When you think of New Year’s resolutions, most of the time, you think of diets, changing old habits and becoming a better person. It takes physical and mental changes to make it work.
What if I told you that you can do all in a financially, easy way? Put your wallet and bank account on a diet. Instead of losing, you are focusing on gaining money.
Change those spending habits by searching for deals online: websites, store emails, Facebook pages from your favorite stores and looking at the sales fliers and coupon inserts found in the Killeen Daily Herald.
If you are ready to be more financially conscious of your spending, you are already on your way to being a better you.
The 30 day challenge will help you stay on track.
You can do this with dollars and you do it every day. Day 1 you put in $1. Monday, you put in $2.
By day 30, should have put $30 that day.
The first month, you’ll have $465.00 saved. If you do this every day for 365 days, you will have saved $5766.00. You can do this with dimes or quarters too!
There’s also the 52-week money challenge. You use dollar bills for this challenge, and you do this every week. I prefer to start with week 52: $52 then work my way down to week 1: $1. You will save $1,378 by the end of the year. The key is to be consistent.
Do direct deposit by opening a savings account and having a small amount of your paycheck go into the account. You are contributing to your savings without actually doing anything. If you get paid biweekly, you can stash away $15 each paycheck, and you will have $390 saved by the end of the year. If you save $15 each week, that would get you $780 by the end of the year.
I recommend you do one of the challenges and direct deposit to maximize your savings.
The direct deposit ($15 every two weeks) and 365-day challenge will save you $966.60 a year. The direct deposit and 52-week challenge will save you $1,768 a year. Could you imagine how much money you would have if a second person in your household did this, too?
Empty your pockets and purses for loose change. My husband empties his pockets every night and puts the loose change in a jar in his closet. He doesn’t like carrying coins around so this works for him well.
My husband had over $700 worth of loose change last year.
The jar we have has a special lid on it that counts each coin he adds to it. It can tell if he puts pennies, nickels, dimes or quarters in.
I prefer to empty my loose change at the end of every week.
I clean out all the coins from inside my wallet as well as the bottom of my purse.
I encourage this for kids, too. My 6-year-old saved $90, just for collecting and putting away for six months. The process teaches the value of savings.
Create monthly spending goals which will keep you motivated.
This will help curb and rationalize your spending.
Start January on a low goal because if you put your goal too high, it will become unrealistic and fail.
Begin by taking at least 5 percent of your paycheck, and that is your goal to save at the end of the month.
For example, if you bring home $1,500 every month, your goal will be to have $75 left in your bank account.
For February, you can raise it up to 6 percent, which is a goal of $90.
If you are struggling to maintain the $75, stick with 5 percent for three months, and you’ll save $225.
Change it when you need to, but maintain the challenge.
Either way, you will see the money grow in your account. Having this extra money will save you when emergencies and last-minute repairs come up.
Whether you do one, some or all of the financial diets, they are doing the same purpose — promoting the well-being of your financial health.
Editor's note: Jennise Colin-Ventura's blog, also known as savealotmom, appears regularly at kdhnews.com.