As the year comes to an end, it’s important to set clear financial goals for 2011. Economic times are tough, and that means it’s time to cut the fat out of your bad financial habits and improve your financial stability for the new year.
Here are some ways to save going into 2011.
1. Make a Personal Budget. By setting a budget and sticking to it in 2011 you’ll be surprised how much you actually save. Make sure you don’t stray from your budget, and avoid any temptations to go on a 1 day shopping spree. Review your previous credit card statement, and you’ll most likely find a few items you could have done without.
2. Pay yourself first. If you’re fortunate enough to have a job going into 2011, make sure you set aside some of that paycheck in a savings account first. Once some of that money is already put away, it’s hard not to save.
3. Review your monthly bills and trim them where you can. If you pay for cable, see which channels you can remove to lower your monthly bill, if you can’t get rid of cable all together. Check your local utilities to see if they offer any incentive plans. Meted for instance is rolling out an Energy Savings plan called Easy Green where you can save up to $60/year and also help the environment.
4. Carpool. If you have to travel far for work (or even if it’s nearby), find out who lives close to you and setup a carpool schedule. Not only will you save money on gas, but you’ll be helping the environment as well. With Gas prices likely to increase in 2011 and beyond, it’s important to find ways to save money on Gas.
5. Review your mutual fund expense ratios. Often times certain stocks you may have will have higher expense ratios than they may be paying out. It’s important to review these funds / stocks on a yearly basis and assess which funds might be worth exchanging for others. If you have a financial advisor, setup an appointment now for the new year. You’ll be glad you did.
6. Shop and Eat Smart. It might seem easier to buy fast food on the go because of those “dollar menus” but in reality it’s going to cost you more in the long run. Not only is eating Fast Food not good for you, you probably will be spending money on gym memberships. If you buy food from your local food market you can purchase food for the whole week for less than you’ll most likely spend eating fast food everyday. Spend your saturday morning purchasing from your local food market (or whenever they’re open), and spend one night a week preparing food. If you spend just 2 hours, one day a week preparing your meals for the week (and storing them properly of course), you will be eating healthy and also be helping your local community.
7. Check your local Newspapers for Sales. Often times something you’re looking for or need to purchase in a particular month, could end up being on sale. By purchasing items on Sale or on Clearance you could save quite a bit of money.
8. Save when you go out. If you would like to have a movie night, go in the afternoon. Typically it’s cheaper and you’ll more than likely get better seats than in the evening, when it’s most likely going to be packed. Also, look online for special deals when either going to the movie theater, or out to eat.
9. Recycle. It is possible to make money by recycling. It might take a lot of cans to make a couple of bucks, but that money can go a long way when you stick to your saving habits. Keep any containers that might be reusable. Some containers you might be able to fill up with Gatorade for the kids, which is cheaper and better for them than a can of soda.
10. Recharge your Batteries. Instead of buying regular batteries which will just end up in the landfills afterwords, purchase rechargeable. You’ll be saving the amount of batteries going to landfills (thus helping the environment) as well as save a trip you might have taken to purchase new ones at the store.
So going into 2011 start to think about where you can improve your Health, Financial Stability, and overall Future Wealth. Make 2011 the year where you “trim the fat” rather than “put on the pounds”. This is your year to shine.
Have a Safe and Prosperous New Year!
Your partner in living a greener life,
President Eco York, LLC