Keeping more cash in your wallet is within reach for everybody, and it’s never too late to start. In fact, the beginning of the year is a perfect time to make New Year’s resolutions about your finances because you actually have a better chance of keeping those promises if you start now. According to Time Money, those who improve their money matters at the start of a new year tend to have more success in that endeavor than those who wait. A new study reveals that more than 50 percent of people who made a resolution to improve their finances last year feel much better about their financial lives now, compared with just 38 percent who made no such resolution who feel better about their finances now than they did last year. Here are some tips to keeping more money in your savings account this year—without even feeling the sting.
Cut Out the Waste
We’ve all been told to cut out the daily latte to save money; that’s old advice, but it does work. Aside from that, eliminate wasteful spending on your daily life that can really add up, like lottery tickets, more groceries than you will eat before they go bad, fast food stops, magazine subscriptions, and premium cable TV channels you never tune into, advises Time Business. Really take the time to think about what you’re spending every dime on. Chances are, you can eliminate a lot of those things without feeling their absence.
Save a Little from Each Paycheck
By squirreling a little bit away whenever you get paid, you will be able to save money almost imperceptibly and you won’t miss it. Bonus: your wallet keeps growing. Better yet: have a set amount diverted into an account automatically each month so that you don’t even see it. That will translate to a nice nest egg later, all without feeling a noticeable tightening of the proverbial belt.
Invest in Long-Term Savings
Putting away some money in stocks or a long-term investment account of some kind can only help propel you toward your financial goals. Thinking long-term instead of in the here and now will ensure you have something for later when you really need it. Take a look at your retirement portfolio often to make sure it’s optimized and matches with your goals, says NASDAQ. Make sure you consider all investments, such as college funds for your children.
Advice for Every Age
Financial resolutions will vary with age, as what’s important to a college student differs from that of a retiree. Your goals will change from year to year, and that’s OK. In fact, it’s healthy. You need to readjust your goals as you enter into new phases of your life to address what’s crucial at that moment. Recent college grads, for instance, may not be making the money they were promised with their new career yet—that will come in time.
Young people can cut corners by spending just $50 less on groceries each month, using credit cards wisely without racking up big bills, creating a budget, and knowing the importance of needs vs. wants. Families can cut back by eating out less per week, making homemade items whenever possible, shopping smart with coupons, taking staycations instead of extravagant vacations, using items that are reusable to cut down on waste, buying second hand clothing, and being smart about energy efficiency in the home. Those facing retirement can keep more money in their wallets by scouring the Internet and newspapers for senior discounts, re-evaluating insurance needs, rethinking costly memberships to organizations they no longer belong to, and cutting down on TV and cell phone service.
It’s still early in the year, so get going on your 2015 financial resolutions to keep your wallet full all year long!