Shawn Michaels’ Tips for Keeping Your Savings Resolutions
Here's a statistic that none of us probably find surprising: About 80 percent of New Year's resolutions are broken by February, according to U.S. News & World Report.
They cite the biggest reason as lack of planning: If you're going to make a sustainable change, you should plan ways to keep yourself motivated and ways to "handle the inevitable stress and discomfort involved in change," the U.S. News & World Reports article states.
Given that so many people resolve to save more money each year, I worked with my friends at Kearny Bank to curate the best tips for painless, lasting savings habits:
1) Start recording your expenses and spending to find easy places to cut back so you can put more money in your savings account. Create a spreadsheet to record expenses and spending habits or use an app like Mint to effortlessly record and monitor expenses and spending habits.
2) Balance your budget. According to the 50/30/20 rule, 20 percent of your earnings should go to savings, 30 percent should go toward discretionary items, and 50 percent should go toward necessities, according to Forbes. If putting away 20 percent of your paycheck is too much, start off small. If your job offers direct deposit, set it up to deposit a small portion of your paycheck into your savings account. This way you don’t even have to think about saving money; it will be done automatically.
3) Pack a lunch. On average, take-out lunch can cost anywhere from $4 to $15. Buying in bulk and using reusable containers to pack your lunch can bring the cost down to $2 for lunch per day, according to HowStuffWorks.com.
4) Enter the 52-week money challenge. Start by putting away $1 in the first week of the New Year, then increase your savings by $1 each week. If you follow the challenge accordingly, you will have $1,378 by the end of the year, according to TheSimpleDollar.com.
5) Master the 30-day rule. Before making a non-utilitarian purchase, especially a big one, give yourself 30 days to decide if you really need that item. After 30 days, you may not feel the need to spend that money after all, according to TheSimpleDollar.com.
6) Try the fiscal fast every once in a while. For a whole week, don’t spend money. Prep ahead of time by filling up your gas tank and do your necessary food shopping. Take lunch from home and skip your Starbucks fix. Your wallet will thank you.
7) Re-evaluate your ongoing monthly expenses. How many channels do you actually watch? Drop your cable or satellite package and select a streaming service such as Amazon Prime, Hulu, or Netflix. Streaming services can start as little as $7.99 a month. That is a big difference from most cable or satellite packages.
8) Instead of going out with your friends, opt for a night in. Host a potluck dinner and assign everyone a meal, a drink, or supplies to bring over.
9) Rotate your children's toys. Instead of constantly buying new toys, put half of the toys away for a few months, then swap them out. By rotating batches of toys, they will feel new to your child without having to spend any money.
10) Do your research. Take some time to comparison shop, especially if it is a large ticketed item. Compare prices of brick-and-mortar stores vs online stores to ensure you will get the best deal possible. Sites such as PriceGrabber.com can help you calculate tax and shipping while showing seller ratings immediately.
If you're looking to maximize your savings, check out Kearny Bank's savings accounts and high-yield checking accounts. Right now, their high-yield savings accounts offer 3.05 percent APY, with competitive rates on balances up to $25,000 and ATM fee refunds when account terms are met.
And aside from offering some great account products, Kearny is heavily involved in the community. I love seeing local companies invest in the places and people who support them!
Ready to get started? Click here to learn more about Kearny's personal banking products and to find a branch near you.