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The beginning of a new year is filled with good intentions – many of which, unfortunately, rarely evolve into an actual year-long habit. We all hope to save a ton of money, but the truth is we just need to get into that habit of it. It’s these regular habits that are key to creating sustainable change over time. If saving money is on your list of resolutions for the New Year, here are 5 small habits from Coupons.com Savings Expert Lisa Thompson that can add up to big savings and help you reach your financial goals for 2022.
Five small ways to start saving big:
1. Evaluate your budget to see what’s “fixed” and what’s “flexible.” For example, your mortgage or rent payment is fixed; your grocery and entertainment are flexible. Look at those flexible areas of your budget and decide what you can cut back. Do you pay for streaming services you don’t use? A gym membership you forgot about? One good habit to adopt is to sit down monthly (yes, monthly) and evaluate your expenses. What did you pay for that didn’t offer you value? Ditch it, and move on.
Tip: If you are constantly buying $6 Fraps at Starbucks learn to make them at home or use the reward system.
2. Speaking of groceries, this is one area where you can really save a lot of money if you shop smart. Do you use coupons and cashback offers when you shop? If “no,” I’d encourage you to create this habit—it’s the best way to stretch your grocery dollars, hands down. Get the Coupons.com app or visit the website and peruse all the coupons and offers you can use to save at checkout or after purchase (cashback).
This costs you nothing, and yet once you adopt a habit of using coupons and cashback offers, it can save you a significant chunk of money over the year. Think of coupons/cashback offers as free money—it’s an extra $5-$15 you can spend at the grocery store if you can condition yourself to check out the offers before you go through the checkout.
Tip: Contact brands you use constantly and see if you can be placed on their mailing list (email list) for discounts or coupons.
3. Cut down on impulse buys. One of the best ways I’ve found to eliminate impulse purchases is to stay away from the temptation in the first place. Many stores are now offering curbside pickup—maybe the best thing to come out of the pandemic. By staying out of the store and opting for curbside pickup (which is free, by the way), you’re much more likely to only buy the things you need and not be swayed by the things you don’t. Plus, you can use cashback offers from Coupons.com for delivery and pickup purchases! So, you can save money and avoid overspending at the same time.
Tip: If you can’t do the curbside orders make sure to only go shopping for food after you have eaten a meal this way you’re not tossing things in just because you are hungry.
4. Be sure you’re in the know. You can’t take advantage of a great deal if you don’t know about it! Sign up at Coupons.com to get the latest and greatest offers and money-saving opportunities delivered to your inbox. When you get the Coupons.com app, allow notifications so you’re alerted of new products and offers. Sign up for emails and/or texts from your favorite retailers, stores, and brands—this is where you’ll often find deals and offers that aren’t necessarily shared with the general public. Also, follow your favorite brands and stores on their social media pages, another place where you can get alerted to more ways to save. You can always unfollow or unsubscribe if a particular brand isn’t delivering the value you need. But for the brands you love, it’s worth engaging with them and staying informed.
5. Make it fun! Saving money does not have to be a burden—it can actually be a blast, especially when you get others involved. Join or start a Facebook group for bargain shoppers and people who love to save. Get your friends and/or family involved and share offers and deals with each other, listen to podcasts, or challenge each other with fun contests each month: Who can create the best meal for four people for under $20? Who can spend the least money dining out? When you gamify saving money like this, you’ll love the little hits of dopamine you get from not only landing a bargain or slashing full prices but from sharing your financial savvy, as well. Above all, stick with it . . . be consistent and let the small savings add up. You’ll be amazed at what a big difference those small habits can make in the long run.
Assign little tasks for the kids such as cutting out the coupons, organizing them, or playing another coupon game like who can find the best deal using these flyers.
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