It’s officially 2017. While I personally don’t believe in new year resolutions, I do think it’s a good time to reflect and reset some goals. This year, I have a number of financial goals, none of which can be accomplished if I don’t save my money instead of spend it! There are plenty of ways to cut your spending in day to day life, but I also want to challenge myself. This year, try to cut something out of your spending each month and stash that money in your savings instead!
Start packing your lunch every day and planning your dinners every night! If you already do that, try to do it, well, cheaper. It’s the perfect tone to start the new year on. The challenge is to not eat out. At all. Not even once. Then, put all the money you save into savings!
Give up junk food and snacking this month! This one is probably going to be the hardest for me, as I’m a sucker for salty snacks, so I figured it should be the challenge for the shortest month of the year 😉 Any money saved should go directly to your savings!
Do you have any expensive habits? Hobbies? Like to shop when you’re stressed, or swing through Sonic every Friday for a cherry limeade? Give them up this month, and put the money in your savings!
In the spirit of spring cleaning, don’t buy anything new this month— unless it’s absolutely necessary, but still you should try to find it used. Anything you would’ve spent, add to your savings.
Wait as long as you can to turn the air on! Instead, set up some box fans, open windows, and use your ceiling fans. When your utility bill comes in under budget, stash your savings away!
Since you’re six months into your journey, try to up the challenge ante and cut out some serious bills: give up cable, try to find a cheaper cell phone provider, and make sure you’re eating all your leftovers and not throwing them out. You’ll save lots of money, and your savings account will thank you.
Give up alcohol and soda, and make your coffee at home instead of buying it out. During the summer, this is more of a challenge for me but that also means there will be more savings!
Give up “beauty” spending. You can go a month tweezing your own eyebrows instead of going to the salon, and chances are you’re talented enough to take clippers / a trimmer to your husbands and sons hair. All money saved gets stashed away!
Up the ante again and try to supplement your regular income. Instead of spending your free time watching TV, fill it with money making activities. There are tons of way to make money online, in your spare your time, or you can donate plasma and have a garage sale!
Wait as long as possible to turn your heat on! Instead, think about using a space heater or setting up a fire, dress warm and use blankets, seal everything up, and even reverse your ceiling fans. When it comes time to turn the heat on, make sure you’ve taken the proper steps to prepare your home. Like in May, when your utility bill comes in under budget, stash those savings.
Attempt to shop smarter. Consider visiting thrift stores and shopping at warehouse stores to buy in bulk. You might even start a journey with coupon-ing! When your bills are less than you budgeted, put the extra funds in your savings account!
Rethink Christmas this month! Too often, Christmas becomes an expensive burden for families. Instead of stressing, implement a dollar cap for gifts, make a rule that you must make your gifts, or even draw for secret Santa names so that you’ll only have to buy one gift. As long as you’re spending quality time with loved ones, the spirit of the season shouldn’t be lost.
While this is a monthly challenge to save money for the year, they’re good money-saving ideas that can help you all year round. Some of them, like giving up junk food, may not be realistic for the whole year but even cutting back will help!
What do you guys give up when times are tough, and you need to save some money? Share with me in the comments!