*This is a collaborative guest post
The new year is just around the corner, and for many people, that means new resolutions with money to think about. Whether you’re planning on taking out a loan using a site like MoneyWorld so you can finally buy a new car, or pay for your new kitchen, or you just want to get a handle on your cash and put more of your budget towards savings, it’s time to make a real change.
Fortunately, if you’re not sure how to prepare for a more manageable financial strategy in 2020, we’ve got some tips that are sure to help. The following six steps will help you to save more during the first months of 2020, so you can make the most out of the rest of the year.
1. Have a Clear out in January
In December, you probably ended up with a bunch of extra gifts and purchases that you have no idea what to do when the new year arrives. Fortunately, you don’t have to wait until Spring to start spring cleaning. Instead, go through your belongings one room at a time, making piles of items that you want to keep, donate, or sell.
The items that you sell will help you to recoup some of the cash that you spent during the festive season and have some extra money ready for the rest of the year. Keep that cash as your emergency savings, ready for a rainy day.
2. Branch Out in February
In February, when people are back into the swing of things after the festive season, it’s time to start branching out and connecting. Reach out to your neighbours and friends and see how you can all help each other to accomplish more this year. For instance, if you have kids, maybe you and your friends can come up with a babysitting roster so you can avoid paying over the odds for childcare when you need it.
This is also a good time to start thinking about ways that you can improve your earning potential by offering your services as a babysitter, dogwalker, or anything else you can think of in your free time.
3. Change the Way you Eat in March
Some people crash diet in January, only to start piling the pounds back on in March. Instead of taking that often upsetting route, why not change the way you eat in a more positive way. Start planning your meals in advance so you can make sure that you’re only buying exactly what you need from the supermarket, rather than extras that end up getting wasted.
When you prep your meals in advance, you can also have them ready to use at a moment’s notice, so you’re less likely to order a takeaway when you’re exhausted and you don’t want to cook.
4. Spring Clean your Subscriptions in April
In April, rather than just looking for things to get rid of in your house, think about the things you can cut down on in your bills too. Look at your bank statements and ask yourself whether you’re only paying for the things that you need, or whether you’re accidentally still paying for services that you don’t actually want.
Today, it’s easy to get caught up paying for subscriptions that we no longer want or need. Those gym memberships that you swore you’d start using in January are just wasting your money at this point. You can always cancel the gym and still work out on your own instead.
5. Do More for yourself in May
By the time May rolls around, if you’ve been making the most of our tips, you’re going to be feeling more confident and ready to tackle the world – so why not learn some new skills? Maybe you can figure out how to make some of your favourite takeaways from scratch to save money on family nights. Perhaps you can start growing your own fruits and veggies so you can spend less at the supermarket.
Other do-it-yourself options include figuring out how to redecorate your home without the help of a painter or learning how to put up shelves. There are plenty of videos and articles online to assist you.
6. Stop Impulse Buying in June
Finally, in June, just before the summer sales hit, make sure that you have a handle on your impulse spending habits. Try taking cash with you when you go shopping instead of plastic. This way, if you ever want to spend more than you have allocated for the day, you’ll have to go home to get more money. This gives you time to think about whether you really want to buy the item, or not.