Well, you made it to the year 2020 , is it everything you’d hoped for? I must say, I don’t think I’ve heard more people talking about new year’s resolutions more than I did at the end of 2019 — it seemed that the idea of a new decade was significantly more motivating than your traditional new year.
According to Fidelity Investments, 67% of Americans were considering making a financial resolution for 2020. But how many of those people actually stick to their goal of saving money, and if you’re one of those people that has committed to be more financially responsible this year, do you have a plan to help you succeed long-term? If not, don’t stress. We have some tips to get you there!
Setting money-saving goals
Saying you want to “save money” is great, but what does that mean to you? It could mean skipping your morning coffee to save a couple bucks each day, or even putting half of your pay check into a savings account. Be specific. If your goal is too generic it’s easy to lose track of how you’re doing. You also want to make sure your goal is measurable so you’re able to track your progress.
For something like saving money, try to outline what success looks like to you first and then you can decide how to best achieve that goal. An example would be: Have an extra $2,400 of savings by the end of the year.
Find a helpful tool
Once you have your clear goal, you’ll need to make sure you have a plan to achieve your goal. Here are just a couple suggestions for easy-to-use mobile applications to consider:
Mint is probably one of the most popular budgeting apps available, so it’s a no brainer to check it out if you haven’t already. Available on both Android and iOS, the Mint app is able to pull in all of your bills and account balances so you can see what funds you have available and what bills need to be paid all in one place. Once you can clearly see your financial information you can create your budget based on the goals you previously set for the year.
Another great option is the Wally app. Originally it was only available for iOS but more recently a version called Wally+ also became available for Android users. Wally is able to help you compare your income and expenses. Seeing what’s going in and what’s going out clearly side-by-side can help you see where you can afford to spend more and where you might want to cut back.
I have outlined some tools that could help you, but there are so many free services available that can help you be a successful saver so if any of these options aren’t what you’re looking for definitely keep looking for something that suits your needs. Using an app or other program to track your progress throughout the year will keep you accountable.
Now that you have a goal and the tools to succeed, it’s time to get serious and make the changes required to hit your target. There are so many ways to cut everyday costs and every bit can make a big difference over the course of a year.
Do you buy a small Dunkin Donuts coffee every weekday morning? Cutting that from your regular spending alone will help you save $413 by the end of the year! When it comes to non-perishable food products (think anything canned), try going with the generic brand whenever it’s cheaper. The main difference between the generic and brand-name products is almost always the label- and that hardly seems to be worth the $0.50.
Want to make an even bigger impact? How about just not paying for your hydro bill anymore? No? You’re right, that’d be crazy, but can you imagine if you could completely get rid of those seemingly necessary expenses? Why not stop paying for your phone bill? No, this time I’m not joking, this is completely possible!
With TextNow, phone plans start as low as $0. This isn’t a temporary promotion, or some crazy deal only available to the first 100 people who sign up. This is a real option and it’s here to stay. You can download the TextNow application for free, create an account, get a free phone number and start calling and texting — you guessed it — for free at any time! Talk about saving money!
Still Not Cutting it?
So you’ve done everything above and you’re still having trouble reaching your goals? Well that’s not ideal but no need to panic. If your expenses are as low as you can get them, your other option is to increase your income. It’s a new year, maybe now’s the time for a new job. Embrace the year 2020 and get out there and kill it! Take a look at our New Job, New Year post for tips and tricks to help you get ahead.