The New Year allows for a fresh start and when it comes to saving money that’s just what many of us need. The holidays are a time when many of us let loose and spend more than we meant to. That’s why New Year’s is a great time to make a resolution to start saving money. Whether you choose to do a no-spend month or commit to a savings plan, you can make New Year’s resolutions to help you save money.
Choose to Have a No-Spend Month
A no-spend month isn’t exactly what it sounds like. Obviously, you will still need to buy gas for your car, milk and bread, etc. What is really means is that you’re not going to spend money that you don’t need to spend. Instead of buying lots of groceries, you’re going to eat what you have on hand. Instead of going to the movies, you’re going to utilize your Netflix subscription. You’re also not going to buy those things you love to spend money on, such as clothing, craft supplies, makeup, etc. You’re going to use the things you have on hand. Not spending money on these things for one month is going to give you a lot more money than you expected at the end of the month. Put that money in savings or use it to pay down debt.
Now, you may be wondering how getting organized can save you money. The truth is that when you’re organized, you’ll save a lot of money. This is because you can actually find the items you own. For example, instead of having a messy pantry in which you’re constantly tossing items in the trash, organize it. Once it’s organized, you can see what you have on hand and eat it before it expires. The same goes for your closet. Once your closet is organized, it’s much easier to find the pieces you want to wear.
Commit to a Savings Plan
There are so many savings plans to choose from. However, one of the most popular is the 52-Week Savings Plan. The way this plan works is that you save $1 during the first week, $2 the second week, and so on until you put away $52 the last week of the year. It’s not only simple, but eases you into saving money.
Create a Sound Budget
Probably the most important resolution you can make to save money is to create a budget. Many people go a bit crazy and think they can do a budget that leaves little room for error. Don’t do this. You want a budget that gives you wiggle room and is realistic. This means that you want to track your family’s expenses for at least two months before you create your budget. This will give you a better idea of where your money goes each month. Write down every penny spent. At the end of the month, create categories, such as groceries, automotive, entertainment, household, etc. Choose categories that work for your family. LearnVest has an excellent article on breaking your budget into 50/20/30 percentages. However, this method isn’t for everyone. Some choose to break down their budget into even smaller percentages.
These are just a few of the top New Year’s resolutions to help you save money. Sometimes it’s as simple as cutting back on your spending or choosing to eat at home more often. Think about the areas where you have problems and address those problems. Let this year be the one where you finally get your finances in order.