A new year is here, and it is time to take a second look at your financial situation and see how you can improve it. One of the most common New Year’s resolutions is to save more money; 53 percent of Americans made that resolution at the beginning of last year. Most people spend more money than they should or need to, and saving money is not as hard as it sounds. Following are three smart ways to save more money over the next year and beyond.
Budget and Prioritize
Knowing how to budget and prioritize your expenses is the first step. Without it, you can not expect to save money. The simple rule of budgeting is that you have to be bringing in more money than you are spending. Otherwise, you will fall deeper into debt. A proper budget starts with tracking your income and your expenses. Make a spreadsheet of your major expenses. In addition, track your daily spending so that you know where your money is going.
A useful app to help you do this is Mint. You can enter your transactions manually, or you can connect your credit cards and they will track your expenses automatically. They will give you a list of which categories you are spending money on.
Another thing you need to do is prioritize. If you have debts to pay off, that should be your top priority. Another top priority of yours should be to save up for an emergency fund. All of these should be prioritized over things such as spending money on luxuries. If you do not need something, have the self-control to not spend money on it. Remember that in the long run, it will be better for you.
Cut Down On Your Expenses
There are many ways you can cut down on your expenses. If you are a little creative, you can save a lot of money by cutting down on small costs.
Take your utility bills for example. One way you can save money is by reducing your energy costs. Cleaning your filters will help reduce energy usage. You should make sure to shut off the lights and AC when you are not using them. You should also consider a lower setting in order to save power.
Solar panels are another way to save money on your energy costs. So How do solar panels work? They capture photons to knock electronics free from atoms. This generates a stream of electricity. If you use solar panels, you will save money on your utility bills, and you will also help conserve energy and keep the environment protected.
You can also try cutting down on your internet costs. You can switch to a lower mobile phone plan and use wifi instead. You can even cut your cable and just use Netflix.
Instead of going to Starbucks or other expensive coffee shops, drink your coffee at home. The same goes for drinking beer. Beer is a lot more expensive if you buy it at a bar as opposed to if you buy a pack of beer to enjoy at home. Other types of alcoholic beverages are similar. You should consider eating out less and cooking your food at home instead.
Use These Financial Hacks to Save Money
There are many other ways to save money. Get a credit card that has a reward program or offers you cash back. Use a cashback website to shop online. Ebates is a good one. Another thing that you can do is put your money into an online savings account with a reasonable APY. Online savings account usually offer higher interest rates than savings accounts offered by banks.