With the new year approaching, you may be focusing your attention on how life might improve in 2022. One way to improve life that’s within your control is focusing on your finances and creating a brighter economic future for yourself.
How about saving a thousand dollars or two? It may not sound like an easy sum to put away. Over the course of a year, though, it would only cost you $2.73 per day to save $1,000. That’s $19 a week. Or $83 a month.
We rounded up nine resolutions you can make, each of which can potentially save you $1,000 over the course of a year. Do them all and you could usher in 2022 with $9,000 in extra cash.
1. Create a Separate Account
Luis Hernandez, assistant vice president and wealth advisor at Frost Bank in San Antonio, Texas, said the first thing to do is establish a new savings account separate from all your other current accounts. Thereafter, simply set up small auto transfers to coincide with direct deposits. “You will be amazed how quickly your savings balance will increase,” Hernandez said.
If you can start with at least $83 a month, there’s $1,000 already saved before you can spend it.
2. Cut Back on Spending
Start with the low-hanging fruit, like daily coffee purchases, Hernandez advised. Instead of purchasing a cup of coffee, make it at home. Start with a small goal of cutting back coffee purchases for one week, then two weeks, etc.
At around $3 each, five basic tall lattes from Starbucks per week adds up to nearly $20. The money saved from something as small as a cup of coffee can be big over time.
3. Make Meals at Home
The average American has spent $67 a week on takeout during the pandemic. While we may not be going out to eat as much, takeout still has a high price tag, compared to home cooking. While it’s not as easy as ordering in, you can save a lot of money by preparing food yourself, Hernandez said.
If you cook in larger quantities or double your recipes, slotting your leftovers into your weekly meal plan will not only cut down on your back-of-the-fridge food waste, but give you that takeout night ease of not having to cook.
4. Cancel Subscriptions
Remember when you signed up for that free trial just to watch that one movie? Yeah, we forgot to cancel those subscriptions, too. Review your online streaming services or subscriptions. “There may be some services you rarely use, or simply forgot about, that can add a nice amount of cash back into your monthly budget,” Hernandez said.
Don’t forget about those automatically renewing app subscriptions, too. Check your own subscriptions through your app store as well as those of your kids and other family members. With these subscriptions ranging anywhere from less than $5 to more than $50 per month, there is big potential for savings.
5. Re-evaluate Your Online Spending Budget
Do you know the total amount of money you spent online last month? If not, review the total and attempt to lower your monthly spending budget so you can redirect those funds to your savings, Hernandez said.
All of the online shopping we’re doing has made impulse buying far too easy. A good rule of thumb is to pause and give it 24 hours. Come back to your online shopping cart the next day and see if the “need” for that item is still there. If not, delete.
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6. Personal Care Savings
The pandemic has gotten us used to going without many of our personal care rituals. So even when we can safely venture out into a masked crowd again, try keeping some of those trimmings. Continue to forgo the gym memberships, spa days, $70 haircuts, and manicures. Calculate your pre-pandemic monthly spending on those services and put it in that separate account. You can have $1,000 in the bank in no time.
7. Drive Less
Has your work situation gone remote? Re-budget your monthly gas bill into savings. If you do have to go back to commuting, consider turning over a new leaf in your mode of transportation. Take the bus or look into carpool options (when it’s safe to do so) and tuck your savings away.
8. Buy Used
Next time you need clothing or home goods, look at second-hand options like Facebook Buy Nothing Groups, online thrift or consignment shops or marketplaces like Facebook, Offer Up and Craigslist. Compare the cost of the item new and deposit the difference in your savings account.
There’s a great environmental benefit to participating in the circular economy as well when you’re using up fewer virgin resources and keeping items out of the landfill.
9. Skip the Booze
Americans’ alcohol consumption has spiked considerably during the pandemic, and it’s one of the biggest ticket items at the grocery store. One six-pack of beer and one modestly priced bottle of wine per week can easily cost $20 – and that’s just home consumption. At a bar or restaurant, two cocktails alone will set you back that much. Cut that out or cut back for a year and you could easily hit $1,000 in savings. You’ll probably feel a lot healthier, too.
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