Resolutions To Help You Save More Money This Year
Wouldn’t it be nice to put aside a little more money this year? After spending a little time on this earth, you come to realize that unexpected expenses are never-ending. You thought you’d put aside X amount of dollars last year, but then you had to get new tires on your car, buy a new vacuum, face an increase in your health insurance premium, and get a dog walker because your office asked you to come in three days a week. Before you knew it, you made X amount of dollars minus $1,200. That was a bummer. Since life won’t stop throwing surprise costs your way, the best way to combat it is to cut costs. If you do it the right way, you won’t feel a decrease in quality of life. Here are easily achievable resolutions to help you save more money this year.
Find free parking
Leave 10 minutes earlier so you can park in the residential area, three blocks away from your destination, for free, rather than at the $2 per hour meters right in front of it.
Share a Lyft/Uber
This is another instance in which leaving earlier can save you money. If you can dedicate an extra 15 minutes or so to your commute, use the sharing feature on Lyft or Uber. You can usually shave around $5 to $7 off a 20-minute ride.
Make time to grocery shop
You meant to cook at home last year, but you forgot about one little thing: making time to grocery shop. If you don’t have food in the fridge, you can’t very well cook. So dedicate 45 minutes a week to going to the store. Consider it a real, standing appointment—like a dentist appointment.
Make time to cook
You also need to set aside time to cook if you’re going to save money by cooking. Pencil cooking and cleaning time into your calendar and say no to that extra task or favor at the end of the day that your friend asks you to do—that’s when you’re cooking.
Create an entertainment checking account
Entertainment is not a necessity. It’s nice, but it’s not a necessity. So create an account from which you draw all your entertainment money. If you’re going to happy hour, a movie, a concert, or a museum, you take the money for it out of this account. When the account is empty for the month, it’s time for you to find free ways to entertain yourself.
Spend time with financially responsible friends
We’re so easily influenced by our friends. So you may need to stop hanging out with that friend who always encourages you to buy the purse and add the lobster tail.
Wash your own car
Washing your own car is an easy way to quickly put aside an extra $40 to a $80 a month (if you wash your car twice a month—which you probably should). You can buy enough products to wash your car for an entire year for the same price of one detailed hand wash.
Stop ordering delivery
Just stop it. The delivery fee and tip alone can be the price of a homemade meal. If you need more reasons to stop ordering it, look here.
On your toilet paper, sanitary wipes, window cleaner, paper towels, hand soap, and just about anything that your pharmacy makes generic. If you look at the materials and ingredients, they are usually identical to the name brand stuff.
Never shop without coupons
Never make another purchase without first looking up coupons. You can almost always find a coupon, and you can almost always find a different store or website selling the same item for less.
Sell what you can
Stop giving your friends the designer jeans that no longer fit you and the cool, expensive lamp that doesn’t match your new couch. Take the half hour to list and sell these things online.
Keep water bottles on hand
The amount of money wasted on finding oneself dehydrated on-the-go is a real shame. Buy water bottles in bulk at your local wholesale store like Costco or Sam’s Club and keep spare ones in your car, in each bag, in your desk, and anywhere you spend time out of your home.
Make your own coffee
If you’re really into coffee and particularly into coffee from a fancy shop, you might be spending around $80 to $100 a month on coffee. Think about it: a regular-sized coffee at most shops runs you $2.25 to $2.75 these days. If you upgrade to a large, or some special blended thing, you’re easily looking at $4 to $5 a day on coffee. Yikes! Meanwhile, a big canister of quality coffee from a grocery store can cost you $14 and will last you over a month.
Make lunch for a friend
Rather than meet friends out, invite them over. It’s cheaper, and you get to catch up much better in the quiet of your home than the business of a restaurant.
Take the bus sometimes
Pick a few days each month—days when you know you won’t be busy and can afford to move at a leisurely pace—and vow to take the bus those days rather than drive.