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Editor’s Note: This story originally appeared on Living on the Cheap.
This year, resolve to make a change that will put more change in your own pocket. Look at your financial goals for the new year, and make this the year you save money with your New Year’s resolutions.
Don’t know where to start? Look for ways to break down larger goals into smaller manageable ones, and give yourself several weeks to turn your new plan into a habit.
If your money-saving goals improve your quality of life and you can see results that make you happier, you’re more likely to keep up with your new habits.
Here are money-saving resolutions that will help you thrive in the new year.
1. Track your spending and start a budget
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If you want to save more in 2022, you’ll need to first find out where your money is actually going. Resolve to start tracking all your expenditures to see where you might be spending too much.
You can do it the old-school way, with these free printable sheets, or use a free online tool. Mint was the first in the free online budgeting category, but here is a list of other options.
Once you know what you’re spending, you can identify which expenses are non-negotiable and where you can cut down on wasteful or unnecessary spending, then create a budget to guide your purchases in the months to come. You can even teach your kids to budget if they have an allowance!
You’ll need to continue to track your spending to make sure you stick to the budget. Don’t forget to factor in paying down debt or saving for emergencies.
Creating and adhering to a budget is a terrific money-saving resolution if you’re looking to increase your savings or get out of debt.
2. Rent or borrow instead of buy
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Why buy something for full price when you can rent it cheaply or borrow it for free? Make a New Year’s resolution to never buy something if you don’t absolutely have to.
Use the local library to find some good reads, rather than buying paperbacks. Check there first for DVDs and audiobooks to borrow for free before you sign up for a subscription service or pay a rental fee.
Got a home improvement project? See if a neighbor can lend you his specialty tools, rather than buying that staple gun or spray washer you won’t use again. (Or borrow one free from AutoZone.)