He who buys what he does not need, steals from himselfSwedish proverb
Is improving your financial situation one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2021? Then this post is for you! Read through this post to discover useful tips and tricks on how to save money and making sure you are spending less in the New Year.
December is for many one of the most expensive months of the year because of the holiday season. Although Covid made sure we couldn’t go to any fancy restaurants to celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or New Years Eve, it did not put a stop on buying presents and whatnot for our loved ones. So now is the perfect time to get more conscious of your financials, whether it is that time for a “New year, new me”, or if it would benefit you (and your finances) regardless.
Here are some of my favorite tips and tricks to help you save more money in the new year.
Set saving goals
Setting goals for something you wish to save for should be the first thing to begin with. It is much easier to save money when you actually know what you are saving for. And since a new year is about to commence, it is the perfect time to set some (new) goals. Maybe you want to buy a house in the near future, so saving for a down payment could be a great goal. But also something smaller like a vacation or a weekend get-away would do. As long as it does take some effort. If you need some help with setting efficient goals, you should read this post.
After setting your goals, you have the choice to spend your money on something that might not be of great necessity or significance, or you could choose to save the money for the goal you have set. Having something to look forward to and actually achieving your goal can make for great satisfaction.
The 48 hour rule
The 48 hour rule is one of my favorite methods to prevent myself from spending money unnecessarily. The 48 hour rule is nothing more than giving yourself 48 hours (some people even wait 72 hours) to think about a purchase, before making it. This allows you to carefully consider whether or not the purchase is actually necessary, or if you would be spending money impulsively. This method makes sure you are not making a decision based on emotion. If after 48 hours, you still think you need to make that purchase, for whatever reason, then go ahead.
For me, this method does not only make sure I do not make an impulsive decision, but it also makes me feel good about myself after allowing myself the time to think it through. If I still make the purchase after 48 hours, at least I will know that I did so irrationally. But I have also found that many times the idea of wanting to buy something was purely emotional, and thus allowed me to save money after those 48 hours.
Create a monthly budget so you know how much money you can actually spend during one month. A budget helps us to be more aware of what we can and cannot spend money on. It also gives us an insight of our financials for the upcoming month. A third benefit of creating a budget is that it helps you decide how much you can save each month. I wrote a separate post a while back about how you can create a simple budget.
Use cash to save
In today’s fast paced world, this trick might be hard to implement. A lot of our purchases happen online nowadays, and counting your money at the cashier just takes way too much time. However, I personally think that using cash is extremely underestimated, even if it was only for the psychological reasons of it. Whenever you buy something using your credit or debit card, you do not feel the significance of the money that you are spending. Whereas swiping your credit card is as easy as ABC, handing physical money to someone else is much harder to do.
Besides being more reluctant to spend money when you are using cash, you will also be able to keep yourself out of credit card debt. That is a win-win for sure.
‘No spend’ month
If you really want to challenge yourself, implement a ‘no spend’ month next year. During a ‘no spend’ month you are only allowed to pay for your monthly expenses and groceries (as you should). No other, discretionary expenses are allowed. This would mean that, for an entire month, you cannot go shopping (online or in actual stores), order take out, or do anything else that would cost you money. A ‘no spend’ month would really mean to live below your means. It will raise your awareness tremendously and you might get more disciplined as well. If you are looking to save a bit extra, then this is the perfect way to do so.
Although I personally haven’t done a ‘no spend’ month yet, I know what it’s like to live with just enough money to pay your bills. My goal is to implement a ‘no spend’ month three times in 2021, and I want to challenge you to pick at least one month to do the same. To make it a little easier on you, pick a month in which you are certain you will not have any birthdays, holidays or other obligations. I will do my first ‘no spend’ month in March. I’m excited to see how many of you will challenge yourselves too, and for that I created a poll below which you can fill in!
There are multiple tricks and tips that allow you to save just a little extra. Besides that, you need to develop the discipline to stick to these little habits. If you are someone who finds it hard to build new habits, then I recommend you to visit this website: they have great tools that help you create new habits, and even have a tool that is financial-oriented. If this is not for you, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me through my instagram and send me a message. I’d love to help you out! I also wrote a separate post about how paying yourself first helps you to improve your saving habits, if you are looking for something extra that can boost your savings. I hope that this post provides enough hacks for you to begin changing your saving habits and in the long run, become more financially stable.
Lots of love,