The first day of the New Year is so full of promise. Well, full of promises I make and never seem to keep. Despite my good intentions to start the year at the gym, last year I spent most of New Year’s day nursing a champagne hangover, eating ALL of the holiday leftovers and watching a Walking Dead marathon. It wasn’t pretty, y’all.
There is so much pressure to keep New Year’s Resolutions, that they’re almost doomed to fail from the beginning, but keeping them doesn’t have to be hard. This year, one of my New Year’s resolutions is to save more money, and you can too. These money saving tips are so simple that making (and actually keeping) your New Year’s Resolutions will be a breeze!
Make Small Deposits to Your Savings Account
My former bank started this ahhhhh-mazing savings program designed to help you save without even realizing it. For every purchase you made with your debit card, they took a dollar out of your account and deposited it into a savings account. I hardly noticed the extra dollar was missing, and at the end of the year, I had a small but substantial savings account! Even though I don’t bank there anymore, I do still take a dollar for every purchase and put it in savings. Doing this also helped me realize how many purchases I actually make in a month, and has helped me cut back on impulse buys as well.
Learn How to Cook
Once upon a time, kids, I was young, frivolous and carefree (read, college student). Believe it or not, I was not the savvy saver I am today. After my first year of college, I had maxed out my first ever credit card, and 99% of my purchases were MEALS OUT. I had a meal plan, for Pete’s sake! I should have had literally zero food purchases. I learned my lesson after that.
Although it may be easy to eat out with coworkers for lunch or grab take-out on the way home from work, it’s a money saving no-no. Eating out causes your hard-earned cash to go straight to your stomach (and your thighs). Instead, give yourself the gift of great cookware, take a class or just get a cookbook and get in the kitchen. You’ll soon find out that preparing meals at home will keep you healthy and on-budget!
Skip the Gym Membership
It’s the New Year, and you’re going to be tempted to join a gym as your New Year’s Resolution. But trust me when I tell you to skip the membership and get frugal with your fitness this year. Personally, I think the treadmill is the devil, and I prefer to run outdoors, which is also free! If you need the structure of the gym to keep you motivated, ask gyms about free trial periods or even check with your health insurance provider – they’ll often offer gym discounts as a membership benefit.
Cut the Cord
It’s (almost) the new year! Cable is sooo passe. With Netflix, HBO GO, Hulu and Amazon Prime you can have access to literally any show on television for a quarter of what you’d pay for premium cable. You can also find completely free alternatives to cable, if you know where to look! I haven’t had cable for about five years, and I don’t even miss it. I also find myself being more mindful about how much television I’m watching (unless a new season of OITNB just got added, in which case, hello binge-central).
I’m all about putting your best foot forward in the New Year, and for me, that means saving my hard earned cash so I can spend it on things I really want and need. Use these effortless money saving tips, and by the time the next year rolls around, you’ll be shocked to see how much you’ve saved and that you finally kept your New Year’s resolutions!