According to research, less than ten percent of Americans feel they’re successful in achieving their New Year’s resolutions.
If you started this year with the hope of building your investments, don’t despair. While it may seem like every dollar you earn is already spoken for, you’ll be surprised at how many ways you could find – and save – extra cash. And that’s not counting the coins underneath your sofa cushions.
Try these easy strategies and you could watch your extra funds grow.
- Use a programmable thermostat. Save energy — and money — without sacrificing comfort by automatically lowering your home’s temperature when you’re at work or asleep.
- Downgrade your data plan. Look at your last few bills or use the calculator on your provider’s website (if there is one) to see if you’re using all of the data on your plan.
- Cancel unused memberships. Haven’t watched Netflix in months? Get rid of it. Same goes for those unused gym and warehouse club memberships.
- Opt for a three-month prescription. If you regularly take medication for a chronic condition, purchasing several months’ worth at a time might save you significant dough.
- Stash every Lincoln. Every time you pay in cash and receive a $5 in change, put it in an envelope.
- Let up on the gas pedal. Aggressive driving isn’t only dangerous, but it can also lower your gas mileage according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Live on your full-time salary. If you’re moonlighting to earn extra cash, place those earnings in a separate savings account.
- Don’t pay late fees.Set up monthly reminders on your smartphone so you’re less likely to miss a payment due date. Better yet, set up recurring payments.
- Sell old electronics. Have a drawer full of unused iPhones and e-readers? Fill out a brief survey to determine their value, ship them to Gazelle, and you could receive cash in exchange. Sell or donate other unwanted household goods through Craigslist, eBay, or Freecycle.
- Dry clean in moderation. Professionally laundering clothing can be expensive. Drop off clothing only when it’s stained or in need of a serious cleaning.
- Pack a reusable tote. Many supermarkets offer cashback incentives for bringing your own shopping bags. Keep them handy so you can take advantage and help the environment.
- Display your financial goals. Whether you’re saving money for a new car or a special trip, post a picture of your objective where you’ll see it daily to help keep yourself motivated.
- Take shorter showers. Use a low-flow showerhead and shower for a minute less each day. This could help you watch your water bill shrink.
- Make a grocery list — and stick to it. Impulsive buys at the supermarket can eat up a depressing amount of cash. Keep your eyes straight ahead while waiting in the checkout aisle.
- Pay for dinner with a gift certificate. Purchase an eGift card from Restaurant.com for $25 and you could redeem it for $50 worth of food and drinks.
- Don’t buy things at eye-level. In supermarkets and other stores, expensive products are often placed in the middle of the shelves. To locate more affordable items, check out the top and bottom racks.
- Check the unit price. When shopping, don’t just look at an item’s price. The unit price can help you decide whether or not you’ve really found a great deal.
- Brew at home. You’ve heard it before: a daily trip to the coffeehouse can really add up. Make a habit of brewing your own coffee or brown bagging your lunch most days.
- Keep gas in your tank. If you run your vehicle down to empty, you could be forced to pull into the nearest fuel station — regardless of its price per gallon.
- Use your curtains. Leaving them open during daylight hours in the winter can enable natural sunlight to help heat your home at no additional cost.
- Allot money for splurges. Gifting yourself a specific amount of cash for something fun can help you stay on budget.
- Avoid ATM fees. According to CNN, using an out-of-network machine can cost you, on average, $4.57 per visit. If you’re an Ally Bank customer, you already have this one covered!
- Question your purchases. Before laying out the cash, ask yourself: “Is this a need or a want?”
- Power down. Turn off the lights and unplug electronics and small appliances when they’re not in use to avoid unnecessary power usage.
- DIY. Watching a YouTube video about repairing a window screen or a leaking washing machine can help save you some serious cash compared to hiring a repairman. Just don’t take on more than you can handle – that can get costly, too!