The beginning of a new year is a great time to start (or restart) some productive financial habits that will save you money in the short and long term. It requires some serious effort, however, once you get it rolling, the easy maintenance – plus all the money you will save – make it worthwhile.
Below are five things you can start in January that will save you money all year.
1. Create a monthly budget.
Sticking to a monthly budget is one of the most important things you can do to live within your means. By tracking your spending each month, you can make smarter decisions. This can be easier said than done, but fortunately, many free budget apps can help you with this.
Some good examples include:
2. Set up a realistic savings program.
Do not worry if your budget does not allow many savings right now. The important thing is to make savings a regular habit because every little bit counts. When you take a long view, even saving a small amount consistently each month can add up to something significant at the end of each year.
3. Meal planning.
Creating a weekly or monthly meal plan can help you save money in many ways. You will eat out less frequently, buy only the groceries you need, reduce food waste, and make your grocery shopping more efficient and less costly by taking advantage of coupons. Read about other ways to cut your grocery bill with these grocery savings tips.
4. Track monthly spending to locate ways to save.
A good first step to creating a budget is tracking your monthly spending. So look closely at your bills. Besides your essentials, do you see anything you could cut? Do you subscribe to any entertainment services that you could eliminate? Can you drop cable television and use a cheaper, or free, streaming service? Are there any auto-pays for subscriptions you no longer want? Are you paying for a gym membership you rarely use? Because you could save that money and use free online workout videos instead.
5. Use more coupons.
If you are reading the Savings Blog, you may already be doing this. However, even so, are you maximizing your savings by getting all the coupons you can? Be sure to subscribe to the RedPlum savings newsletter on your profile to get valuable coupons, practical tips, and ideas all year long. Also, read some tips on organizing couponsto make saving as simple as possible.
Start the New Year in savings to form good budget habits for you or your family applying these tips each month. What other ways do you cut costs to save funds? Tell us on Facebook or Twitter using “#RedPlumSaves.”