January 14, 2020
Almost 99 million people will make a financial resolution this year – some to eliminate debt and others to amass more savings. If one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2020 is to save more money for a new home, to pay down debt, or take a vacation, here are some tips about how to keep those dollars from slipping through your fingers!
Setting Goals and Objectives
CNBC advises readers to set a realistic goal, reachable in 2020. For example, if you want to put away say $10,000 this year, work with your bank to schedule automatic deposits into a high-yield online savings account. And if you want to pay down debt, find a 0% interest credit card and transfer your other credit card balances then commit to paying it down or off.
If you don’t have the kind of credit that would enable you to qualify for a 0% credit card, identify a doable strategy to reduce your debt. Things like paying off the credit cards and loans with smaller balances first. Or the debts with the highest interest rates – that way you’ll reduce the amount you’d ultimately pay and save dollars doing it.
Practical Strategies to Save Money
Don’t buy books, movies, music, or magazines. Instead head to the library (closest one to Southshore is Tallyn’s Reach on E. Arapahoe, and the Aurora Central Library on E. Alameda). With so much free entertainment, not to mention free classes and activities for every age – libraries aren’t just about hardback and paperback books anymore!
If your employer has a match to the company retirement plan, go for it. Lots of employers match up to a certain dollar contribution on your part, which is essentially free money. Who else gives away free money, right?! Investopedia has advice about how much to contribute, with key takeaways.
Delay your gratification and give it a day before you make a big purchase. Our grandparents would say, “sleep on it,” so that an impulse buy, doesn’t turn into buyers’ remorse!
Pack your lunch and take it with you instead of eating out. Even if you box-lunched it four out of five days a week, you could save up to $160 a month. Socking that “lunch money” into a savings account can add up.
And speaking of eating out, how often do you check your receipts? We have friends who do it religiously and often find errors – before they leave a restaurant or retail store. And by the way, some stores have policies that if an item’s price is rung up wrong, it’s free!
The $5 Challenge
For two years Stacy Solis challenged herself not to spend any $5 bills that she got back in change. Whether it was from the grocery store, restaurant, gas station or her favorite clothing boutique, the $5 bills went into jar at home to see how much she could save. Her YouTube video, chronicling the experience racked up 143,361 views in the last year, and has inspired thousands to follow her lead.
The Budget Mom came up with 12 challenges to embrace for every month of 2019, things like Pack-A-Lunch January and No Eating Out February. Kumiko is an Accredited Financial Counselor and blogs about all things budget. The Motley Fool offers ways to save money for an emergency fund and for that vacation getaway in 2020.
And for a few crazy tips on how to save money buying bulk, check out the Krazy Coupon Lady’s website. Her top suggestions include splitting bulk items with friends and family members, loading up on produce in season when it’s cheaper and checking Craig’s List for farmers who (plug your ears, vegan friends) locally offer to butcher a cow for a small fee. You’ll get the best rates, and fresh beef.
Saving for a Home in Southshore
Start now and explore the brand new homes awaiting buyers from Century Communities, Richmond American Homes and Toll Brothers for a taste of Life at the Lake. These ranch and two-story designs are priced between the $400s and the $700s, and are close to everything you might need – but away from it all!