How to Save Money » Frugal Living

4 ways to save money in the new year


Christmas is just around the corner and many people around me have already started thinking about their New Years’ Resolutions. Although I do think it’s a good idea to have a plan for the new year, I think it’s best to refer to those resolutions as goals.

Most people don’t continue with their “resolutions” past the first month of the new year (some don’t make it past the first week!), but when you set goals for yourself and break down those goals into bite-sized pieces so that your plans are much more attainable, I find that you have a greater deal of success.

Since I know that many people are always interested in saving more money and often have that as one of their resolutions/goals, I thought it might be a good idea to share some ideas on saving money in the new year.

Create a budget

Creating a budget is helpful in many ways. The most important thing that you gain from having a budget is knowing that you have a plan for your money. If you don’t have a plan for the money that you bring in, it’s easy for it to slip through your fingers.

Budgets seem daunting and boring to many people, but I assure you that they are really not that bad. They will keep you from overspending, help you stay organized and clue you in on how much money you really have available to spend and save.

Pay with cash

If you really want to stop yourself from spending too much money, start paying for your purchases in cash. Many people find it painful to watch money leave their pocket and are usually more careful with how they spend it. To them, a credit card is much easier to spend lots of money on, because you don’t actually see the money leaving your hands.

If you’re like me, and find that paying with cash actually leads you to spend MORE than paying with a credit card, set yourself up with a decent credit card company that will give you cash back for your purchases. I only suggest doing this if you are diligent with paying off your credit card bills in full every month.

Make savings automatic

A simple way to start saving money is to think of savings as a fixed expense. The best way to do this is to have your employer take off a certain percentage of your earnings and put it directly into your savings account before that money makes it onto your cheque. This way you will never even see the money, so you won’t miss it.

If for some reason you can’t have your employer deduct savings for you, it’s easy to set up an automatic withdrawal system with your bank. Determine a set amount of money that you would like to save each month (the golden rule is 10% of your gross income) and have that automatically sent to your savings account on a monthly basis.

Start a change jar

Find the largest container you can and set a goal to fill it up completely by the end of the new year. Empty your pockets every night and add all of your loose change to the container.

Make it a rule that no one is allowed to take out any money until the end of the year. Then, when that time comes, figure out how much you’ve saved and add it all to your savings account.

If saving more money is something you would like to do in the new year, keep in mind that it’s not something that will happen overnight. You really have to keep at it and make saving money a goal for the rest of your life, not just for a certain amount of time.

Make it fun and include saving money in your everyday life. You’ll be glad you did!

Do you plan to save more money in the new year? Let us know how in the comments.


  1. Alyscia

    Great tips – I think I am going to implement all of these into our routine.

  2. sarah

    Thanks for the helpfull hints… We have been really struggling this last year and its time for my family to turn over a new leaf! We are like so many familys out there. We make enough but we are ALWAYS broke and one pay day away from destruction. I think if it can be made fun, saving is something everybody can get on board with. Thanks for all you do!

  3. Jen

    We decided to not even wait for the new year and started two weeks ago the “pay with cash” plan. We set a budget and have stuck to it, including keeping our grocery spending to $25/week, thank goodness for sales and coupons ;).

    We also have a Money Master account, where our bank rounds up our debit spending to the nearest dollar and takes the difference and puts it in a separate account. That “extra” money has totalled over a $100 this past year. (won’t be as much now but still a good way to save)

  4. Myra

    I use a credit card all the time for all of my purchases – from $1 to $100. However, I write all of my purchases down (regardless of how little monetarily it is) and add them up at the end of the month to see which categories I spend the most in. I also only spend the money that I have. If I cannot pay off that purchase at the end of the day, then I don’t buy it. I do use an spreadsheet application to create annual budget with the following categories: Emergency Savings, Mortgage, RRSPs, Vacation and Christmas. I also set date goals for each of those categories.

  5. Stacey

    Now that my Christmas shopping is done, I froze my credit card in a block of ice. My on-line shopping was getting out of hand. Now that I am staying at home and not working I have to stop spending like I still have a job! We have set goals for the new year and have already begun the cash diet. Hope we can put a dent in our debt for 2012!

  6. April

    Save your change is great! We do this every year and use the change to live on for the winter as my husband work is seasonal. Pennies, loonies whatever just put it in there and forget about. Use a storage container you can’t look into is the trick we find. It adds up big time. I try to stock our pantry and freezer before the end of December and that carries us throughout the winter other then the not freezable items we need weekly of which we use our change jar for to purchase these items. Try it yo might surprise yourself.

  7. Kayla

    Great tips! I love your site and have been coming back to it more and more for information on how to save some money.
    I am a 3rd year university student and my debt is just unreal, plus now that we have a home (just bought it last month) we have even more debt and this place needs lots of fixing up (although it is an investment for our future). Learning to coupon this year has really helped and watching for sales and realizing what GOOD prices are has changed how we really spend money, but I definitely think its time to go on the “cash diet” b/c using my debit card really kills me, I totally forget where I spend money and on what!
    Thanks for the help, my wallet thanks you!

  8. Brittney

    Just having been married in October, and purchasing a house in November, we are already starting to feel the financial tug at our bank accounts. While we do not have any wedding debt ( thank god ) we are leasing a car, paying mortgage, puting funds into rsps, paying regular bills each month and still trying to get buy.. Prior to the wedding we created budgets in excel, and we were able to pay off 2 of our credit cards within 3 months. We never realized where our money was going, and always wondered how we ended up so broke… It really does make a difference when you see where your money is going… With having started couponing this year, we’ve been able to save money on our groceries – yet we spend it on other unneccessary things because we stopped making budgets……Our plan for 2012 is to create biweekly budgets, and to eat at home more often. We also plan to track all of our expenses and not make unneccesary purchases.

  9. Eve

    We always keep track of everything we spend. I have it in a book. So I know back 20 years (when we retired) how much we were spending and it has really helped.When we worked we made sure we saved as well as spent.Keeping track really shows where the money is going.Now we make sure TFSAs are always going in.

  10. Rebecca

    We have been doing the change jar for years and it really adds up. My fiance and I are getting married in October and now we are putting all of our change and his tips ( I don’t earn tips) into the jar and whenever an unexpected wedding expense comes up we have the money for it. We also just used it to pay for one of the deposits on our reception hall which was a life saver since x-mas is only a few days away.

    We still have a long way to go before we are financially sound but I think making little steps in the right direction will get us there eventually.

    Love this site!!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked*