LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — You're probably planning to be better with your money in the new year. Well, taking those first steps to financial responsibility are easier than you think. 13 Action News anchor Beth Fisher looks at 5 things you can start doing right now to help keep money in your wallet.
There's a lot you can do to start saving now, without even walking out your front door.
Number 1: Negotiate your bills.
Super shopper Channelle Beller says, she just did it with her TV provider. "We negotiate our bill pretty much every year," says Channelle.
Just call and ask about the latest promotion. As long as you're in good standing, most services are willing to work with you. Even with hospital bills.
According to NerdWallet, medical debt is the number one cause of personal bankruptcy. The good news is, most hospitals offer some leeway, including interest-free payment plans.
"You can sell shoes, purses, clothes, hats, all kinds of stuff," says Channelle.
There's also local shops that will take your old clothes.
Number 3: Go vegetarian for just a day.
"Probably the biggest expenditure we have other than household items when I go to the grocery store, is meat," says Channelle.
A Best Life magazine study shows giving up meat just once a week and opting for something like grilled cheese and tomato soup can save you between $5 and $10 a week.
But if you're really serious about saving money this year, Financial Analyst Steve Budin of the Budin Group says you better grab a pen and paper.
Number 4: Write down your monthly expenses.
"You want to put it in writing. You want to be specific. It allows you to be much more accountable... You'll be amazed how often you'll blow a few dollars here or a few dollars there," says Steve.
So spend the next few weeks keeping all of your receipts. Track your spending on credit cards and make a point to put all that information together at the end of the month.
And number 5: Steve says keep a change jar. Putting what's left in your wallet at the end of the day in a jar can save you big money in the long run. Tossing just a $1.50 into a jar every day for a year will earn you nearly $600 after 12 months.
"That adds up fairly quickly," says Steve.
But super shopper Channelle has a warning. She keeps all her loose change and it still disappears as she learned recently.
"And I'm like... Where's the change?," Chanelle asked her son. He responded he went to Coinstar and cashed it in for $23.
Here are more ways to save from Best Life magazine.