Another year is about to close in just a few short days. Have you made your list of resolutions yet? Some probably don’t even bother making one as it’ll usually last, I don’t know, until February perhaps. Well, sticking to a diet is just as difficult as sticking to a budget when goals are too ambitious. So, let’s make them a little forgiving this time around! Here are some doable New Year financial resolutions to uplift your savings.
1. Make Home Cooking a Hobby
Meals out and take away food consumption have continuously grown for the past several years. According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, fast food takes 34% of our food budget in 2015 and 2016. And since then, this number has likely increased, thanks to the rise of food delivery apps and services.
While it’s alright to enjoy eating out or food deliveries, you can always reserve them for special occasions or make them less frequent. Say, include pizza nights twice a month instead of weekly in your New Year’s resolutions. Then spend some of your food savings to purchase an air fryer or pressure cooker. These can make everyday home cooking quicker and less stressful despite your busy schedules.
2. Be a Smart Shopper
Here’s a fun thing to add on your list of financial resolutions: make discounts and markdowns your best friends next year! Try to complement your big purchases with perfect timing. For example, back-to-school promos in January are perfect for purchasing backpacks, lunchboxes or shoes for your kids. Buy coats and jackets during winter sales. Or reserve furniture and electronic purchases on Boxing Day.
You can apply the same shopping habit when buying your groceries. Aside from keeping an eye on what’s on sale, plan your weekly meals and make a grocery list. Also, find ways on how to lessen food waste and spoilage at home.
3. Plot Your No-Spend Days
To help you stick to your financial goals next year, let a calendar help you out. Identify specific dates of the year where splurging is a no-no. For instance, mark Fridays as your café day. Instead of buying your morning cuppa daily, treat it as a reward for making it through a hectic workweek. Then enjoy home-brewed coffee for the remaining days.
You can plot your no-spend weekends, too. But just because you’re trying to be frugal, doesn’t mean you need to limit the fun. Dedicate these days at home with your family instead. Make no-spend days exciting with board games, home-cooked dinner, movie marathons and other free entertainment.
4. Plan to Declutter Your Closets
Boosting your savings means spending more time at home. But this also gives you more time to be productive. For instance, have no-spend days dedicated to cleaning up your closets. Aside from freeing up space and getting things organised, you might find unneeded clothes or shoes for resale. Online marketplaces make it easier to turn these into extra income. After your closets, you can raid your attic or garage next!
5. Review Your Utility Bills and Subscriptions
Are your utility deals the best one around? Take some time to evaluate your monthly electricity and water bills. Perhaps, a new year calls for a new service provider. Shop around and see if other utility retailers offer services or bundles at lower costs. Encouraging everyone at home to start practising energy-saving habits is an excellent addition to your savings plans, too.
Also, do you still need that gym membership? How about your cable TV package? These extras can count as unnecessary expenses, so you might need to cut down a few or find cheaper alternatives.
6. Routinely Visit Your Doctor and Dentist
The saying health is wealth couldn’t be more true this 2020. So, make it a point to include medical needs to your savings accounts or emergency fund next year. Better yet, add living a healthier lifestyle to your list of financial resolutions. Aside from a balanced diet and exercise, make the most of your workplace health benefits and see your doctor or dentist regularly. Identifying health issues early on will keep you away from more costly hospital stays or surgeries.
7. Track Your Expenses Regularly
Whether it’s the traditional pen and paper or a mobile app, find a way how you can record your everyday expenses next year. This goal will help you stick to all your financial resolutions. Aside from keeping you on track, it can show you other opportunities to save or cut back. Evaluate your expenses monthly, then compare it with your previous status. The more frequent you do your review, the more conscious you become of bad habits and areas for improvement.
The year 2020 is undoubtedly full of challenges, from job security to health concerns. A new year is an all the more perfect time to include financial decisions and stability to our plans. Having a savings goal will ensure we are up for life’s many other trials and surprises.
Have a prosperous new year!