A lot of us go into a new year with big goals and in the top 10 New Year’s resolutions, saving more money is number 4. That means 32% of people are going into a new year hoping to have more money by the end of it and the majority of them often fall short. It’s because the idea of saving money often makes us feel like we’re living in a state of deprivation. Sacrificing and scrimping to save is not fun for anyone. That’s why I’ve laid out 5 steps to saving more money this year that aren’t going to make you feel like you’re totally poor and deprived of life’s joys.
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Know where you’re starting
The first thing you need to know before going anywhere in life or setting any kind of goal is to know where you’re starting at. I mean, if you had a weight loss goal, you would actually need to know how much you weigh before you could know how much you want to lose, right?
To find out where you are financially, the best thing you can do is take the last 3 bill statements and categorize where all of your money went to.
How much did you spend out to eat? Did you put a big chunk toward shopping? Fast food? Going out?
Try fitting all of your spending into one of these categories:
- Needs (house, utilities, food)
- Bonus needs (cable, internet, phone bill)
- Debts (car payment, credit card, student loans)
- Fun (coffee, shopping, out to eat)
- WTF (that $5 trinket you bought because you thought it was funny)
Once you have a better idea of how much money is going into each of these categories every month, you’ll have a better grasp on what changes you might need to make and where.
Plan where you want to go
Before you start hacking away at your budget there is a crucial step you need to follow first and it’s the very first thing I talk about in my Bucket List Budget course; planning where you want to go.
You can do this in a few different ways
- Make a list of places you want to travel to
- Write out your top life priorities (family, faith, fitness…)
- Make a guilt-free spending list (things from your top priorities that you will make sure to budget for)
First, you have got to know all the ways that you want to enjoy and soak up your life. That is the key to avoiding that “I’m
A peek at my guilt-free spending list:
Here’s an idea of what my guilt-free spending looks like.
- Travel (we automatically save $200 for travel every month)
- Date nights (keeping a strong marriage is a top priority for me)
- Field trips (I want the kids and I to do hands-on learning trips at least once a month)
- Nights out (I love the theater, good dining and a glass of wine with the girls)
These are things we put into our budget each month. And the more and more intentional I got with the rest of our budget, the more money I was able to put toward these favorite things.
Calculate your debt
You should already have an idea of where your monthly debt payments are at by now. But, to take it a step further, find out how much you still owe and what your interest rates are. I promise…it’s going to pay off and I’ll tell you how.
Pay less in debt
Most people aren’t aware that they could be saving a ton of money when it comes to their debt payments. They just see their monthly bill, accept it for what it is and make the payment. Instead, you can do these 4 things to save major money and avoid paying more than necessary on your debts.
Negotiate your interest rates
Did you know you can actually call your loan or credit card companies and negotiate a lower interest rate? In fact, just by lowering your interest rate
How do you negotiate interest rates? Grab my FREE negotiation scripts that tell you exactly what to say.
Consolidate your debt
If decreasing your interest rate just isn’t going to cut it. You can apply online to consolidate your debt with these top debt consolidation companies:
You can get a FREE estimate on debt negotiation with CuraDebt to see if some of your outstanding debts can be waived altogether.
Get a debt payoff game plan
After you have gone through these other steps, the next thing to do to pay off debt (and pay less) is to get a debt payoff plan in place. My top recommendation for this is the Debt Snowball. Click here to grab a FREE printout and guide.
Cut 2 major expenses
Now, you know your weight. Your financial weight that is. You’ve found ways to trim a little fat, but where can you really shed some pounds?
The first place to really make a major difference in your budget that will help you save more money is by cutting your major expenses. Things like home, food and auto.
Ideas for major expenses to cut:
- Move into a more affordable home
highcable, internet or phone bills
- Reduce your grocery spending
- Sell your car and buy a more affordable one
- Purchase a car with better gas milage
- Look into carpooling to work to cut expenses in half
Some of these seem like really big leaps to take, but if you seriously want to save money and live a life without feeling poor or deprived, lowering your cost of living
Make money doing what you already do
A lot of people don’t realize how easy it is to make money these days. You can find ways to bring in extra cash just by doing things you already do. Here are some examples.
- Shipt personal shopper – Spend all day at Target and get paid for it.
- AmazonFBA – If you have a knack for couponing, shopping discounts and/or thrift shopping, you could be reselling items on Amazon for a profit! Get a FREE 7-day course and learn how.
- Instacart – Stroll local grocery stores, set your own hours and get paid for it!
If you’re an avid
Reading and writing
- Proofread Anywhere – Learn how to get paid to proofread other people’s work.
- Blogging – Writing a blog can be a great creative outlet and can pay big! How to Make Your First $1,000 Blogging.
- Rover – Rover was the best side hustle of my life. Since I was already home with my 2 dogs and 2 kids, getting paid to watch one more dog was the easiest way to make money, ever!
Automate your savings
Lastly, once you’ve worked to free up more money in your daily budget, (grab my course for more help) and you’ve got a debt payoff plan in place, the last thing you have to do is set up automatic monthly savings.
The best way to automatically save money is by setting up online accounts that are separate from your regular bank. This makes it more difficult and less-tempting to take money out of savings.
Setting up automatic savings also means you don’t even have to think about it. Just plan your savings into your budget like you would any other expense. You can use my simple budget bundle to do this!
Online banks that pay you to save:
Don’t have debt?
GREAT! You already know what a little bit of freedom feels like then! After following all of the steps listed above I highly recommend you begin learning more about investing.
Make sure you are contributing to your 401K and have your savings automatically going into a savings account each month. Then, look into these additional options to help you earn more money through investing.
- Acorns – Invest your spare change and set monthly recurring investments! Get $5 to invest right now!
- Morning Star – Learn to invest like a pro. Free 14 day trial of Morning Star Premium
- Motley Fool Stock Advisor – Get professional tips on the stock market with The Motley Fool Stock Advisor
Following all of these steps will allow you to begin living a life with more money each day and a bigger savings account balance at the end of the year! It’s just a matter of being intentional and reminding yourself what you actually want to spend money on!
If you are still feeling lost and want more in-depth help, check out my Budget Hacking course where I’ll walk you step by step through how to create a budget plan that is totally designed for your specific wants and needs!