Sixty percent of Americans don’t have enough set aside to cover even a $1,000 emergency, according to one study. That means when an emergency hits most of us are going to have to pull out our credit cards or rely on loans to make it through.
That’s why KSL Newsradio’s Dave & Dujanovic are introducing the $1,000 Challenge: their call to action to help Utahns find ways to get that vital emergency fund in place. They’re even going to be giving away $1,000 every week on Thursday at 11:20 a.m. to help their listeners get there.
Members of the $1,000 Challenge Facebook group have already been sharing their ideas on how they can scrimp and save and fit an extra $1,000 into their budget. Today, they tackled the question: what’s the one thing you can cut out?
Here are some of their answers:
Stop going out for lunch
Spending $260 a month on lunches might sound a bit higher, but it’s actually not that far off the norm. The average American, according to a Ladder study, spends $173.62 each month on lunches.
Bringing a brown paper bag instead can take you a long way toward $1,000.
We are so proud of Kimberly for making a hard call that’s going to help a lot more than just her budget.
A pack-a-day smoker spends $154 every month on cigarettes, according to the UMass Memorial Medical Center. Cutting that out can save you almost $2,000 a year. Plus, improved health is bound to save you a fortune in medical bills — not to mention improve your overall quality of life.
Cut out cable
Cable TV can cost anywhere from $20 to $100 a month, but you can get a basic Netflix plan for just $8.99. That means you can save up $91 a month just by cutting that cable cord.
Or, like Dave Noriega, you can take a step further. “I cut the cord years and years ago,” he says. Now? “I’m back to good ol’ fashioned bunny ears.”
No more soda pop
Americans spend more money on soft drinks than any other food item, a US Department of Agriculture report says. On average, that’s $850 per year per household — all just for sugary carbonated drinks.
Of course, that average is based on the whole nation. We weren’t able to find data on how much soda Utahns, specifically, consume — but we’re willing to bet it’s a little bit more.
It takes 20 minutes for your body to get the message that it’s full.
The food you eat has to be chewed, it has to go down to your gut, and it has to be absorbed. None of that happens instantly – and experts say that it takes between five and twenty minutes for the whole chemical reaction to give your brain the signal that it’s time to stop eating.
If you can stop eating when you know you’ve had enough instead of chowing down until your body forces you to stop, you’re going to have leftovers for tomorrow – and you’ll probably lose weight, too.
Stop buying lunch for co-workers
We all want to be generous. It’s easy to feel like we’re betraying our friends when we don’t pick up the check – but that generosity can add up.
“That was a hard one for me,” Debbie Dujanovic says. “I totally feel obligated to pay. Every single time.”
She says that the only way to get out of this habit was to trick her own brain. When she gets a meal with friends, she makes sure she pays first and gets her card back before anyone else places an order. Otherwise, she just can’t trust herself not to volunteer to cover their bill.
The $1,000 Challenge
Join the $1,000 Challenge Facebook group to see other brilliant ideas on how to get your budget in check and to be a part of a tribe that’ll encourage you every step along the way.
And tune into Dave & Dujanovic every day from 9 a.m to noon on KSL Newsradio 102.7 FM / 1160 AM for financial tips and tricks Monday through Thursday.
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