Monday, January 2, 2012

Money Saving New Year's Resolutions

New Years is a great time to get off on the right foot. I like to have a really specific New Year's Resolution so I can feel that all important sense of satisfaction when I achieve it. If you haven't come up with your New Year's Resolution yet, here are some money saving ones to get your wheels a-turning:

  • Get a budget. Writing down your plan for your money is key to staying on track. For added bonus points, carry it with you and look at it for needed inspiration!
  • Save some money. Start by setting a savings goal. $100 is better than nothing. $1,000 is a good starting point and at least six months expenses in savings is where you want to be.
  • Give something up. If cigarettes, alcohol, sodas, lattes, fast food, cable TV or something else is bleeding you dry, now is your chance to kick that bad habit to the curb. 
  •  Pay stuff off. Make a goal to pay off at least one bill this year. If all your outstanding debts are too big to pay off in a year (like a mortgage or student loans), then set a dollar amount to get the bill down to.
  •  Buy only used items in 2012. Not only is buying used good for your pocketbook, its also good for the earth!
  • Learn to be a better cook. Cooking at home saves lots of money. For most people, eating out is the number one reason they can't get their budget under control.
  • De-clutter your garage, spare room, etc. Not only does getting rid of stuff result in cash (via EBay, Amazon, garage sale or consignment store), not having all that stuff makes it easier to find the stuff you actually do use and prevents you from going out and buying even more stuff when you can't find what you were looking for!
  • Brown bag it. If you eat out every work day for lunch and spend about $5 each time, you are spending at least $100 a month. There are so many other things you could do with that money!
  • Carpool, walk, bike or take public transportation. Even where I live (in the middle of nowhere) there are public transportation options. For instance, I recently learned that the OATS bus is open to everyone on a donation only basis.
  • Stop using credit. No matter what great deals you are getting by using your credit card, when you use credit, you spend more. 
  • Cut back on or eliminate TV. The job of advertisers is to make you feel inadequate unless you purchase their products. Eliminating TV saves money because you are simply exposed to less things you are told you need, in order to be happy.
  • Go vegetarian, if only for a day. As I've previously mentioned, eliminating meat from our diet cut our grocery bill in half. If you feel you can't be vegetarian every day, make your Mondays meatless or enjoy vegetarian weekends. Meat is costly and cutting back will save money.
So what is your New Year's Resolution?

I have two.

1. Learn a new low-cost vegetarian recipe each week. I will share some with you!

2. Give the OATS bus a try and see how it helps with transportation costs. For my poor, homeschooled children a trip on a bus will be SO exciting! :)


  1. My husband is bad at remembering to bring lunch to work and I can tell you that lunch is way more than $5 a day. Even for crappy food, it's more like $8 and for anything decentish it's over $10. So yea, that's a great one!

  2. One of my resolutions was to get healthier by exercising more, doing this will also reduce medical expenses and prevent future illness that can hit the pocket book hard! I think that reducing meat consumption can also improve health and reduce future money sucking illness :)Great advice Bobbie!

  3. I have the same problem as Gale's hubby. I either have to pack a lunch or prepare to spend ~$8/day for lunch. I'd save about $1,800/y if I brown-bagged it and would be FAAAAAR healthier.

    Great advice all over Bobbie! Happy New Year to you and your crew!!

  4. Thanks for the tips Bobbie. We're looking at changing a lot of things this coming year and really knowing where our money goes is one of them. I've found with other things in my life that if I track the behaviour, it will often change for the better. I'm hoping this is true of spending money as well.

  5. I thought I might've been underestimating with the $5 a day for lunch. Shows how much I eat lunch out. :)


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