Happy New Year! As we start fresh in 2022, Sharemoney is here with practical, smart, and sometimes even fun, ways to keep even more of your hard-earned money in your pocket this year. Read on for twelve ideas that can help you get into good habits and save more this year. You deserve it!
January – Start a Savings Habit: We all like to start fresh in a new year. Why not make 2022 the year you begin a good savings habit? Take a careful look at your monthly budget, and note what you typically have left over at the end of each month. Saving even a small portion of that leftover amount could help you in the long run. Then, make a commitment to yourself to sock away a given amount each month this year. Start small if you need to…even saving $100 a month means you are $1200 dollars richer in December!
February – Lower Your Thermostat: Turning down the heat in your house, even by just a degree or two, could save you big on your heating bills. You should definitely lower your heat when you’ll be out of the house for a prolonged period of time. But if you can manage while you’re at home too, that’s even better. Throw on an extra sweater and save some money.
March – Cancel Subscriptions and Memberships You Don’t Use: If you never go to the gym, watch a show on Hulu, or read an article in that People Magazine that arrives in the mail once a week, it’s time to cut the cord. Analyze the memberships and subscriptions you pay for monthly or annually, and think about how much time you invest in them, or how much pleasure you get out of them. If the answer is “not much,” it’s time to let it go.
April – Check Your Receipts: April is tax time, when many of us are examining our yearly receipts. Since you’re doing this anyway, now is a great time to look back on the ways in which you spent money over the past year. Take note of large expenditures, or things you buy frequently, and see if there are small ways you can cut back on habitual spending. After a while, these little savings can add up big!
May – Hold a Yard Sale: Spring cleaning time is a great moment to go through your house and consider the clothes, toys, household items, and furniture you no longer use. This year, why not do a big clean out and hold a yard sale? The stuff you don’t need might just be what someone else is looking for.
June – Ride Your Bike or Take a Walk: Need to return a library book, stop at the post office, or pick up a prescription at the drugstore? If it’s feasible, why not take a walk, or ride your bike to run your errands, instead of driving? You’ll cut back on the money you spend on gas, get a little exercise, and it’s good for the planet, too! The warm, pleasant summer months are a great time to get into this new habit.
July – Christmas in July: It may be difficult, at first, to think of Christmas trees, snow, and wrapping presents as you head to the beach. But starting your holiday shopping now means you can have more time to budget for “big ticket” items like bicycles and electronics, and more time to take advantage of sales over the next several months. Make a list of the loved ones you typically buy for, and start shopping now.
August – Cut back on Air Conditioning: Heating and cooling bills are a big monthly expense in any home. Just as you can save money in the winter by turning down the heat a degree or two, if you can limit your air conditioning use in the summer, you can save big. Remember to turn off air conditioners and central air when you aren’t home, and when you go on vacation. Open windows, and use ceiling and electric fans whenever possible. And, make sure to keep the filters on your A/C clean! A dirty filter on your machine isn’t efficient, and will run up your bill.
September- Transfer Your Higher Interest Bills to a 0% Credit Card: The interest you pay on your credit card bills when you don’t (or can’t) repay them in full can add up quickly, and tack on months or even years of repayment. Many credit cards regularly offer balance transfer deals at 0% for a given amount of time (usually 12 or 24 months). Transfer your higher interest bills to a 0% credit card, then make a commitment to paying off a larger chunk of the debt each month.
October – Check Your Insurance Policies and Shop Around: Insurance policies are payments that are easily overlooked, because they are often fixed at the same cost each month. But it’s worth it to shop around once in a while to make sure that you are getting the best deal. Scan rates and policies in your area once a year, and see if it makes sense for you to switch policies or bundle your various insurances (home, auto, etc.).
November – Plan a Few “No Spend” Days Throughout the Month: As the holiday season ramps up, our spending tends to ramp up, too. This month, go through your calendar and flag one or two days each week (or more!) as “no spend” days, and then make a commitment to not spending any money on those given days. That means no online shopping, no filling the gas tank, no ordering takeout. Having these days planned in your calendar will oblige you to make use of what you already have at hand rather than shopping for more. This is a great habit to get into that you can continue throughout the year.
December – Shop the post-holiday sales: In the week or two after Christmas, many stores offer great sales in order to clear out inventory and make way for the new year. Use this time to save on everything from winter apparel, to shoes, to sports equipment and more. Now is also the time to stock up on holiday items like wrapping paper, holiday cards, and decorations. But these items now at huge savings, and put them away for next year’s holiday season!