It’s hard to believe it, but a new year is upon us. At this time of year we start to hear about New Year’s Resolutions and ways to save money or cut back. You’ve heard it all before – start budgeting, cut back on expenses, blah blah blah. Well, today, I’d like to look at some of the more uncommon ways to start saving money this year that’ll hopefully help get your creative juices flowing.
Take Advantage of Employer Benefits
One of the more common things many people overlook is all the benefits they get from their employer. A paycheck is nice and so is paid vacation, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Are you saving for retirement? If not, then check out your employer’s 401(k) plan. Sure it helps you in the long run, but it also helps lower your tax liability.
Don’t overlook a less well known way to save money via your employer – the Wellness plan. Many employers are now offering wellness plans that span from offering incentives for healthy living habits, gym subsidies, and free checkups. Just ask your HR department and if they don’t offer it, then there is no harm in asking them to start.
How is treating yourself an uncommon way to save money, you ask? Simple – it helps you stay motivated to reach a certain goal. I like to set a goal at the beginning of the year of something I want to reach. Sometimes I even use a picture of that thing or place to motivate me. That little trick helps me stay on task when it comes to saving money positively spills into other areas of my life as well.
Don’t Go to the Grocery Store
Ok, I’m not saying you should go hungry. Instead, get yourself out of the mindset of going to the grocery store once a week. Do a little work and see how long it takes you to clear your refrigerator and pantry of most items and set up your shopping schedule around that. Not only will that help your grocery budget, but you’ll also likely notice just how much food you may be wasting.
Look for Ways to DIY
DIY may not be one of the most uncommon ways to save money, but it’s one that many overlook. The beauty of DIY is that it really can be as broad or as narrow as you want. In my instance, I cut my own hair as well as our sons hair. You can buy a pair of clippers at the store for maybe $20 or $25 and it pays for itself after one cut. Another option is to try a local beauty school. My wife went from paying $50+ for a haircut to $10 and she gets the same quality. If frugality isn’t necessarily your thing, you can always do things like:
- Change your own oil
- Brew your own beer
- Repair your own things
Of course, these will all depend on your skill level and can save various amounts of money, but they all add up over time and you might also teach yourself something new.
What are some other uncommon ways to save money? What will you be doing to save money this year?
Image by 401 (k)2012/ Flickr