It’s 2018 and you’re resolved to make your budget stick and improve your personal finances. However, committing to that resolution and following through isn’t always easy. Here are a few simple, attainable goals to help you keep your resolution throughout the year.
Reduce Daily Food and Beverage Expenses
Everyone has weaknesses, such as buying fancy coffee drinks in the morning or spending money on lunches during work. It isn’t necessary to cut out everything you love, but you can save a lot of money by making some smart, simple changes to your everyday routine. Instead of buying a lunch every day at work, take in leftovers from a weekend meal or make a sandwich in the morning before you head out the door. Microwavable meals are another good option, especially when your grocery store offers them on special. Instead of stopping at a coffee shop every morning, buy quality coffee in bulk and make it at home. Habits can be hard to break, so try skipping food and beverage purchases one day a week. After you get used to it, you can gradually add more spend-free days.
Use Comparison-Shopping Apps
There are a variety of electronic tools that help you save money when you shop. Try downloading mobile shopping apps on your smartphone that can help you find the best prices. There are apps that let you search for items and see how much they cost in stores and online. You can also see when there are sales at major stores. Other apps allow you to scan item barcodes for prices in stores or online. Feeling like you spent too much on something? There are apps that let you scan your receipt and compare prices against competitors’ advertised deals so you can get the difference back. PC Magazine recently published a guide to six of the best comparison-shopping apps available.
Schedule No-Spend Weekends
Do you tend to spend a lot on entertainment, restaurants, delivery or travel on weekends? If you’re splurging on Saturdays and Sundays the costs can add up fast. Consider scheduling a couple of no-spend weekends each month to help you save. Suggestions: check your area for free concerts, plays, festivals or other events, visit a park, have some friends come over after dinner to play games, or binge-watch a new show with your significant other. There are many things you can do that don’t require money.
Generate Side Income
A supplemental income from a second job, part-time work or even seasonal work can be a great way to get ahead and reduce your financial stress. Making as little as $100 extra a month will help you reach your budget goals more quickly, assist in paying off debt faster, or give you an opportunity to save more money for long-term goals.