47 Ways to Save Money in the New Year
New year, new goals? Right? We all have them and for a lot of us our goals include saving more money, paying off debt and just being smarter about how we spend the money that we make. I know I always feel much better when I save a little money here and there and have a little bit extra to spare each month.
As a military spouse, know that your military service member will be getting a 2.1% raise in the New Year. You should see this on the 2nd paycheck in January. BAH might have also gone up for you too. You can check the new BAH rates here. If your BAH rates went down, don’t worry. You will be grandfathered in with the old rate. Until you, PCS or your spouse moved up in rank. But if they do move up in rank and the BAH is lower for that new rank, you still get to keep your old BAH. Thank goodness for all of that!
When it comes to budgeting, you want to make sure you do so on a daily or regular basis. One of the first things I do every morning is check our bank account and pay any bills that need to be paid that day. I even check on Sundays because once we found out that someone had hacked our account and charged up some things on a Sunday. You have to always be aware of what is in your account.
If you are looking at 2017 and wondering how to save a little extra each month, this post is going to be for you. Here are 47 ways to save money each month in the new year:
- Shop sales- Let’s face is, you save money when what you buy what is on sale.
- Shop at the Commissary- In some areas, you will save more than in others but usually, shopping at the Commissary can save you money. Do some of your own research to see where certain products are the best price in your area.
- Shop thrift stores- A pair of pants for just $2? Score! Thrift stores have the best stuff!
- Hand me downs- I have 3 boys so there is always stuff that I can save for the next kid.
- Meal plan- When you plan ahead you will be less likely to eat out or pick something up on the way home.
- Make coffee at home- I love my Starbucks but it is a lot cheaper to just make coffee at home.
- Skip the fast food- For our family of 5 to eat at McDonald’s it is at least $25. Eat out less and save some money.
- Skip the soda- If you do go out to eat, skip the soda. Some places can charge up to $3 for one soda. If you and your spouse go out and skip it, ordering water instead, you could save between $4-6 on your meal. That adds up over time.
- Have a yard sale- Either plan one at your house or use the yard sale sites and Facebook groups.
- Don’t buy because you feel bad– Feeling sad? Don’t go shopping. You are more likely to buy something just to try to make you feel better.
- Be honest about what you can spend– Friends going out for the 2nd time in a week? Let them know you can’t and plan some coffee dates instead.
- Get your books from the library- I love book deals but most of my books I get from the library. Yes, I have to wait sometimes but there are so many books to read I can usually always find something good, and for free.
- Look for deals on books- Look for book deals. I recommend getting on Modern Mrs. Darcy’s list. She sends out an email every day on what is on sale for your Kindle.
- Go to free events- See what is going on in your community, both on and off post.
- Set a budget for food at free events- Even at free events, you might want to eat. Set a budget ahead of time and stick to it.
- Buy passes- Love the zoo? Think you will go often? Get a yearly pass!
- Use the passes- If you get a pass, make sure to use it. At least figure out how many times you need to use the pass to break even.
- Use coupons- It can be a pain to cut coupons but using them will save you money.
- Take advantage of military discounts- Take a look at military discounts in your area. That 10-20% can help.
- Watch your boxes- Monthly boxes are in right now and there are so many good ones to choose from but be careful. Don’t keep paying for a box if you don’t like most of what comes in them. You can skip months too.
- Set up automatic savings- Set this up with your bank. Then money will automatically go to your savings accounts.
- Drop cable- What do you use cable for? Think about if you could do without. You could save yourself a lot of money by dropping cable and using Hulu and Netflix.
- Make lists before you shop- Making a list will always save you.
- Try a “buy what you need” challenge- See if you can go a month or two without buying anything you don’t need.
- Adjust your heat/ac settings- Adjust your settings just a little bit. You might see a change in your monthly electric bill.
- Cancel what you don’t use- Go through your monthly bills and cancel what you no longer lose. These random costs can add up.
- Save all loose change and cash in- Put all loose change in a bottle. Cash in the bottle every 6 months or so. Use the money for some family fun.
- Fly Space-A- Living overseas and want to visit home? Try Space-A. Space-A isn’t for everyone but can save you money, especially when flying home from overseas.
- Stay in Military hotels- Staying in military hotels can save you quite a bit of money and they are all over the place.
- Exchange babysitting with a friend- Find a friend you trust and swap babysitting.
- Use Parent’s Night Out– There are a few churches in the area that offer a regular parent’s night out. Use these. For date nights or just to have some time for yourself.
- Bring your lunch to work- Try to bring your lunch to work most days. Cook a little extra for dinner and bring the leftovers in.
- Watch your ATM fees or use USAA- Watch those ATM fees. Now if you have USAA, they will pay you back once a month which is super handy.
- Put your tax return to good use- Getting a tax return? What is the best way to spend it this year?
- Downsize- Feel like you have too much space? It’s okay to downsize and move into a cheaper home.
- Use Rewards cards- Use rewards cards for the stores you shop at the most. The rewards can add up.
- Shop around for big purchases- Need to buy a new washing machine. Shop around for the best deals. The PX is tax-free but Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a 10% military discount.
- Shop with a purpose- Shop with what you are looking for in mind. Always have a purpose and you can avoid spending extra money.
- Dollar Spot- Check out the Dollar Spot at Target. They always have things cheaper there, especially when it comes to office supplies and small toys for the kids.
- Keep driving that car- Don’t give up your car just yet. Try to get as many miles out of it as you can.
- Drop your home phone- Do you need your home phone? Most people don’t anymore.
- Use your leftovers- Have a leftovers night where you use up any extra food you have made. Don’t let it go to waste.
- Eat before you go- If you can, eat your meals before you go somewhere. That way you won’t be as tempted to buy there.
- Garden, cheaply- You can spend a lot of money on gardening supplies but you don’t have to. Shop around and create a simple garden growing veggies you would normally buy.
- Gas Rewards- Use gas rewards.
- Ask for gift cards for Christmas and birthdays- Receiving gift cards for Christmas and birthdays means you have places to go without having to spend any money.
- Shop or save for Christmas- Plan out your Christmas, even in January. Shop sales during the year and stick to your budget.
I hope your 2017 is off to a great start! Have a good year and have some fun saving money 🙂