At the start of every year we all pile on new resolutions and goal to get us where we want to be at the end of the next 12 months. In "New Year, New Resolutions," Lauren writes about her coming resolutions for the new year, how she's achieving them, and some tips for you to do the same.
Face it. Most of us are living the life where "mo' money, mo' problems" does not yet make sense to us. More cash in our pockets means that we're being more responsible, and we also have the ability to do a little more of what we love, whether that's eating a fancy dinner for once, or traveling a little more often.
Living in NYC, money comes and goes almost too quickly. I've made 2015 my Year of the Budget - and I'm actually trying to stick to it. Here are some of the tips, tricks and apps that are helping me stay the course, and hopefully have a bit more in the savings account by 2016.
- Mint App by Intuit - Possibly my favorite thing on this list. After linking the app to your bank account (don't worry, they encrypt all information at the same level as other financial institutions, and are owned and backed by major player Intuit) you can set budgets for all money grubbing areas of your life. While it's really sad to see how quickly your bank account depletes after your rent check gets cashed, it's also really cool to be able to track your spending on restaurants, bars, clothing and taxis as the month goes on. Go over your set budget for the month? Mint pings you with an email and let's you know that it's time to cut back, sometimes waaaay back, on your spending in that category.
- HopStop - Speaking of spending too much on taxis... Since I live further uptown, my monthly spending on taxis is usually pretty high. Like, more-than-my-monthly-metrocard high. So I've resolved to take less cabs in the new year, much to my boyfriend's chagrin when it's raining out. HopStop helps you to navigate around your city using public transportation, and if you're already buying a monthly pass that's a huge money saver over weekly cab rides.
- Cold Hard Cash - Each month, if you really need to limit the amount of money that you're spending on something, just take out the budgeted amount allotted to that activity or category in cash. Once you've spent the cash, that's it. Cut yourself off. No more spending on 3 am drunchies. You've maxed out your budget.
- ShopSavvy - Still want to shop, but want to shop smarter? Apps like ShopSavvy help you to compare prices across multiple platforms before you buy. Always getting the best price means you're saving more money.
- Pay Check/Envelope Method - If you're completely dismal at any kind of saving, you don't even have a savings account and you continually go over budget without ever saving a penny then do this. First, open a savings account. Seriously, go do it now. Then enroll in a direct deposit that takes a chunk out of your savings account, before you even see it in your checking account, and squirrels it away for you - making saving money painless. Can't manage to do that right now? Your last resort is to take $20 (or more!) and shove it into an envelope or safe place (seriously, make it safe) each week. It's pretty painless, and though you're not accruing interest or really saving money in the most secure way, you are at least saving money. At the end of the month, take all of that cash and deposit it into your savings account. Because you'll have opened one by then.
For more money saving tips when shopping, check out Gloria's post here.