If you’re looking for ways to spend less and save more this upcoming year, here are four goals that can be achieved over the next few weeks.
1.) Take inventory of what you have in your house, sell what you don’t use, and then put the money into your savings account.
Do you have a treadmill that works perfectly fine, but is collecting dust in your basement? Do you have a cookware set that never came out of the original box? Do you have clothing items that you’ll never wear, but they still have the tags on them?
There are many places online to buy and sell new or gently used items, and if you have items in your home that you bought or received as a gift, but you never (or hardly) used them, you could make a few hundred extra dollars by selling them online.
The money you make should go into your savings account, or it can be put into a separate fund to go toward a specific future need (such as saving up for a new kitchen appliance, a car, etc.). It’s good to do this every couple of months, as there are probably more unused items in your house than you’re aware of!
2.) Decrease how much you’re spending on monthly bills by getting rid of unused subscriptions.
While most people have streaming apps that they use regularly, such as Netflix and Spotify, many people have other monthly subscriptions that they don’t need or hardly even use.
For example, if you have monthly subscriptions for supplements, magazines, makeup samples, athletic wear, and the like, it’s important to assess if you actually use those things regularly.
If the supplements get thrown into a drawer every month, or you have numerous pairs of workout apparel that you haven’t worn, this is a perfect opportunity to take back your hard-earned money.
It’s easy to think that these subscriptions don’t make a large dent in your budget, but even if you have three subscriptions that you don’t use, and one is $25 a month, one is $15 a month, and the other is $10, that’s $50 a month that could be put toward things that you actually need — such as groceries, gas, and other necessities.
Remember: Saving money will help you reach your long-term financial goals a lot faster!
3.) Decrease how much you’re spending on utilities and insurance services by bundling.
If you pay for internet and cable in your home, call your provider to ask about bundling to save money. If they don’t offer that, look at other service providers to see if they can offer you a better deal.
Also, if you pay for car insurance, home insurance, and life insurance, most insurance companies offer bundling discounts. Again, if you ask your insurance company and they don’t offer a good deal, it’s beneficial to get quotes from other insurance companies to see if you can save.
Some insurance companies overcharge their customers, and they get away with it because they know that a fair amount of their customers won’t bother to price shop. While it can take some time, it’s definitely worth it if you can save a few hundred dollars a month!
4.) Analyze your spending habits when it comes to social spending.
Do you meet friends for dinner and drinks regularly? Do you go out for coffee and/or brunch every week? There’s nothing wrong with spending time with friends and family, and doing something fun — we need that in our lives! However, it’s important to set a budget for social outings, and to stick to it.
It’s easy to think that $5 for a latte, or $40 for dinner and a drink on a regular basis isn’t that big of a deal from a financial aspect, but those things add up way more quickly than most people realize.
If you use a debit card or credit card for those things, it’s a good idea to print out the past six statements (July 2022 to December 2022), and then highlight every charge that’s related to social outings.
Add up every charge for all six months, then divide by six, and you’ll see the average monthly amount that you spend on dinner, drinks, coffee, and so on.
If you’re struggling to pay all of your bills every month, and are living ‘paycheck to paycheck,’ there’s a good chance that you can find more wiggle room in your budget by cutting back on coffee trips and dinner dates.
For example, if you decide that moving forward, you’ll only spend $25 a week ($100 a month) on social outings, and you’re currently spending $75 a week ($300 a month), that will give you $200 extra dollars every month in 2023!
As you can see, taking a closer look at what you use, and how much you spend every month, can make a big difference when it comes to saving money. Finding ways to save money may take a little time, but the payoff is rewarding (literally and figuratively).
Here’s to a healthy, happy, and financially stable new year!
All the best,
Tracy L. Hirsch
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