A new year is about making fresh starts, updating those rusty resolution lists, and looking forward to creating special memories. 2018 is the perfect year to pursue a newfound passion or conquer what you’ve been putting off.
Many of us are continually dreaming up and revising our financial goals because while money can’t buy happiness, it can sure give us some peace of mind. If you’re wanting to build your emergency savings fund, start a Roth IRA, or finally pay off that burdensome credit card debt, we know you can do it! Patience and perseverance are the keys, along with some bonafide good sense.
Here are some of our tips for designing your most successful financial year yet.
1. Extra Points For Sensible Shopping
Speaking of credit cards, if you use yours to pay bills and purchase everyday necessities, make sure your card has a robust rewards system. Once you rack up enough points, most cards will offer a variety of ways to cash in, including a statement credit. That means free money you can use to get your balance to zero quicker and save you a few extra dollars. It may be tempting to spend your rewards on an immediate impulse purchase, but try to hold out for that major goal you’ve got your heart set on.
Amazon Prime’s Visa gives 5% back on Amazon purchases, so you can get rewarded from household buys to beaucoups bargains. If you’re really great at self-control and living within your means, going the credit card rewards route is a prudent option for getting ahead.
Not great at self-control and adore adding to your cart more than the air that you breathe? Then, for the love of shopping, don’t overspend on your card, Y'all. Hey, maybe don’t use a credit card at all for now, until you can become triumphant under a strict budget. You’ll save more money by paying for items directly out of your checking account. It’s a common-sense concept, but sometimes easy to lose sight of when so many pretty shiny things can catch our eyes.
2. Extra Credit For Making A List (And Checking It Twice)
Just like logging our daily calories or writing down what we’re thankful for each day, keeping a record of our everyday expenses can really help us achieve savings savvy. As simple as grabbing a notebook just collecting dust, or creating a new Word doc, starting a record of every little purchase will keep any of us accountable. Sometimes the mere act of writing out that $77 shoe purchase might alter your spending perspective and lead you to economical victory.
And it’s not only about wake-up calls. You can do the same thing each time you save! Congratulate yourself when you resist snatching up that haute handbag or funky lamp. Write down every dollar you save…and stockpiling all of that hard-earned dough will get addictive.
3. Extra Props By Taking Inventory Of Your Property
A really simple, albeit possibly time-consuming, way to get thriftier is to organize your home. How many times have you gone out to buy batteries, then discovered you had a whole box sitting in the garage? Or how often do you rent movies when you have a watch list full of free flicks? And is your bathroom vanity overflowing with expired lotions and potions you never used in the first place? Just sticking with one product at a time can stop you from wasteful spending and add to the environmental burden.
Clean out those drawers, cabinets, and closets! Take stock of your household supplies, store them in a neat, easy-to-find way, and make a log of everything in case you forget. With anything that’s usable that you no longer have a use for, either donate, sell online, or schedule a yard sale. Yard sales are wonderful solutions for extra income. If you’re hesitant about holding a wholesale of your own, ask friends for help, or simply check out some selling tips on the big old internet!
There are a ton of ways to save the extra money and free yourself from living paycheck to paycheck. From cutting out a few luxuries, like $5 coffees or $50 pedis to turning off the lights when you leave a room, frugality is about thoughtfully considering what we’re doing and keeping our minds on the big picture. It’s about being creative, like sometimes learning to be our own handyman or handy-lady, or coming up with a new recipe based on what’s currently in our pantries (and not on the carryout menu). Whatever your tactics to cut back and still live a contented, safe, and healthy lifestyle, we applaud you. Saving money takes effort, stamina, and sometimes major blinders…because of sparkle.
Just remember to make it fun as you make 2018 a beautiful year.