Now that the holiday season is coming to a close, the craziness starts to die down, and the new year is approaching. After the holiday shopping, parties, and other festivities, you might feel a little low on cash! Luckily with the New Year coming quickly, you can start with a clean slate. If you want to make a New Year’s Resolution, why not make it budgeting? Check out these tips for budgeting in the New Year to get some extra cash in your wallet.
Set a Realistic Monthly Budget
At the end of each month, begin planning a budget for the following month. Try to get as specific as possible, and write it down somewhere! If you’re keeping track of what you’re spending, oftentimes writing it down can be a rude awakening. A visual of how much money you spend going out to eat can make you want to eat at home more. Once you set a budget among different categories such as groceries, gas and transportation, shopping, etc., stick to it. Sticking with your budget will help to cut random last-minute purchases that we often get sucked into and can be unnecessary. At the end of the month, you’ll realize how much money your budget saved you!
Get an App
An easy way to stick to your budget and receive reminders is a budgeting app. There are many apps available, each working relatively the same. You can link your bank account safely, set your budgets for different categories and even set reminders for bills. Additionally, you will get reminders when you go over your budget. By the end of the month, you are able to see where you allocate your spending. This is helpful to know where there may be an easy place for you to cut back–like on that iced coffee from Starbucks! Some popular budgeting apps include Mint, PocketGuard, or Wally.
Cut Back on Groceries
Many people don’t realize how many times we run out to the grocery store to grab a few things, whether that be for that night’s dinner or other random trips. An easy way to watch your spending on food is by planning out your meals each week. This can seem difficult, but even if you stock up on general food items like vegetables, rice or pasta, and a protein, you can get creative with how you prepare them! Before you head out to the store, evaluate your inventory. See what you have and what you actually need, and make a list. Only get what’s on your list to avoid the temptation of random snacks and other items!
Pack Your Lunch
One of the most difficult temptations can be running out to grab lunch during the workday. What seems like a harmless twice a week trip to your favorite lunch spot can add up over time. Not to say you can’t splurge every once in a while, but plan on packing your lunch a majority of the time. Prepare your food ahead of time and pack it for the week so you don’t have to think twice about it! Another easy item to make at home is coffee. Those $4 lattes can really break the bank, even if it’s just two times a week!
Review Your Subscriptions
With all the streaming services and subscriptions available, it’s easy to forget which ones you have–especially when they automatically charge your account each month! Unless you’re consistently monitoring every transaction on your card, you might forget that you’re getting charged $10 or more a month for a service you may no longer use. Think about all the services you have, double check your charges, and end subscriptions that you no longer use consistently. There’s not always a need to have 5 different TV streaming services, so take inventory!
Budgeting in the New Year doesn’t need to be difficult! Implement these tips for budgeting so that you can put a little extra cash in your pocket each month. Believe it or not, these habits will catch on easily and save you plenty in the long run!
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