Each January, most of us spend a little time thinking about New Year’s resolutions. According to the experts at Statistic Brain, “make better financial decisions” is the third most popular resolution – right after “lose weight” and other self-improvements (click to read the full list).
Don’t have the time to revamp your entire budget? Here are five low-effort, but high-impact ways to save more money in 2017:
1. Automate, Automate, Automate!
Today, managing your personal finances can be as easy as using a crock-pot – “set it and forget it!” Want to contribute $X to your children’s college funds each month? Set up automatic deposits now and you won’t have to think about it for the rest of the year. Have a credit card? Set up automatic payments so that you are sure to pay it off in full each month. Use automation to your advantage. No willpower required!
2. Pay Yourself FirstLifestyle inflation is when you get a new job with a higher salary, so you buy a bigger house. Then with your higher bonus, you buy a nicer car. Fun? Yes. But unfortunately, you have just used your higher income on two items that require higher monthly payments … so at best, your savings account remains the same, and at worst, you end up saving less each month than before. Instead, use that money to “pay yourself first.” Pay off debts and set up new automatic savings contributions before using what is leftover to make new purchases. By taking that simple step, you will take full advantage of the additional money coming your way.
3. Use a Flexible Spending Account
Many people have the opportunity to set up a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, through their place of employment. FSAs help us to save money on taxes by using pre-tax dollars for medial expenses, but did you know that they can also help to increase the amount of money you take home each year? Read the full explanation here and then talk to your HR department about how to set up your account.
4. Identify the Best Time to Buy
Planning to make a few big purchases this year? Knowing when to buy can have a significant impact on your wallet. The experts at Lifehacker put together a comprehensive, up-to-date guide on the best times to buy everything this year. For example, September is the best month to book your holiday travel, but you may get a better deal on a new refrigerator in May. Check out their full analysis here and plan your purchases accordingly!
5. Discounts. Discounts, Discounts!
Sign Up for the Free FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card
Like the four tips already listed, taking this one action can save you money all year long. Go to this page and follow the instructions to get your own FamilyWize Prescription Savings Card. Then show the card every time you fill a prescription. That’s it. Users typically see an average discount of 43% on their prescription drug costs.
With each of these tips, one small change now can have a measurable impact on your savings by the end of the year. How are you planning to save money in 2017? Share your tips with us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/FamilyWize/