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If you want to save money fast, you need to come up with a plan to reach your savings goal. Read on to find out how I plan to reach my savings goal of 17K in 6 months.
Saving money is something a lot of people struggle to do, in fact, almost 70% of Americans don’t have enough in savings to cover a $1000 emergency.
I’ve been in that majority for a lot of my adult life because I was struggling with debt. Once I finally got out, I made a commitment to myself that I would never let myself get back into such a bad situation ever again.
I have done really well in this area and have accumulated over 6 months’ worth of expenses which is what most recommend. This would protect you in case you should lose your job or get hurt and couldn’t work for an extended period.
Of course, I knew that there would be things that popped up that would cause me to have to dip into this fund every now and again, that’s what it’s there for, right?
I also knew that there would be a time where there was a major expense that could wipe out a large chunk of my savings, I was ready for this too…
What I wasn’t ready for was to have all my savings, and then some wiped out in a matter of minutes…
Why I Set This Savings Goal
You see, I got a call from one of the companies I do business with. The rep that I spoke to sounded very nervous and seemed to be talking in circles for a while…
Which made me start to get a little anxious to…then he proceeded to tell me that they had made a mistake and that they had been overpaying me.
At first, it didn’t sound like a big deal, but then he went on to say that it had been happening for almost two years and to the tune of $17,000…
You mean to tell me that I need to pay back $17,000…Holy Crap…How could this have happened???
At first, I was floored…I mean this was their mistake, not mine…
But I knew that I wouldn’t fight this, it was never my money, to begin with, and I couldn’t in good contentious try to fight this because I’m just not that kind of person, even though it was tempting as hell to tell him what I thought of the whole situation.
If this had happened to me 5 years ago, it would have been devastating, it would have caused us to get into debt yet again…
Luckily, I had learned my lesson years ago and although it’s going to wipe out our savings, it won’t destroy us or cause us to go into debt…
Is it frustrating…of course…
Enough to make you just want to give up?…Nope…
My Motivation To Reach This Savings Goal
You see, one of my goals has been to quit my job and work from home full time by the end of 2019.
I was right on track to reach my goal until this happened and even though I won’t get there this year since I need to make sure we are financially secure enough for me to do so, I’m not going to give up.
I need to build our savings back up before I will even consider leaving my job…
Of course, it’s going to take more time, and more energy because I don’t want to wait another year to reach my dream of working for myself.
But in the end, I am grateful it happened now before I quit my job, and I’m also grateful that I have the money set aside to get this taken care of now instead of dragging it on for years having to pay back a loan or credit card debt.
Why I’m Writing This…
You may be wondering why I’m publishing this on my blog. Well, since I write about personal finance, saving money and making money on this site, I thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to put my money where my mouth is, so to speak.
I also feel that sometimes it’s hard to see how some of the strategies and recommendations I give will help you.
Not everyone’s situation is the same so what might work for one person may not be possible for someone else.
I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give you a glimpse of how I plan on reaching my goal as well as my thought process.
Again, your situation is different than mine but the process, planning, and strategies I use can fit into anyone’s financial goals.
This is the beginning of my journey so I will be updating this post regularly and tracking my progress as well and what’s working, what isn’t, and how I’m going to adjust my strategies to try to reach 17K in as little time as possible.
It’s also a way for me to keep myself accountable and make sure I get this done. And if you noticed, the title of this article states “how I did it” which means I do plan on reaching my savings goal!
How I plan to reach my savings goal
Creating a plan is the best way to reach any kind of goal in life. Without a structured plan, I don’t think I could reach such a major goal. I mean 17K is not chump change…
I need to find at least $2833 somewhere in our budget every month to reach my savings goal. This is almost the total amount I bring in from my current job every month.
This is also the bulk of our total income every month since my husband is disabled. And we all know that disability payments barely cover what’s needed for a person to survive from month to month.
So if you are thinking that only people who earn a lot of money can reach for such a lofty savings goal, then I am here to prove that isn’t necessarily true.
Savings Goal Planning
The first step in my planning process was to sit down and figure out how much money there was to spare each month.
This is money that probably would have gone into my savings anyway, but since I’m starting from scratch, I need to make sure that we don’t spend it on other things.
Next, I brainstormed ways to close the gap so I can actually make this work. I’m going through my budget with a fine-tooth comb and getting rid of any unnecessary expenses.
Lastly, I am going to have to find ways to reduce the amount we spend on some of the other expenses that we need.
This is my first draft of how I plan to reach my savings goal and so far I am projecting to have at least $11382 saved.
I still need to try to find another $5618 somewhere to reach my goal but so far, I am pretty confident I can do this since I have more ideas but need to do some research.
I’ll be updating this post monthly so if you want to keep up with my progress, you can bookmark this page or PIN IT to come back for updates.
Savings Goal Planning
As mentioned earlier, this is just my first draft savings plan but here are my initial ideas on ways I can reach my savings goals.
The first thing I am planning on doing is to go back to a bare-bones budget meaning only spending on necessities. I will also be looking at all my business expenses and getting rid of anything that I don’t absolutely need to save some money.
In addition, I’m going to find ways to cut back on our needs as well. In recent years, I haven’t done as much as I should to save more money because it is time-consuming and I would much rather let some of that go to have more time to run my business.
The reason I did this is that my business has a much higher return on time invested than some savings strategies do.
I would love to do both all the time but since I work full-time in addition to my side hustle, I need to focus on what will make the biggest impact to my bottom line.
Because I’m in this pickle, I’m going to need to do what will get me to my goal fastest.
Reducing My Grocery Budget
One area I know I can easily save a good chunk of change on is our grocery budget.
My first goal is to do a pantry challenge. I plan on meal planning around what I have on hand now to save on groceries.
I figure I can cut my grocery budget by at least 2/3 or more this month using this approach. Currently, I spend on average $125 weekly so I think I could get by on $40 – $45 a week while doing a pantry challenge since I have a good supply of grocery staples right now.
This will add $320 to $340 to my savings. Once my stockpile dwindles, I’ll be shopping sales to reduce our grocery spending.
This should help me save a few hundred dollars a month on groceries going forward.
I also plan to start couponing to save money on groceries again and check my Ibotta, Checkout 51, and Saving Star apps before heading out to do my groceries because every little bit saved is going to help me reach my goal.
Potential Savings in 6 months = $1570
Upgrading our homes heating systems
Since winter is right around the corner in my neck of the woods. There are some purchases we have been planning to make that I’ve had to rethink.
One of those was to install a second heat pump in our home. We installed one heat pump last year and it saved us quite a bit of money because they are so energy efficient.
And because our bedroom is the furthest away from the one we have now and doesn’t get enough heat if our heating system isn’t running (which is our goal) we wanted to make this long term investment which will save us a lot of money in the long run.
We are going to put this on hold until next fall because even if it saves us money in the long run, it’ll actually take us a few years to see a return on our investment.
The unit we intended to buy ran approximately $3000, so instead, we’ve opted for a low-cost energy-efficient wall unit for this winter for roughly $110.
There is also a $19.00 coupon available on Amazon and I am paying for it with my Amazon Prime Signature Visa card which will earn me 5% cashback. So in the end, this unit will only cost me $87.39.
Again every little thing you can do to save does add up over time.
This is a temporary fix, but it will free up some money for now.
Dental Plan Rebate
I also recently had some dental work done to the tune of $1600. This is work I have been putting off for quite some time due to the cost.
Since we were in a better place financially, I finally bit the bullet and decided we could afford these expenses. Oh, how just a few days can turn everything upside down.
Well luckily, I am part of Dental Plan which is a type of insurance that helps pay for cleanings, x-rays, and other work needed. If you have children, a dental plan will save you a ton of money every year.
I paid the entire bill upfront, but I’ll be getting 50% reimbursed to me so I’ll be adding that to my savings goal.
I recently purchased an air fryer that I’ve wanted for quite some time. In addition to saving on cooking time, it’s way more efficient than using a conventional oven.
Well, I haven’t even taken it out of the box yet so I’m planning on returning it to get our money back to add to our savings goal.
I’ll probably eventually get an air fryer but right now my focus is on replacing our savings so that’s going to have to wait.
I’ve tried many side hustles in the past that I could start doing again to earn more money.
I’ve been thinking about resurrecting my Amazon Sellers account and start selling using retail arbitrage. When I was selling on Amazon in the past I was able to earn $15,000 a year.
I initially let it go because I wanted to dedicate all my time to building this site up. But again, I need to focus on what’s going to help me reach my goal fast.
Of course, I’ll be starting my Amazon side hustle from scratch again so it is not realistic to expect the same income as back then so I’m not adding this income stream to my savings plan until I have solid numbers to work with.
I believe this is the quickest way to get more income rolling in. This may change once I have a solid plan in place.
Currently the bare minimum I know I can contribute to my savings with this side hustle is $1000 a month. I think I’ll be able to earn more than this but this is a good number to start with.
If you want to learn how to start selling on Amazon, you should check out this FREE email course which will show you everything you need to know.
If you are looking to supplement your income, then a side hustle is a great option. Check out these posts to get some ideas of ways you can earn money in your spare time.
$6000 minimum added to my savings goal
Savings goal plan overview
Like I said at the start of this post, I haven’t had a whole lot of time to think about everything I am going to do to come up with 17K in six months, but this is a good start.
Current money saved
$2912.00 – Putting a hold on buying a heat pump
$800.00 – Dental Plan reimbursement
$100.00 – Air Fryer return
$3812.00 Current Savings Balance
Potential savings added in a six-month period
$1570.00 – Saved on our grocery budget
$6000.00 – Side income
Total potential $7570.00 to add to my savings account balance in six months.
$11,382.00 Grand Total
So far if I do everything I mentioned above, I should have a little over $11K banked by my deadline which is April 15th.
Base on this initial plan, I’ll need to come up with a way to save another $5618.
This is a really good start but of course as we know, anything can happen to throw me for another loop, so I’ll keep updating this post as time goes by and document my progress as well as new ways to save or earn more reach my savings goal.
I’ll be updating my progress each month with real numbers of what I am actually able to save, follow along to see if I can do this…
Do you need to save money for a major purchase? Why not start by creating a plan on how you are going to reach your savings goal.
Please leave a comment if you have comments or suggestions, I’d love to hear your thoughts.