Your New Year's Resolution: Save More Money
Are you planning on a New Year's resolution to start saving more money in the new year?
Like any resolution, unless you take some action, nothing will ever change. For example, if your New Year's resolution is to lose weight, you WILL have to change a few eating habits and/or exercise regularly. If your goal is to quit smoking, then you WILL need to make an honest effort to stop smoking.
The Key to Your Success
The key to making your resolution become a reality is to set a goal. In other words, what do you want the extra money for? Are you saving for a new car stereo system? What about a family trip to Las Vegas?
Point is, when you have something to strive for, saving money becomes 10 times easier. This goal is something you really want, so you will do what is necessary to be successful.
Once you have a tangible goal to work toward, establish an amount you will need to reach. Or how much is your goal going to cost?
- A new car stereo system – $200 to $700, depending on quality.
- A trip to Vegas – $350 to $1800, depending on distance/hotel/gambling habits.
Start off just a week at a time. Decide how much you need to save per week in order to reach your goal. Use these tips to help save money each and every week:
1. Avoid Eating Out
This may be your No. 1 money saver depending on how often you dine out. Trips to restaurants and fast food joints can quickly add up to be an expensive bill. Try and limit your outings to once a week, or better yet, once a month. On other days, pack a lunch or cook at home. Not only will you find yourself saving money, but you'll be eating healthier at the same time.
2. Adopt the "Do I REALLY Need This?" Approach
Before you purchase ANYTHING, ask yourself if you really, truly need to have it. Whenever you are tempted to buy something, ask yourself "Do I REALLY NEED this new item, or do I just WANT it?" You may be surprised to learn that some of the purchases you make, you simply WANT to have and can probably get by without (at least for now).
3. Put a Limit on Entertainment Costs
Who's to say that you need to spend $150 every time you have a night on the town? There are a number of activities that don't cost much like miniature golf, bowling, movies, picnics, camping, museums, scenic spots, local college sporting events, city parks, beaches/rivers/lakes, and the list goes on and on. Point is, be creative and have fun without spending all your hard-earned money.
4. Don't Let the Kids Have Free Money
How often do you find your children saying, "Mom/Dad, let me have a few bucks!" Many of us don't mind, or sometimes we are too busy at the time to put up an argument. Regardless, this will cut into your savings potential, and delay you from achieving your goal.
Instead of just giving your children money, make them earn it. Teach them the value of money, and they will soon learn not to spend their money haphazardly since it does not "grow on trees."
5. Stash Your Savings in a Special Place
Don't forget to do this! You wouldn't want to spend the money that you've worked so hard to save. Designate a special container for your savings where all the extra money can be put. As they say, "Out of sight, out of mind," right? Maybe even a specially-designated bank account to take the risk of spending out of the picture.
NOTE: Take extra special care in where you keep your container and who you tell about it. This is your personal goal, so there is no reason the whole world has to know, right?
These are only a few money saving tips you can implement into your day-to-day routines. Keep in mind though, these aren't your only possibilities to help put some extra money in your pocket, but they are some of the easiest to implement into your daily life.
Take time to reflect on your current situation. Analyze your expenses to see where you might be able to cut back to save more money. Remember, you and only you control the amount of money you save this year.
You'll find that when you set a goal that is important to you, saving money is really not that hard. If it is important to you, then you will make the small sacrifices to accomplish that goal.
Best of luck in attaining your New Year's money-saving goal!