How is your New Year’s resolution going? Have you caved and given up or are you beating away at making 2013 a new start? Most of us create vows to get fit, eat healthier, manage debt, or some other lifestyle change to improve our daily lives. This year saving money is on the top of my list and I want to find ways of decreasing my expenses, reducing overall spending, and set reasonable financial goals. Even though that all sounds wonderful, it isn’t as easy as it appears and is going to take planning along with a few uncomfortable life changes! Here is my strategy that you might find helpful if saving money is on your list for 2013 as well!
Open a New Savings Account
The first step to meeting savings goals for 2013 is to open a new savings account specifically for keeping the new resolution. A savings account will help put away the pennies you save through the means of being frugal. It is a much better, and safer, option than just placing the money in a shoe box under the bed or in another secret hiding place. Plus, by placing the money in the bank you will be doing a bit of no brainer investing by earning small interest on your funds. Additionally, depositing the money in the bank as an alternative to having it sitting around the house will encourage good spending behavior, since you will need to monitor the account more closely to meet your target goal.
Reduce Wasteful Spending
Taking a closer look at expenses and cutting out the extras not needed such as eating out, impulse buying, and non-essential entertainment services is a wonderful beginning for working towards your money objective. The dollars saved monthly from reducing wasteful spending tend to add up quickly and a good way to meet your goal without having to find additional methods of making more cash.
Get a Better Deal
Another tip for saving money is to do a price comparison on essential bills and see if you are able of getting a better deal elsewhere. If you have a mobile phone and are not using all your minutes try reducing your plan or wait until your contract is over and switch to a cheaper provider. For instance, a no contract pay as you go service might be a better option. How about your car insurance? Are you getting the best rate for your coverage? Check out some of the free online comparison websites to help find you the best deal. The less you have to pay out, the more you have to bank!
Sell the Extras
Many years ago my husband lost his job and we had to find money quickly to basically survive! We began looking around our house to see what we weren’t using and sold extra electronics, old toys, and other household items on eBay. Of course the economy was better back then and you could get top dollar for collectibles, unlike now. However, people are always looking for products at lower costs and will buy used items if they are reasonable priced and in good condition. Having the stuff collect dust in your attic or basement isn’t doing anything but adding clutter and taking up space. Sell it and place the money you receive in your savings account! Not to mention, it is the green thing to do! Remember the three “R’s” –reduce, reuse, and recycle and it will normally save you money!
Bank Tax Refund
Last but certainly not least, if you are getting a tax refund this year BANK IT! I know it is tempting to go on a spending spree and look at the money as a sweet treat for all the pain and suffering you had to go through in 2012, but splurging on things you really don’t need isn’t going to help your overall financial goals. Trust me! My husband and I have fallen to the temptation of doing this several times over the years and wished we would have saved the money for a rainy day like when we were scraping up pennies to find gas money. Place it in savings and feel secured it is there!
Hopefully, by following the above strategy, along with a couple of your own money saving ideas, you will find your New Year’s resolution of saving money a cinch to keep. The new camera, car, dream vacation, mortgage- free home, or whatever you are saving for are within reach! All it takes is strategic planning, a bit of discipline, and the will to save the extra money you already have.
So, what’s your savings goal for 2013 and beyond?