There’s no better time to initiate good habits than January. Everything feels fresh and new, and you’ve likely already resolved to be a new and improved version of your former self. Maybe you’ve vowed to be more responsible, more organized, or more independent. One route to achieving all those goals and more? Cha-ching.
That’s right: making smarter decisions when it comes to spending can completely transform your personal and professional life. Money definitely isn’t everything…but it sure does help. And feeling totally secure about your finances will help you feel in control in all areas of your life.
Ready to start feeling like a total boss? Here are 10 ways to grow your bank account in 2018:
1. Set financial goals. Hoping to travel? Buy a new car? Maybe even purchase your first home? Think about what you really, truly want, get excited about it, and then strive for it. Commit to your goal by writing it down or even creating a vision board with pictures and phrases that motivate you — bonus points for displaying it somewhere you can see it every day.
2. Take stock of what you pay for. Are you really watching anything on cable these days or are you exclusively getting your entertainment via Netflix? Have you actually attended a class at that expensive gym since….last January? If you’re not getting full use out of each of your expenses, consider downgrading or eliminating them completely.
3. Pack your lunch. Maybe it doesn’t sound as fun as an impromptu afternoon at the Olive Garden (or wherever your coworkers wind up), but it’s unbelievable how much money you can save just by making your own meals at home. Think about it: if you spend $10-$15 (or, let’s be honest — more) five days a week, that’s anywhere from $2,600 – $3,900 a year. Brown bag it instead and save all that cash for something special.
4. Look for deals. You don’t have to be a compulsive coupon clipper to reap the rewards of available bargains. Websites and apps like RetailMeNot and BradsDeals make it ridiculously easy to comparison shop and find deals on big-ticket items and smaller splurges.
5. Brew your own coffee. Just like packing your lunch will help you save, skipping the super fancy and overpriced coffee shop latte will spare you tons of wasted dollars. You can even buy a personal french press that doubles as a travel mug to brew your own on-the-go java for pennies.
6. Set up automatic transfers. Everyone’s eyes widen with possibility when they see their paycheck hit their bank account, but to avoid the temptation of burning through it, set up an automated transfer to your savings account on your pay days. It doesn’t have to be a big amount, but putting a chunk of change out of sight will keep you from spending it.
7. Couple bad habits with good ones. Everyone deserves to indulge now and then, but if you’re trying to break a bad habit, kill two birds with one stone and pad your savings account while you’re at it. For every dollar you spend on something you consider a “bad habit” purchase (alcohol, junk food, cigarettes, etc.), deposit a dollar directly into your savings account.
8. Walk whenever you can. In some cases, logging the steps necessary to get to the office takes just as much time as dealing with gridlock traffic or the hassle of public transportation — not to mention it’s great for your health and it’s totally, completely free.
9. DIY more. Modern technology has made it absurdly easy to pay your way out of every inconvenient task, but taking the time to fix your old appliances, making your own homemade gifts, or putting together your Ikea furniture will save you lots of cash and help you realize how capable you totally are.
10. Switch to Metromile. Not only will you save money on your car insurance, but you’ll avoid the exorbitant costs of street sweeping tickets, mechanic shop visits, and other money pits. Wanna know how? Check us out now.
Making sound money saving decisions now can set you up for big success in the long run. Try these ten tips and pat yourself on the back for showing 2018 who’s boss.
Michelle Konstantinovsky is a San Francisco-based journalist/writer/editor and UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism alumna. She’s written extensively on health, body image, entertainment, lifestyle, design, and tech for outlets like Cosmopolitan, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Teen Vogue, O: The Oprah Magazine, Seventeen, and a whole lot more. She’s also a contributing editor at Fitbit and the social media director at California Home + Design Magazine. She is an avid admirer of shiny objects, manatees, and preteen entertainment.