How to Save Money in the New Year

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Weight loss is a popular New Year’s Resolution but so is saving money and spending it more cost effectively. If you’re looking to save money in 2012, here’s a how to list of money saving ideas.

  1. Cook at home – This is a big time and money saver. Ordering a pizza costs $20 but making it at home is about $5. Same goes for making lunch at home instead of going to a deli on your lunch break. You can save money on bread by baking it yourself. Make a monthly menu to help keep you and your family on track and out of a pricey restaurant.
  2. Make (And Stick To) A Grocery List – I know when I go to the grocery store with a list I avoid impulse buys. If you make your menu and stick to it, you will know exactly what you need when you get to the store. This will save money on items you don’t need and save money on gas when you avoid a second trip for something you’ve forgotten.
  3. Make Your Own Coffee & Use a Brita Filter – Stopping for coffee on the way to work is about $2.50, if you order a latte it’s even more.  Making your own coffee is a major money saver, the costs add up quickly: $2.50 x 5 day/week = $12.50 x 4 weeks/month = $50. $50 a month!!!! This goes the same for bottled water. Use a water filter system, keep a pitcher in the fridge and fill up travel bottles as needed. Water is so good for your body too!
  4. Make a Yearly Budget – Starting the year off with a budget will help you deal with expectations and create a savings plan for the next vacation, car, home or other purchase. Many websites are dedicated to putting a budget together.
  5. Trick Yourself into Saving Money – Have your paycheck direct deposited to two accounts, it will automatically add a small portion to a savings account. Before long, you won’t know you’re missing it! That is until you check your savings account months later and find a nice chunk of change.
  6. Analyze Automatic Charges – Services such as cable, movie accounts, gym memberships will bill your credit card automatically. Take some time to look at statements and decide if the services you’re paying for are worth it, are you using them? Could you change your Netflix account from 3 movies to 1? Do you need to keep paying for a gym you don’t use or are there exercises you could do at home?
  7. Avoid Banking and ATM Fees – Review your banking and ATM Fees, are you losing money in your saving account because of low balances? Plan ahead and be sure to stop at your bank’s ATM before going out. Fees are like throwing money out the window.
  8. Cut back on Electric and Heating Bills – Open the curtains to let the sun in during the day, it will heat up your house for free. Be conscience of when you have the heat or air conditioning on. After baking leave the oven open to warm up the house. Keep in mind that appliances still use electricity while switched off, it’s called vampire power. Unplug appliances when not in use, the money adds up. Want to know how much you can save? Check your energy loss here.
  9. Visit the Library – This is a money and space saver and it’s fun! If you’re a big reader, stop at your local library to borrow a book before buying it. Most people read a book once and then put it on a shelf, so by borrowing it from the local library you’re saving the money for the book and the space on your shelves. Most libraries offer DVD choices too. It’s also a great way to get to know your community.
  10. Find Free Entertainment – Communities are always having concerts, festivals and events. Look in a local newspaper or website for events.

This list of 10 ideas to save money in the new year is just the beginning. With a little thought you can tighten up the budget and costs in your life. What are your tips for saving money?

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