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How to save $1,000 without really trying

Oct. 28, 2015 CNN Money

We can all use a little more cash in the bank. And if finding a higher-paying job or winning the lottery isn’t in the cards for you right now, you’ll need to do more with what you’ve got.

Say you want to save $1,000. That’s about $84 a month, an amount experts said is doable for most of us.

It just takes a little planning and some small habit changes.

“There are opportunities in most people’s budgets and lifestyles to find that type of savings,” said Dave Abate, a certified financial planner with Strategic Wealth Partners in Ohio.

Start with reviewing what you’re spending every month, and find places to shed some costs that you might not even need. Most people have a least some bloat in their budgets.

“A lot of times people don’t realize how much they spend on things they don’t want or need … it’s just a reflex,” said Jean Wilczynski, an investment adviser at Exencial Wealth Advisors in Connecticut.

Here are five moves money experts said can bring significant savings:

1. Trim your monthly bills
Too many people pay monthly bills without knowing exactly what they’re being charged for, according to Kelsa Dickey, founder of financial coaching firm Fiscal Fitness.

She said people often pay for more services like phone, internet, cable or even utilities than they need, or pay extra for a device they don’t use or a protection service that isn’t worth the money.

Re-evaluate what you need and aim to only pay for services you actively use. For example, how often do you use your landline phone? How much data are you using on your smartphone?

2. Eat in more than out
This might seem like an obvious move, but experts identified dining out as a top budget eater that people underestimate.

J.J. Montanaro, a certified financial planner with USAA, suggested paring down your dining out habits. “Cut back. That will tend to avoid a binge,” he said.

If going out sets you back $60 while making a meal at home costs $30, shifting just three meals a month will get you the savings you want.

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