Pick 5 tips on the list you can commit to -- and let's get them done so you can end the year with an extra $2,014 in your pocket.
1. You may find it easier to control your budget with cash or a debit card than with a credit card. Credit card interest rates are NOT your friend. Carrying only small amounts of cash will help keep you from making unnecessary impulse purchases. ($100/year)
2. If you're contemplating a new phone or another big electronics purchase, wait until you really need it to buy it. If you're thinking, "Too late, I already bought it," then look into your drawer and find that old phone, or get that old TV, and sell it. There are many sites now offering buy back programs, which is not just good for your wallet, but also for the environment. ($100/year)
3. Set up an automatic transfer to savings. Automatically withdrawing $100 from your checking account and depositing it into your savings account each month can help you save consistently for the long term. If you can contribute directly to a retirement account, that's even better! ($1200/year)
4. Does your employer have a 401(k) matching plan? If they do and you aren't taking advantage of it, it's as if you're turning down a raise. Don't leave that money on the table -- start contributing to get your match. ($600/year, assuming you follow tip #3 and your employer matches 50 percent of the $100)
5. Have a subscription service? Cable, magazines, etc. Tell them you would like to cancel and most likely they will offer you a discounted rate. The downside is they could call your bluff, but I'm 5 for 5. ($60/year)
6. Although gas prices are down heading into 2014, starting the new year by adjusting your tire pressure can make a big difference in the amount you will spend on gas for the year. The Department of Energy says 30 percent of Americans are driving around with low tire pressure. Cleaning your air filter can also boost your gas mileage. ($200/year, assuming you save 10 percent on $2,000 of gas per year)
7. Start the New Year with a trade-it party. Choose a category of shopping that you know you spent too much on in 2013 -- like kitchen appliances or jewelry. Invite a group of friends for a trading party where everyone brings the things they need to get rid of from 2013. So you get the thrill of shopping for new things -- without the hole in your wallet! ($50/year)
8. Find one new way to make a little extra money in 2014 and commit to putting this money into a separate savings account for emergencies only. Could you help babysit or tutor a neighbor one night a week? Do you have a skill you could teach, like playing guitar or knitting? Another option is to sell some things on eBay or Craigslist. Read more tips on making money on the side here. ($600/year)
9. Write your shopping list before you go to the grocery store and stick to it. Consider buying store brand items, to save some extra money. Many generic brand versions of over the counter medicines have the exact same active ingredients and are much cheaper. ($200/year)
10. Your house requires a lot of energy. Installing a programmable thermostat can help you reduce your utility bills significantly. If you want to take it to the next level, ensure all of your windows and doors are properly sealed. A bit of air sealing tape could save you a lot of money this winter. ($200/year)
If you did all of these, you could save yourself $3,310 every year, and that's after-tax dollars! With these tips, saving $2,014 in 2014 should be a piece of cake.
This post was written by Cameron Thompson from the SaveUp Team.