The holidays are a wonderful time of year. Parties, gift giving, festivities, bringing the family together. All of it sounds great on paper, until you look at your bank account after all is said and done and realize you're completely broke.
That's not to say you didn't enjoy any of it, but seeing an zero balance (or worse, negative!) after the holidays can be a bummer. It can be disheartening to see your financial status this way, and heading into a new year on an empty wallet is hard on its own.
But, the good news is there are simple habits you can change (or make a part of your routine) that can help you save money in 2023. These tips aren't about instantly adding money into your account, but more so changes and recommendations that, if applied properly, can help you manage your money better and save money in the long run.
Take a good hard look at what you're paying for right now
With almost everything on a subscription service of some time, it's no surprise how easy it is for money to suddenly just not be there when you need it.
From the best streaming services to music apps, and much more. Having a monthly bill that automatically gets taken out may be convenient, but those add up fast and if you're like some, may be completely forgotten about entirely – causing more financial woes down the road.
Take inventory of everything you spend your money on monthly, from groceries to gas, streaming services and apps. Especially anything you're subscribed to that requires a monthly charge.
Once you've done that, not only do you have a better understanding of where your money is going – you now know what exactly you can or cannot live without. Which brings us to the next tip.
Start cutting out what you don't need little by little
What we need is subjective, right? Some of us can't live without Netflix, other's don't even have cable. So determining what exactly you don't need will take some consideration.
However, my advice would be to start with luxury services and subscriptions. Streaming services in particular may be nice to have, but do you really need to be signed up for Disney+, Netflix, Paramount+ AND Hulu all at the same time? Chances are, probably not.
Start cancelling any subscriptions to services you think you can do without, especially the ones you know you don't use that often. Here's a good rule of thumb: if you haven't used the service or app in over two weeks – cancel it. It's a waste of money and you're just bleeding yourself out because of it.
$14 a month may not sound like much, but that's a decent amount of cash to have on hand for saving. Combine that with other services and you could easily be hemorrhaging upwards of $40 a month on subscription services alone.
Start investing in you and making your own
Eating out is one of the easiest ways to go broke quick, and while it's wonderful to enjoy a nice steak dinner with friends and family from time to time, these should be happening less often.
If you're someone who enjoys going out and getting a coffee every morning, consider investing in a good coffee maker and making your own. Even the best coffee makers go on sale throughout the year, and even now you can get a decent machine for a very fair price.
And don't think coffee isn't the only thing you can replace. Meal prepping is a huge way to save money, and what you'll spend at the grocery store is a fraction of what you'll end up spending if you were to eat out multiple times a week. Pick a couple of good meals to cook throughout the week, complete with leftovers, and save that hard earned cash for a treat on the weekend.
It's all a matter of perspective and good habits
At the end of it all, saving money comes down to one thing – good spending habits.
It's great to have money, and it feels even better to spend it on things we like. But at some point, you're going to need money for bills or other expendetures, and the only way you'll have that is by integrating good spending and saving habits into your daily and weekly routines.
Make it a point to take $40 each week and throw it into a rain day fund. Start cooking your own meals instead of eating out every day. Change your perspective on spending money from something you enjoy doing to something you're cautious about doing.
Not because you don't like doing it, but because you know that money in your pocket is going to be useful in the long run.