Evaluating the year ahead can be a daunting task. With everything going on in the world at large, as well as your own slice of it, you may be more concerned with the monetary side of life than you were before. Thankfully, there are ways you can make a plan for the future with hope while addressing those worries.
Here are some ideas you can use to save money in the new year.
1. Create A Solid Budget—And Stick To It
Your budget should be reviewed at the beginning of each year as things change, including taxes and possibly your income and expenses. Creating a budget for the rest of the year can help you have a firm view of your expenses and income so that you don’t have to worry about not knowing when to save money and when to spend it.
There are several online resources you can use to easily create a budget as well as apps available for your phone to help you keep track of your income and expenses. You may be surprised with how much you are spending.
2. Review Your Auto Draft Expenses
The new year is a great time to review the annual or monthly subscriptions you have to services, magazines, etc. Write down all the subscriptions you have and how much they cost each month. You may find that you are subscribed to some products or services that you no longer need or have interest in, but are auto drafting your card or bank account nonetheless.
3. Create An Emergency Fund And Don’t Touch It
This one can be difficult when you have several expenses that need to be paid, but budgeting correctly can help you set up an emergency fund. Even if you only put in $5 or less each paycheck, it can build up to a fund that can help in case of emergencies. You can do this by automatically putting money from each paycheck into a separate account or placing cash somewhere safe and hidden within your home.
4. Set Up A 401k
Most full-time jobs these days offer 401ks to help employees save for retirement. Check to see if you are eligible for your job’s 401k plan. If you are already on a 401k plan, you may want to review it in the new year. You could have more room in your budget to allow for larger input into your 401k savings account. This can help with long-term planning to help you retire when the time comes without worry.
If you don’t qualify for a 401k at your job, you can set one up through independent agencies. Just be sure to do your research, receive multiple quotes and check client reviews.
5. Save Your Change
While nickels and dimes are often overlooked by many in the face of credit and debit cards, they are still valid and can build up to a savings. Place your change in a jar on your counter or desk. Eventually, enough loose change can build up to a nice chunk of money.
6. Budget Your Time
Time is money isn’t just a saying—it’s true. Instead of calculating how much you are paying with how much you get paid, calculate it by how long you worked for it. Is this desk worth the price if it cost you twelve hours of work to purchase it as opposed to a desk that cost you six hours? Even if you can afford the more expensive items, it doesn’t necessarily mean the price is worth how much you put into it. Rewarding yourself for hard work every so often is good, but you should also always know how long it will take you to recover that money. If you purchase a desk worth twelve hours of work, you should expect twelve hours of work before you receive that money back.
7. Review Your Insurance Policies
Every year, changes can be made to your insurance policies that affect your premiums for better or for worse. Changes in the insurance agency itself, changes around you and updates to your home, vehicle or other insured object can influence your insurance rates.
The new year is a good time to review your policy and your coverage. If you made updates to your home, your home insurance policy should generally change to cover the new upgrades, otherwise there could be holes in your coverage. Likewise, you should compare rates and speak with your insurance agent about new qualifying discounts and other ways to save money.
8. Set A Spending Limit On Gifts
The new year brings birthdays and a whole new round of celebrations and holidays. It can help to save everyone money by setting a spending limit on gifts for holidays, birthdays, etc. This can keep you all on the same page and save everyone money in the long run.