We are a little over a month into the New Year… so how is your resolution to save money this year working out?
If you set financial goals for the New Year you are not alone. Some 34 percent of Americans set financial resolution goals, but according to a 2012 University of Scranton study published in the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only around 8 percent end up achieving their goal.
If your New Year money saving goals are working out, great job! For those of you who seem to be having a bit of trouble saving money like you had planned, here are some “out of the ordinary” tips to help you out. Some of these might seem insignificant or just plain common sense, but the little things do add up.
Turn off the TV
There are other money saving benefits by turning off the television then the obvious electricity savings… if you are watching less TV, you are not exposed to as many advertisements all clamoring for your hard-earned money. Many of us use the TV to unwind after work or just as background noise. Consider turning on music if you need to relax after a hard day.
The 30 Day Rule
With the instant gratification society we live in now, this little trick will likely prove very difficult for most of you. If you are not familiar with how the 30 Day Rule works, here it is in a nut shell… if you are considering making an unnecessary purchase, wait 30 days and then check back in with yourself and see if you still want it. More times than not, you will either forget about it before your 30 days are up, or you will realize that you really don’t want / need the item. It’s best to keep your list of 30 day items in your head as opposed to writing them down, this way you will more than likely forget about them… saving you from spending money on an unnecessary purchase.
Ask for a Rate Reduction
Call your credit card companies and ask for a rate reduction. Just because you ask doesn’t mean that they will grate you a reduction in your rate, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Try telling them that you want a rate reduction or you will take your business somewhere else.
Turn off lights and ceiling fans
This is something that my wife and I have to constantly remind our kids to do. There is no need to have a light or a ceiling fan on in a room that has no one in it. This is also true of for the above mentioned TV. We have at least managed to get out kids to turn off the TV when they are done watching something.
- Use a Programmable Thermostat A programmable is a great money saving tool, especially if you have a regular schedule. If you work let’s say 9-5, you can set you’re A/C or heat, to turn off while you are at work, then come back on an hour or so before you are to arrive at home. The same can apply to changing the temperature while you are sleeping.
Remove your credit or debit cards from on-line shopping
If you make purchases at online retailers, you probably have your credit card information saved there. That way all you have to do is click a button and your purchase is made. Consider removing your payment sources from those online stores. This way, when you want to buy something, you will actually have to get up, dig out our credit card and enter it manually. Hopefully this will make you think about why you are making this purchase.
The 10 Second Rule
This is the 30 Day Rule’s little brother. When shopping, especially at the grocery store, consider the item you are about to put in your cart, hold it in your hands for 10 seconds and ask yourself why you are buying it. If you cannot come up with a good reason, put it back. This will help in reducing those impulse buys.
If you have leftover night once a week, you will save the money equivalent to one meal. In our family, we have leftover night once a week, the night before the garbage goes out. That way, what doesn’t get eaten for the leftover meal gets thrown away and leftovers don’t pile up in the fridge.
Save your loose change
Have a designated container to put your loose change in. We use one of those big pickle jars. The kids enjoy seeing the level of coins rise. Let that money sit in there for 6 months or a year and then take it to one of those places that have a coin counter (our bank does it) then treat the family with something special. …you will likely have more money in that jar than you realize!
Skip the Double Makiato, Frappichino, Grande latte
…or whatever it’s called. Skip that $4 coffee on the way to work. If you just have to have a fancy-named cup of Joe, consider buy flavored coffee or the flavored additives for coffee that you make at home… and take with you to work. If you get a $4 coffee every morning on the way to work, you will spend over $1000 a year!
Don’t give up! Having a financial goal and sticking to it is not easy, but if you do your best to stick with it, you will find yourself in a better financial position before you know it.