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Ways to save money in January

There are so many ways to spend less or save more that trying to do them all in one month can become overwhelming.  A better way to accomplish your financial goals is to break the tasks down to items to complete each month.  This provides a manageable list of actions to accomplish in the month and we are more likely to see better results.
What are some of the expense cutting ideas to consider in January?
The first place to look at is all of the monthly recurring expenses you had in 2015.  This would be items like gym memberships, cell phone plans, cable or satellite packages to name a few expenses that need to be reviewed.
How can we lower our expenses in these areas?
First, decide if you are using all them to the fullest.  For example, if you visit the gym 3 times per year, perhaps that is something that should be cut.  For cell phones, make sure your voice, data and text plans meet your needs.  If you are paying for extra data but never use it, you can save a significant amount of money.
Are there any bigger ticket expense saving ideas?
Two that stand out and should definitely be considered are related to insurance.  Review your homeowners and auto insurance and determine if you can save on your premium by increasing your deductible amount.  Sometimes the savings in premium over 12 months is more than the increase in the deductible will cost you if you have a claim.
What are the savings options to consider in January?
Start with your retirement savings. Really consider increasing your 401k or other tax friendly savings amounts.  Sometimes the increase in savings doesn’t impact your take home pay as greatly as you think.  The tax savings helps offset some of this loss in take home pay.  And if you take some of the actions above, you can still have the same amount of spending money each month.
What if you have kids, any saving options that should be considered?
Probably the biggest one is looking at a 529 plan for educational savings.  Often times these plans can be very tax friendly and starting in January will allow you to make a smaller contribution each month versus having to make a larger one time lump sum payment at the end of the year.
Are there any other savings initiatives you would suggest for January?
If you have a hard time starting a savings habit, then January would be a good time to open a couple of accounts that can help you develop a habit of savings.  One is a holiday club and the other is some type of 52 week savings challenge account.
What makes these types of activities easy to get started?
For most, there is a very low minimum amount to get started and this will help you ease into developing strong savings habit.  And even though what you save might not be a large amount, it will be easier to increase the amount next year and in a few years, you might be surprised by how much you are saving.

Posted: 1/7/2016 with 0 comments

Categories: Money Matters, Saving, Spending

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