A new year usually means new beginnings. I’m sure we all have our goals or resolutions for the new year as usual. Many of us are heading to the gym to get our health in order, changing our diets, and decluttering our homes, but what shape is that pocketbook in? Being broke and in debt should definitely be one of the things we leave behind in 2019. So, I want to share with you 5 ways to save your coins in 2020 without breaking a sweat!
Pick up the phone, sis!
I don’t know about you, but I hate when bill collectors call. I typically don’t have the amount they’re asking for so I usually feel humiliated and pressured. My solution in the past was always to let the call go to voicemail and avoid the debt like the plague. I mean, if I had the fund we wouldn’t be here, right? Here’s the thing, whether you pretend it’s not there or not, you’re still going to owe that money…with interest. So, put your big girl panties on and pick up the phone, sis! Let them know your situation. Ask what payment options are available.
There’s usually always a solution that you can work with, even if you’re only making the minimum payment. It’s better than not paying at all. Bill collectors just want some kind of payment. They’ll even offer you a settlement of much less than what you initially owed. Typically around tax season, you should receive a few letters in the mail from debt collectors that are waaaay less than the original amount owed. That’s a great time to pick up the phone and get a payment set up. You’re saving money and ridding your debt at the same time.
Flick your wrist in the kitchen
When you have some free time, sit down with a calculator and your banking app and add up every time you spent money on fast food this month. Once you do this, you’ll never want to go out to eat again. That number is probably horrifying. Seeing those small transactions add up was heartbreaking for me, but it was necessary for me to get my life together and start whipping up food at home. Luckily for me, my job actually pays for groceries at our office so I already save a ton of money not eating out for lunch.
My problem was the time between getting off from work and making it home. I have a pretty long commute home between evening traffic, picking up my girls from aftercare, and running last-minute errands. It can be a long time before I get home. I pass up so many fast-food restaurants in route which makes it pretty easy to swipe my card several times a week on something fried and fattening.
I had to be intentional about saving consistently on food in order to see a difference in my bank account. Before I leave work, I make sure to either eat something light or pack a snack. I also keep a few granola bars in my purse and even my car for those times when my stomach starts talking to me. It’s also beneficial to keep snacks around because I have Type One Diabetes. I never know when I’ll have a low blood sugar level while driving.
I’ve also been making sure to have dinner prepared ahead of time so I can get to it faster when I get home from work. If I know I have to cook a whole meal on a school night, I’m more tempted to pick something up. I also keep quick 10-15 minute meals in the freezer like frozen stir-fried rice or alfredo pasta that I can easily pop in the microwave as soon as I unhook my bra. Lol!
Save with a purpose
Before I got my mind right, I would aimlessly send money to my savings account without a real reason for saving it in the first place. I would do this every pay period and end up transferring the funds right back into my account when I was short for gas or groceries. My savings account was like a revolving door. I would put it aside knowing that would be there very long.
After listening to the I Don’t Do Budgets podcast a while back, I learned to really save with a purpose. So much so, that I opened up a new bank account with a DIFFERENT bank in order to save. You see, I had too much access to my money so I wasn’t serious about saving. Doing this made it harder for me to dip into my funds and really focus on building for a specific cause rather than mindlessly saving.
Rather than saving aimlessly, I created savings goals for myself both small and big. These goals were as little as a car emergency for gas, maintenance, and small repairs, and as big as money for rent and vacations. The more I would save, the more enthusiastic I would get and I became more serious about sticking to my goals and not dipping into the money.
If you don’t need it, don’t buy it
This is pretty self-explanatory. If you don’t need it, don’t buy it. Do you really need that candle from Bath and Body Works, or that cardigan from Target? You know you already have it every other color. Before you make another impulse buy because something is cute or on sale, really think about whether or not you need it and what your goals are. Create a budget for yourself so that you can treat yourself once a month after your priorities are taken care of like tithes, bills, savings, etc. Find other ways to save. Instead of paying to get your nails done, try doing an at-home manicure. Make coffee at home instead of splurging on that fancy Starbucks drink. You can even set aside a prepaid card with funds just for the days when you want to treat yourself.
Hit the unsubscribe button!
Whenever I come across an awesome brand that I one day want to purchase from or a store that I frequently shop at, I subscribe to their mailing list to take advantage of coupons and upcoming sales. Many of these companies can send sales emails ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. The overload of emails and amazing sales can sometimes give me anxiety and it’s a lot of pressure to feel like I have to buy something right now. The truth is, that’s their job.
Companies like Target and Bath and Body Works purposefully press the issue of you taking advantage of a sale so you can buy right now. You saving money is none of their concern, but it should definitely be yours. Take some time out to unsubscribe from a few of those email lists while you’re on a mission to get your money right. It doesn’t have to be forever. You can always subscribe again.
I hope these few tips were helpful to you as far as getting financially fit this year. If you have any useful tips, I’d love to know what they are down below in the comments section.