Are you making it a goal to save money in 2014? Are you new to budgeting? If you said yes, this is your 2014 Guide to saving money!
Broad resolutions are often the easiest to break each year. Start off the New Year by changing specific personal habits to avoid spending money. You can amaze yourself by the amount of money you save by cutting out extras, spontaneous purchases and other small expenses that might not be noticeable. Planning before you spend a cent is a great way to start tightening those purse strings.
Are You Making These 5 Money Wasting Mistakes?
- Not using Coupons & store loyalty cards– This is a big way to save money on things you buy anyway. Learn the basics of couponing and sign up for your favorite store’s reward card.
- Commissary Sales – Plan your grocery list based on current sales
- Online Coupons – Print out coupons from a wide selection of sources
- Register for MilitaryShoppers.com– Register to save, find coupons and more
- Order groceries online- from local store for delivery or participating commissary (Click2Go) for pickup. This will save time AND money by stopping those extra purchases.
- Making payments instead of managing debt– Determine your existing debt and make a plan to manage payments in order to pay it down.
- Paying “what you are given” interest rates: Active duty members can lower interest rates during deployments under the SCRA. A lot of companies are willing to negotiate rates and payment due dates for anyone.
- Making a budget but not budgeting – Planning is the biggest step in successful money management. Create a family budget to see how much income you have, how much money you can spend, and how much, if any, will be left over. The key is to actually live on the budget you create.
- Fast food and restaurants– Fast food and restaurants are a luxury some of us can’t cut out completely. Search for daily deals, kids eat free nights, coupons and other specials. Make it a point not to eat out unless it is with a coupon or a special discount.
Small moves to make during 2014:
- Use online banking (auto bill pay, saving gas or taking advantage of USAA’s exclusive member discounts can help you get ahead)
- Find out your credit score and start to take steps to improve
- Ask for discounts (military or otherwise)
- Set up an emergency fund
Start with changing these 5 habits and add the smaller moves as the year progresses. You will see what is working, and what is not, for you. Plus, the motivation from seeing the savings add up is priceless! Use one or use all of these tips, but make this THE year that you start spending wisely.