Frugal New Year Resolutions | 10 Tips to Get you Started

by Marcy on December 28, 2013 · 0 comments

frugal new year resolutions 2015

Frugal New Year Resolutions

Most of us tend to include at least one resolution related to money when crafting our list each year, right? This year I thought it might be helpful to give you some tips on how to craft and achieve your frugal new year resolutions for the upcoming year. I have found that it is important to break your New Year Resolutions down in to specific, manageable tasks in order to get the best results.

Here are 10 specific Frugal New Year Resolutions that will help you save money, spend less and get ahead financially:

  • Figure out where you stand financially. If you don’t have any idea how much money you spend on utilities, for example, it is difficult know where or how to start saving. Write down all of your expenses and compare them with your income, and you will get a good idea of where you stand and where you need to improve.
  • Get organized. Once you have everything written down, make a plan of when you are going to pay your bills. I go so far as to assign a bill to each of my husband’s pay checks. I keep track of our plan in Excel. Late charges and overdraft fees can really add up and completely blow your budget. Avoid late fees by setting bill reminders on your phone, or by creating a spot in your home where you keep all of the bills in one place so that you don’t lose track of them. Even better (if you are able) is to pre-schedule your bill payment via online banking. I do this for our bills that are the same amount every month.
  • Track your spending. This will help you get a handle on how much you spend and where you can cut expenses. Honestly, I have never been able to track ALL of my spending for very long because it becomes overwhelming. If you can do it, great, but I have had a lot of success targeting specific areas of my budget and tracking just that. This year I wrote down every single penny that I spent on groceries and it was very eye opening. I was able to get an accurate picture of my spending in that area and make appropriate cuts.
  • Find money leaks and stop them. Small leaks can sink a big ship, so finding and stopping those leaks is key to saving money. Tracking your spending will help you find those leaks. You might find that some expenses aren’t worth it, and once you become aware of these things you can cut them out.
  • Figure out a way to save money on your favorite things. Life is meant to be lived, and sometimes there are things that you don’t want to cut.  I have a weakness for Starbucks, but the drinks I like are pricey. To get the biggest bang for my buck at Starbucks I use their rewards program (Gold Card) to earn free drinks, I take advantage of the various buy 1 get 1 free deals and sales that they run throughout the year, and I use Swagbucks to purchase Starbucks gift cards (that I then transfer to my Gold Card.) Maybe you are tempted by magazines every time you check out at the grocery store. Look at subscribing to your favorite magazines (I like Discount Mags for huge savings), and you can save yourself a ton over money over the course of the year. The possibilities are endless here – get creative and you’ll be amazed at how much you can save on the items that you are currently splurging on.
  • Take a hard look at your “fixed” expenses and figure out a way to lower them. Call your cable company and negotiate a lower rate, shop around for auto and/or home insurance, look into refinancing your mortgage, find a cheaper cell phone plan, etc. Usually what we consider fixed expenses are really negotiable. Pick one bill per week and make a phone call or take a “financial health day” and tackle them all. Then, set up an automatic transfer to your savings account with the money that you end up saving! Even if you only lower your monthly expenses by $100 that will be $1,200 per year in the bank. Note: check out my article, 6 Ways to Save Money on Your Electric Bill.
  • Commit to using less. Try reducing the amount of frequently used items in half – I bet you won’t notice a difference but you will save a lot of money. You can always increase the amount if needed, but you never know if less will work unless you try. Examples of items to attempt this with: paper towels, paper products, cleaning supplies, packaged snacks
  • Shop around for lower prices. Take some time to check several options before buying and you will likely save money on every purchase. For frequent purchases like groceries and toiletries – compare receipts and sale ads to see which store generally has the lowest prices and shop there. Check out our weekly Grocery Deals and Drug Store Deals for help in this area.
  • Set targeted savings goals. Knowing what you are saving for will motivate you more than just a general “I want to save more money”. For us, we were saving for a vacation for months and not making much progress. Once we settled on a destination and booked the beach house our savings rocketed, and in no time we were half way to our goal. Making a chart of your savings goals so that you can track your progress can be great motivation. If you can get a picture to put with this chart to remind you of exactly why you are saving that will further motivate you! Note: I have some budget travel tips and article pinned on my Travel Pinterest Board. Also be sure to check out my article, 5 Great Tips for Flying With Kids.
  • Check out my 52 Week Savings Challenge. I LOVE this idea and I am trying it this year for the first time. Many people do this for holiday spending, but you can use this plan as a fun way to save for anything!

Hopefully this list gave you some tips and ideas to get your started on your Frugal New Year Resolutions. I would love to hear what your goals are for 2014 in the comments section below!

Check out more Frugal Living Tips and Money Saving Ideas.

Other articles of interest:

frugal new year resolutions 10 tips to get you started

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