When it comes to new year’s resolutions, there’s one that’s high up on your list: saving money in the new year. You’ve already spent a huge amount on holiday gifts, and on that perfect dress or suit for all the parties and family gatherings, and now that 2018 is just around the corner, there’s only one thing on your mind. Save money. As much as possible.
But it can be a challenge to know where to start. Luckily, there are some great, easy ways to save money. Here’s how:
1 Create a budget
Although it can be painful and anxiety-inducing, the most important way of saving money is by creating a budget. Whether you’re saving up for the best tactical flashlight or a flight to Paris, by writing down the amount of money you want to save total, and then dividing it up throughout the year, you’ll be able to calculate a monthly, weekly, and daily budget for yourself. Make sure you’re on the conservative side so that if you go over one month, it won’t completely derail your budgeting plan.
2 Stop collecting–start selling
Another easy way to save money is by selling off some of your stuff. There are lots of success stories of people who’ve made a lot of money from the eCommerce business, so if you choose to get creative (for example, selling rare records or VHS tapes to huge fans), you can make a lot of unexpected income. But it’s also a great idea to get rid of a few things no matter what: by living a simpler, less object-oriented lifestyle, you’ll spend more money on experiences and less on the things you collect and never use.
3 Be smart about your savings accounts
The minute you receive your paycheck, it’s smart to move some money over to your savings account. But as the money starts to run out, it can be easy to want to dip into your savings. So how do you keep yourself from falling into that habit? One idea is to name your savings accounts–for example “Trip to Paris” or “Savings for Rent Next Year.” That way, anytime you’re taking money out, you know exactly what you’ll be missing out on in the future. Another tip is to put your savings into a different bank account entirely so that it’s a lot more work to move money from your savings to your checkings account.
4 Get a cashback rewards card
Another smart way to save some money is by getting a cashback rewards card. It’s the easiest way to earn rewards, because every time you spend some money on one of these cards, you’ll get some cash back. However, not all cards are created equal–so make sure to check out this list from US News on the best cash back cards out now.
5 Make a weekly “money date”
In addition to setting up a budget, and moving money into savings when you’re supposed to, it’s also a smart idea to check into your spending habits regularly. Once a week, you’ll want to schedule in some time just to take a look at how you’ve spent your money that week, and what kinds of changes you want to make in the next week. Make sure make an actual appointment in your schedule, and consider doing this activity with your partner or roommates–otherwise, it can be tempting to skip it.
6 Eat at home
Considering that there are so many delivery apps now, and plenty of restaurants that stay open until late hours making food for clients, it can be tempting to eat out all the time. The same goes for an office culture where everyone goes out for lunch. But did you know that average American household spends over $3,000 on eating out every year? So it’s a habit you have to break. Look up some affordable recipes online, and make sure you cook in bulk so that it’s easy to have leftovers to take to work the next day.
7 Use the 24 hour rule
Think of all the impulsive spending decisions you’ve made, especially with items that you never ended up using. Probably you’ve wondered: How could I have made that decision? Well, it’s only natural to act impulsively, but there is an easy way to avoid it. Anytime you’re considering making a purchase, use the 24 hour rule: wait 24 hours, and see if you still want to buy it the next day.
Whether you’re looking to save money for yourself personally, or you’re looking to save money as a company that needs to focus on spending more on inside sales recruitment strategies and less on other costs, you’re definitely going to make some big savings with these hacks.
What strategies do you use to save money? Are there any that have been the most effective for you?