Saving more is the top financial New Year’s resolution for Americans
This may save 2018 for you.
Millions of Americans make financial New Year’s resolutions every year, and this year, saving more looks to be a popular one. In a survey released this week from Fidelity, 55% of Americans who made financial resolutions said their top resolution was save more money, up from 50% in 2016. That makes saving more the No. 1 financial New Year’s resolution for Americans.
To that end, Moneyish asked many of our favorite money experts to share their best savings hacks that are simple to follow (no complicated coupon stacking or investment strategies here) and that you haven’t heard a million times before. Here’s what they told us.
Use these apps to save without having to think about it. FitSmallBusiness.com financial analyst Ian Atkins recommends Acorns, which automatically rounds up your purchases to the nearest dollar and transfers that amount into an investment account. Other apps that automate your savings include Digit, Qapital, and more.
Get smart about free. Make 2018 the year you stop buying sh** you don’t need. Look into local “Buy Nothing Groups https://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/ ,” recommends Elizabeth Willard Thames, author of “Meet The Frugalwoods: Achieving Financial Independence Through Simple Living” who gets tons of free stuff like toys and clothes from these. Also try Toy-cycle.org and FreeCycle.org.
Get your hair done for free by being a hair model (SalonApprentice.com or Craigslist under beauty, write “model” in search bar.) and travel for almost free by volunteering for a company like Vaughantown, recommends Marilyn Anderson, author of “How to Live Like a Millionaire When You’re a Million Short”. And because you can’t do everything for free, Anderson recommends sites like MoviePass.com, SoldoutCrowd.com and TheaterExtras.com to get movie and live show tickets at serious discounts.
Engage in weekend spending freezes once a month. “Instead of spending for a weekend you try and find free and fun things to do with your friends,” recommends Phil Risher, the founder of YoungAdultSurvivalGuide.com. “If you know that each weekend you spend $300 going out to eat, drinking, Uber, etc., then you know that if you don’t spend for a weekend you can save that money.”
Go on a vice cleanse. “List out your expensive vices, such as smoking, drinking, clubbing, expensive television programming, and make a new years resolution to choose and end one of them,” says Scott W. Johnson, owner of WholeVsTermLifeInsurance.com. That can save you hundreds — even thousands — over the year; put all that money into savings.
Use this online shopping hack every time you shop. You probably know to use sites like PriceBlink to find the best prices, Ebates to get cash back and Honey to get coupons automatically applied to your orders. But here’s a simple savings hack that can save you money frequently when you shop online — that people often forget: Shop via incognito windows,” says Julie Ramhold, a consumer analyst with DealNews. “Often, online stores base the prices you see on your cache and history, so to ensure you’re seeing the best price, you should give them less to go on,” she says. This could add up to hundreds of dollars in savings a year as more Americans shop online.
Cleanse yourself of recurring subscriptions. Moneyish’s Reed Alexander tells you how to rid yourself of recurring subscriptions that eat away at our spending. Put the money you save from that this year right into savings.
Follow this simple rule: Don’t save what’s left, save what’s needed, says FitSmallBusiness.com’s Atkins. “Lots of people make the mistake of waiting until the end of the month to think about saving. At that point they transfer their leftover cash into a savings account. The problem is, you’ve has about 30 days to make all those small spending mistake that really add up,” says Atkins. “Whatever your goal is (5%, 10%, 20%) set it aside right away.” Risher recommends setting up automatic transfers from your checking account to your savings account; enrolling in your employer’s automatic 401(k) also helps.
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