Estimated Monthly Savings: $775
The New Year is almost here, and it brings us all a chance to make a fresh start and create positive changes in our lives. Many people use the New Year to start losing weight, getting healthy, and saving money. Help yourself and your family attain your New Year’s resolutions and save money doing it with these 5 tips.
1. Don’t Buy New
Exercise equipment is one of the most purchased and then least-used products out there. Every year, thousands of people say they want to exercise more so they buy the fanciest treadmill or elliptical machine they can find.
A month later, however, it rarely gets used and 6 months later, they decide it’s taking up too much space. All too often, they list it for sale at a fraction of what they paid they paid for it, and it’s practically brand new!
If you or your family members intend to embark on a new fitness journey this year, don’t buy your equipment brand new. Scour carious online classified and auction sites to find these heavily-discounted equipment gems.
While a top-of-the-line-treadmill might cost you $1200 or more, a used one can be acquired for under $500. Look in local print media, too, like your local newspaper’s classified ads section. Visit flea markets and second-hand shops like Goodwill for more options.
Estimated Savings: $700 (price of a brand-new treadmill versus a used one)
2. Save on Healthy Food
A big part of getting fit and/or healthy is eating healthy food, but healthy food can get expensive. One way to eat healthily and save money is to plan ahead. Sit down once a week and plan meals for the next 7 days. Make a grocery list for those 7 days. When you go grocery shopping, buy only the things on your list.
However, to get healthier, you probably need to change your eating habits and come up with new meal plans, and that’s not so easy. But there are some websites that make it easy for you, and they also provide you with a ready-made grocery list along with a pretty accurate estimate of how much the groceries will cost you. Then, if it’s too much, you can adjust your goal of how much you want to spend on groceries.
Eatthismuch.com has a winter sale going on right now where you can get a year’s subscription for $47. As a member, you can set a maximum amount for how much you want to spend on groceries per day, and it will generate meal plans for you that meets your goals.
You can choose to include certain foods while excluding others, and customize your plans in many ways. You can create meal plans based on how many calories you want or choose a plan based on how many carbs, proteins, or fats.
Emeals.com is a similar service, although they offer a little less flexibility when it comes to choosing meal plans. You can choose “vegetarian”, “Paleo”, etc. but you cannot set your goals for daily macros (i.e., protein, carbs, and fat). They offer a free 14-day trial to see how well it works for you, though.
By pre-planning your meals and getting the estimated grocery cost ahead of time, you won’t be surprised when you check out. You can cut your monthly grocery bill by $75 or more using one of these services.
Estimated Savings: $75 for a family of 4
3. Get Paid to Save
Many people use the New Year to start saving more money and getting their finances in order. But did you know you can get paid to save? Use these two useful tips to make this year the year you increase your financial fitness and save money doing so.
- Open an account at a bank that pays a bonus. Many financial institutions are offering paid bonuses to open accounts with them. For example, open a checking account with $25 at Chase Bank until Jan. 18, 2018, and they’ll pay you $200. If funds are available, you can also open a savings account with $10,000 and get an additional $150. Many other banks are running similar promotions, and you can earn $200-$500 just for opening an account.
- Use an app to round up your purchases. Since 34% of all Americans have no savings, a great way to start saving money and making it grow is to use an app that rounds up the price of your purchases. Stash is one app, and there are many more. You link a debit or credit card, and every time you make a purchase, your total is rounded to the nearest dollar. So, if you buy a pack of gum for $1.12, your card will be debited $2.00 and $0.88 will go into a savings or investment account. Do that repeatedly for every purchase you make throughout the month, and you could have a substantial savings account in no time. You can choose to have your spare change invested in accounts that pay dividends, then those dividends will also be re-invested, and your money can grow much more quickly.
Monthly Savings: Varies
Make this year’s New Year’s Resolutions successful ones, and save money while you achieve your goals. Use these useful tips to get on track, get healthy, save money, and help your money grow.