Well, 2018 is officially here. It feels as though I was just a carefree teenager watching the ball drop on the big television we had as a kid. Those days are behind me and today I’m trying to save as much money as possible. However, saving money is never easy. We are born to want things, whether we need them or not. Now that the holiday festivities are over, it will be much easier to start saving money.

5 Ways to Challenge Yourself to Save More Money in 2018

#1. Pack Your Lunch, Every Single Day

This is a bit of a no brainer, but think about how much money you spend throughout the month eating out. Not just for dinner though, think about lunch too. Do you buy snacks from the vending machines in the break room? Do you find yourself heading out for lunch to the nearest fast food joint, or even buying meals off the break truck? It may only be one meal a day, but 5 days a week, and four weeks out of the month can really add up! Challenge yourself to pack your lunches every day. It helps to prepare your lunch the night before, so you will not be able to use the excuse of oversleeping. I challenge you to pack your lunch every day.

 #2. Ponder Your Purchases Ahead of Time

It is important to consider your purchases before forking over your hard-earned money. When it comes to non-essential items, wait three or four weeks before making your purchase. This allows you time to really think about whether you need the item, or if it is just something that you really want. You’d be surprised as to how much money you can save in 2018, when you think of pondering your purchase before you say yes.

 #3. Use Cash Every Chance You Can!

It is so easy to just whip your debit card out of your wallet at the register, but try carrying cash, to make your purchases instead. It is not safe, or smart to carry hundreds of dollars with you, so if you keep small amounts of cash on you. Paying in cash will limit how much you will be able to spend and help you cut down on picking up extras at the store.

 #4. Drink More Water

Probably not the tip you want to hear. However, drinking more water throughout the day is great way to help you eat less. Start each meal by drinking a large glass of water. This will help fill you up, so you will not have to go back for a heaping plate of seconds, which most of us do not need anyway. Then you can save the leftovers for lunch the next day, or freeze them for another time. Not to mention, getting soda or another type of drink, when eating out, can really add up. Be smart and stick with water, your wallet and waistline will thank you.

 #5. Know When to Purchase Quality

There are times that it is okay to shop at the dollar store, but there are also times when it would be wiser to spend a little extra on quality items. For example, instead of getting a new couch at the local discount furniture store, head out to one of the more expensive stores for a quality one that will last you many more years than the cheap one. Don’t get me wrong though, you can still look for the best couch deal, just spend your money on a couch that has a lot more quality.

How do you plan on saving more money in 2018? I’d love to hear your tips.