Is one of your resolutions for the New Year to cut back on spending, reduce debt, or to save up for a big purchase? If so, you’re probably looking for new ways to save money. If you’ve already implemented all the usual money-saving strategies and you’re starting to wonder if there are any other ways to cut expenses, these surprising ways to save money can transform your budgeting efforts for the New Year.
1. Be Cautious of the Coupon Section unless you are buying things that you would have bought even if you didn’t have a coupon. Browsing through the coupon section often leads to impulse decisions to buy products that you wouldn’t have otherwise purchased and that can result in excess spending. Opt for online coupons that load straight to your shopper’s card or only search for coupons that you actually plan on using. Even better, try a local discount grocery store where store brand items are already cheaper and don’t have coupons. In addition, to reduce impulse purchases you may want to unsubscribe to marketing emails that are sending you daily or weekly “new deals”.
2. Take Yourself Out of Online Buy/Sell/Trade Groups. Like checking the coupon section, these groups encourage impulse purchases that can blow your budget quickly. Even small purchases can add up fast when you make them on a regular basis! Instead, leave those groups or block them from your newsfeed, and only check them when you genuinely need an item.
3. Check Your Tires. Tires that are not optimally filled can cut down on your gas mileage, which means that you’re wasting money every time you fill up. Taking good care of your tires will also help with their longevity so you don’t have to replace them as often.
4. Conduct a Home Energy Audit. You can opt for the do-it-yourself route or hire a professional to take care of the audit for you. An audit can help you identify everything from the small ways you can save money on your electric bill over the course of the year to bigger ways you can experience huge savings.
5. Ditch Your Gym Membership. Watching online exercise videos at home is a lot cheaper and often just as effective, especially if you struggle to find time to go to the gym. While you’re at it, you can get rid of any other subscriptions that you aren’t using: do you really use both Netflix and Prime Movies? Are you watching cable enough to justify keeping it? Reviewing your subscription services can reveal an abundance of savings.
6. Don’t Spend Your Change. Every time you use cash to make a purchase, keep the change in your pocket and don’t spend it! At the end of the day, put it in a jar or container. You won’t miss the coins, but over time, they’ll likely add up to more than you think.
7. Eat out less. Many families have an unwritten rule to eat out less than twice a week. Depending on the size of your family and the places you like to eat, this can be a huge money saver. As a way to transition into this new pattern, track how much you spend on eating out and then strive to cut that amount in half. That is a good start.
Saving money throughout the course of the year is an ongoing responsibility. Keep in mind that little savings and small expenses can add up fast!