Sick of seeing your bank account dwindling? Resolve to make 2018 your most financially savvy year yet by committing to new frugal habits. These New Year’s resolutions are just what you need to jumpstart your savings and get your finances back on track in the upcoming year.
1. Learn to DIY Something
Think about all the things you pay someone else to do, and save money by learning to do it yourself. Sure, certain things like plumbing and electrical work will always require the help of a pro, but there are some things you can certainly do on your own.
If you like to treat yourself to beauty treatments, for example, try an at-home alternative. Even if you’re not the type to go all-out with a spa day, you can simply learn to cut your own hair or do your manicures and pedicures to save some extra cash. You could also learn how to do some home maintenance projects, simple car repairs or even your taxes.
2. Change the Way You Eat
In many cases, the tips for frugal eating can be so all-encompassing that they feel overwhelming. So instead of changing the way you eat entirely, try changing one thing at first to help save money. Here are a few examples:
- Make your own coffee at home instead of stopping at the coffee shop to pick one up.
- Bring a lunch to work instead of going out to eat.
- Clear out the pantry as much as possible before going to the grocery store to shop.
- Use meal planning to cut down on waste throughout the week.
- Look for coupons before you shop.
- Buy a deep freezer so you can stock up when you find a good sale.
- Drink more water and less soda, coffee, juice or alcohol.
- Choose one day a week to consume only vegetarian foods to save on pricey meat.
3. Travel Nearby
Everyone needs a vacation now and then. But in 2018, resolve to keep your trips close by whenever possible in order to minimize costs. When was the last time you played tourist in your own city, for example? You can spend your vacation checking out local sites to save hundreds of dollars in travel costs. When you think about it, you’d just be doing the same thing in another city but paying extra to fly there and stay in a hotel.
If you already feel really familiar with your local surroundings, consider a regional trip that you can take by car to avoid costly air fare. Consider renting an Airbnb so you can prepare meals where you’re staying rather than only eating at restaurants.
4. Start Saving
If you’ve been struggling to build your savings, use the new year as a reason to kickstart your financial goals. Here are a few ways to do it:
- Cut back on one regular expenditure, like daily coffees, takeout food or a subscription service like Amazon Prime or Hulu. Stash the savings away weekly or monthly and watch your account grow.
- Keep your change. In addition to coins, consider also socking away any $1 bills you end up with.
- Save increasingly throughout the year. One popular technique is to save weekly through the year, starting with $1 the first week, $2 the second week and so on. If you keep up with it and contribute $52 the last week of the year, you’ll have saved $1,378.
5. Discover New Ways to Shop
There are plenty of ways to change your shopping habits so that you can still get the things you need while spending less. First, make it a point to only buy items on sale. If that means that you need to wait an extra few weeks to buy the new shoes you want, it’s worth it. You may even discover that you don’t need the items after all when you’re forced to wait before making a purchase.
Besides shopping the sales, consider what you may be able to buy secondhand. Everything from clothing to household goods to gift items can be found at thrift stores and garage sales. Learn to enjoy the thrill of the hunt at these alternative shopping destinations.
Finally, set a spending limit for shopping every month. Outside of necessities like groceries and gas, set a budget for what can be spent on other items. When you have a limit set, it’s easier to decide what you really need versus which things you want but can live without.
This year, make some resolutions that will benefit you financially over the course of 2018. It’s a great way to motivate yourself to make some frugal changes to your routine and improve your overall financial health. Pick out a few things to start with on January 1. Don’t be surprised to discover that your frugal resolutions have such a positive impact that you start looking for even more ways to save!