After the year we just experienced, it’s OK if you haven’t made any 2021 New Year’s resolutions yet. However, don’t throw away your financial goals just because the calendar doesn’t read Jan. 1.
Wondering how to make the best of budgeting or saving resolutions? Here are a few ways that may help:
Keep fitness and healthy eating resolutions budget-friendly.
Don’t fall prey to the signup deals offered by gyms or fitness centers. Save money by using free fitness videos online or exploring local trails and walking paths in your community. Shop for gently-used workout gear and equipment, especially if you’re not sure which brand or style you want to stick with. The same goes for kitchen appliances for healthy cooking methods. Thrift or trade with people in your network first. You can always buy your own later if you end up using that air fryer as much as you think you will.
Clean out your inbox.
Now that you don’t need sales for holiday gift buying, remove the temptation to shop by unsubscribing from retailers who message you frequently with coupons and deals. You’ll find it easier to stick to your budgeting resolutions if you don’t see “30% off!” emails during your lunch break.
Take small steps for tomorrow.
The world certainly seems topsy-turvy at times, but barring an actual apocalypse, we all need to stash away extra funds. If 2020 negatively affected your finances, it’s perfectly fine to start small by opening a savings account for an emergency fund. You may be in a position, however, to protect your wealth with an IRA. Whether it’s $5 a month or taking retirement planning seriously, everyone can benefit from thinking ahead.
Cancel, cancel, cancel.
Spend a few minutes combing through your financial statement to find those subscriptions you forgot about. Cancel what you no longer need or ones that aren’t giving you your money’s worth. If you subscribe to something new or want to take advantage of a free trial, set a reminder on your phone or work calendar to cancel. You can even set a reminder to reevaluate in 3 months to see if you really want to continue paying for that service. Remember to update your budget if you decide to keep a new subscription.
De-stress with automation.
Last year was stressful enough for multiple years. Do you cause yourself more headaches (and late fees!) by forgetting to pay a monthly bill? Use your bank’s automated bill paying tools to reduce your stress and save money. For those who want to build their savings automatically, tools like Saving Makes Sense transfer funds to a savings accounts each time you make a purchase.
Budget with purpose.
As you set your budgeting goals this year, you may not have a trip to save for, but you likely have something you want to purchase in a few months. Budgeting with a clear goal in mind will keep your spending in line. Is it a larger down payment on your next car? A new couch? You will find it easier to say no to unnecessary spending if you have something more meaningful to look forward to.
Making new resolutions doesn’t always feel worth the effort, especially this year. Setting financial goals, however, can set the stage for multiple years of positive change.