New Year’s Financial Resolution Ideas That Will Save You Money With Little Effort
Every year, most people make some kind of New Year’s resolution. Some of the resolutions help people grow personally, while others are made to help people end up better financially.
The problem is when you set a lofty goal without a plan for how you’re going to accomplish the resolution. Large goals are harder to stick with and easier to become discouraged with.
This is why I’m recommending smaller New Year’s resolutions, specifically small changes you can make in your life that will save you money. Small changes done over time will equate to huge habit changes that become ingrained.
No more falling off the wagon! This year, resolve to set your finances on the right track. These 10 New Year’s savings resolutions will give you ideas on ways to easily save money.
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1. Go Through Junk
The first thing you can do is go through old junk. 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.
If it’s something that would qualify as a hobby, you can try to sell it to specific stores that deal with those types of items. Other items can be posted on social media marketplaces.
Pretty much if you price it right, it will sell. If all else fails, you could try having a garage sale!
2. Set Up a Budget
It might not seem like it would save a lot of money, but another great way to save money is to set up a budget and stick to it. Seriously, you’ll feel like you’ve been given a raise once you tell each dollar where to go!
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.
Worry about the things that are important first, like the rent or utilities. Take care of your “4 walls” first – housing, food, water, and electricity. Next, plan out your expenses for other necessities like basic clothing and gas.
Everything else can be divvied up to savings, sinking funds, and other categories specific to your needs. It takes around 3-4 months for someone new to budgeting to find their groove so don’t be discouraged if you keep having to tweak your categories and dollar amounts frequently.
3. Make Extra Payments
If you happen to have some extra money left over every month, you could try making extra payments on bills. This includes bills like your mortgage or car payments.
The type of bill will decide what result this will have. For example, pay extra on the mortgage will cause you to pay it off earlier, saving you THOUSANDS in interest.
Pre-paying extra on the electric bill will let you have some months where you don’t have to worry about that bill. This can be helpful evening out the monthly bill if you live in an area with large temperature changes.
Calculate which bills have the greatest savings and pay as much extra towards them as you can. It might seem like a large amount now, but it will pay off in the end.
4. Cook At Home More
While eating out is very easy and convenient, it can quickly add up. This is especially true if you’re using restaurants multiple times a week or day.
Who hasn’t picked up a coffee in the morning, gone out to lunch with friends, and then met coworkers for a happy hour? This can equate to $40 or more for one day’s worth of food.
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.
This will make it so you can throw everything together and let it cook. For even additional savings, look into batch cooking freezer meals to never be out of dinners.
5. Add More To Your Retirement
Another thing you could do is add more to your retirement. Even if it’s only a few dollars out of each check, it’s more than what you’re already putting in.
You could also see if your employer has a matching program and try to at least hit that amount. You might have to put in a certain percentage of your pay, but that would be a 100% return on your money immediately.
While potentially financially uncomfortable now, this will help you out in the future. You’ll be able to retire with more money than you would have if you didn’t add that extra amount every check.
It’ll be a nice little nest egg that you can count on during retirement. You don’t want to be part of the 15% of Americans who have no retirement savings at all.
6. Minimize Your Debt
A life without debt means that you get to decide where your money goes as opposed to the majority of your paycheck being sent to payments.
If you have a large amount of debt, I recommend focusing on the smallest debt. Throwing any money you can find at the smallest debt will get rid of it quickly.
The sooner you pay them off, the sooner you’ll have one less bill to worry about. If you’re in a couple, this financial peace program is great for getting couples on the same page regarding debt payoff.
Keep in mind, some places have a penalty for paying early, so you want to make sure you see what those penalties are. For all your debts you’ll want to make sure you pay at least the minimum payment.
If you’re behind on your bills, your resolution can be to get caught up with behind bills first before continuing with debt payoff.
7. Learn New Skills
This is one of those resolutions that can help you out financially and personally. Not only will you get enjoyment and enrichment from being able to do a new skill, but you can end up making money by using that skill.
It might take a little while to get good enough to actually make money, but you’ll be able to practice the skill while doing what you love.
With so many different skills out there, you should be able to easily find something that you enjoy that you can end up making money from.
If you’re having trouble coming up with a skill to focus on, look at the current things you like to do and calculate what the earnings prospect is.
8. Minimize Car Use
Minimizing car use is easiest for those that live in bigger cities where public transportation and pedestrian accommodations are abundant.
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.
Bus passes, carpooling, and bicycling are great options that save money. Often times, this is much more cost-effective than using your car every day.
9. 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.
If you aren’t using it or absolutely need it, then you don’t have to spend the money on it. You can test this out first by not using video streaming for a month and then canceling the subscription if you didn’t miss using it.
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.
10. Start An Emergency Fund
I recommend that everyone has an emergency fund of 3-6 months of bare-bones expenses. If you don’t have one yet, the new year is the perfect time to start saving up for one.
An emergency fund can cover emergency car repairs, patching a leaking roof, or the sudden loss of a job. It offers peace of mind that you don’t need to stress about money whenever a financial hiccup occurs.
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! Joining a savings challenge is a great way to build up savings momentum.
Overview Of Financial Resolutions
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.
As you can see, these New Year’s resolutions will help you get into a better financial situation. You’ll end up saving money, as well as doing things that will improve your life.
If you’ve been looking for New Year’s resolutions that will actually help you in your life and are achievable, then give these financial resolutions a try!
Let me know in the comments what your New Year’s resolution is this year.
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