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  3. How to Save $2,000 in 3 Months: Practical Strategies and Tips
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If you’re wondering how to save $2,000 in just three months, the key is purely strategic budgeting, and exploring new opportunities. Start by organizing your finances with a budgeting app and cutting back on non-essential expenses. Consider debt consolidation for credit card debts and shop around for better deals on regular bills. Additionally, you can monetize your skills through side hustles or offer short-term rentals to travel nurses, and even explore the option of long-term roommates for consistent expense sharing.

Dive into these practical tips so you can effectively work towards your $2,000 savings goal

Gaining Clarity on Your Finances

Before embarking on your journey to save $2,000 in the next three months, the first step is to understand where you’re currently at, financially. I know it may seem boring, but we need to know where your money is going. This will provide us insight on where our biggest expenses, and potentially show us where you’re wasting money, if any at all.

Before we get into, it’s important that you know Intuit is closing down their popular budgeting app: Mint. So if you were thinking of re-downloading Mint, it’s a waste of time. Take a look at the options we recommend below. Lucky for you, we included all the app store links so you can download while you’re reading the rest of this post.

Budgeting Apps We Recommend

YNAB (You Need A Budget)

YNAB is ideal for proactive budgeters who prefer a hands-on approach to manage their finances. It operates on a zero-based budgeting system, requiring users to allocate every dollar of their income towards expenses, savings, or debt. The app integrates with various accounts and is available across multiple platforms, including phones, desktops, and even Apple Watch. It’s particularly beneficial for those who want to plan ahead rather than just track expenses. However, its hands-on nature and higher price point might be a drawback for some. YNAB offers a 34-day free trial, after which it costs $14.99 per month or $99 per year.

Goodbudget

Based on the envelope budgeting system, Goodbudget is designed for forward-looking financial planning. Users manually input their account balances, cash amounts, debts, and income, and then distribute these funds across different ‘envelopes’ for various spending categories. The app doesn’t sync with bank accounts, requiring manual entry of all transactions. Goodbudget is available on phones and the web and offers a free version with limited features, while Goodbudget Plus, the paid version, provides unlimited envelopes and accounts, among other features. It’s ideal for those who prefer a more hands-on approach but may be less effective for those not willing to manually track expenses.

EveryDollar

This app provides a simpler take on zero-based budgeting compared to YNAB. EveryDollar’s free version requires manual entry of transactions, budget categorization, and bill payment reminders. The premium version offers bank account connection, automatic transaction entries, and custom financial reports. While the free version is basic, the premium version is quite costly. The app’s ease of use makes it suitable for those new to budgeting, but its lack of educational resources and the cost of the premium version are potential downsides.

Empower Personal Dashboard

Formerly known as Personal Capital, this app is primarily an investment tool but includes features beneficial for budget tracking. It allows users to monitor a variety of accounts, including bank, credit, and investment accounts, providing a snapshot of spending and a net worth tracker. While it includes budgeting features, Empower is more focused on investments, making it less ideal for those seeking detailed budgeting tools. The app is free and available on both phone and desktop.

PocketGuard

This app is designed for simplicity in budget management, connecting to various accounts to provide an overview of available spending money after accounting for essentials and goals. PocketGuard tracks net worth and offers manual tracking as well. The basic version is free, while PocketGuard Plus provides additional features like a debt payoff plan. Ideal for those seeking a mostly hands-off experience, it may not suit users who prefer detailed planning for their finances.

Honeydue

Tailored for couples, Honeydue allows partners to share and sync their financial accounts, categorize expenses, and set monthly spending limits. It also includes features for bill reminders and in-app communication. The app leans more towards tracking and reflecting on transactions rather than proactive planning. Recent drops in its Google Play rating suggest some user dissatisfaction. Honeydue is free and suitable for couples who want to manage their finances together.

Cutting Unnecessary Expenses

Now that you’ve downloaded your budgeting app, it’s important we clarify what you need to do while categorizing and unveiling your financial picture.

When aiming to save a significant amount like $2,000 in three months, it becomes crucial to scrutinize your current expenses, deciding what is necessary, and what is not. I like making two lists. List #1 is what I need to survive in society, which usually include housing, utilities, cell phone, internet, insurance, etc. List #2 is everything I typically spend on, but I don’t really need it. We’re talking subscription services, entertainment, liquor, etc.

If you’re looking to save money, and this is truly your primary goal – then sometimes you have to make some hard, short term decisions to ensure a better future financial position.

Eliminating Credit Card Burdens

Credit cards, while convenient, can often lead to spiraling debt if not managed carefully. Start by assessing your current credit card debts and choose a debt repayment strategy. My favorite strategy is called the “snowball strategy” which essentially means you pay off your smallest balances first, then use the additional money freed up to pay off the next smallest balance. This is also known as “The Avalanche Method.”

If you can’t afford to put extra money toward your balances, then it may be smart to seek out a consolidation. You can approach this in two ways: apply and get approved for a debt consolidation loan, or work with a non-profit debt consolidation company like American Consumer Credit. (ACC)

You may be required to go through some simple classes about budgeting and credit repayment, but consumer credit counseling services (like ACC) will essentially reach out to your creditors, and negotiate a lower interest rate and monthly payment in exchange for closing your cards. If you’re stuck and have dug too big of a hole, then we can assure you it’s better to close those cards and start from scratch. Your credit may be harmed temporarily, but its better than dragging on with high balances for the next 2-3 years.

Shopping for Better Deals

So many people are under the impression that “bills are your bills, and you can’t do anything about it” – which is partially true. Although you can’t just opt to not pay your bills, many companies have policies in place to help retain customers experiencing financial hardships.

If you are experiencing financial difficulties, you can reach out and explain that you’re going through a hard time and simply ask if they have programs they can offer to help you maintain your good standing with them.

Companies, like vehicle lenders or credit card companies, would much rather work with their existing clients to maintain their current good standing – versus going down the route of collections and repossessions. Even companies like American Express have financial hardship programs that can help alleviate short term financial challenges. It’s not guaranteed, but the worst they can do is say “no.”

Regular bills like auto insurance, cell phone plans, and internet services can be goldmines for potential savings. Take the time to shop around for better deals. Often, just a call to your current service provider asking for a better rate can yield savings. Also, consider using services like BillShark, where they negotiate on your behalf to lower your bills. Remember, every dollar saved on these services is a dollar closer to your $2,000 savings goal.

Increasing Your Income

Sometimes, cutting expenses alone isn’t enough to meet your savings goal. After all, you only have so much you can cut, especially if you’re already living a simplistic lifestyle. In such cases, turning to the free market to increase your income can be a game changer.

And I know, you’re probably already thinking “I don’t know how to start a business Nick!” and that’s okay. You don’t need to be the next Jeff Bezos to earn a little extra side-cash. You can simply make sure people know that you offer something. Don’t keep your talents a secret and you’ll likely find that money sort of just comes your way. It’s called “organic sales” and is something we take advantage of here at Uplift Insurance Group, every day.

Monetizing Your Interests and Skills

Do you have a hobby or a skill that others might find valuable? Now is the time to capitalize on it. Whether it’s launching an Etsy store to sell handmade crafts, offering house cleaning services, or providing landscaping work, there are numerous ways to turn your passions into profit.

The gig economy offers a plethora of opportunities, and with tools and resources readily available, starting a side hustle has never been easier that today. As long as you’re offering something that you truly put effort into, people will find you and take that offer. Check out places like Upwork, or Fiverr – where freelancers make full time incomes by simply offering their skills.

No it won’t be easy at first, and all businesses take time to grow, but starting now is better than day-dreaming about the “what if”

Learning New Skills for Additional Income

Don’t be afraid to learn a new skill. In today’s digital age, knowledge is at your fingertips.

Platforms like YouTube and various online education platforms offer free or low-cost training in areas like programming, graphic design, and more. Even dedicating a few hours a week to learning can lead to freelance opportunities or entirely new career paths. If you think it’s not possible, just know that before I opened the doors of Uplift, I worked as a cashier.

Your life can change as long as you will it to change. Money is everywhere, go seek it out.

Smart Living Arrangements

When looking for impactful ways to reach your $2,000 savings goal, one aspect that’s often overlooked is your living arrangement. While it might not be the first choice for everyone, finding a roommate or moving in with one can significantly reduce your monthly expenses.

Look, I know it’s not ideal. Nobody wakes up in the morning and goes “Man I would love to share my home with some random stranger” but the question is: “Do you want to save money, or do you not?”

If the answer is, “I want to save money” then sometimes you have to sacrifice a bit of comfort for the good of your future. On top of that, a roommate doesn’t have to mean the end of your privacy. In fact, you don’t have to bring on a long term tenant, you can tap into short term opportunities too.

Exploring Long-Term Roommates

While offering short-term housing to travel nurses is a unique opportunity, the traditional route of finding a long-term roommate also holds significant potential for savings. Long-term roommates can provide steady financial relief by sharing major living expenses like rent, utilities, and groceries.

Finding a compatible roommate involves a thorough vetting process to ensure a harmonious living situation. It’s about more than just splitting costs; it’s also about sharing your living space with someone whose lifestyle and habits align with yours. Websites and apps dedicated to roommate searches can help you connect with potential roommates and facilitate this process.

Opting for a long-term roommate has its distinct advantages. The stability of having a consistent person to share expenses with can help significantly in budgeting and financial planning. Unlike short-term arrangements, a long-term roommate can lead to a more predictable and stable reduction in living costs, helping you steadily work towards your savings goal of $2,000 in three months.

Offering Short-Term Housing to Travel Nurses

In your quest to save $2,000 in 3 months, consider the potential income from offering short-term housing to travel nurses. Travel nurses are healthcare professionals who take temporary assignments, often for 13-16 weeks, in various locations to address staffing shortages in healthcare facilities. They are in constant need of furnished, comfortable living spaces close to their work.

By renting out a room or a portion of your home to travel nurses, you can tap into a profitable market. Websites like Furnished Finder allow you to list your space and understand the going rates in your area. This setup not only provides travel nurses with a much-needed home away from home but also offers you a consistent and often lucrative source of additional income. It’s a win-win: you contribute to a vital healthcare service while making significant strides toward your financial goals.

Thanks for reading!

In conclusion, the journey to saving $2,000 in three months is not just about following financial tips; it’s a testament to your control over your own life. You are the captain of your financial ship, and with the right mindset and strategies, steering towards your savings goal is entirely within your grasp. Remember, it’s about making conscious decisions, whether it’s meticulously managing your expenses, exploring new avenues for income, or rethinking your living arrangements.

Ultimately, the power to change your financial trajectory lies in your hands. It requires effort, dedication, and a bit of creativity, but the rewards extend far beyond the monetary value. Embracing this challenge is a step towards not only achieving a specific savings target but also towards cultivating financial discipline and empowerment. If you’re committed to saving $2,000 in the next three months, let this be your starting point. Will your finances to change, put in the necessary effort, and watch as your goals transform into reality.

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