It is halfway through the first month of the year and I know most of us have planned out our New Year’s resolutions. I know that most of these resolutions involve saving money aside from health resolutions.
Don’t fret, great things start from small beginnings. Take one small step at a time to reach your financial goals. Here are some effective ways that I have found true and tested.
Cut Down Non-Necessities
It’s obvious that down on non-necessities saves money. This can include things that you don’t really need, like a subscription service, or something that you don’t really use, like a gym membership. On the other hand, life insurance with no medical exam is a necessity.
Sit down and make a list of the non-necessities that you currently have, then go through and see what you can do without. You’d be surprised how much you’ll save per year after you tally up the recurring charges. If you aren’t using it or absolutely need it, then you don’t have to spend the money on it.
Go Through Your Stuff
Most of us have a lot of random items sitting around that we don’t really use. Instead of leaving them to take up space, go through them and see if you can sell them. It might take a little while to get someone to buy it, but there’s a pretty high chance that it will get sold. Pretty much if you price it right, it will sell. If all else fails, you could try having a garage sale!
Make Your Budget
There isn’t really a one size fits all budget since everyone has different situations, but you should sit down and make a budget that works best for you. You’ll want to write down every bill you have and how much each one is. This will give you a good idea of exactly how much of your money is going out.
Tackle the things that are important first, like the rent or utilities. Take care of housing, food, water, and electricity, next plan out your expenses for other necessities like basic clothing and gas. Everything else can be divided up into savings, sinking funds, and other categories specific to your needs.
Cook At Home More
By preparing food and drinks at home, you’ll end up saving more money in the long run. A second bonus is that homecooked meals are generally healthier so there could be a weight benefit. Score! Two resolutions in one. This might seem like a hurdle, but there are quite a few things you can do to make it easier. An example would be writing out a meal plan, then buying and prepping all the ingredients beforehand.
Minimize Car Use
If you can walk, you’ll have fewer costs associated with your car and the upkeep of it. This includes things like gas prices, insurance costs, and costs to keep the car running. Minimizing car use is easiest for those that live in bigger cities where public transportation and pedestrian accommodations are abundant. Bus passes, carpooling, and bicycling are great options that save money. Oftentimes, this is much more cost-effective than using your car every day. And if ever walking will be an option, remember that it is healthy as well!
Money stress is a large part of people’s lives but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporating small financial changes can have a long-term positive impact on your savings. Even if you only save a few dollars at a time, you’ll end up having a little cushion that’ll help you when these things end up happening!