By Alyson Komyanek
Each January millions of us will make a resolution to start the New Year off right. Exercise more, watch less TV, get better grades, whatever it might be. Then, by the time February rolls around, we find ourselves feeling guilty for having broken that “new habit” 3 weeks ago. So this year, why not make a resolution that will both stick and reward you? Follow these 3 simple tips and you’ll be richer this time next year. I Promise.
Learn to live without it
Its 2014, so I’m assuming we all use some type of internet banking? Take a good, hard look at your account and change your settings to automatically deduct a few bucks from your checking account to your savings account each week. Whether it’s $5 or $50 making this change is important. It’s not one of those “resolutions” that requires you to take action everyday—it’s more of a one and done thing. After a few weeks, you won’t even miss it and will probably have forgotten all about it. Put $10 a week away for the whole year, and you will have just saved $520. I have been doing this, on a larger scale, by putting away $100 a week for the past 3.5 years and have saved over $18,000. I don’t miss it, because I never allowed myself to have it. If you’re lucky enough to be getting a raise with the New Year, put that extra money away. Since you’re already doing OK without the pay increase you won’t be any worse off then you are now.
Leave the card at home
I know it’s easier said than done, but it is OK to leave home without it. Only carrying cash will prevent you from making unnecessary purchases. Parting with cash, for some reason, is like 100 times harder than swiping a card. With cash, you know exactly how much you have and how much you can spend.
Shopping with a credit card makes it easier to go over budget since you have that quick access to extra funds. You can still use your card in emergencies, but for a quick trip to the mall or a night out, stick with cash only.
Know the difference between a “want” and a “need”
Do you want a new car or do you need it? Do you need a new a new refrigerator or do you want one? If you’re still driving your car and your food is still cold, then you don’t need it. Understanding the difference between these two four letter words is huge when it comes to saving money! Needs are things we absolutely cannot, under any circumstances live without. We do need certain things in life to keep us going, but most of the things you think you need are actually just wants. Next time you make a purchase, think to yourself, “do I need this, or want it?”. The answer will probably surprise you.
However you choose to save money this year, I hope 2014 brings you all the good things you deserve!