amount to save up — especially if you’re starting from scratch — breaking the target into smaller and manageable goals makes it a lot less intimidating. Plus, you can always reassess your savings goals and make adjustments as needed. All in all, as long as you remain consistent and stay on course, socking away $10,000 in a year is definitely achievable.
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