What would you do with a cool extra $500 in your pocket? This little nest egg could jumpstart the vacation of a lifetime or come in handy during the holidays. In this guide to save $500 in 30 days, you’ll be able to fire-up your savings for whatever life throws your way.
Ways to Save $500 in 30 Days
The key to saving $500 in a month is to identify the reason you’re needing to save. Having that goal in mind will make some of the more difficult cutbacks easier.
Start by writing down what your money-saving goals are. Perhaps you need extra money for Christmas, or maybe you need to boost your emergency fund. Whatever the reason, keep your eyes on the prize as you go through the 30-day challenge.
How to Use this 30-Day Savings Challenge
Remember, the best ways to save money fast aren’t the easiest. In order to save $500 in 30 days, you’ll need to make some sacrifices. This challenge isn’t designed to be easy, but for just a month, you can do with quite a bit less.
In fact, you may be surprised to find that some of these savings techniques stick and you’ll be able to save more throughout the year without even noticing a change in your lifestyle.
Remember, keep your end goal in mind and look at this challenge as a short-term sacrifice when it gets tough.
Press Pause on the Takeout
One of the easiest ways to save $500 a month is to stop eating out entirely. That means no fancy dinners or delivery pizza. The average American eats out 4.2 times per week.
If your family eats out that often, you’re spending an incredible amount of money on eating out each week. Considering that groceries cost significantly less than dining out, you’ll quickly rack up savings by skipping the takeout.
Save more by avoiding the coffee shop and making your own coffee or tea at home. Say you buy your coffee 4 times a week and it costs $5 a cup. That’s $20 a week or $80 a month. You can get a nice bag of coffee that will last you an entire month for around $8. That’s already $71 towards your goal!
Cook all your meals at home and make plenty of leftovers for a packed lunch the next day. Get creative with leftovers for school lunches. Things like noodles and salads are healthy and easily eaten cold.
Cooking your own meals and brewing your own coffee is one of the best ways to save money fast. Not to mention, it’s healthier too.
How to Cut Your Grocery Bill in Half (or more)
Food waste is one of the biggest problems in America. Throwing out spoiled or stale food isn’t just bad for the environment, but it’s bad for your wallet too. Save money fast by skipping the grocery shopping for a week and do a pantry challenge instead.
The concept is simple, use what you have in your pantry instead of shopping for new food. You’ll get rid of things you’ve already paid for and stop wasting food in the process.
Another option is to create a meal plan using food you have on hand. Open up your freezer and comb through the deepest corners to find ingredients. Create delicious “kitchen sink” style meals like fried rice, salads, stews and soups, and pasta bakes for simple, cost-effective meals.
Take your existing food and create a bare-bones shopping list with in-season produce to help you save $500 in a month. Think about things you don’t necessarily need, like fine cheeses, junky snacks or sparkling water and eliminate them for a month. You’ll quickly start saving money fast if you use what you’ve got.
Cut Back on Frivolous Entertainment Spending
Sure, going to the movies or meeting up with a girlfriend for a happy hour is a lot of fun, but those entertainment extras add up quick! In order to save $500 in 30 days, get creative with fun, budget-friendly entertainment options perfect for the whole family.
Skip the big screen and watch movies at home instead. Pick up an old classic that the family loves but hasn’t watched in ages. Have a family game night with fun board games. You can even invite over family friends to make it more exciting.
Instead of attending a professional sporting event, round up the kids and head to the local high school and cheer on your team. Big high school sporting events offer plenty of socialization for your kids as well as yourself at a fraction of the cost.
Round out your 30-day saving challenge by planning an at-home potluck party. Cook together as a family, or invite the gang over and have everyone bring their favorite dish. It’s a budget-friendly way to bring your friends and family together.
Do a 7-14 Spending Freeze
Saving $500 in a month doesn’t happen when you’re still making small purchases throughout the month. Challenge yourself to a 7 to 14-day spending freeze. Simply don’t spend any money for the allotted time. Spend zilch! You’ll start saving money fast when you aren’t spending it.
This method isn’t for the faint of heart, but it’s a sure way to save $500. The key here is to just say no to all spending and use what you have on hand. Of course, if there’s a medical or vehicle emergency, you may need to just take care of it, but it’ll put a stop to that occasional $20 spend on Amazon.
Save Up All Your Coins for the Month
Remember when you were a kid and you had a piggy bank? You’d save up all the coins you could find lost in the couch and spend it on something fun. Bring back the piggy bank by saving all of your change for the month.
You’d be surprised how quickly your coins add up. Deposit your coins at your bank to avoid paying any additional fees at the kiosk so you can maximize your savings.
How Will You Save $500 in 30 Days?
With these ideas for a 30-day savings challenge, you can quickly save $500 in 30 days. The key is to be disciplined. When you’re tempted to spend, think back on the goal you set at the beginning of the challenge.
Do you have any tips to save money fast? Drop a comment and let me know your tried and true methods.