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A calculator spells out 2017We’re almost at the end of another year, and we’re sure for many people, 2016 has been anything but a peach. Nonetheless, the new year brings an opportunity to continue to learn and grow, which is exactly why we make our annual resolutions to better ourselves and be the best that we can be. In that aspect, one way that we’re sure a lot of people need help with is coming up with resolutions to be better off financially, which starts by being smarter with the money we’ve already got. Here are some tips on how to make better resolutions to save money…

Make plans for your paycheck before it gets there

The biggest mistake that people make that makes it so hard to save money is quite an obvious one: they spend it without realizing where it is going. If you have a habit of doing this, then you will always find it hard to save money, regardless of how much you are making! The key to not doing this is to already have a plan for where your money goes before you get it. In laymen’s terms, this is called a budget. While this may sound simple, making a budget and sticking to it is anything but easy.

One particularly popular strategy for budgeting is to use the 50/20/30 rule. In this method, you should arrange your lifestyle so that no more than 50% of your expenses go towards things that you need to survive, such as rent, food, basic bills, and a vehicle payment. In the meantime, no more than 30% of your budget should go towards things that you want, but don’t necessarily need. This is the exposable bit of your income. Finally, you should be spending at least 20% of your budget towards building yourself up financially. This includes saving money, paying off debt, and making investments towards retirement and future income.

Have a safety fund

When people are living paycheck to paycheck, it is incredibly easy for an unexpected hindrance to come along and blow you off course. This is why it is so important to put money away, when you can. Many people get discouraged when they can’t put as much money away as they would like, and so they end up saving none of it. However, even just a small amount of savings can help take away so much stress in life!