Easy Ways to Cut Expenses in 2022
The new year is an opportunity to simplify and improve. For some this may signify decluttering and organizing, while others may embark on a journey of health and positive mindset. For many, a few quick steps can decrease their monthly financial burdens and obligations which is a win in several areas, including the ever-popular categories of organization and mindset. Here are some suggestions of unnecessary expenses that can be eliminated in the New Year.
If you carry credit card balances, develop a plan to pay them off and stick to it. Reduce credit card debt and interest by consolidating balances on one low interest rate credit card or through a personal loan. Be sure to check for balance transfer fees which can range from 3 to 5 percent. Even with a balance transfer fee, the savings from the lower interest rate may often be greater than the balance transfer fee..
Another unnecessary but seemingly unavoidable expense is car insurance. While you cannot avoid it altogether if you own a car, you can pay much less with a new policy. Policy rates should be reviewed regularly, ideally every six months. There are several websites that offer multiple insurers for comparison with only a few minutes of effort, allowing you to see competitive rates. Savings can total upwards of hundreds of dollars per year. You are doing yourself a disservice if you do not at least check to see if you can get a better deal elsewhere or at least question your current insurance agent for a better rate. While you are at it, also compare your homeowner’s insurance, cell phone carrier and cable bill. You may also consider cancelling your landline phone if you primarily use your cell phone. You’ll be surprised at the savings that add up with a bit of effort and not much time.
Groceries are a huge part of most household budgets. There are several ways of reducing the cost of groceries without eliminating the foods or stores you favor. One such way is to take advantage of the store apps that provide coupons and discounts, tallying as you shop, which adds up to savings. Another way to save is to download a free App called Fetch Rewards which will send consumers gift cards based upon the types of groceries they purchase. Toilet paper, water and milk can be redeemed for gift cards to stores you already shop at such as Target, Walmart and Amazon. Users simply take a picture of the receipt from the items they purchased and once a gift card can be redeemed they can select their store of choice. Other ways of reducing food costs is to plan out meals in advance to avoid wasted food, unplanned eating out and repeated trips to the grocery store that inevitably end up to be more than the needed dinner items. Try to take inventory of what you have prior to going to the store to avoid purchasing unnecessary items and be creative with ways that leftovers can be repurposed into different kinds of meals. Other seemingly harmless but definite ways to rack up the grocery bill is to shop while hungry and to shop with other family members.
Challenge yourself to reduce your household bills by 2% to 5% in 2022. Utilize those savings to build an emergency fund or build investments. Regardless of the amount saved, having those funds compound over time will eventually be a larger asset in the future.
2022 Financial Objectives
January 1st is typically a day of determination when people aspire to reach lofty goals in several aspects of their lives related to health, career, personal and finance. Unfortunately, if a clear plan of action is not formulated to achieve these goals, after a period of little success, motivation is easily lost. This is especially true when the goal is exceedingly ambitious. Making sacrifices without a structured manner by which to achieve progress is a surefire way to failure. Having defined, yet reasonable objectives brings focus to one’s wants and aspirations.
For these reasons, a new approach is recommended for 2022. Consider aspiring to more flexible objectives rather than rigid goals. The course of the past few years has taught us that life is a series of obstacles we must be prepared to maneuver through, resulting in delays and adjustments. The end point, the objective, may be different than originally planned, but still a point to aspire to. Objectives can also be altered as time and situations change. As one works toward an objective, they may realize it is unrealistic and can simplify or increase the objective. The benefit of an objective is to have it always be a challenge but never be so far beyond reach as to seem impossible. However, one must be clear about exactly what their objective is, to avoid wasted time and effort.
The benefit of having an objective over a goal is that a goal is usually specific and detailed, making it more difficult to achieve. For instance, one may set a deadline and a set amount to be saved as a goal. The pressure to reach the goal is much greater because there is so much more detail to keep in mind and the goal is unyielding. An objective, instead, can be fluid and directed to suit your circumstances. There are numerous ways of reaching your objectives without feeling like you are sacrificing too much. Begin by having a positive attitude towards your finances. If the income you are generating seems inadequate to reach your objectives, consider other income generating revenue. Side hustles can be done online or in your free time, and no matter how small, will still bring you steps towards your financial objective. Small changes and different ways of spending will also add up to great rewards. For instance, avoid impulse buys by instituting a 2-day consideration policy. Any purchase over $50 must be considered for forty-eight hours prior to purchasing to evaluate the true necessity of the purchase. Another manner in which one can add to a financial objective is to have an automatic transfer from a paycheck into a savings account. By removing the funds from an active spending account, the temptation and access to utilize the funds is eliminated.
Review your progress on a regular basis to evaluate how it may be improved upon and if your financial objective is on track. Consider adding additional objectives if you are progressing well or decide to improve on another area of your life. Use your review as a guide to determine how well you are utilizing opportunities to plan future objectives.