I must say I love saving money ever so much! Some people are just wired to feel gratification when it comes to increasing their savings. Whether it’s saving $100 or $4,000 – saving is saving.
I put this list together of 29 simple ways to save an extra $4,000 this year. Hopefully some of these ideas can help you achieve this goal!
The logic behind the idea to save an extra $4,000 seems much simpler when you break it down into weeks. If you need to save $4,000 extra for the year, you must save about $77 per week for 52 weeks. If you are like me, $77 per week sounds much easier than $4,000 per year!
Now all we should do is figure out how to save an extra $77 per week.
There are two main ways you can increase your savings
You can reduce your expenses and spending.
You can increase your income.
I love the idea of using a combination of these two categories to help you achieve an extra $77 per week and $4,000 per year.
For example, say you were able to cut your fixed expenses (Eg. cable bill, phone bill etc…) by $25 per week and reduce your spending by $25 per week. That alone would save you $2,600 for the year.
Now you just have to make an extra $27 per week in extra income. That $27 will equal $1,404 for the year – combined with the cutting of expenses that equals just over $4,000 for the year.
Combining both a reduction in spending and increase in income will allow you to achieve your $4,000 per year goal!
Here are 15 ides to help you reduce your expenses, and 14 ideas to help you increase your income to get you to an extra $4,000 of savings over the next year!
15 ways to reduce your expenses
Envelope budget system
- The envelope budget system is an amazing way to save. I have gone on the envelope budget multiple times in my life and every time I have done so I have saved a nice chunk of money! The envelope system segments your spending so that you don’t overspend your budget. Just like the example above, you can do your budget and try to reduce your weekly spending by a certain amount. If you start the envelope budget, it will be WAY easier for you to achieve this reduced spending! Here is an article I wrote on this: Why the Envelope System Is the Best Budget to Save
If you don’t have a budget, you can add your email here and you will be sent a free excel budget file!
Cut the cable (or reduce the cable)
- There was a time in my life when I spent about $150 per month on my cable and internet. Looking back, I can’t believe how much money I lost paying this! I decided to cut the cable one day and switch my internet provider. I used a company called Movearoo to find a new provider just for my internet. I cut my bill from $150 to about $40, and I also picked up Netflix for an extra $7.99 per month. I saved over $100 per month just by doing this! If you don’t want to cut the cable, you can also contact Bill Fixers. They will negotiate your bill on your behalf and split the saving with you. You can read more about Movearoo here: Don’t Want to Cut the Cord? Two Companies Saving You Money on Your Cable and Internet Bills.
Gift card strategy
- There are two websites I suggest you try out to purchase discounted gift cards. I wrote a whole article on purchasing discounting gift cards here: This Gift Card Idea Can Save You over $500 per Year You can easily save over $500 per year by using discounted gift cards at your favorite stores. For example, if you drink coffee at Dunkin Donuts each morning, you can purchase discounted gift cards and save a lot of money on your morning coffee! The two companies I recommend are: raise.com and cardpool.com
- I am not one of those people who are going to tell you to stop exercising! I am very much against that. However, I have tried two programs that are incredible and you can do them at home. In all likelihood, you will end up in better shape doing one of these two programs than just going to the gym. The first is the cheaper of the two. Kayla Itsines has an exercise program you can do at home and it costs under $60 to purchase the program. If you want to go really intense, you can try P90X. This can cost round $120 for the DVDs. I have tried both of these programs and I believe in both of them. Most people spend over $30 per month on a gym membership, so you can save over $300 per year by replacing the gym with one of these programs.
Increase your insurance deductible
- This is something you should only do if you feel comfortable with a higher deductible. Here is a quick question, what is your current auto insurance deductible? I bet you don’t even know! You should take a look and if your deductible is $500, ask yourself if increasing that to $1,000 will change your filing of a claim. Most people I have talked to tell me they won’t file an insurance claim if the damage is under $1,000. If you have a $500 deductible, maybe increasing it to $1,000 would be preferred. You can couple this with shopping for a new insurance plan with a higher deductible and you could save a nice chunk of money!
- An ATT cell phone plan for 1 GB of data and unlimited talk and text is about $30 per month. Republic wireless has the same plan for $20 per month. If you have a higher data limit than 1 GB, you can probably save even more than $10 per month. You may want to take a look at their plans here and compare them to your current plan.
Cook more and pack your lunch
- I’m that guy who would show up to work everyday with a packed lunch! I just loved knowing how much money I was saving while everyone else was going out and spending $8 at Chipotle (although I own stock in Chipotle so I was happy they were spending!) If you can get on the envelope budget, figure out how much you should spend each week and take a few days when you used to go out to eat and just cook your own meal. You can eat the leftovers for lunch and I guarantee you will save a nice amount of money!
Costco or Sams Club
- Get a membership to Costco or Sams Club and buy your food in bulk. Couple the bulk buying of food with the scaling back eating out and cooking for yourself and you will save some serious cash.
Save on the coffee
- I admit – I LOVE Starbucks. It just makes me happy. I love the ambiance and I really do like their Iced coffee. I have trouble telling people to not go to Starbucks because of this. However, you do have an option instead of totally stopping your Starbucks runs, you can signup for their rewards card. You can get free coffees at times and points whenever you go to Starbucks. You can also do your best to make your own coffee at home on certain days and skip the Starbucks. Jut use the envelope budget to figure out how many coffees you can afford per week and when you run out of coffee money, just make your own for the rest of the week! You can click here to sign up for Starbucks rewards.
- I’m telling you this app is awesome! I think this app has helped me save hundreds of dollars per year. Gas buddy shows you the prices of gas at all the gas stations near you! I would hop on the app and search the prices of the gas in my area, or on my commute. I found so many deals using this app. There were stations selling gas for over $.10 cheaper within a couple mile radius. Using this app really can help you save money on gas during the year. You can click here to get the GasBuddy app.
- Just like I have trouble saying goodbye to Starbucks, I could not live without going to the movies. I am a movie buff and I would be depressed if I stopped seeing movies. The cost of a movie in the theater near me is $12. If I went to a Matinee, the cost of the movie was only $9. But, there was an even BETTER deal at a theater slightly further away where the movies were only $5 before noon! Talk about a deal! I would wake up on Sundays and go hit the movie theater. It was a great way to spend the morning/noontime. (And don’t judge me for going to the movies alone 😉 )
- I found a dry-cleaner that charged $2.79 for my clothes. Still, dry-cleaning a few shirts and pants per week adds up! It can still cost $20 in dry-cleaning for the week. I stopped taking certain clothes in for dry-cleaning and started ironing myself. You can pop the TV on at night and iron your clothes for the week. You can wash most of your clothes in cold water and air dry them as well. This can save you a chunk of money by avoiding the dry-cleaner and washing/ironing your own clothes as often as possible.
Save on your car wash
- The nice carwash in my town charged $14 for the package I liked. I decided to downgrade and just go to the local gas station automatic carwash. I got the $14 for a car wash down to $6 per car wash. Of course, you can always wash your own car for less than $6. This could save you over $100 for the year in car washes depending on how often you go!
Use the library
- Instead of running out to purchase a book at Barnes and Noble, or buying it on Amazon, check the library! I love going to the library. Of course, I geek out on finance books and there is a whole section dedicated to them in my library. I have plenty of reading available to me. My library also has free events for both adults and kids. There are a lot of ways the library can help you reduce your spending.
Find a trustworthy mechanic
- Two years ago I had a problem with my car. I brought it to get a quote at three different places. The best place I found was a few hundred dollars cheaper! Once you find a quality place to get some work done to your car, you can save crazy money during the year. Especially if you find someone honest who won’t tell you to get XYZ replaced every time you get an oil change. Of course, you can always fix your own car! Unfortunately for me, I cut off my car knowledge at changing my headlight bulbs. And I still messed that up the last time I tried to do it – bought the bulbs for the high beams instead of the regular bulbs. Oops!
This is the end of the ideas to save money by reducing expenses. Now, let us go over some ways to earn extra income with side gig opportunities.
14 ways to increase your income
Drive for Uber
- I drove for Uber for over a year and it is a great way to earn some extra income. I earned over $11,000 in 2016 driving for Uber! Of course, you must have a car that fits the requirements. If you do, this is a great option to make some extra money. If you only need to make an extra $27 per week like our above scenario, you can make that in under four hours of work. You may even get lucky with a trip and make that in an hour! Here are some articles I wrote about driving for Uber: How I Made $11,618 Driving for Uber Last Year and Uber Hack – Get Paid for Your Commute to Work
Drive for UberEats
- If you don’t like the idea of driving strangers around, you may enjoy the thought of delivering food for UberEats. You will get out of the car much more often when you are picking up food to deliver to customers. One great aspect of UberEats is that your car doesn’t’ have to meet the regular Uber requirements. If your car is over 10 years old or not a four door car, you can still drive with the platform. It is also easier to be accepted in many respects, such as not needing a car inspection. You can even signup to deliver via scooter or bike in certain cities. Another note to add is that you can bring your child with you while delivering! This way you don’t need to hire a sitter. You can click here to find out more about UberEats.
Sign up for Amazon’s Mechanical Turk
- Mechanical Turk (MTurk) is a microworker site owned by Amazon. This is a great way to earn extra income while you are at home. There are MANY different microjobs available at any one point in time for you to work. For example, I did a job two days ago where I watched videos of cells colliding. The work I did helped the research about a deadly disease and I got paid to do it! It can sometimes take time to be approved by Amazon’s Mechanical Turk so I would suggest signing up now if you are really interested. You can click here to sign up for MTurk. I also wrote this article about Mechanical Turk: Amazon Mechanical Turk – Is it a viable way to make extra income?
Sign up for Clickworker
- Clickworer is a site similar to MTurk. The site also has microjobs you can do daily for little amounts of money. When you find the right jobs that are a combination of quick and pay decent rates, you can make over $7 an hour. Clickworker is also a great fallback if you try to work with Mturk and don’t get accepted right away. You can read more about Clickworker through this article I wrote: Clickworker – Is it a legitimate work from home job?. You can also click here if you are interested in learning more about Clickworker.
- At times I have taken surveys to earn extra income. The best thing about surveys are how easy they are. You really don’t have to think much – just give your opinion and answer some questions. I created a list of my 7 favorite survey companies you can work with to earn some extra income on your free time. The companies will email you surveys and they are really easy to sign up with- you can start many of them immediately. Here is an article I wrote about earning extra income with surveys: 7 High Quality Companies for Online Surveys to Make Money
Sign up for Swagbucks
- Swagbucks is an interesting platform to generate some extra cash. With Swagbucks you have the opportunity to make extra income with different categories. They have surveys available for you just like the above suggestion. But, they also have other opportunities to earn some extra income through watching videos, using their search engine and even shopping through their site. I wrote this article about Swagbucks: How to Make Extra Income Today with Swagbucks! You can also click here if you are interested in Swagbucks.
Do transcription work
- Ok, so I tried doing transcription work about two years ago and I was completely terrible haha. I guess I’m not a quick enough typist to listen to audio and transcribe it. I quickly decided transcription work wasn’t for me, so I stuck with Uber and the microworker sites. This doesn’t mean you will be a bad transcriber! If you want to test out transcription, I signed up with TranscribeMe. There are multiple websites for transcription services, so you can do some research which are best. If you are interested here is a helpful article about different transcription companies.
Create an Upwork profile
- I use Upwork to hire freelancers. I have used it for different services, from hiring search engine optimization specialists, to help with Adobe Premiere Pro video graphics. If you have any talent in an industry where you can freelance, you may be interested to sign up for Upwork. Skills range from programming knowledge and graphic design, to administrative assistants and financial analysts. I know the people I have hired have earned income from myself, so I assume you can definitely earn some decent income. You can click here to learn more about Upwork.
- I sold about $400 worth of stuff on Craigslist last year. I sold my guitar, two chairs and a dresser. These were items I didn’t need and I wasn’t using. Think about any items you have laying around that you have no use for and maybe you can bring in some extra money selling those things on Craigslist!
- I have signed up with a few freelance writing websites just to test the waters. I have never been hired to do any freelance writing jobs, but I really didn’t put much effort into it. If you are a great writer, or enjoy writing, you may love the idea of freelance writing. Maybe you have experience writing or maybe you write for more of a hobby. Either way, you can try to find some freelance work using sites and job boards. Here is an article about how to get into freelance writing: 5 Best Freelance Writing Job Boards
Sell your photos online
- I’ll admit I’ve never tried to sell my photos online, but I have read a lot of people do this for some extra income. I’m not the world’s best photographer so I wouldn’t have much luck selling any photos! However, if you are gifted with photography, this can be a way for you to earn some extra income. This is a great article about how you can sell your photos online: Selling your photos online.
- I found an event staffing company in the town I lived in. I used to work on the weekends or after work and bring in some extra income working events. Most of the events I worked were company conferences, and the work was really easy. Some of the work included registration, logistics, and even corporate team-building exercises. I was even hired to fly to Dallas to work a conference! Airfare food and drinks were all included, and of course I was paid for the weekend. Do some research into staffing companies in your area; maybe you will find the right fit!
Wrap your car
- Ok, so I was really close to doing this. When I was driving for Uber as a side gig, I looked into wrapping my car so that I could bring in another $100+ each month. With some of the companies I had researched, the more you drive the more you can make. They look at your speedometer, or track you with software, and pay you depending on miles driven while your car is wrapped. I never ended up pulling the trigger because I had nightmares of driving up to a meeting with a client with my car wrapped in a weird pharmaceutical drug company banner! If I wasn’t meeting with clients, I likely would have pulled the trigger and done this. You can do some research about this opportunity in the area you live. One of the big players is Carvertise – they pay $100 per month for qualified drivers.
Start a blog
- I want to be very cautious on this one. You will read a lot of articles about how you can “easily make money blogging”. I would caution you not to take this mindset that you will “easily make money”. Blogging is hard work and it takes time. Sure, there are people who get lucky with a viral post their first month blogging. But, those people are the exception. Blogging can be a great long-term strategy to earn extra income, and within your first year you may be able to turn a profit and bring in some extra income. Just remember, it’s not easy work. If you want to read about starting a blog I wrote this article: Blogging is Dreaming – How to Start a Blog
I hope some of these ideas click for you! If you use some of the ideas about reducing expenses with the ideas on earning extra income, you can save an extra $4,000 per year or even more! Now go out there and try to put some of these idea into action.
Thanks for reading!
Has anyone tried any of these ideas? Does anyone have any ideas I missed?
Disclaimer: These are the ideas and opinions of the author. The author is not responsible for the actions of those who read the posts on this blog. Each individual reader has a unique situation and unique needs. This blog is not intended to solve those unique situations of the readers. This blog is not liable for decisions made by the readers of this blog.
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