With the start of a new year comes new resolutions, and one of the first resolutions we may be making are financial resolutions to start saving money. Unfortunately the fastest way to kill a New Year’s buzz is by looking at our credit card statements after holiday shopping.
Fortunately one easy step to take toward financial “redemption” is by knowing when to save or when to splurge. This works for everything from groceries to clothes to trips. Below are some tips for when it’s okay (maybe even necessary) to spend money and other general tips to help with a “wallet cleanse.”
Distinguish need from want.
The best tip to save money? Budget responsibly. The first step to determine whether you should spend or splurge your hard earned money on something is to determine whether it’s a necessity or a want. You need groceries; you want a new dress.
Keep the things you need in mind when dividing up money in your accounts to either set aside or put into an entirely different account.
On basic clothing. For your everyday shirts, jeans and shoes you don’t need to be spending a lot. You can still shop at your favorite apparel stores and save money using Gumdrop, which finds coupons for you instantly, or by using coupons from Old Navy or Kmart coupons to stock up on basics.
On clothes that will last or be used for multiple occasions. For example, a nice dress from Net-a-Porter you could wear to more formal parties- so long as you can wear it again as opposed to dropping some serious bucks on a one time occasion. Work attire is another item worth the splurge and using these JoS. A. Bank coupons you can still save money.
For a larger purchase further down the road. You could purchase short term benefits (daily coffee or short weekend getaways) or set it aside for a concert ticket or longer trip that you really want to go on.
On items that may be considered a luxury now, but will pay off in the long run. Gym memberships, a good tailor or cooking lessons are all pricier items but will keep you healthy, keep clothes longer and fitting better and calling for takeout less.