A new year means new resolutions, new hopes, and new goals. Many times, it involves improving personal finances and saving more money. It's very easy to fail to live up to your financial goals without good habits and a solid money-management plan.
And before you know it, you are no closer to saving money than when you started. But it does not mean that it's impossible to do that. With a few changes to your everyday habits, you might dig up some lasting improvements.
Here's how you can establish good habits of saving more money and work your way towards financial freedom.
Repay Costly Debts
Most people these days have debts; some are small, others are huge. Our debt can incur for many reasons, but the most common is the need for money. Most people want to pay off their debts as soon as possible to feel relieved of this burden. There are a few different ways to go about this, but the most efficient way is to repay your costly debts first.
When you have several debts, it can be tempting to pay off the small ones so that you can check that task off of your list and feel good about yourself.
However, if your small debts are costing you less in interest and penalties than your larger ones, then it makes more sense to pay the costly debts first because you'll be saving yourself more money in the long run by getting rid of the high-interest debts.
Keep Track of Your Spending
It's easy to lose track of your spending if you're not careful. One way to stay on top of your bills and avoid having money problems is by tracking everything you spend. While it may seem like a tedious task, it will pay off.
You can easily track your spending and be more conscious of the money just by using an app. Keeping all receipts is also a great way to keep track because it's easy to forget little things such as late fees or additional charges when everything is in one place.
You might be wondering how much money you can save by tracking your expenses. The answer: a lot! For example, if you're someone who spends $50 per week on groceries, you could potentially shave off $200 per month by being more mindful of what you purchase. That's $2400 over a year!
That's not to mention the other ways you can save by being conscious of what you spend, such as avoiding overdraft fees or not having to pay late charges on your bills.
Set A Budget and Stick to It
We all want to save as much as possible. However, it's not always easy if we're not sure how to go about it. One of the best ways to start saving is by setting a budget and sticking to it.
When you set a budget, you're deciding how much money you're going to spend each month on different things, which may include everything from bills to groceries to entertainment. Once you know how much money you have to work with each month, you can start making decisions about what's important to you and what's not.
The key to sticking to your budget is being disciplined and knowing your limits. If you know you can't afford to spend $200 on groceries each month, then don't. Try to stick to a budget that's realistic for you and your lifestyle.
Also, it would be best to set a separate budget for the holiday season so that it won't stretch and interfere with your monthly budget. See CreditNinja's holiday budgeting tips to save money.
Get A Side Job
A side job is a great way to make extra money. You can use the extra money to pay off debt, save for retirement, or save for a rainy day. It's also an excellent tool to build your resume and get experience in your chosen field.
Some side jobs include: working at a retail store, tutoring students, and delivering restaurant food. If you are looking for a side job, be sure to check out websites like Indeed.com and Craigslist.org.
To Wrap Things Up
To make your money work for you, sometimes you have to make a few sacrifices. Think about what you can live without and what you need.
And this could mean giving up on going out to eat as often, downgrading your cell phone data, or cutting back on entertainment expenses. Whatever you decide to give up, know that it's worth it in the end! You can set yourself up for a more comfortable future by making small changes now.
Josh founded Money Buffalo in 2015 to help people get out of debt and make smart financial decisions. He is currently a full-time personal finance writer with work featured in Forbes Advisor, Fox Business, and Credible.