As the New Year approaches, it's an ideal moment to commit to saving more. These five tips will help cut expenses, grow savings, and alleviate stress.

1. Eliminate Debt

Make a resolution to pay off your credit cards and save money. For instance, if you have a $2,000 balance with an 18% interest rate, paying only the minimum each month will take 19 years and cost you $3,862 in interest. However, by increasing your monthly payments to 8% of the balance, you can pay it off in just three years and nine months, saving $3,429.

2. Conserve Energy

Reduce utility bills with these small changes:

  • Properly insulate all ducts.
  • Install programmable thermostats to save up to 10% a year on your energy bill.
  • Use ceiling fans to cut cooling and heating costs.

3. Track Daily Expenses

Get out your calculator and tally up those "little things" that can derail your budget:

  • Spending $1.00 a day on soda adds up to $365 a year.
  • $2.75 daily on coffee totals $1,003.75 a year.
  • $6 spent on fast food every weekday equals $1,560 a year.
  • Spending $6.20 daily on cigarettes costs you $2,263 a year.

4. Vehicle Maintenance

Save big by keeping your car in good condition. Regular maintenance, including oil changes, filter replacements, and tire rotations, can prevent costly repairs. Maintain proper tire pressure, tune your engine, and practice fuel-efficient driving habits to save on gas.

5. Automate Savings

Pay yourself first by setting up automatic transfers to your savings or money market account. Have your paycheck directly deposited into your credit union account. Consider using direct bill payment for recurring expenses like bills, insurance premiums, and loans. Additionally, explore options like Club Savings or participating in financial planning for your future.

It all adds up, so start the new year with a solid financial plan. And while you're at it, join our FREE Financial Wellness Program: