8 People On How They Actually Reached Their $10k Savings Goal

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It took me a year of working at my first full-time entry-level job to save $10,000. I wasn’t make much money, but I still lived at home with my parents, and I intended to squeeze as much as I possibly could out of that rag of privilege. I’ve talked about my experience living at home for a few years after college before, and looking back on it, it was an opportunity I really appreciate. Even though there was the obvious downside of not being able to get out into the world to “start my life” in my own place, the benefits of living at home were enormous. For me, saving $10,000 back then was a hell of a lot easier because I could literally sweep roughly $1,100 into the bank each month. My lifestyle was also really frugal because I was laser focused on saving to move out to NYC. (Maya also wrote an article about how she was able to save $10k on an entry-level salary, which you can read in-full here.) Saving money was relatively easy for me then.

However, I’ve come to realize just how difficult it is to save when you have real-life adult bills and expenses constantly nipping at your heels. As I’ve begun managing a household, I’ve grown to deeply appreciate the will and endurance it takes to save up and hit a large goal. To some, $10k is a slightly arbitrary number, but I think that for a lot of people, it represents an impressive-yet-easy-to-conceptualize goal. I remember the way I felt when my savings account/emergency fund first hit that goal — I felt deeply proud and free. I was free to switch jobs if I was unhappy, put a downpayment on a used or new car, and say “yes” to a trip with friends without depleting my bank account. $10k might be near or far away from the saving goal you set for yourself, but to me, all that matters is having a hard goal you’re working toward. For new college grads, and working professionals a few years out of the gate, setting good habits early on is key. It’s important to think about what you want, what you’re working toward, and the concrete steps that will take you there.

My strategy was simple, but again, I had the benefit of living at home with small bills to pay. What are you’re saving methods and strategies? The more we openly discuss the topic honestly with friends, the more we will all feel indebted to our future selves to save now for a more comfortable tomorrow. I’ve rounded up 8 stories of individuals who reached their $10,000+ savings goals, which are inspiring and helpful reads. Check them out below!

1. How I Saved $10,000 In 10 Months (At An Entry-Level Job)

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This article provides great insight into how one individual was able to save $10,000 in ten months while living in Los Angeles. The author, Derek, takes you through how he meticulously tracked everything, planned ahead, mapped out his strategy, and sacrificed where he could. His method is fairly straightforward — stop spending on stupid shit. However, it’s impressive nonetheless. Check it out!

2. How I Saved $10,000 In Six Months

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It only took Dena six months to save up $10,000, and she takes us through each of the methods and strategies she implemented to make it work. Dena graduated with nearly $50,000 in student loan debt and $10,000 in credit card debt, and she worked hard to make her life more financially healthy. As I was reading through the post, I realized how the right mindset can make all the difference, and I was reminded of the concept of minimalism. If you learn to live with (and desire) less, one’s #savingsjourney because much easier — cutting back doesn’t feel like an incredible sacrifice day-in and day-out. Go check out the article in-full on her site!

3. How I Turned $30 Into $10,000 In One Year

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This story is kind of nuts because author Sarah Knight explains that, “In 2015, I saved $10,000, quit my job, started a freelance business, and wrote a book.” *Long pause* DAMN. The author explains how she was able to stay focused on her goals, saying, “I had given myself a year to save the money to quit my job, and I took that $10,000 amount, divided it by 365 days, and came out with $27.40. That’s how much I would have to save every day to get where I wanted to be.” Read on to see how she accomplished her saving-$30-a-day goal, and what she cut out.

4. “The Year I Saved $10,000

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This author presents a different view of what it took to save up to $10,000. She describes the process as a hard and lonely journey, saying, “When I think of the year I saved $10,000, I know I did a very good thing and I was very glad to have the money when I needed it a few years later. I also think of being lonely. I probably could have figured out a way to save $10,000 without being lonely. I just didn’t figure it out that year.” I thought the article was a refreshing and honest portrayal of what it takes to reach a big goal, and the ripple effects that goal has on your entire lifestyle.

5. “How We Saved $10,000 In Just One Year”

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This one is a family-saving story, which I always find super impressive because of how many people have to be on board with said plan. In this article, Ginny (the mother), took a firm stance on family spending and helped to whip the family back into financial shape. She took action to rehab their credit, shrink their debt, and save money at the same time. What makes this story interesting to read through is that both parents are full-time freelancers, and reading about how they managed their budget, income, expenses, and bills was truly fascinating. Ginny provides some useful examples that can help anyone, not just families, take real steps to make a difference in their financial lives. Read on!

6. How I Saved $20K In Less Than Two Years

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In this story, the author saves way above the $10k mentioned in the title, but what an incredible accomplishment it is. *Cues feeling bad for self* In this article, Steph focuses on the need to build additional income in tandem with cutting spending, budgeting wisely, and creating a separate savings account. Steph shares her saving mindset, saying, “I didn’t strip my life to total austerity, because I don’t believe that will work. To go back to my diet analogy: if you completely starve yourself, you’re just going to end up binging later on. I still spent money, but much more conscientious about where it was going, and only on things that truly mattered to me.” It’s an inspiring story that’s definitely worth a read!

7. I Saved $10,000 For My Emergency Fund In Three Years

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A short-yet-sweet write-up of how one woman saved $10k for herself. In her blurb, she mentions getting her holiday bonus at Christmas time, and throwing a majority of it directly into savings. I can’t stress enough how impressive that is, because after a long year of hard work, it’s hella tempting to want to take that extra money and #treatyoself with it. In this case, doing the responsible thing was no easy feat, and I can imagine that watching the money get funneled away into savings was bittersweet. Be sure to check out some of the other interesting stories in the slideshow, too!

8. The Year We Saved $10K: Working Like An Animal

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The stories that appear in this article are responses to another one that appeared on the Billfold, about a woman who saved $10k. In this article, the individuals walk you through exactly how they saved money and earned more through a combination of side-hustle jobs and super-strict budgets. It’s interesting to read about what they did with the $10k they saved, which is not always what you’d expect.

Image via Unsplash

  • AN

    How I reached my 10k savings goal while paying out of pocket for my graduate degree: I donated my eggs. Twice. I’m trying not to let the extra income inflate my lifestyle so I just put a significant chunk of it in a high yield account and I’m trying to pretend it’s not there.

  • Belinda Bower

    I want to save 10K by the end of the year so this was a great read and I’m off to check out some of the links. I’m lucky that I have a good income and can save a substantial amount each month. The embarrassing thing is, I’m 42, and only just realising that I can.