It’s coming up to that time of year again – the time of New Year’s Resolutions where we all think it’s time to change ourselves, and of course because the date’s changed to a new year we’ll definitely be able to do just that. In reality, New Year’s Resolutions rarely last. We have the motivation to keep them for all of a month, max, and then we’re over it. Like, so over it that we splurge and eat a whole chocolate cake when really we are meant to be getting fitter (true story).
But this year will obviously be different right? Right. Know why? Because you’re going to do things differently this year. Instead of going for a giant goal you’ll never stick to (*cough* I’ll be fitter this time next year *cough*), you’re going to pick little goals that should add up to something bigger. It’s well known that small habits lead to big changes, so pick a few little changes you’d like to take on for the new year.
A great example of this kind of New Year’s Resolution is doing one pushup a day. That’s much more doable than going to the gym 3 times a week. You’ll find yourself wanting to do more than one pushup occasionally, and those days of motivation will probably lead to better workouts than 3 forced days at the gym would. And after sticking to this goal for a month, you’ll be much fitter than doing nothing at all.
So what New Year’s Resolutions can you take on to help you save money? Well lucky for you, I have some awesome tips on money saving that I’ve made into 11 neat little New Year’s Resolutions – pick as many or as few as you want, but keep in mind that the easier you make it for yourself, the more likely you are to stick to them and to let your small change snowball into a larger one.
- 1 11 Tips On Saving Money You Can Make Into New Year’s Resolutions
- 1.1 New Year’s Resolution 1 – Give Up Your Daily Coffee
- 1.2 New Year’s Resolution 2 – Scrap Your Weekly Takeaway
- 1.3 New Year’s Resolution 3 – Cut Out Your Daily Chocolate Bar
- 1.4 New Year’s Resolution 4 – Stop Impulse Buying
- 1.5 New Year’s Resolution 5 – Stop Ignoring Your Debts
- 1.6 New Year’s Resolution 6 – Start Walking Or Cycling To Work
- 1.7 New Year’s Resolution 7 – Start Using A Cashback / Voucher Code Site
- 1.8 New Year’s Resolution 8 – Cancel Your Unused Gym Membership
- 1.9 New Year’s Resolution 9 – Make More Money
- 1.10 New Year’s Resolution 10 – Build A Budget
- 1.11 New Year’s Resolution 11 – Start A Rainy Day Fund
- 2 SEE MORE: Boxing Day Sales – Your In-Store And Online Guide >>
11 Tips On Saving Money You Can Make Into New Year’s Resolutions
New Year’s Resolution 1 – Give Up Your Daily Coffee
Or your weekly coffee. However often you go to a cafe, stop. Or at least cut-down. Let’s just assume you do get a coffee from Starbucks or Costa every morning on the way to work. Let’s average the price at £2.20 (although this is already quite the lowball, you’ll get the idea). If you gave this up for a year, you could potentially be saving £528! And if you gave up just one coffee a week, you’d be saving £105.60, which is still nothing to be sniffed at.
If you’re a serial coffee drinker, consider making a more long-term investment. Take a look at our breakdown of the Best Coffee Machines, and find the one that’s right for you. Although you’ll be spending a lot to get the machine and the coffee pods as a one-off, over the long-term making a coffee this way each morning and putting it in a flask to take to work could give you some serious savings.
So instead of thinking ‘I have to go without a coffee every day!’ you can still have that morning coffee – but you’ll still be saving money.
New Year’s Resolution 2 – Scrap Your Weekly Takeaway
This is one of my tips on saving money that should be completely obvious to you. Getting a takeaway is expensive (and bad for you… if you didn’t know), so try to replace them with home cooked meals. If you’re used to having a takeaway weekly, try moving to have one every 2 weeks, or even once a month.
If you have a weekly takeaway that comes to around £20, you’ll save £240 a year by cutting out just one a month. You’d save a massive £720 by cutting them back to just one a month in total! Crazy.
I know a good takeaway sometimes feels like your highlight of the week, so if you don’t want to give it up at all, why not just get a supermarket takeaway? Supermarkets like Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Marks and Spencer and ASDA have their own takeaway type food ranges if you want something you don’t have to make from scratch. They’re usually cheaper than getting a usual takeaway, and slightly better for your waistline.
New Year’s Resolution 3 – Cut Out Your Daily Chocolate Bar
Another one of these tips on saving money that’s equally suited on a list for getting healthier! Two benefits in one is something I love. More value there.
If you have a daily chocolate bar, you could be spending around £365 a year on them. How ridiculous does that sound? If you don’t think you could cut them out altogether (because let’s face it, that’s a huge habit to break), try to cut down to one every 2 days. Then drop it to one every 3 days. You might be able to get it to one a week before you even realise what a big change you’ve made. The savings will slowly add up, and your body will thank you for it.
New Year’s Resolution 4 – Stop Impulse Buying
For this, I’m talking anything as small as a pack of gum that you spot by the checkout, to as big as a new game or dress you decide you absolutely must have thanks to an online sale. This is a money saving tip which you can tailor to how you want it to be. Maybe you want it to only apply on big purchases? If that’s right, then you could say you’ll stop yourself from impulse buying at least once a month, and make a note on your phone whenever you do manage to stop yourself.
It’s very difficult for you to enforce yourself with this money saving tip though. Mainly because an impulse buy literally means you probably won’t notice or stop yourself when you make it. You can try though!
New Year’s Resolution 5 – Stop Ignoring Your Debts
If you’re paying back the very minimum you have to on all debts, this might be the year for you to take a step back and look at how you can get rid of them a little bit quicker. Although it doesn’t sound like much, even paying off an extra £5 or £10 a month can start to make a big difference for you.
Honestly, if you’re already putting money into savings, it could be better spent putting less in and plugging it into whatever debts you have. Start with your credit card debts, because those are the ones where the interest rates could hit you hardest. Then start to think about the rest. Stick to this and hopefully, you can have a debt-free year!
New Year’s Resolution 6 – Start Walking Or Cycling To Work
Ok, so not all of my tips on saving money will work for everything. This New Year’s Resolution can only realistically be taken on if you live close enough to your workplace to be able to walk or cycle to it, so if you have an hour commute to work each day I’m sorry, but you’re pretty much stuck with it.
If you have the opportunity to walk or cycle to work then the benefits are (almost) endless. You’ll get healthier, skip the traffic, save money on petrol (and potentially tax and upkeep of a car if you sell yours!), and if you cycle to work you could be eligible for a tax free bike with even more savings from the Cycle To Work Scheme. Cycling and walking to work are so much more relaxing too – you have time to really think, you don’t have to worry about the traffic and you get fresh air everyday.
New Year’s Resolution 7 – Start Using A Cashback / Voucher Code Site
If you’re not already using a cashback site, this is one of my biggest money saving tips for any time of the year. It literally costs you nothing, and you get money back on purchases. What’s not to love? Check out our blogpost How Does Cashback Work? Your ULTIMATE Guide – if you’re unsure on how to get started. But just know that it’s a really easy way to grab some savings the shops aren’t telling you about already. This last year I’ve personally pocketed over £100 from using a cashback site, which I used to buy Christmas presents!
If cashback doesn’t sound like your kind of thing (erm, why not?) then how about making a New Year’s Resolution to use more voucher codes? Most of the time, when you make a purchase online, there’s a voucher code out there to give you some money off. If you don’t take 10 seconds out of your day to search for one, you could be wasting a ridiculous amount! Vouchers At Checkout is a great place to start – they list the hottest vouchers that they manually test to ensure they work so you’ll always find a working deal.
Soon you won’t even have to bother Googling for voucher and discount codes; Vouchers At Checkout are going to release an extension which pops up and lets you know if there’s a voucher available for the site you’re on before you checkout! So you’ll never miss out again.
New Year’s Resolution 8 – Cancel Your Unused Gym Membership
You want to get fitter, I get that, but it’s not happening at the gym. It’s so out of your way, you really don’t have the time to get there and back as well as work out. It’s fine, this isn’t admitting defeat, you’re not going to be podgy forever. I don’t just have tips on saving money you know, I also have tips on how to make good substitutes!
Just do your regular workout at home. Wait, hear me out. I know you don’t have all that fancy gym equipment, but you really don’t need it. There are plenty of Youtube tutorials on how to do some great home exercises, and if you really felt like you were missing out on something a set of weights is all you’d need.
And if you really want to be brave, you could always go for a jog…
New Year’s Resolution 9 – Make More Money
Just saying ‘make more money’ is easy. Actually doing it is the difficult bit. But think about this realistically, even an extra £50 a month would be welcomed right? So take on a second job if you have the time, or put some of your talents to good use.
You could start selling commissions if you’re a great artist. If you love to bake, offer to sell cheap baked goods to friends, family or work colleagues. You could even advertise online to make personalised pieces for Birthdays and the like. If you think you’re good with words you could start up your own blog and see where that leads you (but it’s probably best not to start it for the soul purpose of making money, those kind of blogs rarely go very far). You could even offer yourself up as a freelance writer for companies.
There really is something for every talent out there – check out fiverr if you don’t believe me (and that’s also an awesome place to sell your talents). But if you don’t mind something more temporary, one of my best short-term tips on saving money is to sell the things you don’t want on ebay or gumtree. You’ll make a bit of cash on the side and declutter your home. Win-win!
New Year’s Resolution 10 – Build A Budget
This money saving tip is feared and avoided by more people than those who ignored my daily chocolate New Year’s Resolution. And that’s saying something. As Daisy from PrettyGreenTea points out, ‘Do not save what is left after spending, spend what is left after saving.’ This incredible quote from Warren Buffet is exactly what you should be doing, but if you don’t have a budget you’ll never know what you’re saving!
Building a budget isn’t difficult, and it can keep you on track for the entire year. You don’t even have to make a fancy spreadsheet, just get out a piece of paper and note down your major outgoings and incomings. Think rent, bills, planned expenses (car tax, MOT, insurance policies etc), food, treats etc etc.
Once you do that, you can see where you’re missing out on saving money, and where you can cut back your expenses. Pin it to your fridge so you see it everyday and actually stick to it.
New Year’s Resolution 11 – Start A Rainy Day Fund
You might be saving money each month, but what’s it for? For long-term savings goals, like getting a house in the future? Or maybe for the planned expenses of the year like getting your TV Licence, car insurance, Christmas etc.
What you really need is a rainy day fund. This is a savings account that will tide you over if a disaster ever hits, like you lose your job or your roof literally caves in. It’s usually recommended that you have at least 3 months worth of wages saved up, but consider your own personal situation and save up some more if you think you’d need it.
This is something you can do slowly, month by month, and at least start in the new year. It’ll give you peace of mind that if anything unfortunate did happen, you’d be able to support yourself.
These 11 tips on saving money you can make into New Year’s Resolutions should have given you some ideas for what to aim for – but what are your New Year’s Resolutions going to be? Let me know in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.