Tips for Getting Back Into Your Savings Routine After the Holidays
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Tips for Getting Back Into Your Savings Routine After the Holidays

Posted on Monday, December 26th, 2011 at 8:12 am
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The majority of New Year’s Resolutions fall into two general categories: weight loss, and money.  After the financial extravagance of the holidays is over, many people decide it is time to get back into their savings routine.  How does one manage to achieve that?  Here are some tips that can help you transition back into the savings routine you were in before the holidays.

The first thing you are going to need to do is make a budget.  Figure out how much money your household makes in a month.  That number gives you a good idea about the amount of money that you can afford to spend each month.

Next, you need to make a list of all the bills that you typically pay in a month.  These could include payments for: mortgage, rent, electricity, water, trash, cable, internet, phones (land line and cells), and more.  You also will want to include other expenses like groceries and gas.  Figure out the amount of money that would be required to pay all those bills and expenses.  Subtract that from the number that represents your monthly income.

The amount that is leftover is what you can use to pay for other, less necessary, things.  If your goal this year is to save money, there are plenty of helpful suggestions about how to do that.  Here are a few tips that you can try.

Pay yourself first.  Every month, take a specific amount of the “leftover” money, and put it into your savings account.  Do this before you make that trip to Starbucks, or spend it on an “impulse buy”.  Pick an amount that you can reasonably afford to put into your savings account.  It might only be ten dollars a month, but even that low amount will, eventually, accrue interest.

Start paying down your credit cards.  The nasty thing about credit cards is that they attach a monthly interest rate to the amount that you owe.  If you only pay the minimum, then you are probably only paying for that interest rate.  You won’t ever make the actual balance go down.  Instead, pay more than the minimum required payment.  Keep chipping away at that debt, and don’t let it grow bigger.

Take your credit cards out of your purse.  If you don’t have a bunch of credit cards with you when you shop, then you won’t be tempted to use them.  If you lack will power, then this little tip can prevent you from continuing to run up your credit cards.

Most importantly, you need to stick to your budget.  It might not be fun to have restrictions placed on your spending habits.  But, if your goal is to save money, then these methods will be worth it.

 

 

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Good Tip: Saving money is important – especially if you have a lot of expenses like bills to pay, loans to pay off, and all the other things that drain your bank account. Figuring out a way to save money can feel tedious to some, and like a punishment to others. U.S. News suggests that you try one of these money saving challenges. The “No Eating Out for a Month” Challenge This one is self-explanatory. The goal is to avoid eating out for an entire month. This might be super easy for people who enjoy making meals at home. People who really enjoy dining out, or ordering food to be sent to their home, may struggle with this one. It’s worth a try because spending money on take-out is more expensive than buying groceries. The Pantry Challenge This one is a variation of the “No Eating Out for a Month” challenge. The goal is to use up all of your groceries before you buy more. It forces you to try and remember why you bought a food or beverage that you don’t know what to do with, and gives you the opportunity to find a way to use it. The one exemption to this challenge is the foods that have expired. Don’t eat them! Throw them in the trash. The “No Spend” Challenge Make a goal to avoid spending money during an entire weekend. The only exemption in this challenge is that you are allowed to pay bills. This challenge is interesting because it requires creativity. You must be creative and find workarounds for problems that you would typically solve by spending money. You may have a different outlook on spending after finishing this challenge.