New year, new you! Many people set resolutions for the new year with the goal of becoming better versions of themselves.
The only problem is that some of these resolutions can get to be quite pricey. Resolving to eat better may result in more expensive grocery bills if you shop at specialty grocers. Getting a gym membership may tack on another expense to your credit card statement. And investing in self-care might mean experiencing some sticker shock once you realize how much each spa, facial and massage session really costs.
Amid ongoing inflation, savvy individuals are setting resolutions that allow them to be their best without having to pay a significant amount of money. Embrace the new year without racking up debt with these affordable New Year’s resolutions.
Schedule a No-Spend Month
For some people, this may mean participating in no-spend November or no-spend January. Take a look at your calendar for 2023. Pick a month without holidays, birthdays, vacations or other major events scheduled. Designate this month as your no-spend month. You’ll be able to participate in the challenge without any major distractions.
By the end of 2023, you’ll have some extra money in savings and may even be able to pay down debt.
Pick Up a New Hobby
There are many benefits to having hobbies in your life, including the ability to learn a new skill and bond with other individuals who share similar interests. Best of all, many hobbies are low-cost for getting started — e.g., sewing or knitting, drawing and learning how to play a board game.
The new hobby you pick up could, in time, even become a side hustle. You may join a spin class and become an instructor, spend time cooking and start a cooking blog or become proficient in yard work and offer your services to the neighborhood.
Sign Up for a Library Card
If you don’t already have a library card, now is the time to head to your local library branch and sign up for one. Your library card is a fantastic resource for making and keeping affordable New Year’s resolutions. If you plan on reading more in 2023, you can use your library card to check out books instead of purchasing every book on your list. Or, if your resolution is to cut the cord on streaming services, you can check out movies.
You also can use your library card for the financial benefit of the entire family. See which kinds of free programs or activities are offered at your library branch.
See which other perks are available with your library membership. You may be able to obtain family passes to museums, borrow Chromebooks or other tech essentials, check out toys and games in addition to books and magazines — and even get a parking pass just from having a library card.
Get Active in Your Community
When was the last time you checked in with your local chamber of commerce or neighborhood website?
Start the new year by signing up for e-newsletters and alerts from city leadership. Some cities send out weekly e-newsletters from mayors announcing the openings of new stores or businesses and upcoming free events for members of the community.
It’s one of the fastest ways to find affordable fun events for everyone in the family without needing to travel far or spend a lot of money. Plus, you can mingle with other neighbors and fellow members of the community.
Get on Coupon Mailing Lists
Throughout the holiday season, savvy shoppers signed up for e-newsletters, loyalty programs and apps from their favorite retailers for extra savings. Keep the resolution to experience even more savings in 2023.
Continue utilizing these resources, following retailers on social media and using cash back apps, and get on the mailing list for coupon and value pack companies. Sign up as a member of companies like Valpak, Slickdeals, SnipSnap and more for extra discounts and savings for your wallet. Have an opportunity to coupon stack? Go for it!
Over the last few years amid COVID-19, many consumers have found creative ways to support small businesses in their communities. Making the decision to shop local may not seem like an affordable New Year’s resolution, but let’s weigh some of its benefits.
Many local businesses will have referral programs for new clients. Check in with your salon or hairdresser to see which types of referrals they offer. For example, you may receive a discount on your next appointment if you refer a new client.
Some small businesses, especially restaurants, offer lunch, dinner and happy hour specials. Other businesses may be close to where you live, making it easy to fulfill needs such as dining out or getting dry cleaning.
Keep shopping local throughout 2023 and try out new places — like coffee shops, juice bars and other specialty shops that recently opened, too. You never know which spot could become your new favorite hangout.
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