How to Save $10,000 in a Year: 12 Practical Savings Tips That Actually Work

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How to Save 10000 in a Year (or Less!)

Learn the best tips and tricks for how to save 10000 in a year when you have a big money goal in sight. 

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There are different reasons why you might want (or need) to save $10,000

For example, if you want to buy a home then you might need $10K for a down payment. Or you might be interested in how to save 10000 in a year so you can buy a car. 

But saving that amount of money in 12 months can be a little daunting. 

In fact, you might even be wondering: Is it possible to save 10k in 52 weeks?

Well, what if I told you that yes, you can save that much money (or even more!) in a year. You just need a plan for doing it. 

And that’s what this article will give you. So keep reading to learn how to save 10000 in a year, starting now. 

Save 10k in a Year Challenge: How Much to Save Each Month?

If you’ve challenged yourself to save $10,000 in the next year, it helps to know what that works out to each month. 

So let’s break it down. 

woman holding cash

If you divide $10k by 12 months, you’d need to save $833/month and some change to reach your goal. When you look at it that way, how to save 10,000 in a year doesn’t seem as overwhelming, right?

Now, let’s break it down another way. 

Assume that you’re paid biweekly. So that means you get 26 paychecks per year. 

If you divide $10,000 by 26, you’d need to save $384.62 every payday to save 10k in a year. 

And you can keep going with this. 

For example, saving $10,000 in a year breaks down to $192 per week and $27 per day. 

Here’s a simple snapshot of what it looks like:

The more you can drill down on the numbers, the easier is to see how you can save $10000 in a year, regardless of where you’re starting from. 

Related Post: 220+ Ways to Save Money on Nearly Everything

How to Save $10000 in a Year

Ready to start working toward your goal of saving 10k in 52 weeks

These steps can help you get there, so let’s dive in!

1. Set your monthly savings target

Earlier, you saw how much $10,000 works out to yearly, monthly, weekly and daily. 

Now it’s time to look at your own income and spending to find a realistic number for saving. 

According to the Federal Reserve, the median household income is $68,703 per year, or $5,725 per month. If you’re making that much, then saving $833 would leave you with $4,892 per month to pay bills, pay down debt and spend. 

Now, I know not everyone makes that much. You might make more or less.

So the key is tailoring your savings target to an amount that fits your situation. 

Looking at your budget can help you figure out how much you can afford to save daily, weekly and monthly. So if you haven’t gone over your budget yet, that’s the first step. 

And if you can’t find $833 per month in your paycheck to save, don’t panic. I’ve got some tips on how to find extra money to reach your $10k goal!

Related post: 21 Ways to Make More Money Now

2. Commit to paying yourself first

“Pay yourself first” is the golden rule of saving money. 

And if you’re serious about how to save $10,000 in a year then it’s important to keep that rule in mind. 

When you pay yourself first, it’s a lot less tempting to spend instead of saving. And paying yourself first is so easy to do, it just makes sense to give it a shot. 

So, going back to the numbers from earlier if you get paid biweekly, then you’d deposit $384.62 into savings right off the top. 

Or if you’re paid weekly, then you’d save $192.31 automatically every payday. 

If your employer gives you the option at work, you can have some of your paychecks sent to savings via direct deposit. Or, you can schedule an automatic transfer from checking to savings if you don’t have direct deposit. 

And one more thing about paying yourself first: Make sure you’re keeping your savings for your $10k goal in the right place. 

That means a savings account that earns a competitive APY and doesn’t charge a ton of fees. 

Looking for the best place to keep your money when trying to save 10000 in a year? Here’s an online savings accounts I highly recommend:

  • Earn one of the most competitive APYs around for high yield savings accounts
  • No monthly maintenance fees
  • No minimum balance fees
  • Open your account with $250

3. Save your spare change

Saving $10,000 in a year is no small feat. And every penny, nickel and dime you can stash away can put you that much closer to your goal. 

So why not make the task of saving $10k easier by using spare change apps?

Here’s what I mean. 

When you sign up for an app like Digit, you can link it to your bank account. The app then reviews your spending to find the money you can afford to save.

Once it finds that money, the Digit app automatically transfers it to savings for you. 

It’s a painless way to put more money toward your $10k savings plan. And you can use Digit to save smaller amounts of money on top of the larger amounts you might be setting aside from your paychecks. 

Acorns is another app you can use to save on autopilot. 

Just like with Digit, Acorns links to your bank account. But instead of looking for extra money to save, Acorns rounds up your purchases and invests the difference

That could actually help with saving $10,000 in a year faster. 

Why?

Because even if you’re earning a great APY in a savings account, investing your money in the market could lead to bigger returns. It’s riskier than saving but it’s something to consider if you’re trying to fast track your way to $10k in savings in a year. 

4. Let apps make money for you

Beside apps that can save you money, there are also apps that can make you money

Specifically, there are apps you can use to earn cash back when you buy groceries, shop online or book travel. 

This is essentially free money you can earn for shopping like you normally would. 

If you’re buying groceries, new clothes or other things for your family regularly, then you could easily earn a few hundred bucks in cashback. And that’s all bonus money you could add to your $10,000 savings pot!

Not sure which apps to use?

Here are three I always recommend for earning cashback:

Rakuten: Earn up to 40% cash back at partner merchants, plus get up to $20 in bonus cash just for signing up!

Ibotta: Earn cash back on groceries and shopping, including Walmart Grocery and Instacart. Get up to $20 in cash bonuses when you download the Ibotta app!

Dosh: Dosh pays you cash back on shopping, dining and travel. Sign up for Dosh to earn cash back on top of cash rewards you're earning with your credit card!

You can download one app or all three. And besides earning cash back with all three apps, you can earn more cash when you refer friends and family!

Related post: 50 Free Money Hacks to Earn Extra Cash

5. Save your extra paychecks

Remember when I said that if you couldn’t find $833 to save each month from your regular paychecks that I had a way around it?

Well here it is: Save your third paychecks. 

What do I mean by that?

If you get paid biweekly, then at least a couple times a year you’ll end up getting three paychecks for the month instead of two. For example, July and December are three-paycheck months for 2021. 

So an easy way to add money to your $10000 in savings is to take those third paychecks and treat them as “bonus” money. 

That means instead of using them to pay bills or treat yourself to something, you send that money straight to savings instead. 

Again, this is an easy way to boost your savings. And if you’re budgeting your other two paychecks for the month correctly, you won’t even miss the money!

Related post: Budget Percentages Explained: 3 Easy Ways to Create Your Ideal Budget

6. Cut out grey charges and downsize subscriptions

One thing I’ve learned from years of living on a budget is that it’s not always the big expenses that drain your cash. 

Sometimes it’s small things that you don’t even notice. 

Take grey charges, for example. These are small, recurring expenses that can add up to a lot of money wasted. 

Grey charges can include things like:

  • Recurring fees you’re charged after a trial membership ends
  • Automatic renewals for computer software programs
  • Credit card protection insurance
  • Fees for subscription services you no longer use

Grey charges suck because you could be saving that money instead. But there’s a simple way to get rid of them.

You can use the Trim Financial Manager to root out hidden grey charges to your bank or credit card accounts and cancel them. 

Trim will go over your transaction history with a fine-toothed comb to find any grey charges or recurring subscription fees that you don’t need. And Trim will also cancel them for you, saving you money and time to boot. 

how to save 10000 in a year

7. Negotiate your bills to create more savings

Some monthly bills you just can’t do much about. 

For example, if you rent then your landlord might not be willing to cut you a deal on what you pay because it’s written into your lease. 

Or if you own a home, the only way to lower your mortgage payment might be refinancing. (And if you’re thinking about that, check out Supermoney to compare refinance rates.)

But other bills you may be able to reduce, which means more money you can add to savings. And again, when you’re trying to figure out how to save 10000 in a year every single dollar and cent matters. 

If you don’t have time to call up your insurance company, cable company, cellphone company or other billers, there’s an easy fix. 

You can have Billshark negotiate your bills for you. 

Billshark is a bill negotiation service. They review your monthly bills, then negotiate with your billers to help you save money. 

In some cases, Billshark may even be able to help with finding expenses you can get rid of altogether. 

You can sign up for Billshark to start negotiating bills. And this review explains more about how Billshark works to save you money

8. Cancel your contract cellphone

If you’re still paying money for a contract cellphone then you’re just throwing cash away that you could be saving instead. 

For example, once upon a time my phone bill was around $225 a month. For one phone. 

That was a stupidly high amount of money I was paying for something I didn’t even use that much. 

So I cancelled my contract and switched to a prepaid phone instead.

Best. Decision. Ever. 

Why?

Because my phone bill went from $225 a month to $50 a month, saving me $2,100 a year.

And if you’re trying to save 10k in a year, an extra $2100 could go a long way toward making progress. 

If you’re serious about saving, consider making the switch to a prepaid phone service like Tello

Tello offers family plans for under $50 a month and they have a great selection of phones to choose from. You can read about my experience using Tello or head to the Tello website to compare plan pricing. 

9. Save your windfalls

Windfalls, bonus money, found money–whatever you want to call it–can all help give your $10k savings goal a huge bump. 

Any time you receive money you weren’t expecting, you can save it instead of spending it. The kind of thing I’m talking about includes: 

  • Tax refunds
  • Stimulus checks
  • Rebates
  • Refunds
  • Bonuses at work
  • Employer reimbursements you weren’t expecting
  • Cash gifts from friends/family

Now, I know for some people these windfalls might be critical to getting caught up on bills or keeping a debt collector at bay. 

And it’s definitely important to prioritize paying bills or debts when you’re behind. 

But if you’re current on everything, then consider saving any windfalls that come your way. For example, the average tax refund for 2021 is just shy of $3,000. That’s $3,000 that could help you make real progress toward your goal of saving 10000 in a year. 

And if for some reason you haven’t filed your taxes yet, get on it!

If you owe taxes, then waiting to file could result in penalties and interest. And if you’re due a refund, you’re basically letting the government enjoy your money in the form of an interest-free loan. 

You can start filing taxes for free right now with Credit Karma. 

10. Check your tax withholding

If you work a regular job and aren’t self-employed, then you probably filled out a Form W-4 when you got hired. 

This form tells your employer how much to withhold from your paychecks for taxes. 

Sounds simple, but it’s possible that you could be withholding too much. A simple way to tell if you are is if you get a tax refund each year. 

Getting a tax refund means you paid too much in taxes so the government’s giving the extra back to you when you file your return. 

Adjusting your withholding and filling out a new Form W-4 means you won’t get a refund. Instead, you’ll get that money in your paychecks every payday. 

You could then save that money throughout the year and earn interest on it. (Again, instead of letting the IRS use it as an interest-free loan.)

If you don’t know how much to withhold, the IRS offers a free withholding calculator you can use to find the right amount. 

11. Try a no spend challenge

A simple way to accelerate your savings is to stop spending money. At least, temporarily. 

That’s what a no spend challenge does.

It means committing to not spending money on anything other than essentials for a set period of time. 

For example, you could try a weeklong spending fast to save money toward your $10k goal. 

Or you could go without spending for 30 days. Some people have even done a no spend year!

The point is to focus on your needs versus wants to get perspective on how much you actually spend. And you might be surprised at how much you could save with a spending diet. 

Here are 10 simple tips for crushing a no spend challenge if you’re not sure how to get started. 

12. Find ways to make more money

When deciding how to save 10000 in one year, making more money can always help. 

If you have more money coming in but your expenses stay the same or go down, then it stands to reason that you have more money to commit to saving. 

But how do you make more money so you can save 10k in a year? 

Here are four ways to raise your income you might try:

Ask for a raise at work

If you’re paid a salary, then making more money can start with asking for a raise. 

Negotiating a raise isn’t always easy, though. You’ll need to be able to show your employer why you deserve a bigger paycheck. 

First, do your research. Look at what other people in a similar role are earning, compared to what you make.

Then, figure out what makes you unique and what value you bring to the company. 

For example, did you recently help the company land a $1 million client? Have you been able to help your employer save $100,000 by cutting out wasteful spending?

Those are things that can help you shine and convince your employer that you’re worthy of a raise. 

Need more tips on negotiating a pay raise? Check out these strategies for getting a raise from Indeed.

Increase your hours

If you’re paid by the hour instead of a salary, you could make more money to save $10000 in a year by working more. 

Whether this is feasible can depend on whether your schedule allows you to work more and whether your employer has extra hours on the payroll.

But if you’re already working 40 hours, then you could earn more by working overtime. That’s extra money you can save.

Just consider how much more you might have to pay in taxes on anything you make above your normal earnings. 

Get a part-time job

A part-time job can also help with bringing in the extra money you need to save 10k. 

The key is finding a part-time job that works around your existing 9 to 5 if you have one. Or, if you’re a stay home parent, one that allows you to still be there for your kids. 

Some of the part-time jobs you might consider include:

  • Working at a retail store
  • Delivering newspapers
  • Restaurant jobs
  • Doing in-store food or product demonstrations
  • Finding at-home call center or customer service jobs

Some part-time jobs pay better than others. So think about how much time you might have to put in and what you could make if you’re trying to save 10k in a year with extra income.

And don’t count out part-time jobs you can do online. 

If you can type, for example, then you might check out online transcription jobs for beginners. 

Or if you’ve got an eye for detail, you could make money with online proofreading jobs.

Start a side hustle

Last but not least, you could always start one or more side hustles to make the money you need for saving $10000 in a year. 

I love side hustles personally. My now six-figure freelancing business started as a side hustle. So I know you can make good money with side jobs. 

Some of my favorite side hustle options include: 

There are so many ways you could make $10000 in a year with side hustles. So it pays to consider at least one money-making idea you could try. 

If you need some inspiration for profitable side hustles to start, check out these posts:

142 Legitimate Side Hustle Ideas to Make Money Now

30+ Ways to Make an Extra $1000 a Month Online (or Off)

10 Side Hustles That Pay $2000 a Month

Save $10k in a Year FAQs

How can I save $10000 in 100 days?

Saving $10,000 in 100 days works out to a savings goal of $100 a day. 

That’s nearly four times the $27 a day you’d need to save to reach $10000 in a year. But that doesn’t mean it’s not doable. 

It starts with getting really clear on what you can cut from your budget. This is one step in how to save 10000 in 3 months. 

The other is finding ways to make money. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to make $100 a day, including some that don’t require you to get a job. 

Is $10000 in savings good?

Having $10,000 in savings is a good thing if it helps you feel financially reassured. 

And it’s nearly twice the median savings account balance of $5,300 that other American households have. 

So yes, having $10000 in savings is good. But remember that 10k saved is just a starting point. 

Once you get into the savings habit, you can keep increasing your goal until you have $50,000, $100,000 or even $1 million saved and invested! Aiming for those kinds of numbers is what can help you go from just having extra cash to building real wealth. 

What should I do with 10000 in savings?

You might have a specific reason for wanting to save $10000. Or you might not. 

If you’ve set a goal of saving $10,000 in a year just to see if you can do it, think about how you can put that money to work. 

For some of the ways you could use $10000 in savings include:

Having a plan can give your savings goal some meaning. And it can help you stay motivated as you work on saving your 10000 dollars

Save 10k in a Year Challenge Printable Savings Tracker

Want a simple way to keep track of your progress in saving 10000 in a year?

Click the image to sign up for the Resource Library and download your free save 10k challenge printable tracker!

how to save 10000 in a year printable

Final thoughts on how to save 10k in a year

Saving $10000 in a year is a big goal. And even after reading all this, you might be thinking I just can’t do it.

So here’s one more tip for saving 10k in a year: Change your mindset.

Believe that you can save that first $1. And once you do, start believing you can save your first $100, then your first $1000.

If you can do that, and if you’re putting these money saving tips to work, then reaching $10000 in a year is absolutely doable. 

Have you got a money-saving tip to share? Head to the comments and tell me about it.

And don’t forget to grab your save 10k in a year challenge tracker before you go!

How to Save 10000 in a Year in 12 Easy Steps

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