50 Ways to Keep Your Money Resolutions

Tips for saving on grocery bills, car loans and home mortgages.

ByABC News
January 20, 2016, 9:52 AM
Customers shop for used vehicles at a CarMax Inc. dealership in Lexington, Kentucky, in this undated file photo.
Customers shop for used vehicles at a CarMax Inc. dealership in Lexington, Kentucky, in this undated file photo.
Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg/Getty Images

— -- It’s been a couple of weeks. That means about 30 percent of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions. If that resolution is a financial one, then I urge you to “take a mulligan.” Hit the re-set button. Begin at the beginning. Start over. Don’t give up!

When Bankrate.com asked people about their top financial priorities for 2016, staying current on living expenses was #1, followed by paying down debt and saving money. And really, all three are the same, right? These responses mean that people’s budgets are tight and they’re looking for meaningful relief.

Problem is, too many folks go looking for savings in the bottom of a latte cup or brown bag lunch. Those $5 and $10 sacrifices do add up, but too slowly to provide much relief in 2016. When David Bach wrote The Latte Factor, he said the small, incremental savings could add up to a million bucks over the course of your entire life. NOT this year.

That’s why I suggest you learn how to save BIG. I define saving BIG as any one strategy that can save you at least $1,000 a pop. To save BIG, you have to figure out where you spend big. Actually, I figured it out for you. Americans’ top five costs are:

Housing (buying or renting + maintenance, insurance, taxes, etc.)

Cars (buying, fueling, maintaining, insuring, etc.)

Credit (interest on mortgages, car loans, credit cards, etc.)

Groceries (including household goods and personal care items)

Health care (insurance, deductibles, co-pays, prescriptions, etc.)

A couple of years ago I wrote a book called, you guessed it, Save BIG. Here’s your first dose of savings for 2016: I’m GIVING you the 50 most surprising strategies from the book. Can you think of an easy way to save at least $1,000 that I haven’t listed here? Share it in the comments section below.


  1. 1. While you are renting, negotiate a lower monthly rent by using new tenant specials in your building or nearby buildings as your wedge.
  2. 2. If you plan to stay in the same area, buy a house ASAP, because it gives you both a nest and a nest egg.
  3. 3. Appeal your property taxes if your local government has over-valued your property — it’s surprisingly easy to do.
  4. 4. Raise your homeowners insurance deductible to at least $2,500 and save 40 percent.
  5. 5. Refinance if you can get a rate at least .5 percent lower than your current rate so you can recoup your closing costs in less than five years.
  6. 6. Reduce the length of your loan — not just the rate — when you refinance.
  7. 7. Petition your bank to drop PMI as soon as possible if property values go up. (Banks won’t offer. You have to ask.) PMI, or private mortgage insurance, protects the lender, not the borrower, if payments are no longer being made on the loan.
  8. 8. Negotiate a lower commission with real estate agents when buying or selling. And once in your life, when market conditions are right, try selling a property yourself.