CHICAGO – The New Year is underway, and for many people it’s a fresh start to tackle their finances. Changing your spending habits is definitely a step in the right direction, but money saving expert, Bethany Hollars, has eight other tips to help you save throughout 2022.

1. Set a budget and stick to it – Hollars says this is the most effective way to save money long-term. She says expenses can add up quickly when you aren’t tracking them, and a budget ensures that you will always have enough money for necessities.

2. Buy used – Hollars suggests you always consider buying used or refurbished whether it’s a small household purchase or a car. She says most brands and retailers — from Amazon to Walmart to Apple — offer savings on refurbished or “like new” products. Hollars recommends you check out Facebook Marketplace and use apps like LetGo and Offer Up to find items that are being sold near you. She says oftentimes, you can pick-up brand-new items for pennies on the dollar.

3. Cut the cord – Hollars says cable and satellite subscriptions cost a bundle, and chances are, you’re not watching most of the channels you’re paying for. She recommends cancelling those services and subscribing to one of the many online movie and TV streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, Peacock, Amazon Prime Video or Sling TV instead. She says that can save you hundreds of dollars every year.  

4. Lower Your Insurance Bill Hollars says insurance is purchased when it’s needed and then forgotten. She says making a simple change to your policy or switching companies altogether, could save you a ton of money. She recommends you shop around for insurance every six months to ensure that you’re getting the best possible rates.

5. Meal plan – Food ranks as one of the largest monthly expenses for most people according to Hollars.  She says you can save a ton by eating out less. Instead, she suggests you write out a meal plan each week and only buy what’s on your list at the grocery store.

6. Buy generic – Hollars recommends buying generic and store brand products. She says many contain the exact same ingredients as their name brand counterparts and are almost indistinguishable in taste, performance, and/or quality. She says they are priced cheaper because they are not advertised and marketed like the big-name brands.

7. Buy on Markdown – Hollars says almost every item you see in a store will eventually be marked down to move it off the shelves and out the door. She says online retailers do the same thing to make room for new product. Sites like find these marked down deals and tell you where to find them locally or where to buy them online. She says stocking up on discounted daily essentials or buying that next big-ticket item at half price can quickly add up to real savings.

8. Get price adjustments – Hollars says most retailers have a price adjustment policy that will credit you back the difference if an item you bought drops in price within a certain number of days after your purchase. For example, Walmart will adjust the price of an item up to seven days after purchase. Macy’s and Kohl’s will issue a credit up to 14 days after a purchase. Just make sure to hold on to your receipts!

You can see more details on the tips in the video above.