One of my big goals for 2017 is to save money. I’ll be totally honest, it isn’t super cheap to live inside the city of Atlanta. I also work in non-profit and basically make pennies… I love my job, but non-profit means just that. I kind of live paycheck to paycheck, which is really horrible if I had an emergency. Not to mention eventually, we want to move out of our rented apartment. It’s really past time for me to start a savings plan.
In 2016, I really wanted to come up with a plan to save money, but then I got married instead. Weddings are the opposite of saving money. While I didn’t pay for much (thanks mom and dad!), I did shop for monogrammed cocktail napkins, customized crystal shoes, and watercolor paintings. You know…the necessities.
2017 is my year, though. I’ve partnered with Earnest to come up with a few money saving ideas for the New Year. Here are a few ideas if you’re ready to start saving too!
- Think about big purchases. I’m an impulse shopper, so I need to take time before making a purchase. I’ve started doing this a little bit, but I need to kick it up a notch. I try to give myself a month or so, and if I think about the item all the time and realize I can’t live without it, then I purchase it. If I lose interest or forget, no harm done!
- Try to make outfits out of the pieces you already own. I typically come up with a head-to-toe outfit and wear it as is, rather than vary up my accessories and pieces. I’m really going to use my staple pieces and change them up with different accessories. You can do a lot with a vest and a statement necklace, and we all know I love a good vest.
- Cancel your gym membership and work out at home. I actually did this last year. There are so many incredible workouts on YouTube, that can get you toned and fit without breaking the bank. Plus, there is a great variety of workout videos so you never get bored. I lost 30 pounds last year, and a lot of this was due to YouTube Videos.
- Start Christmas shopping early. Whoa, my bank account took a hit in December. I’m going to start shopping early in the year so I can spread out my spending rather than jumping on a grenade at the end of the year.
- Give up cable. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time, and I’ve decided it’s time. With so many cheaper options to catch my favorite shows, it’s really crazy that I’m still paying for it. Sling, Netflix, and Hulu are going to be my besties in the New Year!
- Set up direct deposit. You can set up your paycheck so a portion of it deposits into your savings account automatically. Then you never have to see it or miss it and instantly save money. I used to do this at my previous job and it was really helpful. I need to set this up at my new position as well.
- Refurbish old furniture. I have mentioned once or twice this week that I am on a decorating kick. However, it’s a little hard to do that with little funds. DIY furniture is really “in” right now and I have a lot of hand-me-down furniture from the 90’s. I’m Pinterest-ing the heck out of ideas how to update it.
- Don’t shop hungry. I’m the worst at this because I do it after work. Make a grocery list and stick to it. I promise you don’t need that roll of Tollhouse cookie dough. *cough* speaking to myself *double-cough*
- Keep your pets healthy. If you take your fur-babies to the vet regularly, it’s actually cheaper than paying for an emergency. I heard on the radio that someone paid over $15,000 in vet bills. Insane. I’d rather take my kiddos in for regular check-ups and make sure everything is working the way it’s supposed to.
- Make short-term goals. I have long term goals, of course. Those just seem very daunting, so I’m focusing on the short term. I’m working on a weekly/monthly plan rather than an end goal.
- Shop online. Free shipping on Amazon Prime is a God-send. Plus, there is usually a coupon code floating around somewhere for your favorite store.
- Know your finances. Check your credit score, pay down credit cards so you aren’t paying interest, keep track of your monthly bills. Knowing every detail of where your money is will help you save long-term.
- Refinance your student loans. I personally don’t have student loans (Hallelujah, thank you Mom and Dad and HOPE Scholarship!) Student Loans are crippling for those who are trying to save money. You have options, though! Earnest has created a whole resource page with ideas and tips to help pay off those pesky loans.
Earnest put together this awesome graphic with some of their money saving tips combined with some of my ideas to help us ALL get on track in 2017!
What are your favorite money-saving tips?