As the year draws to a close, we inevitably reflect on the year that has just passed and resolve that the next one will be better in so many ways. Unfortunately, we often give up before we begin, so this year, write your New Year’s resolutions down and put your list up where you will see it every day.
This year, your New Year’s resolutions are going to include some very important ones, and if you stick to them, you could save thousands. Hold onto this thought to keep you motivated!
1. Shop Smarter
Convenience and impulse shopping always cost you more. If you strategize your shopping cleverly, you can and will save thousands on this resolution alone. A few ideas:
- Hoard coupons whenever you can get them
- Always comparison shop, even when buying small items. If you’re alert, you’ll probably find that fresh produce is cheaper at one store, while household goods are cheaper at another
- Use discounted gift cards when shopping
- Wait for seasonal sales when shopping for clothes
- Do you need new clothes every year? You shouldn’t! Choose good quality and go for timeless styles
- Do your year’s Christmas shopping early in the New Year to get big discounts
- Investigate bulk buying
2. Become One of the 32% That Actually Budget
The majority of Americans still don’t have a monthly household budget. Budgeting makes you aware of where your money goes and helps you look for opportunities to save hundreds of dollars. If you aren’t budgeting yet, this is the year to begin!
3. Stick to Your Limits
If you’re an organized person and can track your expenditure carefully, by all means put as much as you can on your credit card, settle before the due date and get rewards points. However, if you’re like the rest of us, draw cash for the week, and don’t spend a cent more than that if you can possibly help it.
4. Use Your Diary Effectively
There are apps for everything these days, but not everyone finds it convenient having information in several places. If you’ve used budget tracking apps without success before, it’s time to put your diary to work!
- Record your spending every single day.
- Note “little luxuries” – sure you deserve some, but if you’re spoiling yourself rotten, you need to know where to put on the brakes.
- Record everything else you want to be mindful of in the same place: exercise, eating habits and to-do lists.
5. Start Saving OR Pay Down Debt If You Have Any
If you don’t have debt, congratulations! Now it’s time to start your emergency fund savings so you don’t get into debt when unexpected events hit your budget.
If you have debt, you’ll probably save more money by putting any extra cash you can spare into your debt to save interest. Even a few extra dollars every month can save you a significant amount of interest.
Most of us have a few unhealthy habits that cost us money while destroying our health. If you take the health benefits of quitting (and what it would cost if you got ill) plus the face value of the item, you’re saving big time when you:
- Quit smoking
- Quit alcohol
- Quit sugary sodas
- Quit using your car when you could walk
There are also healthy habits that cost more than they need to. If you have a gym subscription, consider ditching it and working out at home. You can do incredible things with ordinary body weight based exercises – no expensive equipment needed – and it takes just 20 minutes a day. You save on health care and gym fees!
7. Spend More Time in the Kitchen
Healthy homemade food is cheaper than processed food or fast food. Not only will you save on your monthly food bill, you’ll also stay healthier and save on medical bills.
And if you have a few pounds to shed, just switching to food made from scratch could help you lose that extra weight, avoiding health-risks like diabetes that will cost you money and take years off your life-expectancy.
8. Plan Meals and Snacks
Put an end to food waste by actually planning your breakfasts, lunches, and dinners as well as your snacks. That way, you won’t buy more than you need or buy something just because it looks nice and never get around to using it. If you can save just $20 a week, you will have saved over $1,000 by the end of the year.
9. Check Your Insurance Costs
What have you insured, and how much it is costing you? You’ll be surprised to know how many people are over-insured. There are policies that you really need, but if you can get similar cover elsewhere, ask your insurers for a better deal. If they won’t match the prices you found elsewhere, switch to the lower-priced insurer.
10. Cancel Your Cable
If you really need all that entertainment, switch to streaming, but chances are you’d spend more quality time with your family if you watch fewer movies and TV. If you don’t mind watching older movies, there are some real classics available free on YouTube.
Too much too soon?
If only two or three of these apply to you, picking your New Year’s resolutions will be easy, but if your mind is boggling at the thought of trying to ring all these changes at once, chill out! Pick the ones that will save you the most money, and take it a bit at a time.
Happy New Year, and happy 2018 savings!
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