Save $1,000 With These 10 New Year's Resolutions

Save $1,000 With These 10 New Year's Resolutions

Written by Caitlin Wood
Last Updated January 6, 2015

Whether you’re looking to be more financially responsible, lose those holiday pounds or just improve your lifestyle in general, New Year’s resolutions only ever seem to last for the month of January before they become a distant memory. After the holidays are over and life returns to normal it can be hard to follow through on the promises you made to yourself while you relaxed on your vacation from work and stress.

We understand that with the new year comes a lot a pressure to change and grow as a person and more often than not the pressure is too much to handle. That’s why we’ve created 10 New Year’s resolutions that are not only easy to follow but have to potential to will save you at least $1,000.

  1. Create a Shopping Strategy

When we say strategy, we mean it. Create yourself a strategy for all your weekly purchases and for any extra or special purchases. This way you’ll be able to take advantage of any and all discounts and savings. Part of your strategy should be to not buy anything before you’ve compared prices and made sure you’re getting the best deal possible. Shop the sales, but only for the things you actually need and put those Christmas gift cards to work.

Make any spending you do this year a conscious choice not a passive one. Yes, this will take a bit more thought and planning than simply buying whatever you see first but it will in the end save you a significant amount of money.

Possible annual savings: $400+

  1. Implement a Spending Plan or a Budget

All anyone talks about in the new year are budgets, but guess what? If done properly they actually work and you could see a significant savings in only a few months. Everyone has a different salary and a different lifestyle so there’s not exactly one way to create a budget but the starting point is always the same, write it down. Find all your bills and tally up all your monthly expenses and then compare it to what you make in a month and see what the damage is. If you’re spending more than you make in a month then you need to make some changes right away.

A budget is meant to help you track your spending and then implement new ways of cutting back so that you can save. Don’t go over board and decide to cut all your unnecessary spending, you’ll probably crack under the pressure and continue to over spend. Make slow and positive changes every week or every month, you’ll start to see the difference sooner than you think.

Possible annual savings: $200+

  1. Tackle the Debt (ASAP)

Just like budgeting, debt is another thing that people can’t stop thinking about and talking about during the start of a new year. Everyone has at least some kind of unwanted debt, usually in the form of credit cards. Make 2015 the year you start to tackle your credit card debt, don’t promise yourself to be debt free by the end of the year because that might be one of those resolutions what’s forgotten by February. But do promise yourself that you start to work on it. Being debt free is a challenge and a journey; don’t make it harder than it needs to be. Create a debt-management plan that fits well with your budget, this way you’ll be able to track everything easily and hopefully you’ll be more likely to stick to it.

Possible annual savings: $500+

  1. Plan Your Meals/ Eat out Less

Eating out on a regular basis is one of the most expensive habits to have and possibly one of the less healthy as well. Generally speaking lunch out during the week probably costs around $10, if not more. So if you eat out every day while at work you’re spending around $50 a week and that’s not counting the weekends. Start to plan your meals and go grocery shopping during the weekend so come Monday morning you’ll have food to take with you.

Possible annual savings: $2,000 +

  1. Cut the Little Luxuries

The little luxuries that we all like to treat ourselves to every once in a while really do add up over the course of a whole year. In the moment a $3 coffee might not seem that expensive but think about the total cost after you’ve bought one a couple times a week all year long. Don’t’ forget about other small expenses like that gym membership you almost never use or your satellite TV. At the very least consider cheaper alternatives, giving up everything is not your goal, but saving a dollars here and there can’t hurt.

Possible annual savings: $500+

  1. Reconsider Your Loyalty

Reconsider your loyalty to your insurance company and any other service provider that you pay on a regular basis. Shop around for better rates and prices and don’t hesitate to switch your business when you find a better deal. Use online resources to compare rates and find a price that works for your new budget.

Possible annual savings: $100+

  1. Start an Emergency Fund

Not having any kind of an emergency fund is a great way to create more unwanted debt for yourself. An emergency fund can provide the money you need just in case you happen to get a flat tire, have a medical emergency, need to fix your roof or buy a new washer and dryer. You may never need to use the money but having it will provide you with peace of mind.

Possible annual savings: Whatever you contribute (set a goal to aim for!).

  1. Implement Healthy Lifestyle Changes

Everyone wants to get fit in the new year so why don’t you actually try to achieve that goal and save some money while you’re at it. Walk more so you can save money on gas, eat out less and get more sleep. These simple lifestyle changes are good for you and your wallet.

Possible annual savings: Varies.

  1. Drink a Little Less

Going out with friends on the weekend and being social is a great way to relieve some of the stress from the work week but it can also be quite expensive. Don’t become an anti-social hermit just set yourself a price limit so you’ll be less likely to over spend. You could also suggest less expensive places to go or host a night in at your home.

Possible annual savings: $500+

  1. Renegotiate Your Loans and Debts

Call around and see if anyone is willing to renegotiate your loans or lower your interest rates. It’s possible that your suggestions will be rejected but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Possible annual savings: Varies.

New Year’s Resolutions are hard to follow through on and more often than not end up causing even more stress. If you’re looking to improve your personal finances this year then consider choosing a few of the above resolutions to kick start your savings. Even if you only stick to one you’ll at least you’ll have made an effort, starting is always the hardest part.

Caitlin is a graduate of Dawson College and Concordia University and has been working in the personal finance industry for over eight years. She believes that education and knowledge are the two most important factors in the creation of healthy financial habits. She also believes that openly discussing money and credit, and the responsibilities that come with them can lead to better decisions and a greater sense of financial security. One of the main ways she’s built good financial habits is by budgeting and tracking her spending through the YNAB budgeting app. She also automates her savings so she never forgets to put aside a portion of her income into her TFSA. She believes investing and passive income is key to earning financial freedom. She also uses her Aeroplan TD credit card to collect Aeroplan points so that she can save money when she travels.

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