Want to Save $2,000 a Year? This Is the Easiest Way to Do It
One out of four American have no money set aside to cover a financial emergency, according to a 2018 report by Bankrate. Another 22% have some savings, but not enough to cover more than three months of expenses.
Those people are living on a “knife’s edge,” per Bankrate, but many aren’t motivated to save more. In fact, nearly half of people with less than three months of savings – and 18% of those with zero savings – say they’re comfortable with the amount of money they have set aside.
A small salary is a big obstacle to saving, though it isn’t an insurmountable hurdle for all. More than one-quarter of the lowest income households Bankrate surveyed had managed to stash away at least three months of expenses. And 25% of the highest earners had less than three months of expenses set aside.
Whether you’re a big earner or struggling to make your paycheck stretch, there are ways to boost your emergency savings, pay down debt, and achieve your financial goals. Credit Loan looked at common monthly expenses and then calculated how much you could save by cutting those items from your budget and putting the money toward debt payments instead.
Cut these two things to save $2,000 a year
Savings of $2,000 won’t keep you afloat financially for long, but even a small nest egg will provide a cushion for some unexpected bills.
Getting to that $2,000 savings goal might be easier than you think. The average person spends $85 a month on cable TV and another $81 on eating out. Cut those two things from your budget for a year, and you’ll have nearly $2,000.
- Cable: $85 x 12 = $1,020
- Eating out: $81 x 12 = $972
- Total savings: $1,992
Cable and meals at restaurants are two of the biggest money sucks, but trimming smaller expenses from your budget can also add up. Here’s how much the 1,003 people Credit Loan talked to reported spending on the following every month. (Respondents reported their annual spending, which was divided by 12.)
- Tobacco or cigarettes: $50 = potential annual savings of $600
- Marijuana: $34 = potential annual savings of $408
- Alcohol: $33 = potential annual savings of $396
- Gambling: $25 = potential annual savings of $300
- Gym membership: $24 = potential annual savings of $288
- Tattoos: $22 = potential annual savings of $264
- Coffee: $17 = potential annual savings of $204
- Streaming service: $16 = potential annual savings of $192
Get out of debt faster, too
Credit Loan also looked at how much people could save if they cut certain things from their budget and applied that money to debt payments instead. For example, a person who owes $34,000 on their student loan at 4.45% could save $2,041 on interest and cut their repayment period by more than two years by giving up cable. Cutting out booze could result in nearly $1,000 saved in interest and getting out of debt a year earlier.
If you’re paying down a mortgage, you could save even more. Someone with a 30-year, $144,000 mortgage at 4.42% could save more than $25,000 on interest and be debt free almost six years sooner if they gave up cable. Even cutting a small expense, like a monthly Netflix subscription, and putting that money toward debt instead could save more than $5,000 on interest.
Saving is hard, especially when salaries are stagnant and the cost of living keeps rising. But keeping a close eye on your budget and cutting non-essential expenses can help you increase your financial security. While the amounts you save might seem small, they add up over time, and that makes a big difference!
Check out The Cheat Sheet on Facebook!