It's also important to have a plan that isn't overwhelming. With that in mind, let me offer some very simple, easy-to-follow tips for making saving more money a resolution you can stick to.
Automate it. Many employers will allow you to directly deposit a specified amount of your paycheck into a savings account. This has two advantages. It allows you to pay yourself first, and you don't have to think about it. The savings happens without you having to lift a finger.
Define it. Give your savings goals specific dollar amounts and time frames. And break your overall savings goals down into manageable chunks. Let's say you've set a goal of saving money for a vacation, so you don't have to take on debt to pay for it. It's much easier to work toward saving about $35 a week than to tell yourself " I need to find an extra $2,000.00 in my budget this year. Doing it in small steps also lets you track your progress and gives you a sense of satisfaction as you achieve your weekly and monthly goals.
Make it real. I recommend writing down your savings goals. It can be on a piece of paper stuck to your refrigerator or next to your alarm clock, on a calendar, in your electronic organizer, on your computer desktop " whatever works for you. It's just easier to stick to goals if they're constantly in front of you. If you're thinking you'll just remember " well, think about how well that strategy has worked for you so far.
Make small changes, but make them consistently. The secret to saving large amounts of money is to save small amounts of money on a regular basis over time. Some fortunate few will receive a large, unexpected windfall this year.
Most of the rest of us won't be so lucky. But we don't need luck to achieve our goals " just a little purpose, discipline, and persistence.