Whether or not you take part in popular traditions, the start of a new calendar year is a great opportunity to reflect, make positive changes, and set long-term goals for the future. Many of us make resolutions back in December about how we’ll spend the next few months, without really considering how we’ll follow through on those plans. Not having a clear plan of action is why so many New Year’s resolutions fail within the first few weeks.
Big changes often get delayed because of the financial input they require, such as signing up for the gym, going to regular therapy sessions, or starting a business. If you’re suffering a financial hangover after the holidays and your budget is tight, consider these thrifty, life-changing ideas for 2018.
There is tons of information on the Internet about minimal living, from closet de-cluttering tutorials to entire blogs and websites dedicated to the minimalist lifestyle. Don’t panic; you don’t need to get rid of half your possessions or stop buying new clothes to follow the trend (although doing those things might work for you)! However, you can simplify your life and remove a lot of distractions by cleansing your home of items that no longer serve you.
Clothes you no longer wear, used batteries, books you’ve finished reading, books you’ll never read, old toys your kids no longer play with – all of these items can be recycled or donated to your local thrift store to free up space in your home and mind. Anything valuable (including clothes, shoes, and electronics that are in good condition) can be sold on Craigslist or eBay to help you make some extra money.
If nothing is tying you down, moving cities is an excellent way to start afresh and open yourself up to new opportunities. However, packing up and moving across the country on a whim just isn’t realistic for most parents, especially those who are on a budget.
If you’d love to move away, but you have work, children, and other responsibilities keeping you from following your dream, consider moving somewhere local instead. You’d be amazed how different living under a new roof or in another part of town can make you feel, and how many new possibilities it opens up for you and your family. You can search the Internet for affordable rental properties or apply for a mortgage loan online in 15-20 minutes. If you need time to save before you move, then set yourself a future goal and start putting money aside now.
Overhaul Your Diet
It’s a common misconception that healthy food is more expensive than junk. On the contrary, a diet consisting of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains is far cheaper than processed food and much better for your family’s health. Whether you choose to go vegetarian or continue eating meat is up to you – either way, there are tons of healthy, whole-food recipes out there to try that don’t break the bank. Focus on cooking healthy, plant-based foods for you and your family and see how much better you can feel and how much money you save.