New year, new me! Yep, we’ve all done it, the new year is upon us so it’s time to create a new year’s resolution (or ten.) Half the problem with them is we don’t REALLY want to do them, so they rarely stick.
However, how about if it saved you some money? If gaining £100 the coming year on cutting some old habits, or even creating new ones, were to expand your pocket, maybe that’s all you need to ride this with this resolution through to 2017 and beyond?
What is this madness I speak of?
Have a clear out
Venture into your loft, unless you’ve recently cleared out (Well done), you will most likely have something of value collecting dust. This isn’t exactly a revelation, but it’s worth taking a few hours out of your weekend just to get everything down and Google its value.
You may have an antique, an old games console, perhaps some childhood toys; you’d be surprised how much money you may have lying dormant within your house.
With there being so many websites to sell your unwanted stuff online, there’s no excuse not to make an extra bit of cash from your unused trash.
Withdraw cash, leave the card at home
It’s actually a fact that we’re more likely to spend money on things we don’t need with our card, than with cash. It’s science, you know.
By withdrawing cash a day or week in advance to a planned shop, the likelihood is you’ll stick to your guns and only buy what you actually intended in the first place. If you know you’ve got your card in your pocket, subconsciously you’re aware that it doesn’t matter if you splurge a little.
Download a bunch of money saving apps
I’ll be honest, this was mainly put here to shamelessly plug a past article of mine on Red WigWam, but the point stands.
Turn your smartphone into a money saving machine this new year, the amount you can save by simply installing a couple of apps is sickening. You can be alerted of deals on something you’re after, get your petrol for cheaper, and generally just save money by installing a free app, it’s hardly going to slow down your day!
Keep track of your outgoings
If you’re someone that looks at their bank account without a clue where your money has gone, a money diary will scare you into making more savings throughout 2016.
It’s rather simple, and with smartphones so common, you can continually keep track of your outgoings regardless of where you are, so no excuses about forgetting the notepad!
Create a document on your phone, or even download a money journal/diary app, jot down all money that goes rogue and you’ll soon realise where you’ve been going wrong.
Switch that new gym membership to pay as you go
Was your resolution to ‘get fit’? Oh right, so 80% of the population then?
Gyms boom with excitement at the sight of a new year, with masses upon masses signing up to their local gym in a bid to lose the excess fat. By February, you’ve thrown in the towel and only go to the gym simply because you know you’re waving goodbye to £60 a month to use the facilities.
If you need this to encourage you to keep going, maybe enjoy being out of pocket this year, but if you’re someone that wants to go whenever they feel like it, there are actually pay-as-you-go memberships available, so no more annual contracts to worry about!
Reconsider your subscriptions
Are you prepared to make your biggest sacrifice for while? If yes, please read on, if no, also read on.
The world is full of subscription based services, but in particular I am referring to video/music-on-demand streaming services (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Spotify, Apple Music, etc.). They tempt you in with a free month and before you know it, you’ve paid for three months of streaming.
My proposition to you, is to work out how much you’re actually using these services. The chances are you don’t use them much, but you’re paying the subscription ‘just encase’. Cut back and opt for traditional catch-up services, you’ll save hundreds this year.
With that said, If you really can’t stand ridding your world of an array of series you’ve never heard of, seek the same subscriptions at a discounted rate. Students for example can nab Spotify at half price for an entire year, a quick Google may turn into savings!
Enjoy the savings and you can go into 2017 with a smile and a wider pocket, these are on me!
Happy New Year!
Written by Chris Johnson