How many times have you made financial resolutions for the New Year only to give up on them a few weeks into January? Once? Twice? Countless times?
You’re not alone, though. Historical data insights from Strava indicate that most Americans give up on their New Year’s resolutions (including financial ones) as early as January 19. The platform even has a name for it, dubbed “Quitter’s Day.” Fortunately, with the handy budgeting tips outlined below, you can make a quick and assured turnaround from this trend and set yourself up for financial discipline in 2022 and beyond.
1. Pay Off Any Debts Owed
If you have any pending debts, paying them off needs to be a top priority in 2022. Use the debt snowball method to get rid of debt as quickly as you can. Get mad at them! Attack them! Don’t let debt rob you of the very thing that brings in money consistently — your income.
2. Say No to Overspending
If you’re lucky, your folks taught you this skill when you were a kid. If not, keep in mind that the sooner you learn the fine art of delaying gratification, the sooner you’ll find it easy to stick to your budget. Although you can easily buy an item the minute you want it, it’s better to wait until you can afford it twice. In other words, don’t spend on something if you can’t buy that thing two times without going broke.
3. Rethink and Revitalize Your Current Budget
If it’s been a while since you last gave your budget a “glow up”, we suggest giving it a refreshing makeover the soonest. Add a new spending category here, remove another one there, but above all, make sure the new budget aligns with your current lifestyle and prioritizes you.
That said, sound budgeting isn’t all about restriction. You deserve to have some fun like everyone else. So when budgeting for 2022, include in your numbers a few ways you can continue to treat yourself even as you cut back.
For example, if you typically designate $150 in your monthly budget to cater for massages and healthy skincare products, don’t drop the habit just yet. In fact, don’t drop it at all. Rather, find a way to cut out $150 from another spending category that doesn’t bring a lot of value to you, like daily lattes or late night drive thrus.
4. Keep Your Car Expenses in Check
Anyone will tell you that Americans love their cars, and any American will tell you that love doesn’t come cheap. Every time you get your car off the lot, bills kick into gear. Insurance, fuel, and maintenance add up quickly. So if you are really serious about knocking your 2022 budget goals out of the park, you need to throttle down on car costs. Here are a few quick-fire tips to help you in that endeavor:
- Buy the type of car you actually need
- Shop around for a car with a good resale value — not every car depreciates the same
- Do simple maintenance and repairs yourself, such as replacing and rotating air filters
- Don’t drive aggressively. Slamming on the gas and the brakes could cost you as much as an extra $1 a gallon, according to a study from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory
- Look out for insurance discounts. Many insurance companies offer lower rates for drivers with anti-lock brakes, safe driving history, anti-theft devices, safe training, and organizational affiliations
Lastly, but certainly not the least, consider getting pre-qualified for a car loan. With gettacar, you get a customized prediction of which cars you can get approved for in just three quick steps. Once you fill out the form, you have the green light to apply for a loan through one of the company’s lenders.
Wondering how the pre-qualification process helps with your budget? Glad you asked! Other than being an incredibly easy and convenient process, pre-qualification enables you to save on money that you’d otherwise have used to buy and maintain a car that’s beyond your budget. In other words, you only acquire a car that you can affordably maintain and pay off.
Remember, you don’t need a fancy finance degree to become an expert at managing personal finances. If you use these four budgeting tips throughout 2022 and beyond, then you’ll be well on your way to loving your life and your bank account balance. That’s what we call winning with money!