How to Save Up to $2,000 in 12 Months (A Month-By-Month Guide)
Listen – I get it. There are more than 5,000 different ways to make and save money on this blog — sometimes it can be a little overwhelming.
It’s not easy to know where to start, right?
So, we put together a month-by-month guide to help you save an extra $2,000 this year.
Nothing on this list requires you go to a second job every night, nor will these tasks pull you away from your family. In fact, it’s mainly stuff you can do in front of the TV!
Also, these ideas are just suggestions. If there’s a task during one month that doesn’t really suit you, you can easily replace it with something else (just click the “Money Hacks” tab at the top for more ideas).
Let me know if you have any questions! Good luck!
Month 1: Open a Separate Checking Account
Operating everything out of one account can make your finances muddy and contribute undue stress to your money management.
To simplify, open an account dedicated to saving, and put your money to work. One of our favorites is Aspiration — you’ll pay no monthly fees, and you’ll earn up to 2.00% APY on your savings.
You’ll get access to two online-only accounts: one for spending and one for saving. The spending account comes with a debit card that earns 0.5% cash back on all your purchases, plus free ATMs, so you can easily access your money when you need it.
After you open your Aspiration account, use it to split your income:
- Automatically deposit a portion of your income into your spending account, and use that to cover basic expenses like rent and bills, plus fun stuff; like eating out, shopping or going on vacation.
- Deposit what’s left into your Aspiration savings to keep it out of sight and let it grow. You’ll earn 2.00% APY as long you deposit just $1 a month. We recommend squirreling more when you can, but we like that you won’t lose the perk when you can’t.
Total Saved: $100
Month 2: Install This App and Earn an Extra $65
This month’s pretty easy. You just have to install the Media Insiders app on your phone by the trusted analytics firm, ComScore.
The app’s purpose is to collect anonymous statistics from your phone to help your favorite websites, apps, tech companies and mobile carriers give you better services and more features.
- Here’s a link to download Media Insiders (it’s completely free).
- The app collects your location data, and in exchange, lets you earn points which can be redeemed for Paypal or Amazon gift cards. You can earn around $65/year with this one.
Total Saved: $165
Month 3: Give Your Opinion to Earn $30
The goal for this month is just to save an extra $30.
There are a ton of ways to make that happen, but one easy option is to sign up with VIP Voice.
VIP Voice is one of the only legitimate paid survey companies out there (they’re rated an A+ with the Better Business Bureau).
You might recognize the name from the news, because they conduct a lot of the presidential polling.
Most of you know surveys aren’t my favorite way to make extra money — they can be a little time-consuming.
But I make an exception when I’m just vegging out on the couch. I figure as long as I’m just watching TV, I can click a few buttons at the same time.
Sign up for this at the beginning of the month and promise yourself you’ll login a few times each week. You’ll have no trouble earning extra money this month with almost no work.
Total Saved: $195
Month 4: Write an Article and Earn an Extra $75
Did you know The Penny Hoarder will pay you $75 to write an article for us?
If you’ve got a creative way to save or make extra money, we want to know about it. Head over to this page to learn more about how to pitch our editor with your idea.
Total Saved: $270
Month 5: Switch Search Engines to Earn $50
If you’re willing to try a different search engine, you can earn over $50/year.
Just sign up for Microsoft Rewards — every time you use Bing to make a search on your phone or computer, you’ll earn extra money. If you make 15+ searches a day, you should earn $50+ every year.
Total Saved: $320
Month 6: Interact With Advertisers to Earn $50
One of my favorite ways to make extra money is with InboxDollars, because they pay you to interact with advertisers.
They’ll pay you to take surveys, watch ads, clip coupons and try different products.
Now, you’re not going to get rich doing this, but you can definitely make $50. And you’ve got all month to make it happen.
Total Saved: $370
Month 7: Negotiate Your Bills to Save $300
We all know you can negotiate the price of a car, but did you know that you can negotiate your cell phone and cable bill?
I recently did this with my AT&T bill. I already had the cheapest advertised plan, but I called AT&T and asked if they could do anything to help me reduce the bill. They ended up knocking off $20 a month, saving me $360 a year!
I also did the same thing with my cable bill and racked up another $200 a year in savings.
Total Saved: $670
Month 8: Rent Out Your Place and Pocket $100
All right, this might not work for everybody, but have you thought about renting out your house or apartment for one night?
I’ve used Airbnb to both rent out my apartment and stay in many others while traveling — it’s a fantastic way to make your home work for you.
Whether you’re renting out a single room or entire home, make the most of your Airbnb rental by following these tips.
Total Saved: $770
Month 9: Have an Online Garage Sale & Earn an Extra $250
We all have way too much junk just sitting around, so this month’s project is to sell some of your old stuff online.
Here are some of my favorite websites for doing just that:
– Tradesy: Use this site to sell your old clothes
– Bookscouter – Use this site to sell your old books
– eBay: Everything else goes on eBay.
Total Saved: $1,020
Month 10: Join a Jury to Earn $150
Have you heard of mock juries?
A mock or surrogate juror reviews evidence and renders a decision to help lawyers prepare for real cases.
I wrote about how I made $150 as a mock juror, which involved eight hours in a hotel conference room.
But there are also some online versions including:
Join a few mock juries this month and put that extra cash in your savings account.
Total Saved: $1,170
Month 11: Give a Ride With the Lyft App
Need a fun, flexible way to earn money while also meeting lots of new people?
Try driving with Lyft!
Demand for ride-sharing has been growing like crazy, and it shows no signs of slowing down. 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.
Best of all, he does it on his own time. You can work days, nights or weekends — it’s up to you!
Total Saved: $1,700 (or more)
Month 12: Become a Search Engine Evaluator and Earn an Extra $625
All right, this month is definitely the toughest.
You’ve got to put aside an extra $625, but I’ve got an idea to help.
Our writer Steve Gillman just wrote about how he made $700 in one month by working for a company that cleans up search engine results. And the company is hiring more people to help.
Search engines are full of errors, so they need real humans to look at the results and judge them for quality, relevancy and usefulness.
If you’re interested in this type of work, head over to this article to get more info on how to apply.
Total Saved: $2,325
Nicely done! You’ve finished the year with a cool $2,000 in savings. Just rinse and repeat every year, and you’ll start to build up a pretty hefty savings account.