13 tips to save up to $1,000 in 30 days or less

Friends happy laughing jumping, twenty-somethingsShutterstockSaving money doesn’t have to be a chore.

Tired of reading the standard frugality tips, author of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” Ramit Sethi decided to launch a challenge to help people save $US1,000 in a week.

He accompanied the challenge with a wealth of tips on his blog — from how to negotiate your car insurance to saving money while eating out — to help people achieve their savings goals.

We sifted through Sethi’s advice and chose 13 of our favourites.

If you aren’t up for an intense week, you can use these tips over the course of a month to similar effect.

2. Create a 'no spending' day once a week.

Choose one day each week and challenge yourself to not spend a single dollar.

'Technically, even if you don't open your wallet, you're still spending money on things like rent, car insurance, and subscriptions,' writes Sethi. 'You just didn't count them. But that's even more of a reason to create a 'no spending' day on the money in your wallet: because you can actively control it.'

The key to this tip is putting it in your calendar so it becomes a consistent system.

Estimated savings: $US5 to $US75.

3. Postpone a single large purchase until next month.

'It's very simple,' writes Sethi. 'New lawn mower -- wait. New TV -- wait. New dishwasher -- wait. You can set a calendar reminder to check on it in 30 days. A couple of things will probably happen when you do this: First, prices will probably drop. Second, chances are you'll realise you didn't really need it.'

Estimated savings: $US50 to $US3,000.

4. Go cash-only.

Take out a limited amount of money from your checking account that will be enough to last for a few weeks, and then set aside the credit card. This forces you to be a conscious spender.

'Rather than blindly using your credit card and deferring whether it's worth it or not until your bill comes -- by that time, it's too late -- using cash forces you to make that decision when you pay,' writes Sethi. 'You withdraw a limited amount and watch it dwindle. It's very primal: Since we're more motivated by loss than by gain, each dollar you physically spend will cause you pain: the good kind of pain.'

Estimated savings: $US50 to $US300.

9. Only buy something new when you're replacing something old.

Is it a want or a need?

By establishing a rule that you can only buy to replace something you already have, you're creating what Sethi calls an 'active barrier.'

'Before buying anything, think 'how many of those do I need?' and, 'how many do I already have?' Then think again if you really need a new one,' he advises. 'The psychology of having to open up your closet, decide what to give away, and get it to the nearest charity (or garbage can) is enough to stop many of us from buying something new.'

Estimated savings: From $US10 to however much you would have bought otherwise.

10. Use the free rewards from your credit card, car insurance, and workplace.

'Think about the places you belong to as a member: your credit card, auto insurance, Costco, or your job. Each of these offers perks that most people ignore,' Sethi explains. 'By simply being a member, you get perks that can add up to thousands of dollars each year.'

To use this tip effectively, figure out exactly what your memberships offer. For example, some car insurance offers discounts on major retailers, and credit cards often offer travel insurance and car-rental discounts.

If anything stands out, set a calendar reminder for when it will apply. Another good rule of thumb is to always check for perks before you make any big purchases.

Estimated savings: $US100 to $US2,000.

11. Earn more money using a skill you already have.

'Most Americans only think about cutting costs, resulting in frugality websites that frantically try to out-do each other with the most inane and meaningless tips of all,' writes Sethi. 'We forget about the lever of earning more money, which is the most powerful of all.'

Try negotiating your salary at work, starting a second job, or freelancing for something you're very good at.

Estimated savings: $US100 to $US1,000.

13. Pay money to save money.

It can seem counterintuitive to make purchases to save, but that's what some of the most successful money-savers do; they're not just buying things, they're investing in things -- tools and services -- that will eventually save them money over time.

'It's transparently easy to see money going out of your pocket right NOW, but it's harder to understand that you're actually investing in yourself,' explains Sethi. 'And when you invest in yourself, there's no upper bound on what your return can be.'

Estimated savings: $US50 to $US1,000.

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