by Kinsey Love, marketing manager, Lewiston State Bank  

With the New Year, comes new resolutions. If you are like most people, at least one of them relates to your finances. They may look something like this:

  • Stay within budget
  • Pay off debt
  • Spend less
  • Save more

It’s a great time to get your finances in order, and saving money at any time of the year is a worthy and attainable goal. Here are three simple steps to get a good start on your resolutions and keep you going so you can achieve your financial goals this year.

1. Write down all your expenses for one week. It may sound simple, but it can be an eye-opening experience. Track everything down to the last dime. This can help you see your spending patterns and see how small expenditures can add up fast. Once you have conquered this task, try tracking for a month. You may find money you never knew you had.

2. Cut $20 of unessential spending each month. Twenty dollars could look like:

  • Ten 44 oz. dirty Diet Cokes
  • Four sub sandwiches from your favorite deli
  • Three cartons of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia ice cream
  • Two tickets to the latest blockbuster film

Cutting unessential items like these can be easy. It could look like:

  • Drink water (it’s free from your tap).
  • Bring a lunch from home to work.
  • Save your cash and satisfy your cravings with generic food brands.
  • Wait to see that movie until you can rent it for a few dollars.
  • Take that $20 you save each month and transfer it to your savings account. That adds up to $240 in savings each year.

3. Automatically transfer money to your savings account each month. Make saving money easy and automatic by setting up an automatic transfer through your bank or online banking account. Even $10 a month is better than nothing. Remember to move your money to savings at the first of the month, rather than at the end when the money might be gone. By doing this, you will save $120 a year without even trying.

Small Steps to Big Savings