The seasons turn once more, and we joyfully welcome in a new year. A sign for a reset in our lives, the start of a new year is a great time to examine your finances and discover new ways to save. It is never too late to reconsider your financial habits. Whether you have already built strong savings habits or are new to the practice of saving, you can always improve your financial game. Read on for some ways that you can save more money in the new year.
1. Keep a Budget
Keeping a budget is the simplest way to improve your savings habits. By following a budget, you can make sure that you always have enough money to contribute to your savings. When money is tight, you can lean on your budget to help allocate your spending in the right direction. A little less here and a little more there enables you to save money even when finances are tough.
And budgeting doesn’t need to be difficult. You can come up with your own budget or follow the method or budgeting app that you prefer. You can learn all about how to budget in our Comprehensive Budgeting article and explore budgeting tools at our financial learning partner Banzai. The Banzai Budgeting Coach can help you analyze your expenses so that you can save more effectively.
Getting started with a budget doesn’t need to be difficult. We partner with Banzai Financial Education to give you free access to financial education resources so you can be confident when working with money. The Banzai Budget Calculator can help you start budgeting easily.
2. Automate and Improve Existing Savings
Automating your savings can help you hit your goals without fail. One of the main struggles of saving money is making that consistent deposit. Rather than spending the mental energy to save, you can set up an automatic transfer into your savings account to make sure that your money is transferred consistently and punctually. This automation takes both the work and the choice out of saving, making it easier to contribute to your savings even when you aren’t enthusiastic about it.
The money that you have already set aside as savings can be made to help you earn more. You can move the cash that is sitting in a low-interest savings or checking account can be moved to a high-yield CD, earning you more interest per dollar. While the difference between a few percentage points might not seem significant, it can make a real difference after a few years of accumulation.
If you have money stashed away for long term savings, opening a CD account can help those savings appreciate over the years. Make sure you have enough money and credit on hand, because once you lock your money into a CD it can be costly to withdraw it before the CD reaches maturity.
3. Earn Extra Cash
Another helpful way to save more money is to make more money. Bringing in extra cash can help ease your budget and make it possible to contribute more to your savings. There are many ways that you can grow your income. Try asking for a raise or extra hours at your workplace or taking on odd jobs in your free time. If you have the skills, you can make some extra dollars by tutoring, dog walking, writing, yard maintenance, or crafting.
4. Reconsider Your Expenses
The many expenses of life creep up on us throughout the year. You can save money this year by reducing some of your renewing expenses. Try shopping around for deals on utilities, such as your internet provider, or purging superfluous subscriptions services. If you have multiple subscriptions to online streaming platforms, try reducing them down to one a month and rotating them as you grow bored with each selection. This helps keep your TV content interesting without the large price tag.
5. Reduce Food Bills
Reducing your spending on food is a classic way to save more money. While the winter weather makes it more difficult to get fresh veggies to eat, there are still ways to minimize those grocery bills. Buying less processed foods like snacks, drinks, and sweets will help save a few dollars each trip, and a focus on purchasing more whole foods such as vegetables, beans, and grains will stretch your money further. If you have a knack for cooking, you can shop for deals on cuts of meat and repurpose the bones to turn them into stock later. Making stock is incredibly easy, and minimally processed meat is always a better deal than the deboned variety. And as always, the best way to improve your savings on food is to spend less at restaurants and bars.
Even if saving is new to you, the new year is a great opportunity to change old financial habits. There are many benefits to saving money. It can be a cushion to protect you during emergencies, or seed money to buy a home. Investing in your future is one of the best investments you can make. Whatever your goals are in the new year, saving money is a great way to reach them.