It’s hard to believe another new year is upon us. I love the New Year, and many use it to write a new chapter on their finances or turn the page on their financial goals. Finding ways to save more money this year is a common thing many like to do to improve their finances.
Whether you want to pay off debt, start saving more for retirement or some other financial goal, saving more money each month is a great first step.
You may think it’s difficult to save money each month but it’s not. There are many ways to save money and most require little inconvenience.
You may also think that saving more money will do nothing to improve your finances. If you try just a handful of the ways below, you’ll see that you can save $250+ each month. That’s life-changing money if you manage it wisely.
1. Automate Your Saving
Life gets busy, and it’s easy to forget to save money on a regular basis. Paying yourself first treats saving money as a bill to yourself. According to Thomas Stanley, author of Millionaire Next Door, it’s the first thing you should do with your money each month.
You can do something like the 52-week challenge and save $1 the first week and add $1 each week. If that seems too difficult, you can also set an amount each week or month to save. The amount doesn’t matter, at first, it’s the act that counts.
Many online banks allow you to do this, so make sure to pick one that has no minimum balance requirement and pays a decent interest rate. Synchrony Bank, for example, pays at least 1.45% on your savings and lets you automate savings.
2. Kill the Debt
If you have high-interest debt, 2018 is the year to get serious about killing it! You may think it’s impossible to pay off debt. I used to feel the same way, but I was able to pay off over $50,000 in debt by working hard at it.
Alternatively, if you only have credit card debt, you may benefit from using a balance transfer card to kill the debt. Here’s a list of cards that may help you do that.
If you have student loans, you have options too. Check rates at Sofi to see if you can lower your rate and pay the loans off quicker. If you want to kill debt in 2018, it can be done – here are 25 ways to start paying off debt now that will make 2018 the year you kill debt for good.
3. Refinance Your mortgage
Don’t have high-interest debt or student loans, but do have a mortgage hanging over your head? You may be able to lower rates on that as well, helping you save more money this year and pay off your mortgage faster.
Rates have gone up some over the past year or so, but they’re still incredibly low in most cases. Even if you lower rates by just 1%, you can save significant money.
Compare rates at LendingTree to see how much you can save by refinancing your mortgage.
4. Get Rid of the Contract Already!
If you still have cable, this is one of the easiest ways to save more money this year with little effort. I used to think we couldn’t live without cable, and over two years into being cable free we’re not looking back and are enjoying saving over $80 per month! With the average cable bill being over $100 per month, I’d say we’re winning.
Seriously, when it comes to racking up the amount you’re saving, cutting the cord is second only to automating your savings. If you don’t believe me, check out our list of the best TV streaming services to help you cut the cord rather simply.
5. Cancel Unused Subscriptions
How many memberships or subscriptions do you have that you don’t use? The gym membership is an easy one for many. If you have a membership and don’t go, that’s lost money.
The same goes with magazines, bills with hidden fees that result in overcharging and more. You can try to negotiate those yourself, but you may overlook a bill or not actually save money.
6. Get Rid of Your Expensive Life Insurance Plan
We’re big believers in life insurance here, but not when it’s too expensive or something you don’t need. Unfortunately, many insurance salespeople like to convince us we need expensive, permanent life insurance policies that earn them a fat commission.
In many cases, term life insurance will accomplish the same thing, at a fraction of a cost. You may have fallen prey to a college friend, or neighbor selling life insurance and be stuck with an expensive policy.
You can get rid of that policy and replace it with a cheaper term life option. Compare rates at PolicyGenius to save as much money as possible.
7. Move to Generic
My Mom hates buying generic items. You may feel the same way, but they’re often the same or better than their brand-name counterparts. The best part is that generic items are typically 30 percent cheaper than the name-brand alternative.
You don’t have to switch to all generic items. Find the ones you like and stick with those, still buying the brand name items that you prefer. Switching to generic won’t save you a lot at once, but over time it can be a great way to stretch your budget.
You Can Save More Money this Year with Little Effort
The best part of the above list is that you can do most, if not all, with little effort. You don’t even have to try all at once. In fact, I’d recommend against it. Instead, identify 1-2 ways that might help you now and give it a try. You’ll be surprised at how seeing the savings will motivate you to save more money.
Don’t give into excuses! Look for opportunities to save more money this year. With a little work, you might be able to save thousands that can go towards another goal.
What’s one way you’re going to save more money this year? What’s one thing you refuse to do to save money? Do you automate your saving?
Source: Frugal Rules