How to Save Your First $1,000 in 2023

A woman puts a coin in a jar with a label "savings."

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That’s a goal worth striving for.

Key points

  • Building savings can protect you from unplanned bills.
  • While $1,000 probably isn’t enough for a full emergency fund, it’s a step in the right direction.
  • You can get there by budgeting, cutting just one expense, and maybe picking up a side hustle.

It’s fair to say that 2022 was tough for a lot of people. Inflation has raised the cost of living in a very big way. And with so many people living paycheck to paycheck without any money in savings, higher prices have forced many consumers to pile up credit card debt just to cover basic expenses.

If you don’t currently have any money in your savings to speak of, then it’s a good idea to focus on building some cash reserves in 2023. In fact, your goal should really be to build an emergency fund with enough money to cover three a full month of basic accounts. That way, if you lose your job or have a big unexpected expense, you won’t have to resort to debt.

If you’re starting out with no savings, you may not be able to fill your emergency fund in 2023. And that’s okay. The most important thing is to save something and then keep working towards your ultimate goal.

In fact, you might even want to tell yourself that you’ll aim to save $1,000 in 2023 and take things from there. And if the idea of ​​saving even that much seems daunting, here’s how to do it.

1. Make a budget

A budget won’t magically make your living expenses cheaper. But what is will do is give you a clearer picture of what your costs look like and where there may be room to cut corners. It could help you get a little money out of the bank every month.

Plus, budgeting is something you can pretty much automate when you set yourself up. That’s because there are different apps you can use that link to your credit cards and checking account so that your spending is automatically tracked and categorized.

2. Select one cost to reduce

If you already live a very frugal lifestyle, you may not have that many expenses to cut. But it can exist something you can manage to spend a little less.

Let’s say you order lunch once a week to take a break from having to prepare it and bring it to work. It is certainly a reasonable expense. But if that lunch costs you $12 a day and you can make your own for $2, that means you’re technically spending $40 more per month. If you save that $40 a month, you’ll practically be halfway to your $1,000 goal.

3. Get a side gig

If your earnings aren’t that high and you’re not in line for a nice raise in 2023, then it’s worth looking into helping yourself. Even if you only have a few hours to devote to the gig each week, that alone could get you to your $1,000 savings goal.

In fact, there are many side hustles that allow you to work at your own pace or set your own hours. If childcare is a problem for you, for example, you can also look for other jobs that can be done from home, such as data entry or billing work.

Saving $1,000 in a year can seem like a difficult task at a time when everything has become so expensive. And to be clear, it may not be the easiest thing to do. But it’s important to do your best, because having that $1,000 in the bank the next time life isn’t going your way could mean the difference between accumulating a credit card balance and staying debt-free.

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