How To Save $10,000 In Three Months

Between cutting back on unnecessary expenses, and utilizing creative savings methods, it is possible to save up $10,000 in just three months.

What’s your money personality?

Take quiz

Imagine you just got a raise at work. How exciting! You were already making great money, but now you’re bringing home even more each month. The first thing you think is, “Finally, I can start saving up for that dream vacation/new car/down payment on a house.”

But then reality sets in, and you remember your other financial obligations—student loans, credit card debt, rent, utilities, groceries, etc. You think to yourself, “There’s no way I can save up $10,000 in three months with all of these other expenses.”

Guess what? You can.

Between working extra hours, cutting back on unnecessary expenses, and utilizing creative savings methods, it is possible to save up $10,000 in just three months. You may have to make some sacrifices, but it will be worth it when you reach your goal.

How to save if you’re broke—or close to it

If you’re “broke” or close to it, saving may seem like an impossible task. But with some creativity, you just might be able to get there (or make a good dent).

Start by looking at your current expenses and see what you can cut out or reduce. Do you have any recurring costs or subscriptions you’ve forgotten about?  

Every little bit counts when you’re trying to save. So, take a close look at your spending and see where you can cut back.

You can also make extra money by picking up a part-time job or selling items you no longer need. Garage sales are a great way to get rid of unwanted items and make some extra cash. Sites like eBay and Etsy are excellent resources for selling unwanted items. 

Some people may even choose to get a temporary roommate to help with expenses. If you have an extra room in your apartment or house, you can rent it out on sites like Airbnb or VRBO. Just be sure to check with your landlord first to see if this is allowed.

Other creative ways to save money if you’re broke include:

  • Negotiating your bills (cable, internet, phone, etc.)
  • Getting rid of your car and using public transportation
  • Cooking at home instead of eating out
  • Buying generic brands instead of name brands
  • Cutting your own hair
  • Doing your own nails
  • Canceling your gym membership and working out at home

These are just a few ideas to get you started. The goal is to find ways to reduce your expenses so you can have extra cash to put towards savings.

How to save if you’re not broke—but still want to save

So, you’re not broke. You have a steady income, and you can cover all of your expenses with money left over each month. That’s great! You’re in a great position to save a little extra.

Chances are that you have a specific goal in mind—like buying a house or taking a dream vacation. Or, maybe you just want to have a cushion of savings in case of an emergency. No matter what your goal is, you can achieve it with the right mindset and a little bit of effort.

So, how do you save even when you’re not broke?

Start by evaluating your current spending habits. What are you spending your money on each month? Are there any areas where you can cut back? Just like someone who is “broke,” you may be surprised how much money you can save by making small changes to your spending habits.

If you’re not sure where to start, try tracking your spending for one month. At the end of the month, take a close look at where your money went. Tracking your spending will give you a good idea of where your money is going—and where you can cut back.

Once you’ve evaluated your spending, it’s time to start saving. Begin by setting a goal. How much do you want to save? And by when? Be specific and realistic with your goals.

Next, create a spending plan and stick to it. Decide how much you will spend each month in specific categories—such as food, housing, transportation, etc. Once you’ve allocated your spending for the month, be sure to stick to it.

If you find that you’re struggling to stick to your plan, there are a few things you can do to make it easier.

First, automate your savings. When you get paid, have a portion of your income automatically deposited into your savings account. This way, you won’t see the money—and you’ll be less likely to spend it.

Next, give yourself a “fun money” allowance—money you can spend however you want, without guilt. Knowing that you have some wiggle room each month will make it easier to stick to your spending plan.

Finally, make sure you have a clear goal in mind. Having a specific goal—say, saving for a down payment on a house—will help you stay motivated when things get tough.

Seven steps to save $10,000 in three months

Now that we’ve covered the basics of saving let’s get into the nitty-gritty of how to save $10,000 in three months.

1. Evaluate your current financial situation

The first step is to take a close look at your current financial situation. How much debt do you have? What are your monthly expenses? How much money do you bring in each month?

Answering these questions will give you a better idea of your starting point and how much work you’ll need to reach your goal. You may even find that you need to adjust your goal based on your current financial situation.

For example, if you’re currently in debt, you may want to focus on paying off your debt first—before you start saving. Or, if your monthly expenses are high, you may need to find ways to cut back so you can have more money to put towards savings.

2. Get your debt under control

If you’re currently in debt, you need to get it under control before you start saving. The interest accruing on your debt is likely to be higher than the interest you’ll earn on your savings—so it makes sense to focus on paying off your debt first.

There are a few different ways to approach debt payoff.

  • The debt snowball method: You focus on paying off your smallest debt first while making minimum payments on your other debts. Once your smallest debt is paid off, you move on to your next smallest debt—and so on, until all of your debts are paid off.
  • The debt avalanche method: You focus on paying off your debts from the highest interest rate to the lowest. While this method will save you more money in the long run, it can be difficult to stay motivated when you’re making minimum payments on your lower-interest debts.

So, which method should you choose?

There’s no right or wrong answer—it depends on what will work best for you. If you need some quick wins to stay motivated, the debt snowball method may be a good choice. But if you’re looking to save money in the long run, the debt avalanche method is the way to go.

Once you’ve chosen a method that makes sense for you—get to work! Begin by making a list of your debts, from smallest to largest (or highest interest rate to lowest). Then, start chipping away at your debt—starting with the lowest (or highest interest rate) debt first.

3. Set a realistic goal

As we mentioned before, it’s essential to set a realistic goal. How much do you really want—or need—to save? By when?

If you’re unsure where to start, think about what you want to use the money for. Are you saving for a down payment on a house? A wedding? A vacation? The more specific you can be with your goal, the better.

Change your money relationship

Start with our free assessment to see where you stand with money. Then, follow our insights and coaching to grow your money confidence.
Take assessment now Take assessment now

Once you have a goal in mind, it’s time to figure out how much you need to save each month to reach that goal. So, if you want to save $10,000 in three months, you need to save at least $3,333.33 per month.

Of course, the more you save each month, the sooner you reach your goal. But it’s important to be realistic about how much you can set aside each month. If you try to save too much, you may find yourself quickly burning out—and giving up on your goal altogether.

So, start with a realistic number that you know you can stick to. And remember, you can always adjust your savings goal—up or down—as you go along.

4. Try fasting from unnecessary spending for 30 days

One of the best ways to save money is to simply stop spending it—at least for a little while.

If you’re serious about saving $10,000 in three months, try fasting from unnecessary spending for 30 days. This means no eating out, no buying coffee, no shopping—nothing that isn’t absolutely essential.

It may sound extreme but if you can stick to it for just 30 days, you’ll be amazed at how much money you can save.

Not sure if you can do it? Try a shorter fasting period—like 10 or 14 days. See how much you can save in that time, and use it as motivation to keep going. You may also want to involve a friend or family member in your challenge—to help you stay accountable.

After your fasting period is up, you don’t have to swear off all spending forever. But, you may find that you’re more mindful of your spending—and more likely to save money—in the long run.

5. Get creative with your living situation

Between rent, utilities, and other monthly expenses, housing costs can be one of the biggest drains on your bank account. And while there’s not much you can do about your rent (especially if you’re already locked into a lease), there are other ways to save on housing costs.

One option is to get a roommate—or two. With a roommate, you can split your rent and other bills, leaving you with extra money each month to put towards your savings goal.

You can also save on your utility bills by making a few simple changes. Turn off the lights when you leave a room, unplug appliances when you’re not using them, and keep your thermostat at a reasonable temperature. You’ll be surprised how much money you can save—just by making a few small changes.

Or you can get creative with your living situation:

  • Move to a less expensive area
  • Stay with family or friends for a short period
  • House hack (renting out part of your home to tenants)
  • Negotiate with your landlord for a lower rent price

6. Make extra money with a side hustle or freelance gig

In today’s digital world, there are endless opportunities to make money online—whether it’s through freelancing, blogging, or even just selling stuff you no longer need. You can also make money with a traditional side hustle like dog walking or babysitting.

The key is to get creative and start making extra money as soon as possible. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll reach your goal of saving $10,000 in three months.

Not sure how to get started? Here are a few options to consider:

  • Start a blog and monetize it with ads, affiliate marketing, or sponsored posts
  • Do odd jobs for people in your community (mowing lawns, shoveling snow, etc.)
  • Sell stuff you no longer need (clothes, furniture, electronics, etc.)
  • Provide services like pet sitting, child care, or home cleaning
  • Drive for a rideshare company or deliver food for a food delivery service
  • Do freelance work on the side (graphic design, web development, writing, etc.)

The possibilities are endless—so there’s no excuse not to start making extra money today.

7. Invest in yourself

Investing in yourself can pay off big time—both professionally and financially.

By taking the time to invest in yourself professionally, you can make yourself more marketable. For example, let’s say you want to get a promotion at work. To increase your chances of landing the promotion, you decide to invest in professional development. You sign up for an online course, attend a conference, or read some books on the subject.

When you make an effort to improve yourself professionally, you not only make yourself more marketable—you also increase your earning potential. And that means you’ll have more money to put towards your savings goal.

Investing in yourself can also pay off financially in other ways. Let’s say you want to start your own business. By taking the time to invest in yourself and learn about entrepreneurship, you increase your chances of success. And a successful business can lead to a nice nest egg—which you can, in turn, use to reach your goal of saving $10,000 in three months.

So how can you invest in yourself? Here are a few ideas:

  • Attend workshops or conferences related to your industry
  • Sign up for online courses or learning programs
  • Read books or listen to podcasts about personal finance, entrepreneurship, or self-improvement
  • Hire a coach or mentor to help you reach your goals

The bottom line is that when you invest in yourself, you’re not only making yourself better but also increasing your chances of financial success. And that’s a win-win.

Saving money can be an arduous process—but it’s not impossible. With a little planning and discipline, you can reach your goal of saving $10,000 in three months. Just remember to start small, get creative, and stay focused. And before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a bright financial future.

Sam Garrison

Sam Garrison

Sam Garrison is the President and co-founder of Stackin, a financial wellness company. Before Stackin, Sam built and launched new ventures at BCG Digital Ventures, the venture and incubation arm of The Boston Consulting Group, where he also supported the executive team as strategic program lead. As a lifelong millennial, Sam has tried to solve most of his problems through technology instead of waiting in line at a drab office.