1) Set A Goal Date
The very first thing that you need to do is determine a date that you need to complete your goal by. If you are saving for a purchase, this is when you need to make the purchase by. If you are just trying to save $500 to jump start savings, you need to determine what timeline is reasonable for you.
A reasonable time from will vary from person to person and depend greatly on your income level. For example, if you bring home $2000 a month, you will not want to set your goal at two weeks, or even two months. A more realistic goal would be something closer to 3 or 4 months.
With saving, the plan should be to save roughly 10 to 20 percent of your take home pay. For someone new to savings, this can be a challenge but with a little planning and some budget adjustments, most people should be able to get this done.
2) Adjust Your Budget
Hopefully you have a budget that you can use to make the necessary adjustments. If not, now is the time to create one. A budget does not have to be anything fancy, but it requires some thought. Simply write down all of your expenses, being sure to include allotments for things like food, entertainment, gas, etc.
Paper is fine, but if you can put it into a spreadsheet, even better. A spreadsheet will allow you to instantly see changes to the bottom line as you make budget adjustments.
Once you have your budget, you can enter in your monthly savings goal and make adjustments to make it a reality. If you want to save $500 in 4 months, for example, you will need to contribute $125 dollars to savings each month. Plug that number into your budget and then make cuts in other areas to account for it.
3) Add Some Income
If your budget is already tight, you might find it difficult to make cuts. This means that your best option may be to add some additional income. This is much easier than you may think, especially with the current labor shortage. Here are some options for making additional money.
Get A Part Time Job
There are many part time jobs available these days, but the best option is probably retail. Retailers love hiring part time workers and these days they are in great demand and earn more than ever. Even one part time shift a week can make a significant dent in the money you need, especially with beginning wages starting at $15 to $20 an hour.
Other part time opportunities include anything in the restaurant business, part time delivery work and even driving for a ride sharing service. The work is out there, you just need to go looking for it.
Start A Side Business
If you have some skills and a little ambition, now could be the time to start a part time business. Even better, you can probably do it with little to no money invested, you just have to pick the right business.
The simplest side gig to start is something digital. Website building, graphics design, SEO services and even voice-over work. If you have suitable skills, advertise your services on a service like Fiverr and start earning the money you need to save.
Another option is a service business such as dog walking, home cleaning and lawn care. These are businesses you can start with no equipment or by using equipment you already own.To attract customers, post some free ads on Craigslist or do some Facebook social marketing.
4) Sell Some Property
If a side job is not in the cards, you may have other ways to find the money you need to save $500. One additional option is to sell some property.
Sell Your Own Property
We all have things around the home that we seldom, if ever use. Sell them and put the money into your savings account.
To find what you want to sell, simply take a trip around your home. Get a laundry basket and go room to room looking for items that you have not used for at least six months. Once your basket is full, make a plan for how to dispose of your items.
Property such as books, tapes and CD’s are best sold at a used bookstore. Old cellular phones can be sold for cash locally at an ecoATm. Old jewelry, you guessed it, turn to a gold and silver store. For the rest of it, place some ads on Facebook Marketplace or even eBay.
Sell Other Peoples Stuff
If you do not have anything to sell, you are not out of look, just sell other peoples stuff. While this might seem far fetched, all you need to do is use Facebook Marketplace to set up some alerts for “free stuff”. When something pops up, rush to go get it and then resell it online.
While this might seem a bit sneaky, you have to remember what people who give stuff away want. They want the stuff gone and you are obliging them. So, they get rid of the clutter and you get the money you need for savings. It is a win win.
5) Adjust Your Goals
$500 is a simple savings goal for most people, and that makes it a good jumping off point for establishing a savings account. Once you reach your goal, you need to keep moving. Why stop at just $500 when you have gone to the trouble to adjust your budget and add additional sources of income?
Set a new goal and then carry on, working towards your new target. You could keep things simple and look to add an additional $500 for a total of $1000 or you can make it something loftier such as $10,000. You know yourself best, so choose a goal that fits your personality, whether it be a long term or short term goal. No matter how you do it, the important thing is that you keep working at savings.