12 hacks for how to save your first $1,000 - and still have fun

Saving money doesn't have to mean living like a hermit.

A smart way to save for anything - but especially money that helps you earn financial freedom - is to look at trimming expenses. Small wins can quickly get us to the $1,000 emergency-proof fund that can help us feel more in charge of our money. 

Trimming expenses doesn’t have to mean slashing cable and internet or eating a ramen-only diet. The goal isn’t to drastically change the way we live. It’s about looking at choices and understanding what our priorities are when it comes to spending. 

Hacks for how to save $1,000 

We’ve developed 12 ways to save money - and they won’t kill all our fun. Plus, we’ve also put them into a handy guide that you can download.

  • Put on your chef’s hat - Try your hand at some meal prep. Put your chef’s hat on and make some lunches at home for the week. (Friday can be a cheat day - go out to eat with your co-workers!) 
  • Dust off that library card - Instead of downloading the latest book or movie, check it out viaKindle or stream it through your local library for free. 
  • Grab the kids, leave the wallet - Try a free family activity, like a museum or movie in the park, as opposed to spending money on tickets. 
  • Let’s taco ‘bout it - Host a taco night! Instead of eating out, invite friends over for a potluck-style fiesta. 
  • It’s thyme to break out the cookbook - Shake things up on date night and try cooking something new at home. Start with that recipe you’ve been dying to try.  
  • Bring #TBT to life - Put aside that money you would have spent going out and host a “Throwback Thursday” instead. Invite friends over to spend an evening playing your favorite childhood board games. Make it a tradition - switch up games and mix up your favorite cocktails to make it more adult friendly. 
  • Treat yourself to a binge-watch day - Pick a day as your “no spend day” and have meals ready at home and give yourself permission to binge watch that new show your friends are all talking about.  
  • There’s no place like home - Bring the silver screen to you! Have a movie night at home - stream a movie, cook up your own snacks and enjoy all the perks of a movie theatre from the comfort of your couch. 
  • It’s 5 o’clock somewhere, right? - Let’s do Happy Hour! Instead of a night out, try hitting your favorite watering hole for the discounted drinks and apps. 
  • Have your coffee and drink it too - Get going by brewing your morning joe at home a few days a week. 
  • Get those hands dirty and that car clean - Substitute getting your car washed and opt to wash it yourself.  
  • Mo money, fewer problems - Try to add a little more to your savings account by setting up automatic transfers for $5 a week - or more.  

(Here’s that handy guide of things you can do. Print it out and stick it on the fridge. Or share it with your spouse or friends.) 

And that’s just the start. You can come up with others that best fit your lifestyle. But once you get started, you’ll find out saving means you can still do what you want - and have that $1,000 emergency-proof money in no time at all.  

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