Top New Year's Resolutions If You Are Trying To Save Money
2016 is nearing its end and 2017 will soon be here. Are you ready? Some people don't believe in New Year's resolutions. But I think they are fun and a great way to get yourself motivated. Yes, we should always strive to be our best selves but to begin a new year with new goals is exciting!
Resolutions can be anything. Whether you are striving to lose weight, spend more time off your phone or to just be more positive there are endless ways to improve your life. I think a very common resolution is saving money. We all want more of it, right? Well Forbes set us up with 4 tips to help you save more money in 2017.
Resolution #1: Create A Budget
Pick a budgeting tool that you like and enter real numbers. There are tons of options out there. For Baby Boomers, a pen and paper may be just fine, and for Millennials, take a look at Mint.com or BudgetTracker.com. The big thing is to discuss your hopes and dreams with your partner and family, don't just decide that you will do this in isolation. You are setting goals around where to live and work, whether to have children and how you'll feed those children, how to include entertainment…you get the drill. There is a foolproof way to make this successful…DO IT. Look at it each month. Discuss it. See what worked and what didn't. This is not some cute exercise; it is your roadmap for life, Your Life.
Resolution #2: Pay Off Debt
That means you need a number in your budget. Refer to Resolution #1. The number is a challenge to be met each month. You and your partner should discuss it at the end of each month and see if you met your goal and if not, why not? I put this before Resolution #3, which is to Spend Less, because the debt is going to really bog you down for a long time. Debt is like carrying around that extra 30 lbs. It could hamper everything you want in your life.
Resolution #3: Spend Less Money
You know I'll send you back to your budget, but that is the point. Again, this is a group activity; you can't be the only one in the family committing to spending less. Each member should come up with ideas that will work for everyone. Make this a challenge; here are some ways:
* Always look for coupons. There are tons online and they still come in the mail. Groupon is the most popular online site, with an estimated 30 million visitors per month.
* Stay away from credit cards. You should have one to build your credit. And, it looks shady to most places, if you try to always pay in cash. In fact, some hotels won't let you just pay in cash.
* Use a debit card. If you don't have money in your checking account, you can't use it. It's good discipline.
* Move in with friends or family. This tactic can really help cut expenses for all concerned.
* Manage your bonus. If you get a bonus, use one third (after tax) to pay down debt, one third to put into savings and one third to spend on yourselves. You deserve it.
Resolution #4: Invest Your Savings
You have heard me refer to DriveWealth, an online investing site I work with. I harp on investing because it is really important. Many people advise that you should start investing after you have paid off your debt. That's bad advice. You should be building the airplane while you are flying it. You need both emergency money and long-term investing. I like DriveWealth because you don't need a lot of money to get started and the fees are low. Make investing a monthly habit that is built into your budget.
Good luck with all your resolutions, I hope this helps!