Written by Spotloan

Nearly half of all Americans make New Year’s resolutions. But only 8% actually keep them, according to Fast Company. The secret is to set realistic goals and then take small, consistent steps toward meeting them.

With that in mind, we’ve put together 10 simple but effective strategies to help you save and make money in 2019.

How to Save Money in 2019

  1. Save money with every transaction.

    Perhaps the easiest way to save money is to set aside a small amount—say, $1—each time you make a purchase. A number of apps such as Qapital (free to use) will automatically stash aside the funds for you.

    For example, let’s say you pay for a few items at the drugstore with your debit card, which you’ve linked to your Qapital account. Once Qapital sees that transaction in your account, it automatically withdraws $1 (or another amount you’ve specified) from your checking account. That $1 is added to your Qapital savings account, which you can transfer back to your regular checking or savings accounts as needed.

    Your money doesn’t earn interest in a Qapital account unless you sign up for its Visa card. The upside, though, is that Qapital makes it painless to save small amounts of money without even thinking about it. You can set up multiple money-saving goals, too, such as one goal for ‘Taxes’ and another for ‘Travel.’

    Be aware that Qapital is no longer free for new users, requiring a monthly fee of $3, $6 or $12 to access its various tools. Also, check out Qapital competitors too before committing, such as Digit, Chime, and Simple.

  2. Plan and space out any known big expenses.

    Planning several trips in 2019? Need to buy a new mattress this year? It helps to space out large purchases throughout the year, so that you don’t overspend and get deeper into debt.

    Let’s say you’re planning to attend a friend’s June wedding in Oregon. You want to visit your extended family in Southern California, too. And this is the year you want a Mexican beach vacation. Do your best to spread these trips out, as well as your new mattress purchase. And come up with a budget for each big purchase as well.

    When planning major expenditures, check out Consumer Reports’ Best Time to Buy Things guide. Using the guide, you’ll discover that February is the best month to get a deal on that mattress you need.

  3. Ask your cable and phone provider for deals.

    Every six or 12 months, spend a few minutes closely reviewing your cable TV, internet, and/or phone service bills. Visit your providers’ website as well, to see what types of promotions they’re offering. Then call your providers’ customer service departments. Tell them you need to lower your monthly bill, and ask how they can help.

    It doesn’t hurt to mention the specials you saw online. Those deals are usually for new customers, but the support representative may be able to meet you halfway between what you’re paying now and what the new customer deal offers.

    Also, ask to speak to a representative in the Customer Retention department. Those reps often have much more leeway to offer deals to keep you happy.

  4. Earn cash back.

    With a free Ebates account, you’ll earn cash back whenever you make an online purchase from a participating retailer (such as AT&T, Macy’s, eBay and Walgreens). You can also find deals on the Ebates website and app. The Penny Hoarder has a list of four additional cash-back sites.

  5. Pay down credit card debt.

    When you have credit card debt, you’re essentially spending money (in the form of interest charges) just for the privilege of spending money. Those interest charges add up quickly, too. Do your best in 2019 to whittle down your debt. You could set up a Qapital goal, for instance, to automatically stash away extra money earmarked for your credit card.

    How to Make Money in 2019
  6. Shop around for the best savings account rates.

    Interest rates continually increased in 2018. While that’s not helpful if you have debt, higher rates can help you earn incrementally more money in savings accounts and certificates of deposits.

    If you’ve got a savings account, call your bank or visit its website to see what the current rate is. Then compare your bank’s rate to rates offered from other financial institutions.MagnifyMoney, Bankrate, and NerdWallet offer summaries and listings of the best savings account rates, with CIT Bank offering one of the highest at 2.45% Annual Percentage Yield (APY). Look for savings accounts that don’t require a minimum balance or charge fees.
  7. Invest small sums of money in the stock market.
  8. Qapital recently began enabling its users to take advantage of ‘micro investing,’ in which Qapital automatically puts a set amount of money you decide into a stock portfolio that reflects your comfort with risk.

    Acorns is a similar but different app for automatic micro investing. Acorns rounds up purchase amounts and automatically sets aside the difference to your Acorns account. Just as Qapital now charges a monthly fee (for new users), Acorns costs $1 to $3 monthly.

  9. Sell the stuff you no longer want.

    January is a great time to clean out closets and drawers. You’ll probably find tech gadgets, clothes, furniture or other stuff you no longer need. If they’re in good condition, consider selling them on eBay, letgo, Decluttr, or even the Facebook app.

  10. Rent your stuff.

    You can rent all or part of your home with Airbnb; your car with Getaround; even rent your driveway with JustPark. You can also rent out items you don’t use often, such as camping equipment, on sites like Loanables. You might also consider using Loanables to rent something instead of buying it.

  11.  Join the gig economy.

    There are countless apps and websites that enable you to work a flexible schedule on the side (or full-time) delivering food or groceries, driving people around, even assembling IKEA furniture. Among them are Instacart, Postmates, DoorDash and Amazon Flex for shopping and/or delivery; Uber and Lyft for ride sharing; and TaskRabbit for all types of jobs. SideHusl is a good resource for gig economy ideas, too.


Additional Resources

“Paying off debt — where do you start?”

“6 ways to save money”

“Loans for people with ‘bad credit’”