I’m not generally good at making New Year’s Resolutions. I know I am not alone in this. The one thing that is remotely like a resolution that I am good at always has to do with money! I’m a penny pincher, so go figure! And I have a challenge for you.
I have put together a list of actionable steps to take this year if you want to do better with your finances. I have gone one step farther and created a pretty and printable file of the tips for you to keep. What you can do is to print it off and then tick them off as you go. I assure you some of these you will be able to tick off right away.
By the way, some of these are things I did to help me cope financially after I gave up the job I came to hate!
Feel free to pass the list on to someone else. If you don’t want to print the list for them, just copy and paste the address for this page and send it on. Click the image below to get your free printable checklist and see how long it will take you to win this challenge.
Start a blog and monetize it- approximately one year ago I found out about this idea and it is one of the best things I ever did. Not only can it give you a part time or full time income, it is quite enjoyable and not as stressful as working for someone else.
Make a budget and stick to it- You will do better financially if you know just how much your income is, and how much your expenditure is. This way, you will know your limitations and plan to spend within that amount. If you are constantly spending more than you earn (or your income), then you will never be able to catch your tail. As a result you will engage in financially unhealthy activities (like constant borrowing and using credit cards) to get by.
Make most of your meals yourself- I always make meals at home from scratch but I did come to the realisation that I was eating out too often. I have now resolved to save eating out for extra special occasions. Afterall, a steak dinner out is so expensive it’s like you’re paying for the whole cow! And making your own meals doesn’t have to be boring and laborious either. Plan your meals and always ensure that one cooking session in the kitchen produces more than one meal. That way all you need to do is reheat.
Bring your own lunch to work- Haven’t you noticed how ignoring this habit can add up? It’s just like eating out! And if you want to embrace the frugal lifestyle you have got to notice every little way your finances are being drained away. Don’t fatten the pockets of the company/shop/cafeteria you would normally buy lunch from, take your own enjoyable food from home. And smile, because, it’s delicious, and proves you’re financially smart and savvy. Bringing my own lunch to work every day has been a habit of mine for many many years. One day last week I realised that I had forgotten my lunch! Shock, horror! I had to buy lunch that day and I swear I had a stomach ache, and my purse wasn’t happy either. I won’t look back now.
Buy groceries in bulk- although this is a good idea I must warn you that sometimes you go into a store to buy in bulk and end up with tons of things you don’t even need! Don’t go there. Perishable foods like fruits and vegetables should not be bought in bulk unless you have a very big family. Pantry items like canned foods and long life milk can be stored when bought in bulk as they have a longer shelf life. This saves you going out to the shops too often.
Do without cable TV and a landline if you already have a mobile phone- It hit me one day (since I started my blog) that I hardly watched TV any more. Not only that, but my house phone (land line) was only used by cold callers to irritate me as soon as I got home! So I got rid of the cable tv and the land line and saved myself over £50 monthly! I realised then that most of what I wanted to watch on tv (news and documentaries) are free to watch any way. There are a lot of apps that you can now download to watch TV for free!
Enjoy the sunshine and outdoors when you can- This is a healthy habit to adopt. Not only do you get free vitamin D from sunlight, the fresh air is so invigorating and good for your breathing.. Do fun things like going for a walk or enjoying the park. This way you avoid going into shopping malls where you’ll be tempted to part with your hard earned cash.
Make your own gifts- I make crochet and other craft items as gifts for friends and family. What are you good at? Rediscover what it is that you can do well and that some others find difficult to do. Do it and give them as gifts. Hand made gifts, it has been proven, are more appreciated.,.
Turn one or more of your hobbies into a money making venture. If you have a hobby or two, get busy. Set a price for your stuff (and consider carefully the cost of raw materials) and make an extra income from it. Don’t underestimate the worth and value of your work. People will pay if your craftmanship is of a good standard. I am good at making cakes, so especially at Christmas, birthdays and other special occasions, I capitalize on this skill and earn an extra income from it.
Sell your unwanted items. In everyones house are some unwanted items which are quite sought after by others in other households. If only the two could meet. Well they can! There are various sites that you can put your stuff on for sale. Try them: Craig’s list, Shpock and Facebook are just a few.
Tan a you yaad if you no affi go out. This is translated from Jamaican patois to mean, stay home if you don’t have to go out (my friend Natalee suggested this one). Instead, engage yourself in your hobbies or relaxation. Going out unneccesarily always cost you money. Instead, you could invite a friend or two over, have a potluck, and entertain each other.
Keep a piggy bank as suggested by my friend Agnieska from Poland. This is not just for children. Most of us had a piggy bank as a child and this enabled us to save up for prized toys and other possessions. Nothing is wrong with saving up at home for bigger ‘toys’ and other possessions. I just got a piggy bank for Christmas (someone knows me well) and I plan to make it full and go towards my next holiday.
Throw a partner as suggested by my friend Sharlene from Jamaica. A partner is a partnership between friend who put together a set amount of money each week or month. At the end of each week or month, one person gets the amount put together and this carries on until everyone is paid.. It does have it’s disadvantages but it is mostly good when organised properly with honest people.
Use Ebates as suggested by my friend Michele in The USA. Readers in the US will know more about ebates and are welcome to enlighten the rest of us about it. Use the comment box below.
So how many of these have you been able to tick off the list? Don’t forget to use the free printable to see how good you are with this challenge. You can also pass it on to others who need other money saving ideas for the year ahead.
Click the blue box above for your free printable. Or subscribe using the box below.