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These New Year's Resolutions Can Save You $1,000 or More

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man with face mask and bike in the city
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Financial Resolve

Small, routine expenses and paying too much for major monthly bills can add up quickly over time. A few extra dollars misspent here and there can easily turn into a few thousand dollars each year and quickly derail the family budget. Resolve to adopt at least one of these attainable money-saving strategies, and your bank account will thank you.

Related: 31 Simple Ways to Save Money Every Day of the Month

Create (and Stick to) a Budget
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roasting vegetables
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Shop Smarter
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Shop Smarter

Making certain purchases, especially major ones, at the right time of year can save big money. January is a good time to look for deals on furniture and many electronics. Get in the habit of shopping for clothes and shoes, as well as seasonal items such as a snowblower or lawn mower, at the end of the season, when they're on deep discount. For instance, a patio set regularly listed for $1,050 is going for the off-season clearance price of $746.

Related: 15 Things You Really Don't Need to Buy During a Recession

Transfer Money Into Savings Regularly
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Transfer Money Into Savings Regularly

This might sound too easy, but it really works: Every week, move $10 to $20 into a savings account. Even better, set up an automated transfer. You likely won't miss the small dollar amounts, and at the end of the year you'll have squirreled away almost $1,000.

Related: 75 Websites That Can Save You Money During a Recession

Increase Your Retirement Contribution
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Increase Your Retirement Contribution

Sign up for a small, but impactful, annual contribution increase of at least 2% to your employee 401(k) plan. For someone earning a salary of $50,000, that's an extra $1,000 a year (or more if your employer has a company match plan) that will go toward your golden years.

Related: How to Protect Yourself From Financial Ruin in Retirement

Swap a Vacation for a Staycation
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Quit Smoking
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car on the road
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Shop Around for Better Insurance Rates

It's a smart idea to look around for better insurance rates every few years. Oftentimes, bundling auto, home, health, and life policies can lead to big savings, too. There are plenty of online tools to get you started, and many companies offer free quotes.

Related: 12 Tips to Keep You From Buying Too Much Insurance

Take Alternative Transportation
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Ditch the Car

With a monthly car payment, insurance, and trips to the gas station, the average car owner is spending about $9,561 a year to drive 15,000 miles. Instead, ride a bike, take the bus, or join a carpool to get where you need to go. If you aren't ready to go completely car-free, consider selling one vehicle if you live in a two-car household. While it's unrealistic to be without a car in many places, in some cities it's easy to be car-free.

Related: Car Buyers Could Score a Deal on These Models Due to COVID-19

Consider Refinancing Your Home
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Consider Refinancing Your Home

Check in periodically with a mortgage broker to find out if refinancing your home makes financial sense. The amount you could save on a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage varies depending on the terms and current interest rates, of course. Although rates are higher now, they're still relatively low. Many people end up saving an average of $100 or more on their monthly payments.

Related: Refinancing Your Home: Should You or Shouldn't You?