It is amazing how small changes can make a big difference. Everyday choices can help change our relationship with money—for the better.
The past year is a reminder to be mindful of our financial resources, to stretch every dollar, and take intentional steps towards our life goals and financial wellness.
In that spirit, here are our favorite 10 Money Tips for 2021:
Automate your savings.
There are credit union and banking accounts that allow you to automatically save small amounts of money. The accounts provide you with settings to pre-select the amount of money that will move from your checking to your savings each month. This can help you save a small amount of money each month that will continue to add up—and help with unexpected expenses.
Keep a 30-day list.
If you are thinking of making a large purchase, write it down. The only catch is you must wait 30 days before revisiting this decision. This gives you time for any buying impulses to pass and will help you come to a calm, rational decision. After 30 days, revisit your potential purchase and your available funds, and make your final decision.
Schedule a non-spending day.
Once a month, try not buying anything outside of essential groceries or bills. Not one extra thing. This tip is an exercise in discipline and reminds us to use what we have [and help decrease splurge behavior].
Earn money when buying the essentials.
For items you use every day, like food, toilet paper, or gas, buy them using a credit card with cash back rewards. What is better than earning cash on everyday groceries, gas and more? Every little bit helps.
Shop from a list (and only the list!).
This is one of the single best ways to avoid overspending. Keep a list available on the counter, in your car or on your phone to keep track of needed items. When you are ready to go to the store, only buy what is on your list. This will give you focus and nearly eliminate mindless browsing that significantly adds to your grocery bill. While Oreos may be calling your name, this strategy definitely works!
Join your library.
They are not just for book rentals, anymore. You can access movies, music, audiobooks, comics and TV shows through digital companies such as Hoopla. Each library may offer different ways for you to access the content, so visit your local library’s website to learn more.
Find a grocery store with a gas rewards program.
You can save some serious money with these programs. A common format of these rewards programs is for every $100 dollars spent at the grocery store, you will earn 10 cents off the price of each gallon of price—up to $1 dollar of savings. All programs are linked to your store card, so the points add up automatically for continued savings at the pump.
Install checkout cart plug-ins for savings.
You can get automatic discounts applied to your online checkout cart by using safe plug-ins. These can include Honey and Amazon Assistant that are designed to save you money. In fact, Honey states the average discount is 17.9 percent with an average yearly savings of $126. Be sure to do your research and choose a secure plug-in.
Try the store brand of everything.
Most stores offer products with the exact same ingredients as brand names but at a reduced price. Try out the store brands and stick with the products you like. This tip can save you money on a weekly basis.
Give yourself grace.
Getting better at money is just like training a muscle, consistency is key. You will get better over time. And remember: you are not your past mistakes. Wanting to do better is a great first step!
Together, we can make small, daily choices that help set us up for success.
Disclaimer: You + Money posts are provided for informational purposes only and not intended to replace the advice of a financial, legal or accounting advisor.