How to Save $1000 This Summer (Even on A Tight Budget)

Saving $1000 this summer might seem challenging, but it’s entirely possible with the right strategy.

We’ve all read articles and seen videos with lofty savings goals—like $1000 in a month or $10,000 in three months. But, the current stress of stretching your dollars and figuring out how to adjust your budget for inflation, can mean that goals like this feel overwhelming – or downright impossible.

So, instead, let’s focus on a more realistic target: saving $1000 over the summer.

By following a few specific steps, you can make this happen without feeling stressed. Let’s break down the process and get started on a summer savings journey that is both manageable and rewarding.

Watch us discuss the steps for creating a $1000 savings plan.

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Step 1: Create a Specific Savings Goal

We are huge proponents of written goals – and with good reason. According to a 2007 study by researcher, Gail Matthews, there are three things which dramatically impact reaching goals: accountability to others, making a public commitment, and writing down goals.

That’s why before you begin saving money, you need to clearly spell out your goal. The best way to do this is to make sure it is a SMART goal.

SMART goals are: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-based.

Before you write your goal, consider:

  • Why do you want to save $1000?
  • By what date by which the money will be saved?
  • What will the money be used for?

We also suggest adding a “so that” statement to the end of each goal.

This will clearly spell out the reasons you are saving the money. A goal with an underlying, important, emotional connection will keep you moving forward when making progress on that goal becomes difficult.

Here is an example of a SMART goal.

“I will save $1000 by August 31st, so that I can pay off my Visa bill and sleep better at night knowing that bill is paid in full.”

As you can see, this goal contains not only the exact purpose of the money, but also the emotional reason for reaching that goal.

Step 2: Create a way to track your progress on reaching the goal.

Just as the afore mentioned study revealed the importance of writing goals, social scientists also verify that when goals are tracked, you are far more likely to reach the goal. Tracking your progress provides a visual representation of your journey, keeping you motivated and accountable.

Start by breaking your $1000 savings goal down into smaller, more manageable increments. For example, aim to save $100 every week or $300 every month.

Create a chart to record your progress. Place this chart somewhere visible, such as on your refrigerator or near your workspace, to serve as a constant reminder of your goal. Each week, update your chart to reflect your savings. We love coloring in circles.

Don’t forget to celebrate small milestones along the way to help maintain your momentum.

Step 3: Create a Written Plan for Reaching Your Goal

Let’s get to the nitty-gritty. How are you going to save this money? It’s time to dig into your spending habits and find that money in your budget.

Here are some ideas for cutting back expenses or making extra money to put a tidy $1000 in your pocket before fall.

Sell Stuff

One of the quickest ways to kickstart your summer savings is by selling items you no longer need. Take a good look around your home for clothes, electronics, furniture, and other items that are in good condition but no longer serve you.

Selling platforms like Facebook Marketplace, eBay, and local consignment shops make it easy to turn these items into cash. Not only will you declutter your space, but you’ll also be surprised at how much you can earn from selling things that were just sitting around gathering dust

Cut Cable

Cutting the cable cord is a smart move, especially considering the average cable bill now tops $100 a month. At some point, you must be willing to ask yourself, “Is this a necessity?”

With numerous affordable streaming services available, you can still enjoy your favorite shows and movies without the hefty price tag.

Services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime offer vast libraries of content for a fraction of the cost, while Tubi TV is totally free. Making the switch can save you significant money each month, while still keeping you entertained.

Stop Buying Starbucks

By avoiding common expensive habits, like your regular Starbucks run, and making additional small changes, can save hundreds of dollars over the summer.

Those daily trips to Starbucks might seem harmless, but they can add up quickly. At an average of $5 per visit, that’s $150 a month if you’re going every weekday. Even indulging in your favorite drink twice a week will add up to $60 per month.

Instead, consider brewing your coffee at home. Not only is it more cost-effective, but you also have complete control over the ingredients and can experiment with different flavors.

Cut Back on Eating Out

Eating out is convenient but often comes with a high price tag. According to some studies, the average American family of four spends upwards of $500 a month eating food away from home.

Try cutting back on restaurant visits by $125 a month. If that feels too restrictive, aim for a $70 reduction, instead. This can be as simple as dining out one or two times fewer each month or choosing less expensive dining options.

Instead of Eating Out, Take Picnics

One of the easiest ways to cut the eating out habit is to take regular picnics, instead. We took picnics every Friday night for years. We created a system by which we could pack the basket, stow the cooler, grab the food, and buckle all four kids in the car in 30 minutes or less.

With a little practice, it’s easy to master the art of frugal picnicking and learn:

  • how to pack the perfect picnic basket
  • which small (but important) household items to always take with you. (They got us out of more than one potential picnic catastrophy!).
  • how to make quick, easy, kid-approved, picnic-worthy food.

Get the Guide to Frugal Picnics for FREE through May 31st as a special bonus with The Grocery Super Savings Bundle.

Switch to Mint Mobile

Switching to a more affordable cell phone plan can yield substantial savings. The average cell phone bill exceeds $100 a month, but Mint Mobile offers plans starting as low as $15 a month.

We have had Mint’s 5G plan for two years and been really happy with the quality of the service – and it’s hard to beat their price.

By making the switch, you could save upwards of $85 each month. Mint Mobile provides reliable service with various data plans to fit your needs, allowing you to always stay connected without breaking the bank.

Cut Your Grocery Budget by $25 a Week

Reducing your grocery bill by $25 a week can significantly contribute to your savings goal. Start by planning your meals, making a shopping list, and sticking to it. Avoid impulse buys and take advantage of sales and coupons.

Consider buying store brands and shopping in bulk for items you frequently use. These small adjustments can help you save $100 a month on groceries without sacrificing the quality of your meals.

There are, literally, dozens of ways to lower your grocery budget. They range from basic saving strategies (like knowing how to shop for markdowns and using the weekly sales circular to your best advantage) to lesser-known ways to lower your food budget (like understanding how to evaluate your shopping receipt).

By adding these habits to your weekly routine, you could soon be saving far more than $25 a week on your food bills.

Minimize Your Electric Usage

Reducing your electric usage is not only good for your wallet but also for the environment. Simple changes like unplugging appliances when not in use, switching to LED bulbs, and using a programmable thermostat can lead to significant savings.

Additionally, being mindful of your energy consumption by turning off lights and reducing air conditioning usage can help lower your monthly utility bills.

Take Lunch to Work

Bringing your lunch to work instead of buying it can lead to impressive savings. Spending $10 a day on lunch adds up to $200 a month.

By preparing lunches at home for about $4 each, you save $6 per meal, which amounts to $120 in monthly savings. Plus, homemade lunches can be healthier, providing both financial and nutritional benefits.

Each step might seem small on its own, but collectively, they can make a significant impact on your finances. By using these practical strategies and tracking your progress, you can save $1000 over the summer.

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