The beginning of a new year is a time at which many people start new initiatives to better themselves and improve their lives. Whether or not you specifically write out a list of “new year’s resolutions,” you may well take the beginning of 2013 as a time to look ahead to the year to come and figure out a few things to focus on personally.
As you go about preparing for the new year, one thing you may want to consider is the implementation of some new money-saving efforts. It isn’t always easy to manage your finances, but unless you have a specific plan laid out, it can be very hard to stick to any sort of savings effort in a strict and diligent way. However, if you make an effort to figure out a strategy for your savings, you may find that you have more success throughout the year with minimizing your expenses and making the most of your income.
With that in mind, here are a few miscellaneous tips that can save you money this year.
Cut Back On Water & Electricity
In the comfort of our own homes, most of us tend to waste a good deal of water and electricity without meaning to, and without realizing we’re doing it. The fact is, we tend to get lazy with these resources we take for granted – we may let water run while shaving or brushing teeth, or we may leave lights on in rooms that aren’t being used.
But unfortunately, in addition to being environmental wasteful, these practices can significantly increase bills for water and electricity. By making a few basic changes in your routine, such as ending the bad habits just listed, you can reduce your bills and generate savings with ease.
Start Shopping Online
If you have not yet gotten used to the process of shopping online, you may want to start now. Some people are weary of the shipping costs involved with shopping online, but in reality this cost is offset more often than not by the simple fact that goods tend to be cheaper online.
Whether you bid for an item you need at a site like Ebay, purchase tickets or services on Craigslist, or simply take advantage of the massive selection of products available for purchase on Amazon, your options online are virtually endless. With frequently discounted prices, broad selections, and incredible convenience, online shopping is both convenient and financially responsible. You may be surprised at how much money you can save with online pricing and discounts.
Protect Your Finances via Investment
One interesting source of savings in these difficult economic times is investment, where there are certain alternative opportunities that can help you to avoid currency depreciation. For example, some investors may decide to buy gold in an effort to protect their finances from the potential drop in currency value that can accompany a struggling economy.
The way it works is fairly simple: if you typically use the U.S. dollar, and the economic forecast indicates that the value of the dollar may soon drop, you may be poised to lose value, without losing any actual money. Purchasing gold essentially transfers your wealth from the dollar to gold bullion, helping you to avoid this drop in value until you decide to sell your gold.
Like any investment, this is not an entirely safe process, and must be done carefully and with knowledge of economic trends – but it can be a crafty option for savings if your economy is struggling and your currency value may drop.
Cut Back On Subscriptions
Subscriptions are a great way to leak money without realizing it. The fact is, thanks largely to online subscriptions (to magazines, publications, and even goods and services such as video streaming), it is incredibly easy to sign up for these, without feeling like you’re spending any money. Before you know it, you may be on the hook for ten different subscriptions, many of which renew automatically at the end of the month or year.
Typically, these sorts of subscriptions are fairly cheap – but a handful of them can certainly add up. Take some time to look through your subscriptions to make sure you have an accurate idea of what you’re paying for, and see if you can cut back. You may find that you are still paying for things you don’t use, or that you didn’t intend to sign up for long-term!
Related – Why I don’t want Netflix subscription
Get More Rest
This probably seems like the strangest suggestion for financial savings you’ve heard in a while, but there is definitely something to it. When you don’t get enough rest, your body will feel the need for external energy, which you can gain through eating more, or buying more coffee or energy drinks. Whether you intend to or not, chances are you spend more money on these sorts of energy sources when you aren’t getting enough sleep.
Meanwhile, telling yourself not to buy your morning latte each day isn’t a lot of fun. But focusing instead on making sure you are better rested may naturally result in decreasing your need for a morning coffee, or an afternoon energy drink – and over the course of a few weeks or months this can actually end up saving you hundreds of dollars.