As 2019 quickly approaches, you are probably looking for ways to save money and have more financial freedom. These are a few solutions that you can get started on before the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve.
1. Try to boost your income. If you are not self-employed, now is a good time to ask for a raise. Sites such as Glassdoor and PayScale can give you an estimate of how much your time is worth based on your experience and skills. If you are self-employed, look for extra ways to make money. There are many options from affiliate marketing to freelance work on sites such as Upwork.
2. Put a percentage of your income into savings. Make a list of your expenses and determine how much of your income goes to bills. You should leave a little extra money for a cushion in your bank account. However, it is smart to save a percentage of your income consistently. The ideal target is 10 percent. If you can only afford one or two percent, commit to that. Set up automatic payroll deposits for your savings account. If possible, use a high-yield account.
3. Look for ways to cut your monthly expenses. If you have an upgraded phone, cable, internet or streaming plan, try to make some cuts. For example, you may be able to switch to another phone provider. Search for discount phone carriers, and you may be surprised at how many of them offer the same plans that mainstream carriers provide for at least half the price. If you have additional magazine subscriptions or other subscriptions that you rarely use, cancel them to save extra money.
4. Prepare your meals in advance. Many people are too tired to cook during the week, and they wind up eating unhealthy foods or spending more money to eat at restaurants. If you plan your menu in a way that you can use ingredients in multiple dishes, you can only prepare them on the weekend to eat each day during the week. This helps you save both time and money. If your meals contain perishable ingredients, freeze them if you will not eat them within a few days. Foods such as lasagna, stir-fried rice mixtures,and meatloaf are easy to reheat after they are frozen.
5. Spend less on your housing costs. If you rent, you may save money by purchasing a house. There are government programs that feature low-interest rates and small down payments. Also, there are special programs for certain people. For example, there are particular physicians mortgage loan programs that help young doctors afford new homes even if they have student loan debt. The loans feature low interest rates and are based on a doctor’s employment contract. In many instances, it is cheaper to pay a mortgage than monthly rent. Also, you are investing your money in real estate. If you already own your home, investigate refinancing to see if it can save you money.
From downloading finance apps for tracking spending to selling items that you are no longer using, there are plenty of other creative solutions for saving or earning money. Resolve to find more ways to save money after 2019 arrives and have a happy and prosperous year ahead.