Sticking to New Year “Save More” resolutions can be difficult, which is why you should start the New Year with a plan. Here are some ideas of how you can save money throughout the year:
Set a year-end goal
Look at your savings from the previous year and your current income/expenses to determine a goal for your savings this year. Make your goal challenging, yet realistic. At the end of each month, analyze how you are doing to reach your goal and determine if you need to make changes for the next month. For example, if you had an emergency expense come up in January and you couldn’t put money in your savings, determine what you can do in February to make up for it, such as passing on that new sweater.
Budget to the penny for maximum savings
Need budgeting advice? Check out Budgeting for the New Year.
Keep money in savings instead of checking
When you receive your paycheck, don’t just leave it in your checking account. It is much easier to spend when it is in your checking than when it is in savings. Keep as much as you will need for your expenses in checking and move the rest to your savings account. When you receive money that is not a normal paycheck, such as bonuses or tax refunds, put it straight in savings as well unless you really need it.
Set up auto transfers to savings
When you have your budget set and determine how much money you need for expenses each month, set up an auto transfer to your savings account. That way you force yourself to save a certain amount each month so you can stick to your goals, and you won’t accidentally spend the money that was supposed to be saved.
Eliminate/replace at least one unnecessary thing
Small purchases each day can really add up over a year. For example, if you purchase a $4 coffee 5 days a week, that is $20 per week on coffee. $20 per week times 52 weeks in a year equals $1,040 per year on coffee. Instead of running through the drive thru for your coffee each morning, find cheaper alternatives such as brewing coffee at home or using your workplace coffee machine if they have one.
Another example is soda. If you drink soda, consider eliminating it from your diet or reducing the amount you drink. Not only is that a healthy decision, but it will save you quite a bit of money. Grabbing fast food on your lunchbreak is another unnecessary expense that can be eliminated. Bring lunch from home and save dining out for the weekends.
Coupons and apps
Take advantage of coupons as often as you can. Also, sign up for local coupon sites such as CiSaves.com. You can also download apps that give you cashback for certain purchases such as ibotta and Walmart Savings Catcher.
Loose change jar
You might not use cash often with your wallet full of cards, but when you do use cash make sure to save any loose change possible. Start a jar at home that you can drop the change in when you receive it and see how much you end up with at the end of the year!
Of course, these are just a few of the possibilities for saving money in the New Year. We would love to hear your ideas as well! Comment below with your favorite money saving tips!