I don't know about you, but I feel like I could have saved a little (okay, a lot) more this year than I did. So I chatted up an money manager friend (that's her actual job), and she gave me some advice on how I could save more in 2017, without drastically changing my lifestyle.
1. Turn off the TV
Do you actually ever watch TV? Or do you tend to just grab your tablet and stream Netflix (and chill)? If so, cancel your cable subscription and save more than $100 a month... that's at least $1,200 a year you could save!
2. The Meal Deal
Rather than eating out every night, and every lunch, alternate each day. One day, eat lunch out, but eat dinner in. The next day, brown-bag your lunch, but order takeout or dine out.
3. Sell Your Stuff
When you spring clean this year, get rid of everything you didn't wear or use in 2016. Make two piles: the stuff to donate to charity, and the stuff to sell, on eBay, Etsy, or craigslist.
4. Shop Thrifty
If you haven't ever shopped in a thrift store, give it a go in 2017! Make a list of a few items you know you need - white blouse, pin-stripe pants, blue cardi - then try to find them at the thrift store before you head to the mall.
5. Become a Brewmaster
I'm not talking beer! I mean coffee. Brewing your own coffee at home is a lot less expensive than your daily Starbucks, and you stand to save at least $20 a week... times 52 weeks... that's more than a thousand dollars a year!
6. Try the Store Brand
There are some things you just can't skimp on (mascara and tea, for two), but other things are just as good generic or off-brand as they are a pricier label. Try the store brand at the grocery store and the drugstore, and you could really save!
7. Keep the Change
No, really. Rather than just leaving your small change behind as a tip, or adding it to those "need one, take one" jars, save your pennies (and nickels and dimes). It adds up fast! In 2016, I saved more than $900 in small change alone (not including quarters).
8. Buy the Food You'll Actually Eat
I hate thinking about how much fresh food, especially produce, I throw away because it spoils before I can eat it. I meant well when I bought those bananas, I swear! Only but the groceries you know you'll eat - and I promise that rather than buying that big bunch of bananas, I'll only buy two.
9. But Buy in Bulk
When you can, though, try buying in bulk. For instance, you know you'll use all those rolls of tissue paper, so why not save a little cash by buying 56 rolls at once, rather than 12?
None of these ways to save will make you feel the pinch, but together, they can make a huge difference! How do you plan to save in 2017?