The New Year can signal a time of new beginnings, intentions, and goals for many of us. it’s a great time to take a step back and reflect on your life and realign your priorities. One thing that we can come together on this New Year is a goal to budget better and save more money in 2020.
Budgeting can sound like a daunting topic. In fact, many things that involve money can sound intimidating, but they don’t have to be! Here are 5 things you can do to budget and save money in 2020.
1. Eat out less.
Whether you’re a college student, a stay-at-home mom, or a working professional, one thing that everyone can do to save money is to eat more meals at home. While eating out is convenient, it is costly and adds up quickly.
A great way to avoid eating out frequently is to meal prep, or at least meal plan. If your food is already prepared, you are less likely to go out and spend money at a cafe or restaurant. Buying groceries and preparing your food at home is way more affordable then eating out, especially if you buy in bulk.
Another way to save money is by making your coffee at home. In the moment, a $3 purchase might not seem like a lot, but when you buy a $3 coffee every day, it adds up quickly.
2. Use cash.
One thing that my parents taught me at a young age was how using cash can help you budget. Although I did not follow their advice very strictly, one of my friends did and she has great budgeting skills because of it. At the beginning of each week, she allocates a specific amount of money to various expenses in her life — groceries, transportation, gym membership, etc— and once it runs out, it’s out.
Using cash has taught her how to live within her means, and has allowed her to save a substantial amount of money as well. Using cash also doesn’t mean you can’t change your budget! Life happens, things change, and budgets do as well. It’s important to not be too hard on yourself if you do end up needing to rearrange your finances.
3. Think long term, not short term.
One of the greatest things you can teach yourself is how to think long-term, versus short term when it comes to money. It can be difficult to even think about saving money when you’re a college student, but it’s important.
I like the verse “Whoever is faithful in small matters will be faithful in large ones; whoever is dishonest in small matters will be dishonest in large ones,” from Luke 16:10. Over the years it has served as a reminder for me that even if my income is small, I should still be faithful to what God has given me. For me personally, that has always looked like tithing first, expenses second, and saving third.
Do you have a New Years’ resolution this year? Have you considered budgeting as part of your plan? Let us know below!