5 Tips to Start Saving Money and Budgeting in the New Year

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Each new year brings opportunities for new beginnings, growth, and change. Some want to exercise more or eat healthier. Others plan to travel or start over entirely and relocate to a new city. But for many, saving money and budgeting is a top priority for the new year.

Saving money and budgeting can feel overwhelming. Especially if your budget already feels stretched thin. Implementing new money-saving habits might be trying initially, but making sacrifices now will pay off for your future money-saving goals. Finding small ways to cut back and start saving money will quickly add up, and before you know it, you will start noticing the benefits of your hard work and determination.

If you aren’t sure where to start, try implementing some of our 5 money-saving and budgeting tips to help you get on track.

1. Plan a Weekly Menu

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Start saving money immediately by planning a weekly menu! You have probably heard this idea a million times before. But that’s because it works! Take a moment and add up how much you have spent eating out in the last month. If you are like many, the total will probably shock you. That morning laté really starts to add up, not to mention those delivery fees on top of your favorite take-out meals. Eating out is convenient and delicious, but it’s a drain to your bank account and can completely destroy your money-saving goals. 

Make a Meal Plan

Make a meal plan and stick to it! Take time each weekend to plan your meals for the following week and let each family member help with the planning. Add each meal to the family calendar or keep a decorative chalkboard menu in the kitchen. Head to the grocery store, list in hand, and shop for the following week. Make sure you include some quick snack and meal options, too, for those mornings you oversleep or nights where you just don’t have the energy to cook a full meal. For example, purchase protein shakes, granola bars, fresh fruit, yogurt, or frozen lasagna. Keeping some quick options available will help keep you away from restaurants and help you start implementing your new money-saving habits.  

If finding time to grocery shop is an issue, try using a service like Instacart for grocery pickup or delivery straight to your kitchen. Order your groceries on your phone and let the Instacart team shop for you. Select a time that works for your schedule and use curbside pickup for a fast and convenient grocery trip. Most grocery stores now offer this service free of charge, and some stores provide price incentives on certain items if you use their grocery pickup service. Not only will this save you time, but it may also prevent you from a few impulse purchases as you graze through the grocery aisles.

Meal Prep

How many times have you looked at a refrigerator full of food and thought, “There isn’t anything to eat!” Meal prepping at the beginning of each week will prevent perfectly good grocery items from going to waste and help encourage more meals at home, saving you money. For example, chop fruits and veggies for quick snacks, use containers to pre-make breakfasts and lunches to grab each morning as you head out the door. Assemble meal bins or bags in the refrigerator with everything you need for that particular meal, and when you are ready to cook, just grab your bag and go! Meal prepping is an excellent step to implementing better money-saving habits into your lifestyle.

Saving money and budgeting may feel like a drain on your social life, but it’s all about moderation. Eating out isn’t all bad! But it can really ruin your money-saving goals if you aren’t careful. Allocate an amount each month to spend eating out for social events, date nights, or when you just need a break from cooking. You will be amazed at how quickly you notice an increase in your budget.

2. Use a Budget Tracking App

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This money-saving and budgeting tip is actually in the palm of your hand! Technology makes it so easy to spend money! Spending money on little things here and there really starts to add up and is definitely not supportive of your money-saving goals. So why not let technology help you save some money? 

Download a budget tracking app to help you learn where you spend the most and how you can start saving money and budgeting better throughout the year. For example, using the Mint money management and budgeting app is an easy way to see a breakdown of your spending habits, track bills, see your net worth, and more! It even helps you track monthly and annual subscriptions that you might not even realize you are paying for! Ending unnecessary subscriptions will help you start saving money immediately!

3. Start a Side Hustle

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Our third money-saving and budgeting tip requires a little more effort than our first two tips but can have a much bigger payoff. If finding more money in the budget isn’t enough to reach your money-saving goals, start a side hustle to bring in more money each month. If you start making more money, you can start saving more money!

Turn Your Hobby into a Business

Do you have a hobby that can turn into a side business? It doesn’t need to be anything that requires a lot of time and start-up money. Think of something you can do that you already love to do in your free time. If you love to bake, consider selling your delicious treats! Or, maybe you love to make homemade crafts and home décor. Consider opening an Etsy shop and selling your crafts. Are you really good at organizing? If you love to organize, start a home organization business! Start tutoring students after school or on the weekends. Whatever your talent may be, use those skills to bring in some extra money each month to help bring you that much closer to your money-saving goals.

Start a Blog

If you love to write, considering starting a blog and monetizing it for some extra income each month? You can dedicate your blog to one specific topic or create a lifestyle blog to cover multiple topics. 

Deliver Food and Groceries

Delivering food and groceries is a great way to earn extra money when convenient for you! Companies like DoorDash and UberEats provide great opportunities to make extra money. You get paid to deliver food or groceries on your schedule!


Another great way to make extra money on your schedule is driving for a ridesharing company like Uber. You can set your hours and determine how much you make each month.

Rent Out Your Home or Living Space

Companies like Airbnb help you rent out your property as a way to earn extra income. List your vacation home, garage apartment, or even your spare bedroom. Working with a reputable company helps you navigate a safe and worry-free experience to help you earn extra money.

4. Sell Items You No Longer Want

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Do you have a pair of shoes you purchased on a whim that you decided isn’t your style? Or, a dress you needed to buy for a friend’s wedding that you aren’t going to wear again? Maybe you just redecorated your living room and have some beautiful home décor pieces that just don’t fit anymore? Don’t let those items collect dust in your closet! You can make extra money by selling them on resale sites like The Real Real, OfferUP, Poshmark, or Tradesy

Each season, take inventory of items you no longer want or use and continue selling. Cleaning out your closets and rooms is a great habit to include in your cleaning routine each season as a way to rid yourself of unused clutter while making some extra money. This money-saving and budgeting tip is a fast way to increase your income to help you reach your money-saving goals quickly.

5. Take Advantage of Apps that Help You Save Money

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Implementing new money-saving habits doesn’t always need to feel like a chore! Groupon is a great way to start saving money on travel, restaurants, fitness, shopping, and more! Set your location to see what offers are available in your area. Use Groupon at home or when planning a trip to see what deals your destination offers! They even offer additional codes for specific categories throughout the year. Download the Groupon app to start saving money now!


If you love to shop online, Rakuten is a must! Rakuten helps you earn cash back on your online purchases from major retailers! Use the Rakuten Website, the Rakuten app, or the Rakuten Chrome Cash Back plugin for easy access to online deals! In addition to earning cash back from your purchases, some stores offer additional money-saving discounts and incentives. 

Saving money can be life-changing! Take harder steps now to make life easier later. A year from now, you probably won’t regret skipping out on your favorite morning coffee shop each morning, but you will regret being in the same financial place you are today. 

Knowing where to start is half the battle. We hope this post helps you find inspiration to create new money-saving habits into your routine.

What tip stood out to you the most? We would love to hear from you! Leave us a note in the comment section below!


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