With 2018 quickly drawing to a close, everyone is scrambling to make New Year’s resolutions. While some might wish for new cars or exotic vacations, others choose more practical ways to change their lives in the next year. Most people wonder how they can improve finances and adjust their spending habits and budget better in the new year.
So, if financial security is one of your biggest goals for 2019, then give these budget tips a try; you know, before whispering to yourself, “I deserve this” and unapologetically going back to your old ways.
1. Review your trials and subscriptions.
Do you know how easy it is to cancel a free trial or subscription? Super simple, in fact! Yet, somehow, most of us let them linger for too long and empty our bank accounts in the process. I’m not one to judge; I once paid a gym membership for 3 months without actually stepping foot in the place. So, if you are really serious about sticking to a budget, bite the bullet and review any memberships or trials that will soon turn into an actual subscription. Ask yourself if you’re really ever going to use the service for which you’re paying; ask if it is actually bringing you any true benefits. If not, then unsubscribe and move on.
2. Let new tech take over to help you budget.
Technology is amazing, and it turns out that it can also do wonders for your finances! With a quick online search, you’ll find some great budgeting apps that are quick, easy, and will save you a few bucks. There are even apps that will transfer money out of your bank account into your savings account without you having to lift a finger.
3. Write down all your monthly expenses.
This step requires your full honesty. In order to actually save money, you need to know where and on what exactly you spend that money. So, make a list and write down all of your monthly expenses, even the ones you think that you only make every couple of months. Soon, you’ll quit being afraid to see your true financial choices, even if sometimes, they are indeed questionable.
4. Prioritize and create spending rules.
Take that list of monthly expenses and start marking down the most important ones, the ones you really need in your life. As soon as you find yourself doubting any of your purchases, quickly cross them off or mark them as a non-repeat. Chances are if you yourself are questioning why you spent the money, it was a totally unnecessary waste of valuable cash. Also, think of some spending rules for each week of the month and take into account sale season and payday. Those two periods are some of the most dangerous for our wallets and when you are most likely to go off the budget.
5. Remember to go reusable and generic.
It’s easy to say “yes” to buying another bag at the grocery store or to choose the same brand you’ve always had in your cupboard. But simple hacks like carrying reusable shopping bags and reusable water bottles and going for generic brands can save you the money you’ve been mindlessly spending all this time. Going for reusable choices will also make you feel better because you’re becoming eco-friendly, and buying generic brands will make you wonder why on Earth you preferred such expensive brands in the first place. Don’t believe me? Check the labels and compare them! Most of the time, the products have the same ingredients; it’s just the packaging that’s prettier.
Today’s economy is extremely unpredictable. And, with marketing strategies become smarter with each consumer purchase, it can be difficult to stay on top of our finances. But, with just a little research and planning, we can change the way we spend and ultimately save money. So, if you’re making resolutions in 2019, make sure to get your financial habits in order first!