To kick start our January money saving theme, we offer our 10 favorite money saving tips of 2016. Some of these will come as reminders, while others may be new to you. Either way, it’s always a good idea to brush up on your money skills at the start of the year.
- According to moneyunder30.com, beginning your long term investing habits in your 20’s can eventually make you a millionaire, but you have to remain engaged and interested in the process. They caution to stay educated and not put your 401k “on autopilot.”
- Adam Brown, a writer for Forbes, said brilliantly, “Starting a life can get in the way of planning one.” He suggests getting into the habit of saving 10% of your earnings in your 20’s and for each decade, add an additional 5%: in your 30’s, 15%, in your 40’s, 20% and so on.
- From Suze Orman “If you have a college-bound child, do not, I repeat, DO NOT take out any private loans for college. They are just too risky. Focus on federal loans.”
- This advice from FinancialSamurai goes for career and life in general: “Take some risks and create something on your own, no matter how small. You’ll feel embarrassed or hurt in the beginning. But it just gets better over time. Nobody can ever take away something you’ve created.”
- Developing a sense of gratitude can be the single biggest way to find peace in your financial life and escape the cycle of spending and having to earn more and more. Deborah Parrish writes, “ Consider this: your brain is like a muscle that can be enhanced by exercise over time. The part of the brain that experiences gratitude can be strengthened by consistently focusing on what makes you feel grateful. Gratitude is a practice, an exercise for your heart and mind. As with any exercise, frequency brings greater and long lasting results. Begin each day by writing down what you appreciate in your life. Taking a little time to concentrate on the positive parts of your life will inspire you and set the tone for your day. It also helps you get through difficult times, showing you the light at the end of the tunnel.”
- Always put some money aside each month, no matter how little you have. As Deborah Parrish writes, “Tell yourself to stop saying “I can’t” and instead ask, “how can I?” My grandmother who lived through the Great Depression never stopped saving, especially in lean times.”
- Take advantage of technology. There are several great apps and finance sites out there that can help you set goals and make them happen. From Deborah Parrish, “With the new Acorns app, you can immediately start investing your spare change. It’s heralded as the first mobile investment application where you can manage your investments from your smartphone. You simply connect your bank accounts and invest the change you receive from everyday purchases.”
- Cancel your cable subscription. Everything you want to watch is on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Go, or Amazon Prime anyway.
- Teach kids about money (You’ll learn something, too). From Deborah Parrish,“It’s never too late to start your child’s money education. Using this age-by-age guide, you can design fun ways to bring engaging money concepts to their daily routine. Even a small step forward can make big difference in a child’s life.”
- Use Venmo to split checks and cover the costs of shared activities with friends in real time. This is a social solution as well as a financial one, as it allows you to avoid uncomfortable follow up phone calls with your friends about paying you back for that hotel room you shared last summer. Venmo makes people accountable, and let’s you simply send a request for money to your friend, who can then easily pay you on the spot.
–Eva Gordon is the managing editor of HipLatina.