Want to save $3000 in 3 months but don’t know how?
You’re in the right place.
Regardless of your earnings and personal financial situation, it is possible to save money over a short period of time.
So, how do you reach your $3000 in 3 months savings goal?
With our handy guide, a few changes to your spending habits and some discipline, that’s how.
How to save $3000 in 3 months
Whether you want to buy a new car, contribute to a down payment on a house or go on holiday, a savings plan is crucial to meeting your goal.
Here are 10 savings strategies that really work.
1.Assess how much you actually earn
Surprisingly, some people don’t actually know the exact amount of money that they have coming in each month.
Your monthly earnings include the salary from your main job as well as any financial help you receive and cash from side jobs.
2.Go through all your expenses
Knowing exactly how much you’re spending each month is the only way you will be able to identify the areas where you can free up some of your money for saving.
Make a list of all of your monthly outgoings. Next, split your expenses into an essential spending category and a non-essential spending category.
Essential spending includes:
- Mortgage or rent payments
- Debt repayments
- Car repayments, insurance and fuel
- Utility bills (such as gas, electricity and water)
- Childcare bills
Non-essential spending includes anything that you want rather than need, for example:
- Dining out
- Clothing and makeup
- Trips to the theatre
Once you have your two categories, highlight or make a note of your biggest spend areas. Whilst you may not be able to negotiate your mortgage or rent payments, other areas such as utility bills and non-essential spending areas can be reduced. We will come on to how to cut costs later.
3.Break the savings goal into manageable tasks
$3000 sounds a lot to save in one go. However, when you break it down it becomes much more realistic.
To meet your goal, you will need to save the following each month:
- Month 1 – $1000
- Month 2 – $1000
- Month 3 – $1000
According to your personal financial circumstances, you may prefer to break down the goal differently. For example:
- Month 1 – $1500
- Month 2 – $1000
- Month 3 – $500
Or like this:
- Month 1 – $500
- Month 2 – $1000
- Month 3 – $1500
This method makes the first month the most challenging, but easier for the next two months. The important thing here is that you are splitting the financial goal down into bite-sized chunks rather than focusing on the end target.
You can even break your savings goal down further by working out how much you need to put aside each week and each day. Using the $1000 per month for three months as an example, you would need to save:
- $250 per week (based on a four-week month).
- £31.25 per day (based on a 31-day month).
Setting manageable sub-goals can really help keep you motivated and determined to reach your end goal.
4.Stop bad spending habits
Now that you have an idea of your outgoings and how much you need to save each month to meet your target, let’s start looking at ways you can save money.
The first thing to do is think about why you overspend. The most common reasons people spend excessively is because of emotions and feeling stressed. Looking for alternative ways to make yourself happy can help to curb bad spending habits. For example, exercise, listening to music and reading are enjoyable ways to relax and take your mind off things that don’t have to cost anything.
If you’re guilty of overspending in the following areas, follow our tips to help get your spending under control.
Shopping – everyone loves some retail therapy, and you should definitely treat yourself occasionally. However, when you’re saving money it’s important to change habits to reach your goal. If you go shopping mostly with friends, try suggesting another activity such as visiting a museum or visiting your local park with a picnic.
Temptation is the biggest cause of spending money that you could have saved instead. Another way to avoid the temptation of shopping is to unsubscribe to the emails that send you promotions and the latest deals at your favorite stores. Also, give second-hand shopping a go. It’s more sustainable for the environment and it’s good for your wallet.
Subscriptions – Subscriptions can take up a large amount of your monthly expenses. Why not cancel or pause them and put the money towards your $3000 savings target instead? Americans love to pay monthly for books, magazines, food boxes, Netflix and gym memberships. But there are free alternatives to consider such as renting tv shows or listening to podcasts. You can often find free eBooks and exercise classes online too.
Daily coffees – picking up a latte every day on your way to work may not seem like it’s harming your savings efforts, however it does make a big difference over time. If you grab a coffee for $4 each morning, your monthly expense on hot drinks will be $85 a month or $1,020 a year. A great tip to save some cash is to make your own at home and put it in a flask to enjoy on the go.
Reduce monthly bills on utilities – cutting the monthly costs of your water bill, electricity bill and cable TV is a great way to save money and increase your disposable income. A comparison site will help you find out if you could get a better deal by switching mortgage, utilities or car insurance providers. Before changing suppliers, it’s worth checking whether your current provider could reduce your bill. Chances are they won’t want to lose a customer for the sake of you finding a better deal elsewhere.
Investing in more energy-efficient appliances and turning them down or off whilst not in use will also help you reduce your usage, and therefore the cost of your energy bills.
If you try to cut out in the areas above but still find it hard to control your spending, a spending ban could be the solution. Choose an area that you spend the most on first to focus on, for example, clothes. Set a realistic timescale for how long you want the shopping ban to last. If a month seems too hard for you, start by having one of two no spend days a week and increase gradually. The longer you stop spending money on unnecessary purchases, the more you will save and the closer to your $3000 target you will get.
Paying off high-interest debt before trying to save money is the key to making a savings plan work and maximizing the amount of cash you have spare. List your outstanding debt in order of highest interest and tackle that balance first.
Understanding different types of debt will help you prioritize your debt.
Instalment debt – this type of debt includes personal loans, car loans and mortgages. An instalment debt is a specific amount of money that you borrow for a purpose such as funding a car or house. The terms of your loan are agreed upon upfront, along with a set payment plan. The interest rate on your loan can be either variable or fixed and is set for the term of your agreement. Repaying instalment debt early could result in fees.
Revolving debt – credit cards and catalog accounts are classed as revolving debt because they each have a credit limit that you can use to buy things. You can borrow money up until your set limit, repay it and then borrow money again. The interest on revolving debt is determined by the balance on your account each month, meaning the amount you pay will fluctuate depending on your spending. You can repay revolving debt at any time without having to pay fees.
Typically, revolving debt has higher interest rates. This is why you should always try to pay off any revolving debt that you may have first.
Opening a dedicated savings account that is different from your checking account will make it easier to track your progress and avoid accidentally spending the money that you intended to save.
Different banks will provide different savings rates, so shop around to find a provider that offers the most competitive rate. Any extra interest that you can receive will get you one step closer to meeting your savings target.
Setting up an automatic transfer from your checking account to your savings account will reduce the urge to spend your savings contributions on something else.
An effective way to achieve your savings goal without cutting back your monthly expenses too much is to sell items that you no longer use or need. This is particularly effective for people who are on low incomes and have already tried cutting back on expenses.
If you sold your bike that has been sitting in your garage for years for $200, you’re already 20% of the way to meeting your month one sub-goal.
You can either sell your items online on sites such as Facebook Marketplace or eBay or host a garage sale to sell to your local community.
8.Try to fix things yourself or take on DIY projects
Thanks to the internet, it’s now possible to fix pretty much anything yourself from a broken jean zipper to a leaking pipe. Doing it yourself means that you can save the money that you would have spent on hiring somebody to solve the problem for you.
Here are some home repairs and upgrades that you can DIY.
- A leaking kitchen or bathroom tap
- Wallpapering or painting
- Replacing a faucet
- Fixing a running toilet
- Unclogging a garbage disposal unit
- Patching holes in drywalls
- Cleaning gutters
- Grouting tiles
There are certain things that you shouldn’t attempt to repair such as the electrics in your home as they could put you in danger. Other things you should probably hire a professional for are:
- Installing a light fixture
- Replacing a door
- Fixing a sticking window
- Removing mold or asbestos
- Repaving a driveway
9.Earn extra money
If after trying all of the above methods to reduce spending you still can’t save enough to meet your $3000 in 3 months target, it’s time to earn some extra money. Here are our top side jobs that you can do online around your day job.
Become a freelancer – there are lots of different services that you can offer as a freelancer, including writing, proofreading, website design, bookkeeping, online tutoring and more. The best thing about freelancing is that you can start earning money straight away, making it an ideal side hustle to start when you have a savings goal to achieve. Get started by signing up to freelancing websites such as UpWork and Fiverr.
Online typing jobs – if you have access to a computer and keyboard and can type quickly and accurately, there are several online typing jobs that will give you an extra income. Research survey jobs, captcha entry jobs and transcription jobs to find out which type of online typing job you would prefer.
Wash cars – an old yet effective way to earn extra cash in your neighborhood. Don’t forget to advertise the days and times that you will be offering your services, as well as a clear price to draw people in.
Dog walking and pet sitting – love animals? Well, you can get paid to look after people’s pets while they are away. Building up a repeat customer base is a great way to earn a regular extra side income.
10.Track your savings progress
Keeping track of your savings journey is important because it can be motivational and make you want to keep going. Use apps or free printables online to make tracking your savings fun and motivational.
If you fall behind on your monthly target, don’t panic. The best thing about budgeting is that the method you use is flexible. Sometimes, financial emergencies happen and if you don’t have an emergency fund, the money will need to come from somewhere. If you’ve had to spend $200 on a household repair in month two, simply adjust your budget so that you save $1200 in month three to make up the difference.
Tips on how to stay motivated to meet your goal
Let’s face it, whilst budgeting and saving are essential to achieving our financial goals, they can be challenging and tiring. We’ve got some top tips on how to keep you motivated on your savings journey.
Surround yourself with money-savvy friends
People that share your attitude toward money won’t tempt you to overspend and also respect your decision not to do things that are outside of your budget. Money-conscious friends can also help to keep you motivated and provide words of encouragement when you feel like giving up.
Make budgeting fun and easy
Pen and pencil budgets are time-consuming and hard to edit. Budgeting apps make it much easier to keep track of your income and outgoings as well as progress towards savings goals. Here are a few free ones to consider.
Mint will link your financial accounts, track and categorize your spending for you. You can also set up alerts for when you have an upcoming payment due or when you go over your budget.
PocketGuard will help you take control of your money, boost your savings efforts through automation and identify unnecessary spending areas. You can also categorize expenses automatically and export all of your transactions into a spreadsheet.
Lumio – connect all of your accounts to a real-time dashboard and customize it to your financial situation. The app will even provide suggestions on how you can improve your finances.
Money Dashboard – another free app that will create a full financial picture by connecting all of your accounts. The app will provide you with a forecast of your upcoming bills to ensure you won’t go into your overdraft.
Visualize your goals
Use images to represent your goals and stick them around your house in the areas where you spend the most time. Put an image on your fridge to remind yourself why you’re cooking a meal rather than ordering pizza for takeout. Even stick a small image on your credit card to prevent you from ordering online when you’re feeling down. Reminding yourself every day of the reason you’re saving will significantly help you keep motivated and focused.
Celebrate your achievements – big and small
Even small goals should be acknowledged. After hitting your $1000 savings target at the end of month one, treat yourself to a small reward such as a stay-at-home movie night or buying a fancy coffee at your favorite coffee shop. Whilst these luxuries are the things you need to cut back on when saving, the odd one won’t blow your entire budget and you’ve earned it.
Learn more money-saving and budgeting techniques
If you find yourself doubting your ability to save or budgeting technique, it can be motivational to learn more about your personal finances. Our library of personal finance resources is designed to help people navigate the world without being constrained by their personal finances.
Meeting your $3000 in 3 months goal
The key to successful budgeting is effective planning and breaking down your goal into manageable steps.
The guide above can be applied to any savings goal and adapted to any budget. So, after you’ve reached your $3k target, why not set another goal and get going straight away?
After all, saving is good for the soul and great for your future financial security.