There’s no better time than now to start implementing ways that can save you money in the new year. Not only will it leave you feeling much more financially free in the coming months, but it will give you a head start on even more financial freedom when January rolls around again. We’ve come up with 5 financial tips that will save you money this year, so you can start enjoying more wiggle room right away.
1. Put That Tax Refund to Good Use
Your tax refund can especially come in handy for saving you money in the new year. You can use it to pay off debt, set yourself up with an emergency fund and so much more! By utilizing your tax return in a way that helps out your money situation, you can create more ease within your spending for the remainder of the year.
2. Set a Budget and Don’t Stray from It
The absolute best way to save yourself money is to create a budget. Budgets offer you at-a-glance knowledge on where your finances go, so you never have to worry if you’re overspending. They also provide a great way to determine if your spending is going where it’s absolutely necessary. For instance, you might notice when creating your budget that you typically spend loads more eating out every month rather than eating at home. By becoming aware of your spending habits, you can create ways to eliminate those extras and start enjoying that additional cash instead.
3. Say Goodbye to Credit Card Debt & Switch to Prepaid Debit Cards
Credit cards bring a lot of extra payments and interest to your purchases. By eliminating the costly interest rates you receive with your monthly credit card billing, you’re opening up more opportunities for cash in your pocket.
One of the best ways to start paying interest-free is to switch to a prepaid debit card. This will allow you to never pay more than the sticker price, and it will help you better manage your money.
4. Ditch Your Expensive Cell Phone Plan
Tired of paying through the nose for your monthly cell phone bill? Next to car insurance and rent, cell phone bills take up one of the largest portions of monthly income. Skip the contracts, ditch your expensive plan, and enjoy more money in your pocket along with great service from prepaid cell phones instead.
5. Increase Your Savings for Retirement
If you’re worried that you might not make enough to contribute to an IRA or are unsure how to get started, rest assured anyone can do it! In fact, there are several easy ways to get started saving with an IRA that won’t break the bank or put unnecessary strain on your finances.
Both traditional and Roth IRAs are a great place to stow your savings for retirement. Each offers unique tax advantages: Traditional IRA contributions are tax-deductible and Roth IRAs allow for withdrawing money tax-free in retirement. If you’re interested in opening an IRA, here are some tips you can follow from Holly Wolf, Chief Marketing Officer of Conestoga Bank:
- Review your take home pay. “If your take home pay is $314.27, take the first number $3 and the change $0.27, and deposit that in an IRA ($3.27). It’s a small amount each pay, but it’s a start.”
- Don’t pay with change. Take all the change you get, save it, and then deposit that into your IRA.
- Take half of your birthday, holiday or anniversary money gifts and put them into your retirement account.
- Put at least 10% of your IRS tax refund check into your retirement account – and add more if you can afford it.
No matter how you choose to spend or save this year, your local CFSC is here to help! Check out our website for a complete list of financial services that will get you in and out. No hassles. No gimmicks.