5 Financial New Year’s Resolutions

Not surprisingly, year after year, “spend less, save more” is a top New Year’s resolution. As with any goal, it’s helpful to get specific and come up with ways you can actively change your behavior.

Grab a pen and paper, because we’re going to help you create an actionable list of resolutions that will allow you to start saving now. Here are five ways you can position yourself for financial success in 2018.

1. Create a personal budget

This first step to a financially sound year is something you can do right away. Consider creating both a yearly and a month-to-month budget, so that you can plan for long-term expenses while also making conscious decisions over how you will allocate your paycheck each month.

Knowing how much you have left over after all of your necessary payments is the first step toward responsible spending.

2. Cancel unnecessary subscriptions

When you look into your monthly spending, keep an eye out for any recurring payments and see if there are any ways to cut costs. Some of the payments seem small, but they add up. Cancel anything that you can live without, like that fitness app you’ve only used twice. If you find yourself missing it, you can always re-subscribe.

3. Set up automatic savings

It’s easy to say that you’re going to save a certain amount every month, but it’s also easy to forget or put it off until next month. If you set up automatic payment, you remove this uncertainty. The money will go to your savings account before you even pay your bills, so you’re less likely to miss it.

It doesn’t have to be much, and you can always decide to save more if you find yourself in a position to do so.

4. Be smarter about grocery shopping

Everyone has to eat. While cooking instead of dining out can save money, groceries are a big expense. Luckily, there are many ways to save on grocery shopping. You can buy in bulk, freeze what you don’t use, and use coupons. There are also many shopping apps that compare prices for you, helping you get the best deal every time.

5. Pick one habit to change for good

While changing all of your expensive habits would be ideal, if you overcommit you could end up failing to change anything. To keep it manageable, pick one or two habits to truly focus on.

For example, bring your lunch to work more often or dedicate yourself to making coffee in the morning instead of buying it. Or, promise to visit ATMs less frequently to avoid additional charges (try getting cash back at the grocery store instead!) Decide to change one thing that adds up for you, personally, and stick to it.

Committing to specific goals can help you actually spend less and save more in 2018. Finding the right bank can help, too. Click here to learn about personal savings options at Citizens National Bank.