A new year represents new opportunities.
- While it doesn’t sound like much, there’s a lot you could do with an extra $2,000.
- A review of your monthly budget is a great place to start.
- Don’t underestimate yourself. You probably possess skills that others would pay to learn.
Granted, $2,000 may seem like small potatoes, but making that much extra in 2023 can help you accomplish the following:
- Pad your emergency fund. That way, the next time your car breaks down or you run into a surprise medical expense, you don’t have to worry about where the money is going to come from. Better yet, you don’t have to put it on a credit card.
- Create a “get away” fund. There were times in our young lives when my husband and I could not afford to go to a movie if we wanted to. There was no way we could dine out, and vacations were out of the question. I’m a big believer in setting aside money to spend on yourself. You may not be able to fly to a Caribbean island when you need a break, but what about an hour-long massage, coffee date with a friend, or day trip to a town you’ve never visited before? We all need something to look forward to, and while $2,000 won’t take you around the world, it will help cover those moments when you need pampering.
- Put it away for the holidays. Seriously. Can you imagine going into the holiday season without worrying about how you’re going to come up with money for gifts or entertainment?
- invest it Before you roll your eyes, stick with me here. Let’s say you’re 40 years old and you invest $2,000 in a Roth IRA with an average annual return of 7%. In 10 years, it will be worth more than $3,900. If you can add $100 to it each month, you’ll have a whopping $20,500. Compound interest truly is a thing of beauty.
With all that in mind, here’s a look at how you can save up that extra $2,000 next year.
split it up
The thing about making money is that you don’t have to do it all at once. Any money you save is money in your bank account, and it can add up fast.
1. Change insurance companies
No one hates sounding like a commercial more than me, but changing insurance companies really can save you hundreds of dollars each year. As someone who moves frequently, I don’t always have access to the same insurers. That means I switch insurance companies more than the average bear and am continually surprised by how much I can save by shopping around. As long as your credit score is healthy and you don’t have a history of claims, it’s relatively easy to score a lower rate.
- The average auto insurance policy in the US runs $2,875 annually.
- The average homeowners insurance policy runs $1,788 annually.
If changing insurance companies saves you only 10%, you’ll have an extra $466.
2. Cut subscription services you don’t use
A year or two ago, I cut out all the subscription services my husband and I were no longer using. Frankly, it was embarrassing to see how many things we were paying for month after month. Premium channels, a beauty box for me, a grooming box for him, and exercise classes we rarely attended. To be honest, I felt pretty good about myself for a while there.
Then, last week, after all the dust of moving to a new state had settled, I went over our budget with a fine-toothed comb. Dang if there weren’t a bunch of new subscriptions. I blame it on British television. It’s just so good. And you’d better believe that I cut subscriptions to anything we’re not currently watching.
The savings may only be $20 a month, but that’s $240 a year.
3. Share a skill with the world
Think about what you can do. Whether it’s playing a musical instrument or speaking a foreign language, while it may seem ordinary to you, there are others who would love to learn the skill. Why not share what you have with the world by signing up to be an online tutor?
Job boards all over the internet — including Indeed.com and Ziprecruiter.com — routinely list remote tutoring opportunities.
Let’s say you tutor two hours a week at $25 per hour. Annually, that’s an extra $2,600.
4. Never shop without apps
Smartphone apps have made it easier than ever to save money. For example, the Flipp app offers digital coupons from more than 2,000 stores, and Ibotta is a great place to get started if you want to save money on groceries.
How much you earn and save with coupon apps matters less than how you spend that money. After all, we’ve all read about millionaires who’ve lost everything and school teachers who were skilled enough with their money to be able to leave millions to charity.
Even if you only start with an extra $2,000 in your pocket in 2023, it’s a good jumping-off point.
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