Around this time of year, people are making resolutions.  One of the biggest ones, besides losing weight and/or becoming healthier, is to save money wherever possible.

This is such an easy trick- and fairly inexpensive.  Put a bar of fragrant soap into a mesh bag and hang it by your porch or patio. The soap, because of its fragrance (like Irish Spring) will help deter mice, deer, biting flies, maybe even a few mosquitos. I'm all for that. The soap smells good to us humans, but to those would-be pests, it's a total deterrent, and it's cheap!  Win-Win!

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Some other ways to save money in the new year:

QUIT SMOKING

With a pack of cigarettes anywhere from $8-$10, that can be some significant savings.  I get that is easier said than done, but maybe some motivation could be to save that cash that would have been spent on cigarettes can go towards something else. Like a vacation or spending money for that trip.  Something that can motivate you.

GRILL

Yes, people still can grill in the wintertime.  I've seen my neighbors doing that quite often.  And, it can save you money just by simply not activating the oven.  This works both in the winter and in the summer.  In the summer, it just saves on not heating up the kitchen any more than you have to.

PATIO - GO CONCRETE

If you are putting in a patio- think about concrete, even stamped concrete over pavers.  It's cheaper.

TAX DEDUCTIONS

Research that, and make sure you are getting everything possible.  Especially if you are a home owner.  There are so many things that you can take advantage of; home improvements, energy efficient upgrades, interest paid, etc.

PAY OFF DEBT

If you have credit card debt, try and pay that off as much as you can.  Pay off the smaller amounts first, then move to the bigger amounts.  The more you pay off, the better your credit rating.  Then, interest rates may improve as well.

BUY IN BULK

But before you do that, make sure you compare prices.  Sometimes there are huge savings. Other times it's very minimal, just depends on the item.  Usually paper products (paper towels, toilet paper, etc) are the biggest savings.

STOP BUYING FLUFFY COFFEE

By fluffy coffee, I mean the stuff at coffee shops that have 5000 extras in them.  At approximately $5 a pop, that can really add up.  It's better, and cheaper to make your coffee at home.  You can buy some of the extras to put into your coffee, it will probably taste about the same, and you save time and money.

VETERAN?  CHECK DISCOUNTS

If you are a veteran, make sure to check to see if there are discounts available to you. Many retailers offer discounts, but it isn't always advertised as much as it probably should be.  It doesn't hurt to ask.

NEW INSURANCE

If you haven't checked your rates in a minute, might be time to shop around and see if you can save some money on cheaper insurance.  Whether it's home owners or car insurance.

AUTO PAYMENTS

Make sure you don't have any automatic payments being deducted from your account or charged to a credit card that you weren't noticing.  It adds up, and if you are no longer using the service, or can do without it, cancel it.

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