Resolutions require determination and willpower. And it’s important to see the small things that make up the bigger picture. With the small things you have achievable goals to aim at, and benchmarks to see progress. Once you see progress it’s motivational to keep going. Financial resolutions lend themselves very well to being broken into smaller goals. Here’s how to stick to your resolution of saving money and achieve success.
1. Cancel Unnecessary Memberships and Subscriptions
Still paying for gym membership when you haven't actually bothered going there for months? Cancel it and take up jogging or a home workout instead - it's free! And while you're at it, why not cancel cable and watch all TV and movies by using free streaming or low-cost streaming services?
2. Unsubscribe from Advertising and Promotional Emails
Remove the temptation of impulse buying. It takes seconds to unsubscribe from promotional newsletters and stores' email lists.
3. Start Understanding Basic Finance Rules
What's the difference between good and bad debt, credit and debit? Do you know what budgeting and cash flow mean, or profit and loss? Start learning the basics of managing money and you'll finally gain control of your finances. Many banks offer free advice packages they aim at entrepreneurs and those hoping to start their own business but are equally useful for anyone wanting to get a handle on their personal finances. You can download this information for free, including useful spreadsheets for forecasting your cash flow over a period of time.
4. Stop Buying Takeouts and Cook at Home
Supermarket bought ready meals and take-outs cost hugely more than making a basic, but delicious meal from scratch at home. Use takeouts as a special occasion treat and clear your schedule to make time for home-cooking at breakfast and dinner. Take home-made sandwiches or lunchbox food to work instead of buying expensive snacks and sandwiches.
5. Make Banks Work for You
Instead of paying your monthly paycheck into an ordinary current or check account, open a high-yield savings account and pay your regular paycheck into that. It doesn't matter if the interest earned is only a few dollars - it all counts and helps to stimulate your financial common sense.
6. Be a Creative Saver
Our grandparents knew how to be frugal and thrifty. You can squirrel money away into savings by simply changing a few routines. Swap store-bought cleaning and beauty products for home-made ones. For example, cook at home with a slow cooker that saves on electricity usage, wear an extra sweater instead of turning up the thermostat on your radiator, and buy more second-hand stuff instead of new. It all helps to keep the cents and dollars in your bank account.
7. Living Frugally Can Be Quite Sexy and Romantic!
Just because you're trying to save money doesn't mean you can't have quality time together. Cooking a meal together and eating it by candlelight or picnicking under the stars with stuff you prepared at home will crank up your credit rating with your bank AND your beloved at the same time.
8. It's the Thought That Counts when It Comes to Gifts
Special occasions like birthdays, wedding anniversaries and the Holidays can be a headache on the money front. But you can be frugal and thoughtful, and still make somebody smile. Make something yourself that is affordable and meaningful, or if you're not creative enough to do that, trawl flea markets, charity and second-hand stores for stuff your loved one has been longing for: out-of-print books, rare records, vintage comics...there are lots of things that are meaningful but don't cost an arm and a leg.
9. Set up Automated Recurring Transactions for Savings
It doesn't matter if you can only afford to stash away $2 a week or $20 per month, consistent saving will leave you with a nest egg and rainy day fund in the end. Setting up automated recurring transactions from your checking account to make deposits into your savings account means you have no opportunity to spend this particular amount of money. Out of sight, out of mind, as the old adage goes.
10. Stop Being Wasteful
The average US citizen spends a staggering $1,000+ on coffee alone each year - that's your latte bought at the corner coffee shop, not the delicious stuff you can cold brew at home. Buy your own quality ground coffee and relevant container or coffeemaker and invest a little time and water. Now you've got great coffee you can pour into a Thermos flask and take to work with you at a fraction of the price you've paid all these years every single day.
The good thing about money as a resolution is that it is tangible. You can see savings grow or you can have more money to spend. Find a way to track your progress that will put a smile on your face. Make a budget on a spreadsheet or download an app and then you’ll easily see just how successful you’ve been when 2019 comes to an end. Is saving money one of your 2019 New Year’s Resolutions?