Many people make new year's resolutions to improve their lifestyle and make significant changes. One of the best ways to approach 2017 is to take control of your finances and begin saving more money. Although you may feel limited with the funds that you have available, there are a few ways to set aside money and begin to build upon it.
Create a Budget
Creating a budget is essential to determining how much you can afford to save each month. Calculate your household income and write down a list of your expenses to determine the essentials that you need to survive. Consider eliminating luxuries that include cable, visits to the nail salon, or magazine subscription services to ensure that you have more wiggle room in your budget. You can also shop around for cheaper wifi services or cellular providers. Create a category for saving and make it a point to pay yourself first when you receive each paycheck. You can also set up an automatic withdrawal payment schedule for your checking account to make it easier to save.
When creating your budget, make it a point to treat yourself by creating a category for spending money that you can use on shopping trips or for fun. Money that is available for your enjoyment will make it easy to avoid feeling deprived and will allow you to avoid overspending.
Relying on cash when paying for goods or services will prevent you from spending more money. Studies show that consumers tend to spend less money when handling cash because they're more physically aware of the money that they have to hand over. You can also rely on an envelope system by using cash to pay for each of your expenses, which will make it easier to avoid going over your budget when buying groceries or fuel for your car. Refill each envelope once you get paid and avoid using your debit or credit card to make purchases, according to americasaves.org.
According to bettermoneyhabits.bankofamerica.com, setting goals will allow you to avoid delays during the saving progress and remain focused. Decide if you want to save for an upcoming purchase, whether you want a snowboard size chart or to take a trip to a tropical location. Short-term goals include an emergency fund, vacations, or a down payment on a car. Long-term goals take at least four years to save for and include your child's education, retirement, and a down payment on a home.
Pay Off Debt
One of the most common reasons that many people fail to save money is due to outstanding debt that they've accumulated over the years. From student loans to credit card debt, it can be challenging to have money that is leftover with minimum payments and interest that can add up each month. Set realistic goals with paying off your debt as quickly as possible. Pay off the credit card that has the highest interest and consider transferring your balances to credit cards that have zero percent interest for a year. Give yourself a timeframe on when you want to be debt-free, which is when you can begin to save more.
Shop for Discounts
Those who want to save more money throughout the year should avoid paying full-price for goods or services that are needed from time to time, according to clark.com. Shop at secondhand stores for used clothing items and buy furniture at garage sales in the local area. You can also purchase prescription medication at a lower price by shopping online on verified websites.