No matter what time of the year it is, it’s always hard to save money. Why not get started on the right foot in 2017? Check out these quick and easy solutions to save money, starting today.
Follow a budget.
Okay, this might be a no-brainer, but creating and maintaining a budget is an essential first step in saving money throughout the year. This is mostly important for determining what your financial needs are. With that information you can calculate a realistic amount of money to save each month.
Create a direct deposit into a savings account.
The easiest way to save money is to get rid of it before you even see it. Creating an automatic deposit system into your savings account does just that.
Contribute to a retirement account.
Retirement is right around the corner, so the best thing you can do for your future is to start contributing to a 401(k) now. Aim to set aside 10 percent from each paycheck.
Open an FSA.
An FSA allows you to allocate pre-tax dollars for medical costs, which can become costly depending on the type of emergency. You can also open up an FSA if you have children and pay for childcare.
Sign up for commuter savings.
Depending on the area you live in, you can save big on costs for commuting to work, such as gas, a transit pass or even parking. Reach out to your employer to sign up for commuter benefits to avoid paying on your taxes over the course of the year.
Skip the car and grab your sneakers or bike.
If you live close to your job, or if there’s a good bike path near you, walk or bike to work. The average cost of owning a car is about $9,000 a year, so savings whenever possible on gas, or even skipping owning a car altogether, can lead to big savings.
Pay your credit card in full and on time.
The rule of thumb for maintaining a good credit score is to ensure that you have no more than 30 percent of debt on your credit cards. An even better rule of thumb is to skip accruing all the interest by keeping your balance low and paying it off every month.
Save with healthcare perks.
A lot of insurance companies provide discounts or reimbursements on other health costs, such as a gym membership. Before you spontaneously jump into a costly diet plan or gym membership, find out what is available to you through your healthcare.
Sign up for free trials.
If you can remember to cancel the trial within the designated time period, this a great way to save money and enjoy certain products or services. If you forget, however, you end up paying for nothing every month, which is not worth the free trial.
Combine all these ideas to save big this 2017.