With the new year upon us, resolve to save more. The following tips are easy and will help you stick to your resolution the whole year.
1. Cut out things you don’t need. Save your receipts for a month or two, and see where your money is going. You can also make a spreadsheet, adding in your monthly bills. Then, eliminate things you won’t miss like magazines you subscribe to and barely read and gym memberships you don’t use. Additionally, swap out activities like going to the movies with renting ones at home. Preparing meals at home rather than eating out can help, too.
2. Pay yourself first. Once you determine where your money is going, treat savings like an additional bill each month. Can you afford an extra $50, for example, that you “pay” yourself each month? If so, have this money automatically put into your savings account each month. Money you don’t see is hard to spend. Make sure that you are taking advantage of employer matching on your 401(k) plan.
3. Avoid credit card debt and late fees. Pay your credit card off every month or be sure to make more than the minimum payment. Pay your bills on time to avoid late fees and damage to your credit score.
4. Make sure your car is tuned-up. Keeping up with repairs and slowing down on the road improves your gas mileage.
5. Be environmentally friendly. Helping the earth can also put more money in your wallet in the long run. Start by replacing incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescents and installing a programmable thermostat.