Each year we want to do more, save more. It’s great to have a new year’s resolution to save money and be more efficient. However, new year’s goals need to be specific in order to be achieved. So, here are 15 things to do in 2016 that you’ll be so glad you did. They’ve probably been on your to do list for a while and WILL SAVE YOU MONEY!
Sign up for a library card – save money on books
Getting a library card is an easy way to save money. Even if you only buy books when they’re on sale, buying 3 books a month at $5 each is still $180 a year. Save money on books by getting them from the library.
Plant something – garden to save money
Find fruit, vegetables and herbs expensive? Starting a garden, or even just a growing one or two plants, may seem hard, but once you start, you’ll be surprised how easy it is. For example, rosemary is super easy to grow and take care of. It makes everything from toast to chicken that much more delicious. Other things to consider growing yourself?
- Produce native to your region and/or ideal for the climate you live
Save money in post-holiday sales
Winter wear and holiday decorations go on sale in January. Purchase items you know you’ll need anyway – like Christmas wrapping paper and Christmas ornaments for gifts next holiday season. With many stores putting Christmas items 30 – 75% off, you’ll thank yourself in Christmas 2016.
Set up automatic payments for your bills
Review all your bills and see which ones you can set up automatic payments for, such as rent and health insurance. By having an automatic payment, you cut the risk of late fees.
*Image Credit Goes to Victor Hanacek of PicJumbo
Create an annual budget & monthly budget to help save money
Review how much you made and spent in 2015. With that in mind, create a budget for the entire year. Decide how much you can spend for the year and then divide by 12 to create a monthly budget. Create a monthly budget for each spending category such as:
- Housing (rent, mortgage, etc.)
- Insurance Needs (health insurance, car insurance, etc.)
- Entertainment & Fun (movies, concerts, etc.)
Create a plan for bringing your own lunch
If you don’t already make your own lunch, this is the year to start. Making your own lunch saves a lot of money and is usually healthier. If you don’t already have the tools that motivate you to make your own lunch, start 2015 by investing in a few items that’ll help you make your own lunch, for example:
- Tupperware to hold lunch (such as salads, pasta, etc.)
- For example, fancy tupperware that are divided into multiple compartments will make you WANT to bring your own lunch.
- Pans for roasting veggies and things that you can then reheat/bring for lunch throughout the week
- Reusable sandwich and snack bags (They may be a little more expensive than plastic Ziplocs, but Ziplocs have to be repurchased and so are on more expensive long term.)
- A spiralizer (This little device turns all your favorite veggies into pasta noodles. This makes it super easy to bring a healthy, delicious lunch!)
Looking for cheap, easy lunch recipes that are delicious? Check out our blog 18 Cheap, Easy Meals Under $5.
Do a New Year’s cleanout: Make money selling old clothes
Set aside a few hours to look through your closet. Take all items you haven’t worn ALL year and get rid of them. Not only will it clean and refresh your home, you can make good money selling clothes. Learn how to do so at our blog: How Your Old Unwanted Clothes Can Earn You Money.
Reduce how much you drive – walk more to save money
Choose at least one day a week or every two weeks to not drive. This may be tough at first but, after it becomes a habit, it’s amazing to see how easy it is. Instead of driving that 1 or 2 miles to the store, walk. It’ll save money on gas and give refreshing exercise. (And, remember, the more you walk and exercise, the healthier you are. Being healthy saves money because it decreases chance of getting sick and needing expensive medical treatment.)
*Photo credit to Viktor Hanacek at Pic Jumbo
Want to Save More Money?
For more ideas on how to save money and make 2016 debt-free, check out 12 Financial Habits That’ll Save You Money.