Silver and gold colored New Year's "2020" numbers on wooden surface with silver and gold stars scattered around.

New Year, New Spending Habits

Every time a new year rolls around, we’re subject to many classic cliches. One that nobody can seem to hide from is the infamous “new year, new me” motto. Even though this tired creed tends to elicit eye rolls, there’s no shame in drawing inspiration from the new year to welcome new habits into our lives. So, with that being said, let’s talk about how to improve our spending habits in 2020.

Evaluate Current Habits

The only way to create new and improved spending habits is to think about the not-so-good financial choices we’re all guilty of making. Maybe you tend to eat out even though there’s food at home. Perhaps you act on impulse a little too often when you’re online shopping. Or maybe you don’t have clear budgets set to keep you on track. Whatever the culprit is, it’s essential to identify the types of spending you struggle with to work on overcoming it.

Nurture Better Ones

Once you’ve identified the types of habits that are bringing your finances down, try to think of ways to avoid them. If you’re a fiend for dinner dates, try sharpening your skills in the kitchen. You can make delicious recipes for less that are more likely to leave you with leftovers that save you money and time throughout the week.

If late-night scrolling on Amazon is your trigger, consider making bedtime strict no-phone time. Instead, try starting a healthier nightly ritual by reading, chatting with a loved one, or sipping on some sleepytime tea. Another pro tip is to delete/unsave your credit card info from your favorite shopping websites. By doing this, you’ll have to enter your information in each time you go to make an online purchase—giving you time to think about whether or not you really need whatever’s in your virtual cart. 

If the allure of a sale always seems to drag you into your favorite store, practice patience and ask yourself if you truly need that new scarf; after all, spending money on a sale is still spending, NOT saving (more on that here). Or, you can try to change your route to avoid that store altogether. If the impulse to buy, buy, buy still creeps up on you during your walk, you could try swapping spending big in your favorite store to spending small by treating yourself to your favorite baked good or latte along the way.

If you’ve gone without an organized budget, sit down and sort out your monthly expenses to gain clarity over your finances to see exactly where you have room to grow and room to splurge (learn more about budgets here).

Take Advantage of Direct Deposit

Perhaps one of the most impactful financial tips to starting a new year off right is to take advantage of direct deposit. Certain banks, like Quontic, and jobs, offer a direct deposit feature that allows you to either transfer the entirety of your paycheck into a single account or divvy up your earnings into multiple accounts. The later results in effortless savings—literally. If you decide that you want to stow 20% of every paycheck into your savings, direct deposit does all the work for you.

Rethink Frugality

Changing your spending habits to become more financially savvy or frugal is a great way to stash those extra bucks and get ahead. And while many of us think that being frugal is the same as being boring, you can still go out for drinks, go to the movies, treat yourself to dinner, travel, and shop without breaking the bank. Here are a few tips:

  • Once you have your budgets and place and are easily reaching your weekly and monthly spending goals, treat yourself to some fun with the leftovers!
  • Scour the internet for any free concerts, festivals, or fairs that may be coming to a neighborhood near you.
  • Clip coupons and use deal websites such as Groupon to plan activities or shopping trips ahead of time at a discounted price.
  • Grab discounted drinks and appetizers during happy hour with friends.
  • Take advantage of banking accounts that offer cash back, like Quontic’s Cash Rewards Checking Account.
 

However, there are some spending scenarios where being frugal can put you at a disadvantage. This year, don’t be hesitant to shell out cash for important things that are best left to professionals, such as home repairs, and be mindful of low-quality products that may end up costing you in the long run. For instance, if you buy a pair of low-quality pants that are quick to become threadbare and you find yourself replacing every two months, you’re better off buying a higher quality, more expensive pair of pants that will last a long time.

Switching up your spending habits may seem like a tough new year’s resolution to accomplish. But with a little bit of planning, a dash of mindfulness, and a pinch of flexibility, you can replace last year’s bad spending habits with this year’s healthy spending habits.

Ready to save more with cash back?

Quontic’s Cash Rewards Checking Account earns the most.
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