As every new year starts, many people look into ways they can improve their lives. Some of the common goals include improving one’s health, career, and finances. If you want to focus on your finances, consider applying some money-saving practices. These can include anything that will help reduce your spending, such as planning your meals or growing some of your own produce.
Some of these methods need you to become more mindful of your expense while others may require you to take an initial loan online. Even if the case is the latter, you’ll get a higher return on investment in the future. Also, implementing new money-saving practices at the start of the year allows you to establish a foundation to develop healthier habits you can keep doing.
If you want to start the year right with better money management, here are some recommendations:
Plan Your Meals
One great way to save money is meal prepping or planning. With your meals planned out for the next few days or weeks, you always have food ready to reheat. More importantly, you can reduce the appeal of buying costly take-outs or eating in restaurants. The practice can also help lower your grocery bills.
When you plan your family’s meals, you also become more intentional with your grocery purchases. This is because meal planning requires you to prepare a shopping list to stick to. Ultimately, it helps you avoid making unnecessary purchases while at the supermarket. What’s more, because you know exactly what you need, you can be less wasteful: you wouldn’t be buying duplicate items in your pantry and throwing out unused or spoiled foods.
Grow Your Own Produce
Whether you live in a small apartment or have a home with a large backyard, growing your own produce can be a great way to increase your food savings. It also gives you access to fresh ingredients each time you cook. Although it might require an initial investment, when you consider the high inflation rates, growing vegetables at home will pay for itself in the long run if you cook a lot.
Some things you can grow at home are chili, tomatoes, and okra. These can be grown in pots or small containers that you can place on condominium balconies, so space shouldn’t be an issue. You can also grow herbs like basil, rosemary, and oregano, which can easily enhance the flavor of your foods.
Organize a Carpool
With rising fuel prices, it seems impractical to drive your car every day to work. However, taking public transportation may be inconvenient and time-consuming. In this kind of situation, one solution is to organize a carpool. Ask your colleagues or neighbors if they’re interested in carpooling to reduce everyone’s gas expenses. You can take turns on which car to use if everyone in the carpool group has their own vehicle, or split gas payments if there are only a few car owners. This practice can help lower your monthly gas bill and ultimately save money.
Audit Your Subscriptions
Another way you can save money is by doing an audit of your monthly subscriptions. Assess what current subscriptions and memberships you’re paying for; find out which ones you use most frequently and cancel the ones you don’t or barely use, especially if they renew automatically. These types of subscriptions can add up over time and you hardly notice the savings until you cancel them.
If there are some subscriptions you want to keep but want to also save money, consider subscriptions that allow multiple users instead. For example, some video and audio streaming apps offer more affordable family accounts that let multiple users create their own profiles and access the app simultaneously. This is a better solution compared to signing up for individual accounts, especially if you’re sharing with people in the same household.
Look for Free Activities to Do
Your entertainment options don’t always have to be costly. Indeed, you can save a lot of money by engaging in free activities. You can take advantage of resources that are available around you. For example, you may be living in a subdivision or condo that let residents access the pool, fitness center, and other amenities for free. If this is the case, maximize them. You can also find community events with free or low-cost fees. You can find museums in Metro Manila that are free or ask for minimal payment.
Unplug Electronics When Not in Use
If you want to lower your utility cost and save money, remember to unplug electrical devices when you don’t use them. Although it’s more convenient to keep frequently used electrical appliances plugged in even when you don’t turn them on, they can still draw a small amount of electricity when not in use. Over time, the energy they consume can add up and reflect on your monthly bill. As such, be sure to unplug these devices when you’re not using them, especially when you’ll be leaving for several days.
It’s quite common to set new objectives for the new year. And if part of your goal this year is to set aside extra funds, consider adopting these practices. They can help reduce your spending and allow you to save more money. Hopefully, by the end of the year, you’ll have significant savings and be in a better financial standing to improve your life.