How to Quickly Save a $1,000 to Travel the World, Pay off Debt or Create an Emergency Fund

Wouldn't life be a little easier if you had a $1,000 cushion in your emergency fund?

It's possible — and we're ready to help!

One of the best ways to tackle this cycle to the cold, hard ground is to take it step by step. No, you won’t get ahead overnight. This is going to take a little time. But in the end, it’ll be worth it — and it doesn’t have to be hard.

Month 1

Open an online savings or checking account and deposit $5. It doesn't seem like a lot, but it's important first step. Heck, roll some change.

There are several online banks we trust, but we're a fan of Chime because there are no fees and if you set up direct deposit you'll receive your paycheck up to 2 days earlier than your co-workers.

You can open a savings account at your regular bank, but you'll be more likely to not touch if you use an online bank.

Balance: $5

Month 2

Can you earn an extra $20 this month? A number of sites will pay you to read advertisers’ emails, sign up for offers and take surveys.

We’ve tried about a million of them (OK… we've lost count), but there are only a few we'd recommend.

  • Swagbucks is definitely a reader favorite, probably because of the wide variety of ways to make money beyond taking surveys. Plus, you get $5 just for signing up and taking your first survey.
  • PointClub: You get points for every survey you take — guaranteed. Plus, the company gives you $5 just for signing up! You can redeem points for gift cards to a ton of useful vendors like Walmart, Amazon and PayPal.

Balance: $25

Month 3

This month, we want you to try and reduce your car insurance bill. For many, car insurance is just one of those things where we cave in and pay. Because, just like the electric bill and phone service, we need it, right? But one way you could save money is by shopping around and comparing rates at least once a year.

The Zebra is an online car insurance search engine that offers “insurance in black and white,” compares your options from 204 providers in less than 60 seconds.

Balance: $125

Month 4

To build your savings, try to earn an extra $50 this month by bringing in money you don’t have to work for — like, at all. Here are a few cool ways to build up passive income and savings:

  • Paribus gets you money back for your online purchases. It scans your email archives for receipts. If you’ve bought something from one of its monitored retailers, it’ll track the item’s price and help you get a refund anytime there’s a price drop.
  • MobileXpression for iPhones: After you’ve installed this app for one week, you get to play an instant rewards game for a prize (everyone wins something). We’ve seen users win a $25 Amazon gift card, but other prizes include iPads and Samsung TVs.

Balance: $175

Month 5

Have a spare room? Try to earn an extra $100 or more by listing it on Airbnb.

If you’re a good host with a desirable space, you could add hundreds — even thousands — of dollars to your savings account with Airbnb.

And there's no reason you can't be creative. We found a guy who earns $1,380 a month listing a backyard tent on Airbnb!

(Hosting laws vary from city to city. Please understand the rules and regulations applicable to your city and listing.)

Balance: $275

Month 6

Have a bunch of movies or CDs collecting dust on a shelf? Decluttr will pay you for them.

Decluttr buys your old CDs, DVDs, Blu-rays and video games, plus hardware like cell phones, tablets, game consoles and iPods. Plus, enter FREE5 at checkout to get an extra $5 for your trade-in order!

What about old clothes? Instead of storing themindefinitely, try selling them. One app we especially like is Letgo. You can literally list your clothes in less than a minute.

Can you find $100 worth of stuff in your closets?

Balance: $375


Month 7

Here’s a super simple way to boost your savings quickly and with almost no work.

We've put together a list of our favorite bank promotions happening right now. These banks will pay you up to $300 just to open a new account!

It's up to you to decide how to manage several bank accounts. But we find when you’re building your savings, it's helpful to have multiple places to “hide” money so you’re less likely to spend it.

You could always open an account, collect the bonus, and close it when you're no longer using it — just make sure you read the details and know the requirements you need to meet to earn the bonus.

Balance: $675

Months 8-12

Can you Lyft your way to an extra $325?

Demand for ridesharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down.

If you give just a few rides with Lyft each week, you can easily earn the last $325 over the next few months. In fact, we talked to one driver, Paul Pruce, who’s been driving full-time with Lyft for over a year. He earns $750 a week as a driver!

To be eligible, you’ll need to be at least 21 years old with a year of driving experience, pass a background check and own a car made in 2007 or later.

Balance: $1,000! You did it!

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