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If you’re in the habit of making resolutions for the New Year, it’s time to adapt that same fresh-start philosophy to your spending and money habits. Make 2017 the year that you work to improve your personal financial situation. Most financial advisers say the best thing to aim to do is reduce your high-interest debt first. Then, any extra funds you have can start to be invested in your retirement or a future college savings account. Here are some ways to get a little extra money in your pocket each month.
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Always Get a Discount
First, make it a point to never pay full price for anything. Today’s consumer market for goods and services makes it much easier to check prices and make sure you’re paying the lowest rate for anything. Use technology, like your smartphone, to scan items and find out what each retailer’s price is. This way, you won’t have to pay more than you have to for your essentials each month.
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Plan Your Spending
The next habit to make a part of your routine is to make a plan for spending each week. Every Sunday, plan out your finances, including small purchases like gas, groceries, and other necessities. Stick to your budget each day, and avoid situations where you may make an impulse buy. Stay away from stores that aren’t on your daily shopping plan, or consider buying in bulk from an online retailer. This way, you’ll spend less and waste fewer of your hard-earned dollars.
Try Repairing Instead of Replacing
Another way to stretch your funds even more this year is to focus on repairing items or refurbishing them instead of replacing each thing you own. Avoid the temptation to upgrade your cell phone when a new model is released each year to save a bundle. When an appliance starts acting up, do some research and find out repair tips using YouTube. Doing it yourself can save you hundreds of dollars on a repairman and thousands of dollars on a brand new appliance sometimes.
Cut Extra Expenses
It’s also smart to look for other costs in your monthly budget that can be eliminated or reduced. You may want to consider cutting the cord when it comes to cable and going for a streaming service instead to lower your entertainment costs. Look for ways to get a cheaper rate on essentials like car insurance by talking to your local insurance agent for potential discounts. Then, you just may get a consistent stream of extra income in your bank account each month.
Lower Your Grocery Bill
The last strategy to try and improve your financial status this January is to evaluate your grocery shopping habits. Check out local stores in your area that have weekly sales and lower prices on your favorite products. Go with the generic store brand instead of the more expensive variety to get instant savings each visit to the store.
Make a financial goal for yourself to improve your money matters this year. You’ll need to start changing your spending and saving habits to make a big impact on your wallet in 2017.