Have you made your list of New Year’s resolutions yet? We’re sure some of the usual suspects like weight loss, travel (fingers crossed), and get organized have made the list, but what about increasing your savings? We conducted a survey of over 2,000 savvy shoppers just like you across the USA and Canada, and found that saving more money was a key focus for 2021. Our survey respondents also shared a few tips on how they save money, along with some strategies for making 2021 a financial game changer.
If saving more is one of your New Year’s resolutions, here are some tips to get you started.
#1 Just start
Any day is a good day to start fresh with your finances, but a new year usually brings that extra bit of inspiration to help you get going. Our survey revealed that 70% percent of shoppers in the US and 69% of shoppers in Canada have already made resolutions for 2021, but sticking to those resolutions are more important than making them, especially when it comes to financial ones. If this sounds overwhelming, you can start slowly. In the month of January, take time to set some realistic financial goals for the year and make a rough plan on ways to cut back in order to meet them.
#2 Figure out your top reasons to save
Having a reason to save gives you motivation to do so. According to shoppers from our survey, the top two reasons for wanting to save more are; to put together a rainy day fund (42% in the US and 38% in Canada) and to plan for retirement (30% in the US and 33% in Canada). Having short and long term goals will allow you to stay focused which is why we recommend identifying your top motivators to save and think back on them throughout the year.
#3 Create a budget and stick to it
Having a budget and keeping track of your expenses allows you to figure out how, when, and where you are spending your money. Once your budget is set, it’s easier to know where you can afford to cut back to reach those financial goals you’ve put in place! The top three areas our shoppers are planning to cut their spending on in 2021 are eating out and buying new clothing and gadgets. If you are not great at tracking your own budget, check out these free apps to get you started here.
#4 Be flexible
In an ever changing global climate, you need to be open to the possibility of having to update your financial resolutions on a regular basis, based on your current situation and mindset. Everyday expenses cut deeper into our paychecks with each passing year. Over 70% of each of our shopper groups shared that they have faced major challenges that get in the way of them achieving their savings goals. The main reasons being the high cost of living and unexpected expenses that pop up throughout the year. Any goal worth having will not be without its challenges, but it’s important to remember not to give up even if you get off-track. You may need to adjust your goals, your budget or both and that’s ok, as long as you are moving in the right direction.
#5 Reward yourself to stay motivated
Milestones are meant to be rewarded but if your goal is saving money, celebrating by spending money might seem counterintuitive, but it’s still doable. A reward doesn’t have to mean something big or out of budget, but it can be something to look forward to every now and then to help keep you on track. Shoppers from our survey shared that their top rewards were eating out at a nice restaurant or staying indoors and ordering food. The second most common reward was buying new apparel. Whatever reward system you set for yourself, make sure it continues to motivate you to reach your ultimate goals.
No matter your age or where you are in your financial journey, it’s always a good time to start making goals and working towards creating a brighter financial future.