For most of us, our New Year’s Resolutions will be to lose weight, or stop smoking, or eat more healthily. And many of us will fail to stick to our resolutions. When it comes down to your finances, there are few motivators that are more powerful than more cash. The fresh start of a new year is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your spending habits. You may find that there are many things you can do to spend less and save more.
The first thing to do is to create a budget. Make sure you keep track of your budget every few months and account for any changes in your life, such as a salary raise, a bonus, a new baby, a prolonged sickness, and so on.
Here are some small changes that will help you cut back on your expenses:
Parking your car: The fees for parking lots and valet parking are getting more and more expensive. Try to find alternative places to park your car whenever you can, even if it is a short walk away from your destination. Plus, it will force you to be more physically active.
Grocery shopping: Stick to buying only what is on your shopping list. One way to avoid this is by not going to the supermarket when you’re hungry, as you would naturally feel more tempted to buy snacks and junk food. Also, only go shopping when your fridge is empty so that you don’t waste any food.
Book in advance: If you’re planning a vacation, make sure you book your flights and hotel as far in advance as you can. Fees increase drastically the closer you get to your vacations days.
Personal grooming: If you’re a woman, learn to do your own personal grooming whenever you can. Paying for brushings, waxing, manicures and pedicures every month do add up to a significant sum.
Exercise regime: Cancel your gym membership, ditch your personal trainer and agree with a friend to exercise outdoors together. You won’t get bored or demotivated if you encourage each other, and you’ll get some fresh air.