Many people kick off the new year with resolutions. From losing weight to finding more time to relax, people all over make promises to themselves to use the new year as an opportunity to enjoy a fresh start. Many of these resolutions, however, don’t always work out because people jump into them without having a plan. If you’ve always wanted to be a better saver, you can make 2018 the year you get your finances on track by having a plan and knowing a few tips and tricks to help you put more money away.
If you aren’t taking advantage of automatic withdrawals from your checking account to your savings account or 401k, don’t wait any longer. Part of the reason many people have a hard time putting money away is because they only put away what’s left at the end of the month, which usually isn’t much. Pay yourself first by automatically siphoning a portion of each paycheck to a savings account and watch the money add up.
Use your Tax Refund Wisely
If you get a tax refund each year, it can be tempting to want to use that money to take a trip or go on a spending spree, but that may not be the best use of your money. Instead, plan to put a portion of your return automatically into a savings account, and keep out a little extra to treat yourself to something small, like dinner or an evening out.
Sell Old Items
You may be surprised at how many treasures you find in your attic or garage that are taking up space when they could be lining your pockets. Sell old items you no longer need and put the money you receive directly into savings. It’s a great way of being financially responsible without having to do much work.
Don’t Overspend on Holidays
Many families find themselves in the red around the holidays as they overextend themselves by purchasing gifts to make their friends and loved ones happy. However, saving all your holiday shopping until the end of the year can be more harmful than keeping an eye open all year round for items to put away. When you give yourself more time to shop, you won’t be as rushed and end up making impulse buys, and you may even find items on sale that would otherwise be regularly-priced around the holidays.
If you follow these simple tips and remember to stick to a plan, you can keep your saving on track and put away a nice emergency savings or fund your retirement. The sooner you get started, the better off you’ll be at the end of the year, when it’s time to start thinking of your upcoming goals for next year.