How To Save 10K in A Year, And Some!

Last Updated on 23rd November 2020 by Emma

Do you want to learn how to save 10000 in a year? The real question is are you willing to do what it takes to be saving $10000?

Because 10k is not chump change is it?

For young people taking home their first paycheck 10k could be their entire salary for the year!

For most of us $10k is a lot of money, not something we can rustle up without a significant amount of effort.

But how much effort do you need to put in and exactly how do you save 10000 in a year when you’ve never saved that kind of money before?

And the obvious question: is it even possible?

The Short Answer

How to save 10,000 in a year

If you want to save $10,000 in a year more than you did last year, you’ve got to spend 10,000 less than you did.

Simple? Yes
Achievable? Yes
Easy? Let’s find out!

The how in how to save 10,000 in a year

It’s all very well saying you want to save $10,000 in a year, the reality is 10000 is a lot of money to save in one year.

HOW you save this kind of money is firstly about you having good money habits and secondly about the things you do every day to remain focused on achieving your savings goal.

To keep your focus, you need your why.

Because, let’s be honest, 10k is not pocket money, you’re going to feel the pinch as the weeks turn into months.

You’re going to feel tempted to spend just a little bit more, to treat yourself just a little bit more.

Give in to temptation and it will take a lot longer than a year to save your 10k.

Saving $10000 – your why

For me, whenever I set myself a money challenge I need to have a very clear picture of what I am aiming for and why.

I’ve saved 10k before but the 10k wasn’t my why, it was the amount I needed to pay off my husbands family.

They lent us some money to extend our home and I wanted to pay it back with 12 months. Why 12 months?

Partly because I don’t like to owe people money (especially family) but mainly because my husband was leaving the armed forces the following year.

We didn’t know what his income would be so keeping our expenses low as he changed jobs was a priority.

Know why you want to save this amount of money in 12 months. Write it down and keep that someplace visible to act as a regular reminder.

calculating finances with red calculator, notebook and dollar bills to signify how to save 10000 in a year

How much to save each month

When you get a regular paycheck each month, week or bi-weekly, it’s straightforward to work out how much you need to save out of every paycheck.

Goal AmountFrequency
$10,000$833monthly
$10,000$384bi-weekly
$10,000$192weekly

If you get paid irregularly then work out your base level of savings and promise yourself to top this up with adhoc payments and bonuses.

If $10k is too much right now then why not try another 52 week money challenge?

Saving $10,000 is within your control

The answer to how to save 10000 in a year is you and your mindset.

Are you willing to do what it takes to save $10,000?

Are you willing to live a little differently to your friends?

To say no when they invite you on a night out?

Saving this amount of money in just 12 months means being determined in doing what you need to do to free up that amount of cash.

You need to be focused and go all in on this.

financial desktop with red calculator, pink piggy bank wearing glassed and some dollar bills to signify saving $10000 in a year

My top 10 ways to save $10,000 in a year

(This post contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I may make a small commission at no extra cost to you. You can read more here)

There are 100+ ways to save a little money which can all add up to a lot of money saved every month. These are my top 10 to jump start saving $10000.

pay self first

Your goal to save money this year needs to be your priority. You can’t save what is left after you’ve finished spending for the month.

You need to save first and spend later. Paying yourself first means putting money away on the day you get paid, every time.

Automate your savings and you can get on with the rest of your day.

Create a budget

Not just any old budget but a budget that includes the most important line of all – your savings payment.

Make your budget fit around that savings payment. It might mean cutting back in other areas in order to free up more money for savings.

The rest of these top tips to help you save $10k will all help you create a budget that helps you find the level of savings you need to achieve your goal.

Related post: How To Budget Your Money When You Don’t Know How

refinance mortgage

Your mortgage is often your biggest expense so is ripe for giving you the biggest saving.

Shaving 1/2% or 3/4% off your mortgage interest rate allows you to add ALL of the money saved into your savings.

track spending & goal progress

Knowledge is power and all that.

Knowing how much you are spending, and as importantly, how much you are saving is going to be key to actually achieving your wish.

How will you know when you have saved $2000 if you don’t check?

How will you know if you’ve spent more than you planned if you don’t track your spending?

Seeing your figures for both spending and saving helps you really understand how you are going to achieve your $10000 saving goal.

Grab your FREE $10,000 money savings challenge plus much more from my free resource library

question every bill, regularly

Your bills, monthly, quarterly and annual bills amount to a huge chunk of your income.

Save 10% on those bills and that’s a big chunk of change you can throw into your savings pot.

Your regular bills from utility companies and insurance companies can often be negotiated.

If your existing company won’t budge on price then look for a cheaper option.

Use comparison websites, a broker who can scan across the market or use an app like TRIM.

TRIM is like having your own virtual personal assistant who’s only goal is to save you money.

It will negotiate many of your bills on your behalf, as well as cancelling forgotten about and no longer needed subscriptions.

You can also use TRIM to set spending alerts and reminders to help you with your saving goal.

Sign up for your free TRIM account here.

calculating finances with folder called final notice, pens and money notes and coins on top of paperwork to signify how to save 10000 in a year

Don’t pay for the Privilege of monthly premiums

Many of your bigger bills will allow you to spread the cost every month rather than paying it all up front in one annual premium.

10 years ago this would have been interest free, now the convenience of a monthly payment is likely to cost you money.

Don’t give these companies this extra interest payment, pay your bill in full and save that interest money instead.

If you haven’t already got them set up, sinking funds are the best place to organize your money for annual and irregular, but expected, expenses.

don’t eat out

Eating out and picking up takeout costs much more money than cooking at home and can lead to almost instant big savings.

Whenever you feel the temptation to eat out, perhaps because you’re tired or stressed, ask yourself this question:

Which is more important, achieving my $10,000 saving goal or eating out today?

Don’t allow yourself to be sidetracked by tiredness or stress.

If eating out has always been your go to thing then take some additional steps to help you cut back.

Meal plan every week focusing on quick, easy and simple meals. Know what you will be eating or cooking that night before you leave for work in the morning.

Bulk cook on your days off and freeze meals that you can heat up when you get home from work.

It’s quicker (and cheaper) to heat up a home cooked meal than drive out to pick up a restaurant meal.

pack your own lunch

How to save $2000 a year? Simple, pack your own lunch every day.

Don’t believe me? Here’s the maths:

It’s pretty standard to spend $5-8 a day on lunch when you are at work. Even for just a basic sandwich.

$8 a day x 5 days a week = $40

50 weeks x $40 = $2000

Packing your lunch every day gets you 20% of the way toward your savings goals. Totally worth doing.

Don’t have vehicle finance

The average car payment in the US is now $568 for new cars and $397 for used cars.

$397 x 12 months = $4,764 a year

Having no car finance would free up almost $5000.

How to save 5k in a year? Don’t have car finance!

Financing your vehicle takes a large cut of your paycheck, for many months and even years.

Instead you want to set up a sinking fund for your next car and start saving every month into that.

When the time comes for you to buy a new (to you) car, your sinking fund will tell you how much you can spend.

And of course, it goes without saying you want to keep your existing car running for as long as possible so you can a) save enough into that sinking fund. And b) to keep your overall vehicle costs lower.

Have cheap holidays

Holidays are important to us all. A time to relax, to spend time with family, to de-stress, to explore new places.

The difference between a cheap holiday doing all these things and an expensive one doing the same is the cost.

You can still relax, chill and see the sights on a cheap holiday. They might not be so exotic but your target this year is not to have the most fabulous holiday is it?

calculating finances with red calculator, notebook and spreadsheets to signify how to save 10k in a year

How to save 10000 in a year – 25 more tips

Depending on your bills and your previous spending habits my top tips above might be more than enough to achieve your goal.

But don’t let that stop you from trying out the following tips. After all, how long does it take to save 10k? A lot quicker if you save money in all sorts of different ways.

Organizing your finances to save money

open Multiple savings accounts

Having a dedicated savings account for you $10,000 savings goals is the first step.

If you haven’t already got them then you also want separate savings accounts for your sinking funds.

Sinking funds = temp saving pots for expected but irregular expenses like house insurance.

If you achieve your monthly savings goal of $833 but find yourself with another $50 you have saved, put it into a completely separate account.

That way it doesn’t add to your $10k total, it’s starting another pot.

have fun money to avoid burn out

Saving $10000 in a year can be hard work. You question everything you spend, you beat yourself up if you give in to having lunch out with co-workers.

It’s very easy to give up when you keep beating yourself up. This is why it’s so important to have some fun money built into your budget.

Fun money is guilt-free money you can spend on whatever you want. Lunch out with co-workers, movie night or maybe just chocolate.

Yes, my fun money did go on chocolate!

Just $20 every paycheck can make a huge difference to your ability to keep on saving.

overpay your mortgage

Overpaying your mortgage provides you with a greater level of saving in the future.

Your interest rate might be quite low right now but paying more off your principle means you save the interest on that for all the years left on your mortgage term.

Overpaying just $50 a month on your mortgage could save you $6000 over the term of your mortgage.

We paid our mortgage off 10 years early by saving lots of little bits of money here and there and throwing them all into our over-payments.

Related post: 15 Things We Gladly Gave Up To Become Mortgage Free

Transfer debts

If you’ve got student loans or any other debts then refinancing them onto a lower interest rate will allow you to not only save money but to pay them off quicker.

I’m not encouraging you to refinance and then only pay the minimum, I want you to refinance, pay the least amount of interest, then pay them off all the quicker.

Like overpaying a mortgage, overpaying most debts will save you hundreds and thousands in interest payments.

womans hands in padlock holding cash to signify how to be saving $10000

use no spend days to press pause on your spending

No spend days are a way to press pause on all your spending for just 24 hours. They are about as painless as you can get.

But they are very useful to get you thinking about how you might be spending without realizing.

2 or 3 no spend days a week will help you save more money, I’m sure of it.

have regular spending freezes to re-educate spending habits

Spending freezes are basically a longer version of your classic no spend day. If a day is 24 hours then a spending freeze is likely to be a week or longer.

The beauty of spending freezes is that you get to choose how long you freeze spending for. And also what you freeze spending on and what you don’t.

When you commit to a spending freeze you decide on some essential spending categories that you don’t halt spending on. And of course the categories that you do.

Spending freezes are all about getting you back in touch with your money, what is necessary spending and what has become more habitual spending.

When I’ve had a 2 week spending freeze before I’ve included groceries in my list of not spending.

Because I knew I had food in the pantry that quite frankly needed to see the light of day and be used.

If I was having a month long spending freeze then groceries would remain on my essential spending list.

always look for discount codes & online coupons

I try very hard to over buy something without a discount code or coupon. Why pay full price if you can get even 2% off?

Those 2%’s all add you know.

There are plenty of apps and browser extensions that can help you save money or give you cashback including:

Many companies also offer money off coupons if you subscribe to their newsletter.

blue glazed cup and saucer with pancakes in black handled mini pan and soft fruits

How to save money on food

go generic

Generic branded food is often made to the same recipe in the same warehouse as more expensive branded goods.

Why pay more money for the same product?

And even if the generic product is slightly different, does different always mean worse? No, it just means different.

Given that generic products can be half the price, or more, of branded items, this is a great way to save money easily.

bulk buy

Buying extra when the price is low is another way to cut the cost of your groceries and get the same things for less money.

Bulk buying needs to be done with caution though, if you only eat rice once a week, a 10kg bag of rice is not the best way to save money.

meal planning

Meal planning is one of my favorite ways to save money. It cuts out waste as you know what meals you are going to have during the week and so only buy the ingredients you need.

I know some people can find they lack inspiration for their weekly meal planning, in which it will actually save you money if you use $5 meal plans.

For just $5 a month you not only get a weekly meal plan, you get the recipes and a grocery list of all the ingredients you will need to make those meals.

That’s less than $1.25 a week to ensure you have home cooked food and reduces the temptation to eat out.

Use the 14 day free trial to see how much money you can save

shopping list

Using a list when you are out shopping reduces the risk of buying stuff you don’t need and forgetting to buy your essential items.

Check out what food you have in your pantry first, then decide on the meals you are going to cook for the week. Base these meals around the ingredients you already have.

Create a shopping list if items you need to complete your recipes, remembering non-food items like toilet roll and batteries.

variety of coupons and a calculator

use coupons where it actually saves you real cash

Coupons done right allow you to save real money.

Coupons done wrong end up costing you more money than if you had not used them at all.

It’s important to work out whether a coupon is saving you money on something you would buy anyway or encouraging you to spend money on something you wouldn’t.

Don’t fall for Multi-buys if you don’t need that many

Multi-buys are a great way to stock up at a cheap price IF you use the item regularly.

And sometimes multi-buys of one product are still more expensive than buying it in a different packet size.

Always check the unit price to see whether the multi-buy really is a better deal.

shop at discount stores

Discount stores can save you 20% or more on your grocery shopping.

Where you live is going to dictate not only the price of your groceries but also whether there is a discount store within easy reach.

I am very lucky and have both Aldi and Lidl within 10 miles. Whereas I know some of my readers are more than 50 miles from their nearest Aldi!

If you can use a discount store, even if only once a month, then do. You’ll be surprised at how much you save.

love leftovers – dont waste food

Food is the most flexible part of your budget, yet many of us still waste up to 30% of the food we buy.

If your usual grocery spend is $450 a month then you could be wasting $150! That’s $1800 a year!

My post on how to reduce food waste will help you cut your personal wastage down to almost zero. Well worth doing if it saves you $150 a month.

white traditional kitchen with wooden worktops and sunflowers in a white vase

How to save 10000 in a year at home

have a clothing ban

Clothes last a very long time, longer than sometimes we want them to. Leading us to buy new clothes when we don’t need them.

If you spend $50 a month on new clothes, have a clothing ban for 6 months will net you $300 that you can put towards your savings.

buy 2nd hand

There is a thriving secondhand market for most things. Whether that’s garden tools, clothing, baby equipment or even home decor.

You can save up to 90% of the new price if you seek out a used bargain.

Check out the deals on Ebay, Craigslist, Preloved, yard sales, car boot sales and your local thrift and charity stores.

Turn down your thermostat

It’s all too easy to ramp up the thermostat a notch when you feel cold without thinking.

Instead of paying more on your heating costs, pay less.

Drop your thermostat down a degree or two. Have the heating on for less time each day. Wear an extra layer. Use a blanket when you cuddle up on the sofa.

Related post: How To Keep Your House Warm In Winter And Save Money

don’t use dryer, line dry clothes even in winter

Your clothes dryer can be eating electricity and costing you money every week.

Choose to save this money and line dry your clothes instead. You can line dry all year round as long as it’s not raining.

I’ve hung my washing out when there’s been a cm of snow on the ground. The clothes don’t always get fully dry buy 80% is good enough to then finish off indoors.

use sniff test before washing – reduce that pile

The sniff test is a great way to see if your clothes really need a wash. All too often we can fall into the trap of thinking that because we wore something once it needs washing.

Visible dirt is a good indicator of a wash being needed.

But if it doesn’t look dirty and doesn’t smell dirty then why wash it?

Reducing how often you wash your clothes will keep them looking good for longer and reduce your energy bills.

dont buy, borrow and return favor

Many tools you need are only needed once in a while yet they might cost $100 each.

If all your neighbors had one tool that you each borrowed then it saves you having to buy each of those tools.

Borrowing tools from your neighbor not only saves you money it helps to increase the sense of community around you.

cut your own hair (save hundreds!)

Cutting your own hair has the potential to save you hundreds every year. Especially if you have it styled in a salon at $60 a pop.

I’ve been cutting my own hair for 20+ years so have saved a lot of money over the years. My husband cuts my hair now and I cut his.

We bought good quality barber tools which last over 10 years each. My husband is on his 2nd set of this barber’s set.

smiling young girl sitting back on couch using her laptop and holding a coffee mug

Reduce your entertainment budget

Slash TV packages

I am NOT going to tell you to dump cable, but feel free to do so as you will save plenty if you do.

We still have cable, because it provides us with cheap entertainment and is a bill we have factored into our budget.

Of course I make sure I negotiate a good deal with my cable company and we only have the basic package (plus sports that the husband can’t live without – apparently!)

You can cut out cable or reduce the number of streaming services you have in order to save money. After all, just exactly how many TV channels can you watch at any one time?

Use vouchers

When you are having a night out, always research vouchers and coupon availability. In fact it makes sense to plan your nights out around the availability of these.

Why pay full price on one day if you can have the same experience for half price with a coupon on the following day?

Groupon is a great place to find deals, as is being subscribed to local places you like to visit.

Find or create own free events

Vouchers help you pay less for a night out, even better is to find free events you can attend.

Many communities host free gatherings, free firework displays and free events celebrating special days.

There are also many fun things you can do without spending money. Like going for a woodland walk or a beach walk, meeting up with friends, have a games night.

How to save 10000 in a year – done it, now what?

Now you get to sit back and enjoy the fact you know exactly how to save 10000 in a year and what it takes to be successful.

If you enjoyed this $10k savings challenge you know you can do it again if you want or need to.

Some people get addicted to saving challenges and aim higher every time.

  • How to save 10k in 6 months
  • How to save $25000 in a year

are both challenges that others have gone on try and achieve.

Anything is possible, but it completely depends on 2 things:

  1. How much you earn
  2. How much you spend

You can’t save 10000 in a year if your earnings and absolute basic expenses mean you have less than 10k left after those expenses.

My reality was that saving 10k in a year was a stretch, a really big, hard fought stretch.

Because my husband and I just did not earn enough to pay our mortgage, pay our basic bills and save that kind of money all the time.

But we did it and if we had to we could do it again.

For more help in getting started with saving and managing your money grab your free copy of the money saving mini bundle today

Come and follow me on Pinterest for more money saving hints and frugal tips!

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About Emma

I'm here to help you become confident in making the best money decisions for you and your family. Frugal living has changed my life, let me help you change yours.

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