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Ways To Save Money For The New Year

Brink's Money

08 Feb 2021

With the New Year here, it's time for many of us to start thinking about what New Year's resolutions we may want to make. Some of us may want to get fit, learn a new skill, or even pick up a new hobby. However, a brand new year is also a great time to think about our money habits and savings goals. 

Setting some attainable financial goals for the year ahead is a great way to start the New Year off right. So in the spirit of new beginnings, we've put together some simple money-saving tips to help you (hopefully) gain more financial freedom in the New Year. 

5 money-saving tips for the New Year

1. Enjoy takeout less often

This seemingly simple New Year's resolution is popular for two reasons. First, scaling back on quick takeout meals and cooking at home instead is often the healthier option for those with health and fitness goals for the New Year. But also, minimizing takeout can help you save a good chunk of change. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American household spent $3,459 on takeout, in-restaurant dining, and fast food meals in 2019.

If you order takeout often, ask yourself why. Do you dislike cooking, or do you simply not have the time? One great way to save time and make the process more enjoyable is to meal prep and batch-cook, so you're not cooking every night. This eliminates some of the stress and keeps your fridge stocked with quick and delicious meals that are ready to go. 

2. Plan out your new budget

Do you really know where all of your money is going each month? Now is the perfect time to sit down and see exactly where you're spending the most. 

The next step is to find a budgeting method that works for you. Some people have a set amount of money budgeted for bills, groceries, and fun activities. Other people assign a percentage of take-home pay for needs, wants, and savings (the 50/30/20 method). 

Do some research on different budgeting methods to find one that works for you, and, more importantly, one you can stick to!  

3. Tackle debt to save on interest

If you have several loans and credit cards all charging you interest, it can feel like an uphill battle to pay everything off. However, with a more focused approach to clearing debt, you can clear that debt faster and save money on interest rates. 

If you're looking for a great way to tackle this, check out the snowball or avalanche methods. The snowball method works by focusing on your smallest debt first and making as many extra payments as possible to clear the debt faster. Once that's cleared, move onto the next smallest one. With each debt you clear, you wipe out the interest payments, which means you can put more money into paying other debts. 

Alternatively, the avalanche method suggests focusing on paying off the debts with the highest interest rates first. 

4. Negotiate with credit card companies and lenders

On the subject of interest rates, there's a surprisingly easy tactic to getting them reduced. If you think the interest rates you pay on credit cards is fixed, think again. In fact, according to a study by Creditcards.com, almost 70% of people who asked for a lower interest rate were granted it. 

If there's even a small chance that you can get a reduced interest rate to save some money on your credit cards and other loans, it's worth a try.

5. Cut out frivolous but unnecessary costs

Attempt to start saving small. It won’t eliminate all your financial troubles but it will help you plan realistic goals that you will be able to achieve. For example, say no to your daily, overpriced, pumpkin spice latte. Plan your shopping only during sales. Go ride a bike instead of driving your car to save on gas. Instead of paying someone to mow your lawn or walk your dogs for you, take on that responsibility yourself.

Most importantly, keep your eyes on the prize by staying focused and determined. Ostensibly trivial and small savings will build up.

New Year, new savings

Sometimes the best ways to save money are the simplest solutions. With just a few simple changes, you will start to see your savings add up. 

If saving money is your priority for the New Year, be sure you have a good savings account set up to keep your money separate. For example, consider establishing a money market savings account — a high-interest account intended to make your savings go further. That way, you're less tempted to spend the money, and you can earn more by saving it instead. 

Ready to take control of your finances in the New Year? Start with a Brink’s Money Prepaid Mastercard.

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