How to easily save $5K this year


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Do you want to save $5000 in 2023? Imagine for a moment, you looked at your savings account on December 28, 2023, and it contained at least $5000? How would you feel? If so, look no further. In this article, I go over my 52-week money challenge that you can start today. Then, at the end of each tip, I’ll give you the potential savings (a year) where applicable.


No one likes to throw money away, and you and I know that saving isn’t an easy task! You might know when your paycheck will hit your bank account. And that’s a great start! But, if you don’t know where your money gets spent, there are likely places you can save. Indeed, you’re more than likely to have spent on unnecessary items. And sometimes, you may not even realize you’re spending so much. For example, when buying “stuff” cheap items and paying for subscriptions, the costs add up.


Related Read: How to Avoid Emotional Spending


2023 is another year, and it’s time to start a new challenge. Take the 52-week money challenge, and I bet you can save $5000 before the end of the year. What would saving $5000 mean to you? Would you use it to pay off a credit card, your car, or how about a vacation?


There are many things you can do with $5000. Saving is not an easy task, but with these tips, it’s possible. So let’s dig in and explore how to save $5000 this year with my 52-week money challenge:

Planning to Save $5000 In A Year

In this section, we’ll look at all the ways you can plan your $5000 savings this year. Further, there’ll be ways you can save on your monthly expenses.

Create A Budget

If you’re going to save any money this year, the first thing you’ll need is a budget. If you have one, that’s great, but if not, you need it now! A budget helps you spend your money and live within your means. It allows you to create a monthly income surplus and deposit them in your savings account.


Let’s face it, saving $5000 in 52 weeks isn’t easy. But, a budget will help separate your cash flow into categories. Then, you’ll build a monthly income surplus. And in no time, you’ll achieve your goal. Creating a budget is a simple task. But it’s essential thing is to stick to your budget.

I recommend starting by going back three months and recording those daily expenses. When you look at your spending, you can locate the areas you spend too much. If you identify such areas you spend much, you can adjust your spending. That is one way to achieve your $5000 savings goal.


Additionally, tracking your spending is beneficial. It helps you be more careful about the amount you spend, knowing that you have to record all the details.


Related Read: How to Make a Budget

Increase Your Insurance Deductible

One way to save money is to lower your spending. An easy way to save $5000 this year is to increase your insurance deductibles. For example, consider your home and auto insurance deductibles.


recent study reported that homeowner’s insurance premiums hover around $1200 a year. If you bump up your deductible, for example, from $500 to $1000, you could save as much as 25% on your premiums. Remember, a higher deductible means the insurer will have a lower risk, and as a result, offer you a lower premium.


If you consider this strategy, speak with your insurance agent. They will tell you how much you’ll save after increasing the deductible.

Indeed, you can also use this option for auto insurance. A study reported that you could save up to $30 per month after increasing the deductibles, from $250 to $1000.


Potential Savings: $600 a year.

Cancel Your Unused Gym Membership

A gym is one place that you have to pay for membership. But, after you’ve committed yourself for some time, you now realize your visits are slowing. If so, it’s time to cancel the membership. Why pay membership fees for something you don’t use. So canceling an unused membership is a useful option to add more money to your saving basket.

For example, depending on your location, a gym membership’s monthly cost could be as high as $50/mo. Various studies report that as much as 70% of the members don’t use their membership. Indeed, paying for unused memberships drains your budget.

Now, you might feel that canceling the gym membership means that you are giving up on your body. If so, consider various other ways to get fit: you can run, walk or ride a bicycle. Besides, there are many YouTube Excercise Videos that you can follow along. Additionally, if you prefer strengthening training, free fitness apps like Fitbod can help.


Potential savings: $500 a year

Cancel Unnecessary Subscription Services

A study reported that you might spend $200+ on monthly subscriptions. Think video streaming, photo editing apps, and more.

The money you pay for these subscriptions may seem minimal, but it adds up. $20/mo for one, $50/mo for a subscription box, and so on. Spend the time and review all your subscriptions and identify those you will cut.


Some subscriptions have alternatives, which are free or low cost. For example, you may subscribe to Audible for $20/mo, an audiobook service. Audible may be popular, but there are free alternatives.


Potential Savings: $2400 a year.

Reduce Your Food Waste

Food waste costs money and negatively impacts the environment. On average, US households throw away as much as $1800 a year worth of food. Indeed, food waste is terrible for your budget.


Related Read: Grocery Shopping On a Budget


Reducing food waste isn’t something that will happen overnight. There are a few proven tricks that may help you with your journey. If you need to reduce food waste, consider using a shopping list, and start planning your weekly meals.

Potential savings: $1800 a year.

Cut Commuting Costs

Another easy way to save $5000 this year is to cut commuting costs. If you go to work for five days a week, commuting by car adds up.

recent study by Citi suggested daily commuting can cost you $10/day and over $2600 in a year. For example, you can carpool with one person, which helps you split the cost in half.


It may be a hassle to find a person you can carpool with. You can start by asking your neighbors traveling to a similar route or co-workers. But using this method could help get you to your $5000 savings goal.

Potential Savings: $1300 a year.


Related Read: 14 Frugal Living Tips You Can Implement Today

Save on Bank Account Fees

recent study by the CFPB indicated that Americans spend, on average, $250 a year on banking fees. And 75% of it is NSF charges! Indeed, this is a completely unnecessary waste of money.


Switch to a free checking account, and keep at least 2-3 months of your monthly expenses to void NSF fees.

Potential Savings: $250 a year.

Signup For Credit Card Bonuses And Rewards

Finding extra money helps you save. One creative way to save $5000 this year is to consider credit card offers. For example, you may earn as much as $1000 a year in cashback credits.


For example, with the Citi® Double Cash Card, you earn 2% cashback on your purchases. Spend $3000 a month, and you’ll get $720 back. If you have travel credit cards, you might even get points that offer you free flights.

And, don’t ever carry a balance on a credit card.


Potential Savings: $1000 a year.


Related read: 6 Extreme Ways to Cut Expenses

Sell Items You No Longer Use

No doubt, you have stuff you don’t need to use at home or the office anymore. So, such things might seem like junk, but I bet some will have value among them.


The quickest way you can make extra money is to gather up all the items you no longer need and sell them. And, if you have enough stuff, you can host a yard sale and get rid of them fast.


A yard sale is an excellent way to get rid of your items within a day or two. If you have more valuable items, they will likely fetch more money online. For example, you might consider Facebook marketplace or Craigslist. I like Craigslist due to its wider audience.


Potential savings: $1000

Save Money On Entertainment

If there’s one thing many people spend a lot of money on, it’s entertainment. That said, cutting back on entertainment expenses is an excellent option to save $5000 this year.


Look at your budget and see the amount you spend on entertainment. It includes sporting events, movies, concerts, meals with friends, and trips to the bar. All these expenses can add up fast.


But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t spend on entertainment. Doing the things you love helps you live a balanced lifestyle. There are easy ways to cut back on entertainment expenses without sacrificing your fun.


Look for cheap or free things to do. Another option is looking for a new hobby that you know will not cost you much money. Give yourself a fair limit on the amount you can use for entertainment.


Potential Savings: $2000 a year.

Start a Side Hustle

As you reduce expenses, it’s also essential to look at other ways to make money. Consider one of many side-hustles out there, and I’m sure you’ll find a good fit.


Here are a few side-hustles you can choose from to get to your $5000 savings goal.

  • Taking online surveys – This is among the best options to make extra money across the world. It isn’t a lucrative option, but the best thing is that it is flexible. You don’t sacrifice most of your time because even while watching TV, you can take surveys. Many survey sites offer you signup bonuses. These include Survey Junkie, Inbox Dollars, Swagbucks, MyPoints, among others.
  • Flea Market Flipping – Selling things you don’t like may become your side hustle. It can help to earn money through buying and reselling. The best place to purchase items is at thrift stores, flea markets, and yard sales and resell them at higher prices. Some of the things you can buy include wood furniture and paint them to get a new look. Such furniture you can sell at a nice profit on Craigslist.
  • Freelancing – There are various professional services you can offer. For example, you could become someone’s virtual assistant. Or, even write content for websites and blogs like The Financially Independent Millennial! Other freelancing options include web development, web design, graphic design, social media marketing, photography, and more.
  • Dog Walking And Pet Sitting – Dog walking or pet sitting are among the easiest side hustles you can do. And you’ll earn extra income, and make a lot of money. Indeed, pet owners do love their pets and spend a lot of money on them. And, this side hustle does not need you to have special skills.
  • Drive for DoorDash – Doordash offers an excellent way to make good money. Offering delivery services is a great chance to earn extra money with flexibility. This option allows you to set your free hours and make money fast.

Related Read: Best Side Hustles

Final Thoughts on How to Save $5000 This Year

In this article, we covered some different ways to boost your savings. Ask yourself, “is today the right time to start your 52-week money challenge?” Indeed, if you were to follow each of these tips, you could save yourself over $10,000 a year. Go ahead and reduce spending with these tips. And at the end of the challenge, I have no doubt you’ll save $5000 this year. But, remember, you don’t have to deprive yourself! Cut your spending from various activities, and your savings will add up with time.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by

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55 splurges that are draining your savings account


It’s not easy to save money these days. Between student loans, car payments and rent, it can seem like there is no way to put anything away for the future.


But if you really want to make an effort to save money one of the best places to start is by cutting back on what you buy, even things that you think you need.


We all have our weaknesses (I’m looking at you, tech upgrades).


Here are 55 items you should stop buying in order to save money.


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Stop spending money on bottled water. It’s expensive and wasteful. Not only are you paying a premium price for the bottle, but then there’s all that plastic to deal with too. In 2016, only 11.8% of plastic bottles were recycled.


You can buy a reusable water bottle and refill it at home. This way you avoid overpaying on something you can easily get right from your faucet for a fraction of the cost. I have a huge beef with paying for water as it’s a 100% unnecessary expense.


My water bill was about $12 last month. You will save so much money by using your own bottle. A $30 bottle will help put more money in your bank account and you’ll stop putting cheap products in landfills. A win-win.


Related: How to avoid pay full price for anything, ever again


If you’re someone who goes to the grocery store every day, then it’s time to make a plan. When you only buy a few things each day it may seem like you’re not making any unnecessary purchases.




Here is the data on making impulse purchases and the huge difference it makes when you shop often grocery stores:

  • Shoppers making a ‘quick trip’ to the store to pick up a few specific items usually purchase 54 percent more than they planned.
  • Consumers graze at the grocery store, with impulse buys making up between 50.8 and 67.7 percent of total purchase.

This is where a weekly meal plan can be very helpful to save money. Over 50% spend money on excess food among other things.


I follow a few rules when it comes to creating a meal plan and buying groceries:

  • To avoid wasting money, I only shop 2-3 times per month. This also helps to avoid wasting food.
  • I buy mostly generic food items besides a very select few items.
  • Store brand kitchen supplies work the same. Stop buying name brand window cleaners. The only exception I have here is paper towels. I always buy the name brand.
  • Meal plan a few days before the week begins, not at the last minute.
  • Stop buying anything other than food/kitchen items, there is always a markup on convenience items like new clothes.




Working out is incredibly important for your physical and mental health, but if you’re paying a premium price for a gym membership it might just be getting in the way of saving money.


The reality is that there is not much difference between a budget gym compared to a premium gym. The past few years I have gone to several gyms at different prices. Every gym is relatively the same, don’t let any salesperson tell you different. There are so many free apps and videos online that will help you stay in shape if you want to work out at home.


Most upscale gyms cost at a minimum $100 per month, while budget gyms are usually $10 per month.


If you want to put more money in your savings account and opt for the budget gym, you’ll be saving $90 per month.


That’s over $1,000 per year savings. Every bit counts.


Dryer sheets are a great way to prolong the freshness of your clothes, but they also come with a hefty price tag. Instead of buying dryer sheets, buy wool dryer balls and add them in when you start drying your clothes.


Wool dryer balls work just as well at removing static cling and will help you put more money into your savings account.


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Cleaning products can be expensive and often they’re not environmentally friendly either. Instead of buying from the store, you can make your own cleaning supplies with vinegar and baking soda easily. 


DIY formulas will help you save money, and your home will be chemical-free.


I bet you have at least a few unused subscriptions that are charging your credit card every single month. Whether you’re getting something you never use or paying for a service every month, these monthly fees will start adding up fast – so, it’s time to cut that extra cost.


Go through all your recurring charges for the month. Consider canceling unused services that you haven’t used for many months.


You can always resubscribe if you want to use them again in the future. Even if the service is only $5 per month, every bit counts when you want to save money.


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If you’re someone who tends to buy clothes exclusively for special occasions (weddings, birthdays, and the like) you’re spending too much money on clothing.


I’d recommend looking into a capsule wardrobe whether you’re a man or a woman. It’s amazing how a little bit of planning with several staple pieces can make you appear to have a lot more clothing than you currently do.


If you do have an occasion that needs a new piece, consider renting for the event. This way, you’ll be looking great while prioritizing money saving.


Cocktails are expensive, especially when you’re out at your favorite bar. Instead of spending $15 or more on a cocktail, consider splitting the drink with someone else instead.


The amount of money I see my contemporaries spend on alcohol boggles my mind. Doling out $50 in wine for one night out? Ouch.


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I bet you’re paying a small fortune every year on an expensive cell phone plan. Over your lifetime, you’ll spend over $50,000 for cell phone service. That’s a lot of money that you can save because there is a cheaper plan.


Tello Mobile offers plans as low as $14 per month for 2 GB of 4G LTE data and $39 per month for unlimited data. I really like that Tello allows tethering so if I am on the road, I can connect my laptop and iPad to lightning-fast internet.


If you’re trying to save money, your cell phone plan is probably eating away at that goal.




Bank fees are everywhere. Whether you’re being charged for withdrawing from an ATM or a monthly checking fee, you can avoid pretty much all bank fees.


There are plenty of free checking accounts that don’t charge any fees whatsoever. Having a checking account that charges fees and one that doesn’t make no difference, they are the same thing.


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financial advisor can guide you in building a portfolio that matches your financial needs and goals. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.


Cable TV can be expensive and often filled with channels that you don’t even like! Instead of paying for a service that you never use, consider switching over to a streaming service. Or you can crack open a book and learn something new instead of binge-watching the next 15 episodes.


Sure, knickknacks are cute, but they’re also a waste of money. While shopping for your home it might be tempting to buy all sorts of decorative items, this habit can really add up fast.


I always ask myself, “What purpose does this have to my life?” If I am unable to think of a compelling reason, I will not buy it.


When there are fewer things in my life, it’s amazing how clear my thoughts are. You’ll also save money in the process.


A lot of people love to read, but buying hardcover books can get expensive.

Instead, try checking out your local library. A library card is free, and many locations allow you to access e-books.


Instead of wasting money on a $5 coffee every morning, invest in a coffee maker and it will pay for itself in the money you save by not going out. Making your own coffee will save you thousands over your lifetime.





Haircuts might not seem expensive, but they add up really quickly and can get in the way of your savings goals. Instead of going to a barbershop every month, consider cutting your own hair instead.


The number of things you can learn from watching a YouTube video. It’s amazing.


Prepackaged foods are often more expensive than cooking from bulk and can contain harmful additives as well. This way you’ll know exactly what is going into your food. You will save money in the long run while also helping to improve your overall health, too.


Sales are definitely great, but only if you actually need the items in question. The best way to save money on a sale item is to not buy it in the first place.


Impulse purchases can be a serious drain on your finances and should be avoided whenever possible. I signed out of any online shopping sites and put my credit cards in a safe. A sock drawer can work too.


Upgrading your electronics can be a huge waste of money if you’re simply doing it for the sake of having “the latest and greatest” version.


If your tech is still serving you relatively well, stick it out for a bit longer.


You may think premium gas might help your car run better and it will if you own a late model European car. If you have an American or Japanese made car your car is best suited for normal gasoline.


Sponsored: Worried you don’t have enough money for the future? Find a financial advisor who can help.

financial advisor can guide you in building a portfolio that matches your financial needs and goals. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.


Extended warranties are often overpriced and rarely worth the money that you’ll be spending on them. I have bought several extended warranties and have never used one.


Paper towels, plates and cups can be pricey, and they’re ultimately wasteful as well. Buy reusable everything. It will help you save money and our planet thanks you.



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Full-priced products are often unnecessary unless you have the cash to spare. Instead buy discounted items or check for coupons before doing so – it helps you save money.



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Bulk purchases can be a great way to save money, but only if you actually use the items in question. If not, they’ll just go to waste and end up costing more than what buying them as needed would have been!


A single person does not need to buy 75 rolls of toilet paper in one go. You’ll need a separate storage facility to store all of it.


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Restaurant meals are often overpriced and rarely worth the money that you’ll be spending on them.


There are so many great recipes that are simple to follow. Here are 100 recipes that will save money.


Deli meat can be a great food to purchase if you’re looking for something that’s quick and easy. If not, it’ll just go bad soon after opening. Make sure to use it quickly!



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Fast food might be okay every now and then, but it’s rarely worth the money that you’ll be spending on it.


Make your own food. Your waistline will thank you.


Cosmetics are often overpriced yet branded very effectively. Make sure you are buying things that are agreeable with your skin. A lot of times, less is more.



Credit: KatarzynaBialasiewicz / istockphoto


Lip balm might seem like a necessity, but it’s not. I haven’t put any on in over a decade. If you are staying hydrated your skin will be naturally moist and you won’t need lip balm.



Alina Kurianova / iStock


Multivitamins usually don’t do much of anything. This is really another pill that attempts to make you feel better while not improving your health.


Depending on your hair type you don’t need to use expensive products. And you only need to shampoo a few times a week, not every day. The amount of shampoo I’ve used before knowing this… sigh.



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You can read most magazine at the shelf of the store or at the library for free.





Do you really need that $20 bottle of lotion? Probably not.


You can make your own laundry detergent for a fraction of the cost. Also, using natural substances is healthier for your skin.



Deposit Photos


Same thing here. You can make skin care products yourself naturally and avoid all those parabens, sulfates and preservatives that most products have.


Unless you can vouch for the quality difference between name brand items and store products you can safely choose the store product for most things. The only thing I won’t buy as generic is a roll of paper towels. I always buy the expensive ones.



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Look at your kid’s closet or playroom. Do they need yet another toy they’ll lose interest in rather quickly?





Beware downloading free smartphone apps. This means there will be incessant advertisements, or you’ll be prompted to buy in-game upgrades. If the product was free that means you are the product.


There are so many new appliances coming out each year. I have found most of them to be tempting to buy.


I like buying things that have multiple uses. When I first heard of a pressure cooker, I was skeptical one appliance could do so much to help meal planning. Well, after a few years, I can confidently say I will have a pressure cooker the rest of my life.


I remember hearing about a friend of a friend who had 15 different collars for her dog. That’s enough for two weeks of new collars!


Remember, your furry friend doesn’t know what kind of animal they are, let alone how to be fashionable.


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I’ve concluded it’s best to buy something once and own it for life. When it comes to jewelry, less is more.





Don’t, just don’t. You have a 0.000000000001% chance of winning anything.



Warren-Pender / istockphoto


Depending on your goals you can either take a vacation once a quarter or not a single one for a decade. You’ll have to find out what works for you.


Spending $6 for a small popcorn makes my stomach turn. Let’s just say I always wear my large winter jacket to sneak in my own candy.



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Generic medication often contains the same ingredients as the name brand. Check the label.



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If you’re someone who likes to go all out for holidays like Christmas and Halloween, consider cutting down on the number of decorations you buy.


And with those decorations you do buy, reuse them for years.


Packaged snacks like chips and crackers might seem harmless when you’re in a rush or on-the-go, but that doesn’t change how unhealthy they actually are for you. Most things that are packaged are unhealthy and expensive.


What I’ve done before is made my own trail mix. It’s tasty and relatively healthy.


A plain sheet of paper that you must design and write yourself is more thoughtful and cheaper.



TrongNguyen / istockphoto


Automate everything when it comes to bill payments. A $35 late fee on a credit card payment really hurts.


Again, do you need another pair of shorts? You already have six pairs.





Can you borrow them from a friend or family member? Don’t buy something you’re only going to use once. Now, if you wear formal clothing every day, I recommend buying a nice pair of dress shoes


Plastic straws might seem like a small thing to worry about, but their presence in our oceans is actually quite harmful! For instance, there are approximately 71 million pounds of plastic waste currently floating around the Pacific Ocean alone.


I usually simply drink from the cup and avoid the straw altogether.




Simply because something is expensive doesn’t mean it’s high quality or that you should purchase it. If you have $300, it’s better to have a $30 handbag and put the other $270 in the bag than have a $300 handbag and no money in the bag.


The only time you should consider buying anything designer is when you have significant assets that allow you to upgrade your lifestyle. Before then, buy the $30 bag and invest the rest.


Anton Minin/istock


I’m amazed by how many home improvement projects I’ve been able to complete myself. There are so many how-to blogs and videos that you can follow and successfully complete the project. Here’s the most recent video I watched to install a door at my house.


The protein you need each day can be derived from natural sources (animals). The protein shakes and bars are usually full of additives and junk you don’t want in your body.



Edalin / iStock


There are lots of items you can cut the spending back on to help you save money. Some will feel like a sacrifice, but at the end of the day, your bank account and future self will thank you.


There are many ways to save money, but perhaps the best way is by not spending any extra money at all. That’s a 100% discount.


This article originally appeared on and was syndicated by


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