By Kelly Lynn Adams

If the New Year had you resolving to save more, spend less and budget better, good for you! If, however, 30 days later you’re struggling to stay on track and losing motivation, here are some easy, simple and quick ways to save you money and help you to create a sustainable budget for the rest of the year ahead. Just implement at least one of the tips below and you will be further along in your savings journey.

Pay Yourself First. Even if you have more bills coming in then income and think you don’t make enough money to pay yourself first, think again. If you put away even a small amount each time you get paid, it will add up. The key to paying yourself first is to be consistent and to put your money in an account that is hard for you to access (so you won’t be inclined to spend it).

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Live Within Your Means. When you spend more money than you have, you end up with credit card debt, high-interest rates and many, many more problems down the road. The key here is to be very honest with yourself about whether or not you have the money to pay for whatever it is you’re eyeing. If you can’t afford it, do not buy it. Having trouble? This is a good time to take a look at your budget, see where you can cut costs and put away your credit card. Paying with cash will help ensure you don’t go over your budget so play a game with yourself and count how many times you purchase something on a credit card within a month and see if you can use your credit card less the following month.

Dine In. One of the easiest ways to save money is to eat at home more often. It’s amazing how quickly eating out – even if it’s “cheap” – adds up! So, take a look at your budget and see how many times you go out to eat in a week or month and try to cut it in half over the next 3 months. You will immediately see the savings add up over time. We know, you want to treat yourself to an amazing meal, spend time with friends and family over food and look forward to trying a new restaurant. But instead of heading out, invite friends over for a potluck dinner.

A healthy dinner idea for less than $5!

Get Organized. Most people do not have a daily, weekly or monthly budget. The key to getting organized within your finances means creating a budget and keeping track of all of your expenses, savings and income. Once you create a budget and keep track of everything that is coming in and going out, you will see how much control you can have over your financial world.

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