How to Save $10,000 in a Year

See our Free Money page for the best ways to get free money now (sign up bonuses, missing money, and more).

Saving a significant amount of money, like $10,000 can be a life-changing accomplishment. There are a lot of great things you could do with that money, like buy a car, use it towards a down payment on a house, pay off credit card debt or student loans, save for a wedding, save for your kids’ education, or anything else that is important to you.

Not only will that $10,000 allow you to do some awesome things, but going through the process of saving it can also help you to develop strong financial habits that will put you in a much better position going forward.

After successfully saving $10,000 in a year, chances are, you’ll feel empowered and want to continue with the good habits that you’ve developed.

Of course, saving a large sum of money won’t be easy, and it will require some sacrifice. But you’ll be able to look back a year from now and see that it was all worth it.

The Math Behind Saving $10,000

While it’s great to set a goal of saving $10,000 over the next 12 months, in order to have a realistic chance of succeeding, you’ll want to break it down so you know how much you’ll need to save each pay period.

It breaks down to:

  • $193 per week
  • $385 every two weeks
  • $834 per month

Saving the set amount from each paycheck is one way to go about this money saving challenge. Another option would be to save a variable amount each week. Sometimes this can be a little bit more fun, and you can also start with a smaller amount and work your way up, so it’s not such a big shock.

Download the Printable

We’ve created a free printable PDF that you can download and use if you want to track your progress. You can cross off each week as you put that money aside. You may find that having a printable resource to track your progress makes it a little bit more fun. Click on the image below to open the PDF that you can save or print.

How to Save $10,000 in a Year - Printable PDF

How to Save $10,000 in One Year

Ok, so now that we’ve looked at how much you’ll need to save each week or each pay period, let’s move on to the most important topics, like how you can actually make this happen.

1. Have a Purpose

Because saving a big amount like $10,000 is not easy, it’s a good idea to have a clear understanding of why you are taking this challenge. It’s easier to make sacrifices when you know why you’re making them or how you will benefit in the future.

Your purpose could be any number of different things. The only part that really matters is that it’s important to you and it’s something you’re willing to sacrifice for.

2. Commit to It

Don’t be wishy-washy on this money saving journey. If you’re not committed to it, you’ll be likely to take the easy way out when some challenges arise. Commit to reaching your goal and you’ll be more likely to make the changes needed to save the money, and ultimately, more likely to succeed.

If you’re married or with a significant other, it’s extremely helpful to have a partner who is onboard as well. If you’re single, maybe you can find a friend or family member who wants to take the challenge along with you, or at least someone who will encourage you along the way. Getting someone else involved can help for accountability, and it’s just more fun.

3. Create a Budget

If you don’t currently live based on a budget, I highly encourage you to create a budget as soon as possible. Budgeting and tracking your expenses will go a long way in getting the most out of your money, and you’ll probably find some easy ways to start saving.

If you’re not sure how to budget, read my article How to Create a Budget That Works and enter your email address below to get access to a free budget template (printable and spreadsheet) that you can use to save a lot of time.

4. Automate the Savings

While it’s not 100% essential, automating the savings can be a really big help. The best way to do it would be to set up direct deposit so you have some money going directly to a savings account each pay period.

Most employers that offer direct deposit will allow you to deposit to multiple bank accounts, so you could have the majority going to your checking account, and have a smaller amount going to a savings account.

If direct deposit isn’t an option, you could set up an automated transfer from your checking account to your savings account each week, bi-weekly, or each month.

The only downside of automating the savings is that you’ll need to make sure you can still cover your essential bills with the amount that’s left in your checking account. If it’s going to be really tight, you might want to opt against the automated transfer.

M1 Finance - Free Automated Investing
M1 Finance (free) makes it easy to manage your money. Choose from a wide variety of professionally-created "pies" (portfolio allocations) or create your own. Contribute to your account and M1 Finance automatically manages the investments.

5. Put the Money Someplace Safe (Where it Won’t Be Touched)

It’s essential that you don’t spend the money that you are saving throughout the year. The best way to do it is to create a new savings account specifically for this money that you’re saving. Most online banks allow you to easily create additional savings accounts.

Keeping the money in a separate savings account makes it a lot easier to see exactly how much progress you’ve made, and to avoid spending the money. If you’re adding the money to an existing account, it’s really easy to accidentally spend it or use it for some other purpose.

6. Sell Stuff You Don’t Use

Most of us have a lot of stuff around the house that we’re no longer using. An easy way to quickly boost your savings is to sell things that you don’t need or don’t use.

Even though you don’t use it, the item may have a decent value to someone else. Selling things like clothes, electronics, books, tools, furniture, or whatever else you have around the house can be a great boost to your savings (for ideas, see What Can I Sell?).

Fortunately, selling your stuff is actually pretty easy. You can use eBay, the Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, or several other selling apps to find people who are looking for the things that you want to sell.

If you don’t have experience with selling your stuff, be sure to read my article How to Make Money by Selling Your Stuff

7. Take Advantage of Easy Wins

When it comes to saving money, there are a lot of what I call “easy wins”. These are ways that you can save money without spending a lot of time and without a huge impact on your life. Any time you’re looking to save money, I think it’s a great idea to start with easy wins to get the ball rolling. Here are a few ideas.

Cancel Cable

Cable TV (or satellite) is a major expense each month that you can do without. This one change can possibly save you about $100 per month, or $1,000+ per year.

Fortunately, there are a number of really good cable alternatives. The cheapest option is to buy an antenna and get free TV. Netflix, Hulu, and Sling are all excellent options that are far cheaper than cable. If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you also have a big collection of TV shows and movies available through Prime Video.

My wife and I got rid of cable about 7 years ago and we’ve never missed it. Netflix has more than enough options to meet our needs.

Photo