As the New Year inches closer, you might be thinking of making a list of your New Year’s resolution. You might be thinking of going to the gym more to lose weight or gain muscles or you promise yourself to run more this year and that’s all well and good. However, you could also promise yourself that you will take several financial steps to help you save money for next year. Here are five New Year’s resolutions to help you save more money for 2014.
Dine Out Less
Going out for dinner with your loved one is fun—but it can also be expensive. Aside from your actual restaurant bill, you’ll have to pay for gas and parking fees and it’s also easy to do something else when you eat out—like watching a movie or going on a trip to the arcade. Before you know it, you’ve spent quite a sum of money for more than the simple dinner you originally planned. Keep dine-outs at a minimum. You could try to promise yourself to eat out just once every two weeks to save up on costs—or, learn to cook! You and your date could stay-in and whip up an exotic dish for which you could get the recipe online or watch the instructional video from YouTube.
Make a Budget and Stick to It
For the coming New Year, take some time to write down your expenses and build a budget around those expenses that fits your income. Your recurring expenses such as water and electric bills, or maybe even monthly housing payments, will take up a portion of your household’s income and once that is taken out, you’ll also have to budget for your family’s daily food, transportation, and your child’s school allowance. There are also several apps available for your smartphone to help you make a budget, a quick search on Google Play store, or the Apple’s Store, will give you a list of these free mobile budget apps.
Build Your Emergency Fund
Stuff happens: you get sick or someone in your family grows ill, and you need a lot of money to cover the hospital and medical expenses. Or, you could lose your job and go through months, jobless, while you try to find another one.
To prepare for times like these, it’s imperative to build an emergency fund. If you can manage it, your emergency fund should be equivalent to 8 months of your salary—though more than that is certainly better and much, much welcome. This will give you enough time to look for another job if you suddenly lose your current one. Go back to the budget that you made and find out how much of your income is left after paying off expenses so you can put this away and put it in a savings account.
Reevaluate the Services that You Subscribe to
Do you still need a landline phone when you already have a cellphone? How often do you still use that landline unit? If you don’t use it as much, consider cutting your phone line and save whatever you pay for the service monthly. You could also reevaluate your cable subscription if you have a broadband Internet connection that you could use to stream movies and TV shows. At a time when news websites and online magazines are everywhere, you could also consider cutting your subscription to your daily newspaper or your magazine subscription.
Look for a Deposit Account that Earns More Interest
If your bank savings is not earning the most interest, you’re losing money. Check out our deposits page to help you find an account that earns the most interest. Time deposit accounts typically earn more interest than ordinary savings accounts so you could consider transferring your savings to a time deposit account so your money earns more interest. However, time deposit accounts “lock” your money for a period of time so you can’t just withdraw your money before term without forfeiting the interest that your deposit has earned.