7 Ways to Save Money in 2017
The start of a new year is the perfect time to change habits. Look back at 2016. Did you save any money? If you did, great. If you think you could do better and don’t know where to start, try these 7 ways to save money in 2017.
You need a goal.
Ask yourself, “Why do I need/want to save money?” Do you blow your budget every month and find that your debt keeps getting bigger, and it’s hard to make ends meet? That’s a good enough reason. But maybe you want to go out more, buy a new pair of shoes, or have lunch out. Small things, but buying them would be a reward. How about a goal of taking a vacation to Mexico and you don’t have enough money now, and never seem to have enough money. How about saving for the down payment on a new house. Those are all great goals.
Goals encourage you to follow these 7 ways to save money in 2017.
1. Pare down your subscriptions
How many of us have automated deductions? I went through my bank statements and found that I signed up for Acorn and several others that I can’t access.
One of the most effective ways to save more cash is to ensure that it never hits your checking account in the first place. First, you can set up an account at your bank to automatically add a fixed amount to your savings account. Or, sign up for your employer’s 401(k) plan. Part of your paycheck will go directly toward retirement savings, and if your company provides a match, you’ll get to sock away even more cash. Best of all, the money you contribute to a 401(k) goes in tax-free, which means you’ll save on taxes.
3. Quit Smoking
One of the healthiest of the 7 ways to save money in 2017 is to quit smoking and save the money you were spending in a special account. If you are a two-pack a day smoker you can easily save $6 to 12 a day. That’s a $180 to $360 a month.
4. Follow a budget
Sticking to a budget is one of the most effective ways to keep your spending in track, yet over 40% of Americans fail to employ this simple tactic. Whether you use online software or a basic spreadsheet to create your budget, start by listing out your various monthly expense categories (such as housing, electricity, transportation, and the like) and estimating what you spend on each.
5. Live someplace more affordable
Investigate living in another country. Of the 7 ways to save money in 2017, this requires a big leap, you can easily live on $2500 a month in Mexico or a whole host of countries, and have a higher quality of life and save money. It can be more relaxed, great weather all year round, and slower paced, with most of the technology you enjoy now. Property taxes in San Miguel de Allende (Mexico) are no more than $300.
6. Ask for discounts
One of the easiest ways to save money in 2017 is to simply pay less for things than what you’re currently spending. Whether you’re looking for a lower interest rate on your credit card or a discount on your internet service, sometimes all it takes is a phone call to snag a discount.
7. Pay your credit card bill in full and on time
Any time you fail to pay off your credit card balance by month’s end, you’re essentially signing up to pay unnecessary interest.
by Mike Landfair