New Year, new you? Have you uttered these words yet? Everyone is so anxious to start the new year because it symbolizes a new beginning. Most of us want to be healthier and get fit but, what about getting financially fit? Talking about money, especially with your partner, can be a sensitive topic but it’s something I encourage you all to do. Remember, knowing your expenses and where your money is going isn’t about blaming each other, it’s about knowing so you can do better and make adjustments where necessary. If you’re looking to save some money this year, here are the ways my husband and I came up with after we assessed our finances in order to start saving more in the new year.
1. Make a call:
Most of us get so comfortable with our cell phone providers that we don’t realize how many great deals there are out there. My husband and I were paying what we thought was a great price for unlimited data and talk/text and we were also getting Netflix for free from our provider but after some research we realized we were paying a lot more than we needed to. Luckily nowadays it’s so much easier to switch, you can keep your number and most providers will buy you out of your contract if you have one. We went with a new provider and saved $25 a month and got Amazon Prime for free! If you really want to stay with your current cell phone provider or service then give them a call. Ask if there’s any way to lower your monthly bill and sometimes they will work with you just to keep you as a customer.
2. Change the channel:
Just like I mentioned above with great deals out there for cell phone services, there’s a lot of competition and deals to gain new customers for various cable companies. Unfortunately, in my experience, they seem to only want to get you as a new customer and couldn’t care less about keeping you as one. What I mean to say is, there are a lot of deals for new customers switching cable companies but after a year or two your monthly fee is likely to spike. We tried calling and working with them but our cable company didn’t help much and so we left and went with another one and we’re saving about $30 a month. But, it seems, we will have to do this dance every 2 years or so. But, it’s worth it. New customers usually get great packages and rates. Of course you could skip all of this and just have a streaming service if you don’t really watch a lot of television.
3. Eat your way through it.
When my husband and I looked over all of our expenses, we realized that we were spending a lot of money dining out. Eating out to “treat yourself” or on the weekends really start to add up and if unchecked, can go way over what you want or hope to spend on food. There are so many ways to save in this area: Pack lunch for work, make coffee at home, take food to go instead of dining out at a restaurant, being aware of happy hour, or come up with a budget for eating out and stick to it. We realized we were taking “treat yourself” a little too far and eating out 3 times a day on the weekends. So, we started eating breakfast at home (since it’s the easiest meal for us to make on the weekends) and try to eat out once or twice instead on the weekends. Usually, opting for a later lunch and eating leftovers for dinner or eating something at home.
4. Skeletons in the closet:
Go though your closet and clean out everything you no longer wear, want, or need. Donate or sell these items. Organize your closet to ensure that you can see all of the items you actually like, wear, and need. Sometimes we buy outfits or clothing because we have no idea how much we really have. Also, with apps like PoshMark, you can sell things you no longer want. Take advantage of how easy it is to make some extra money while getting rid of clutter in your home.
5. Don’t shop when you’re “in your feelings”.
Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry or worse…hangry. Go after you’ve already eaten and make sure you have a list of everything you need and try to stick to your list. Always plan your trip and look for sales and coupons. It’s best to take cash so you’re more likely to stick to your budget. Also, stop clicking “add to cart” in the middle of the night when you’re bored or upset about something. Do you NEED it?
6. Take a closer look at your garbage:
Take a look at the items you’re tossing everyday like water bottles or one time use sandwich bags. Find ways to reduce or ditch these items altogether. We bought a filter and stopped buying bottles of water which saves us a lot of money (and saves the planet). We had no idea how much money we were spending on water plus it’s great for the environment. We also decided to stop using sandwich bags unless absolutely necessary. There are a lot of brands that make reusable zip/sandwich bags.
These are just a few of the small ways to save money this year. How are you saving money? Comment below with any tips!