Here’s how to save $ 1,000 in 5 months – NBC Boston


We all realized the importance of having an emergency fund last year when COVID-19 hit, but racking up your savings can be a daunting task, especially when money is tight.

“The savings is that I always feel like a struggle,” said Timna Nwokeji, a resident of Lowell.

Sarah Wall from Whitman agrees.

“It’s really hard to save money with four kids, it’s really hard! ” she said.

Most of us can figure it out, but Certified Financial Planner Jennifer Lane, President of Compass Planning Associates, says anything is better than nothing, and a few dollars here and there can put you on the path to success.

“Money always flows in some kind of stream,” Lane said. “It continues where you send it. If you’re still putting money on the credit card and struggling to pay it back, nowhere in this stream is there any savings. So by setting up a savings stream, no matter how small, it will always be there.

“I’ve learned in all of my years of financial planning that there’s no or very little relationship between how much you earn and how much you have,” Lane continued. “So folks who pay attention, I have clients with thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars in paychecks. They have no savings and tons of credit card debt. And I have clients that you can think of, my God, how do you go from week to week and they’ve got great savings. Huge IRA accounts and they are ready to retire. So it’s about having it on your radar and starting small, following it and accepting setbacks. “

Lane added: “Things are going to happen and you will have to withdraw money from your savings account to pay for this emergency. But if you have this drip and the money goes back into that account it will start over again. . “

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Lane challenges her customers to find the snowflakes – or the little savings that add up quickly.

“Start putting a little bit into your savings account, whatever the amount, and look for expenses that you don’t want or need anymore,” Lane said. “If you cancel a subscription you don’t need, suddenly you have three, five, ten, fifteen, twenty, fifty dollars a month that you can put into your snowflake account. “

Lane says if you make a change that saves you money, direct it to your savings account.

“I’m going to go to Starbucks for a coffee or Dunkin once a week instead of twice a week or once a day instead of twice a day,” Lane said. “It’s a snowflake and make sure you move it from checking to savings and ultimately it’s going to be savings to investing and you’re up and running. Be intentional to save money.

Here are some other snowflake ideas to jumpstart your savings:

  • Use a personal finance tracker app to see exactly where your money is going.
  • Save a few dollars with coupons at the grocery store? Immediately transfer this money to your savings.
  • Cash in your jars of coins.
  • Cook more at home.
  • Avoid bottled water.
  • Buy generics at the grocery store.
  • Take advantage of the rewards programs.
  • Shop around for a better deal on insurance or wireless plans.
  • Set up an automatic deposit to your savings account.
  • Or think long term and turn down the thermostat and turn off lights when not in use.

Consumer Reports offers strategies to help you make smart decisions with the money you have left after paying your bills each month.

“I had a customer who was so much fun, who decided for the whole shift to unplug everything in his house when he left,” Lane said. “It was a lot of work, but it was exciting to see how his electric bill changed just because things weren’t always there, everything we plug in draws a current and goes on the electric bill. . ”

In the end, Lane says the customer was able to significantly reduce their bill. The small savings add up.

Making a list, using coupons, and researching grocery sales could save you an average of $ 25 a week.

Cutting back on take out, fast food, pizza, donuts or coffee groceries could save an extra $ 20 per week.

Canceling subscriptions or subscriptions you don’t use can free up an additional $ 30.

Direct all that money into your savings account for five months and you’ve saved $ 1,000!

If you live in Boston, your electric bill will go down in the New Year as the city strives to ensure its electricity grid is greener through renewable energy.

We asked two women – Timna Nwokeji and Sarah Wall – to take on the challenge of saving snowflakes during the month of February.

Nwokeji is a blogger at and works in human resources, while Wall is the mother of two pairs of elementary-age twins and a substitute teacher.

“I’m super excited to join and be a part of it,” Nwokeji said.

“I’m really excited for this,” Wall added. “I think it’s going to be a really good challenge!

We gave them some tips and checked with them several times over the course of a month to see if they were saving money.

“I did several things last week to focus on savings opportunities. I downloaded a budget app. I’m still learning to navigate and use it, but so far it helps me figure out some things that I might miss in my normal budgeting, ”Nwokeji said. “During the week, we tried to cut down on takeout orders, which saved us an additional $ 30. “

“I browsed the other night and found several apps that I had paid for and had no idea,” Wall said. “I think the kids ordered by accident and I had no idea.”

“I switched to three days a week making all the coffee at home,” Nwokeji said. “So I made a rough estimate that I’m saving five dollars a day, and that’s $ 45 more a month. “

Wall saved $ 37 in coupons during a grocery run at a warehouse club store. Nwokeji canceled two gym memberships that she and her husband had not used.

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By the end of the month, after canceling unused subscriptions and memberships and making coffee at home, Nwokeji had embezzled $ 113.84 in his savings.

“I’m just going to make it more permanent,” she said. “I’ll drop it automatically every month. That way, I don’t lose sight of those savings.

She also eventually sent her receipts to take advantage of a mind and body incentive offered by her employer. She also plans to put that $ 300 directly into her savings.

As for Wall, she canceled subscriptions, cut coupons, cashed scratch tickets that were lying around, skipped coffee groceries, sold some items online and got $ 279.32.

She now realizes that a little planning can save her a lot of money on her weekly grocery bill.

“My first thing would be to go shopping on my own, it saves a lot of money and I was better off looking at the flyers before going,” she said. “I thought about it before I went to the store, what am I going to do this week? What do I need to do this? ”

“At first it was a bit difficult to get into it,” she added. “But once I started doing it, I didn’t want to stop because I was like, wow, it’s really, those little amounts add up and you kind of see a difference in a short time. “

Consumer Reports offers strategies to help you make smart decisions with the money you have left after paying your bills each month.

Lane says, “Money is a head game, isn’t it? Everything about money is emotional. Once you are ready to accept that no amount is too small… you will start to see savings everywhere! “

We challenge you to take the NBC Savings Challenge and find snowflake saving opportunities in your own life! If you do, keep us posted on your progress and share your money-saving tips.

Contact NBC10 Consumer Investigative Journalist Leslie Gaydos on Twitter or Facebook.

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