How to Save After Spending: budgeting money after the holidays

With the holiday season officially over it’s time to pick up that empty wallet and start adding some cushion to your savings account. It can be hard to switch from spending to saving, but here are 10 easy ways to get you back on track.

 

Start a debt reduction fund– Every week start putting aside $5 or $10 dollars until it accrues to possibly $100 or $200. Then put it toward an outstanding bill or credit card. Before you know it, your debt will be paid off.

 

Don’t buy on credit– If you have something you want to buy, rather than charge it and pay it later, start putting money aside every week until you have saved the full purchase price.

 

Go without– If you stop at Starbucks every day to buy a grande latte, try to limit yourself to two or three times a week. Put the money aside that you would’ve used for the latte and after a couple weeks you’ll have a nice chunk of money in your pocket.

 

Sleep on it– If you are an impulsive shopper, take the time to ask yourself if it is an item you absolutely need. Try telling yourself you can buy it the next day. More often than not, you will not be as inclined to buy it the next day.

 

Start a change jar– Start putting all of your loose change into a jar. Dedicate that jar of change to something specific and once you reach your goal, go get it!

 

Keep to the 10 percent rule– This is similar to the debt reduction fund. Start putting 10 percent of every paycheck into your savings account. After a year, you’ll be sitting on a nice chunk of money.

 

Save gifts– When you receive a monetary gift take a portion of the money and put it away. Then you can spend the rest of the money later – After you send the thank you card of course.

 

Make a list– When you shop make a list of everything you’re getting, especially groceries. This will help you to avoid impulsively buying items you don’t have use for.

 

Keep a journal– For one week try to log every purchase you make in a journal. Sometimes seeing it on paper makes you realize how many mindless purchases you partake in.

 

Give to those less fortunate– The more you give to others, the more you’ll realize how lucky you are. You may find that spending your money on pointless possessions isn’t as important as giving to those less fortunate.

 

* A special thanks to co-reporter Kathy Ward for her words and excellent insight.