The Save $1000 in a Month Challenge
You’ll notice that I haven’t written a lot about frugality on this site.
That’s because Americans suck at saving money. We spend more than we make. We’re terrible at deferring our immediate wants and investing for the long term. We go into debt. And we blame everyone but ourselves.
Remember, fundamentally, there are two ways to have more money. You can earn more money or cut costs. If you’ve been reading this site for a long time, you’ll notice that I’d much rather focus on increasing your earning potential, whether through investments or entrepreneurship. I hate talking about cost cutting and saving money because, for most people in America, frugality is hopeless.
That all changed a couple weeks ago.
People want to know how to save money right now
I read this article, which explained that “As many as 80 percent of Americans are stressed about their personal finances and the economy.” I found that astonishing. Although people’s behaviors don’t change overnight, nearly everyone I’ve been talking to has been worrying about their money.
Right now, people don’t care about proper asset allocation or understanding average stock market returns. The people I’ve talked to just want to know how to save money right now.
That’s why tomorrow, I’m launching the Save $1,000 in a Month Challenge.
How to save $1,000 in a month using the CEO Model
Here’s how it works: Each day in November, I’ll post one suggestion to cut your spending. If you spend time each day working on the day’s post, the vast majority of you will save over $1,000 in one month. Even if you don’t, saving $700 is sure better than nothing. I’ll post tips for the first 15 days. For the last 15 days, I’ll turn to I Will Teach You To Be Rich readers to submit your best frugality tips.
We’ll work through some of the tips from this woman, who paid off $14,330 in 20 months. Like I wrote earlier, there are no secrets to getting rich. You can sit here and read every tip and feel good about yourself. But only the people who spend time implementing will save any money.
I promise: No stupid frugality tips
As I mentioned, I hate frugality and all the frugality sites that waste my time focusing on saving money on frozen orange juice and rice cakes so I can save $1 per week. $1? I find that much money in my shoe every day.
I’m not trying to save $1 or even $10 per week, because it’s not worth changing your behavior for that kind of money. We’re aiming to save $1,000 in 30 days. That’s why this series will not include suggestions like “Start a garden” or “Buy day-old food from bakeries.” I certainly won’t tell you to cut your rent or move to a cheaper place, because NOBODY WILL DO IT! Does anyone ever follow those tips? No, but it sure makes other personal-finance authors feel good about themselves for coming up with a suggestion that theoretically, maybe, somehow could save money for the moron who would do it. Not here.
Only join if you’re serious about saving money this month
I will ask you to cut back on some things – sometimes radically. For example, if you get your nails done or eat out every day, that’s gone this month. If you were planning to buy a big-screen TV, you can forget about it in November. You can pick it up next month, but I bet you’ll think twice once you save $1,000.
While it’s fun to read stuff like The Money Diaries because you get to laugh at other people’s spending, the 30 Day Challenge is different because it’s intimately personal. It means you have to look at your spending.
This is a 30-Day Challenge. Everything should be able to be accomplished within one month, but you have to commit to doing it. In other words, I’ll make most of my advice completely practical and sustainable. Because Americans suck at stopping consumption, we’re all going to have just sack up and stop certain things – which will feel incredibly painful – this month. Some of my tips will simply involve you physically going to a place where you cannot spend money to save yourself from your own spending behavior. It won’t feel good. Have you sat in a library on a Saturday afternoon and read books? Probably not (unless you’re Asian). You will this month.
Are you willing to save $1,000 in a month?
Would you be willing to cancel your cable? Or pick one habit and drop it cold-turkey? Would you be willing to see how far you can push yourself to save money for 30 days?
Earlier this month, I asked iwillteachyoutoberich readers how much time they’d be willing to spend saving $1,000 in a month.
Good news: If you spend 1 hour per day on the Save $1,000 in a Month Challenge, you’ll easily save hundreds, if not the entire $1,000.
Hopefully I will, too. That’s because I will be participating in the Challenge, and I’ll chronicle my savings along with everyone else.
Full list of the Save $1000 in a Month tips
- Tip #1: Pack lunches for the rest of the week
- Tip #2: Turn your thermostat down 3 degrees
- Tip #3: Sell something on eBay today
- Tip #4: Involve your friends in your savings challenge
- Tip #5: Optimize your cellphone bill
- Tip #6: Use gas prices to become your own hedge fund
- Tip #7: Create a “No Spending” day once a week
- Tip #8: Implement the A La Carte Method
- Tip #9: Only buy new things when replacing something old
- Tip #10: Use the free rewards from your credit card, car insurance, and workplace
- Tip #11: Never pay full retail price for clothes or eyeglasses again
- Tip #12: How I’m saving $2,000+ on eating out in 2009
- Tip #13: How to negotiate your car insurance
- Tip #14: Use self-persuasion to share how much you’ve saved so far
- Tip #15: Forget going to a bar — ask people over for dinner
- Tip #16: Cancel any large purchase this month
- Tip #17: Buy generic for the stuff you don’t care about
- Tip #18: No Christmas gifts this year
- Tip #19: Save Money, Eat Well and Look Hot in Less Than an Hour
- Tip #20: Change the date of Christmas
- Tip #21: Save thousands by pre-paying your debt
- Tip #22: Analyze your progress in the 30 Day Challenge (plus, see how I’m doing)
- Tip #23: Go cash only for 15 to 30 days
- Tip #24: Cut your commute expenses by 40%
- Tip #25: Earn more money using your God-given skills
- Tip #26: Gardender? Cleaning lady? DIY instead
- Tip #27: Use barriers to prevent yourself from spending money
- Tip #28: Use price-protection guarantees to always get the lowest price (travel, retail)
- Tip #29: Stop being a loser and spend money to save money
- Tip #30: How I’m saving $25,000+ this year
New: Save $1000… in a Week
These tips were so popular, I turned them into their own FREE mini-course. Now instead of taking a month to follow all the above, you can get the best, most effective savings in just a week, delivered every day my email.
Thousands of students have already saved money quickly and easily using these tips. Sign up for the next session (starting soon) and let me know how much you save: