The end of the year often marks a time for personal inventory.  Sometimes we can celebrate the little victories we had over the past 365 days, while other times we think about things we could have changed or done better.  In the coming days, as 2016 draws to a close, you may be thinking about what you want to achieve in the new year.  Perhaps purchasing a home is high on this list of priorities.  Unfortunately, as home prices continue to soar in the GTA, this may seem like a goal that is too lofty to achieve.  Here’s the thing, we’re more likely to reach our goals if we break them down into little ones, instead of one gigantic looming whopper.  These are 6 smaller resolutions you can make to help make that nest egg bigger, so you have a little (or a lot) more money set aside for that down payment in 2017.

  1. Eat Out Less

Some people think this won’t make a difference, then they try it.  Whether you’re cutting back on the $20 a week Starbucks habit, the daily trip to the food court, or the Friday night pizza delivery, it all adds up remarkably quickly.  By brown bagging it and making your own coffee at home just a few more times a week than you did in 2016, you could save $100 to $200 every month.

  1. Walk more 

When it’s cold outside it can be tempting to drive more, Uber more, or even hop on the subway even when you’re going a short distance.  Dress the part for the weather and get moving a little more to enjoy some savings.  Some find it helpful to set aside a specific amount each week or month in their budget for transit; using it to pay for gas, taxis or the subway.  Consider this option, or at least tracking how often you’re avoiding the two feet and a heart beat, free, method of transportation.

  1. Wait a week

Consider holding off a week before purchasing splurge items.  Odds are that most of the time you won’t be interested in going back to buy them, and if you do go back you’ll appreciate it even more.

  1. Potluck instead of dinner out

Friends often pick evenings out at a restaurant to connect with each other.  This can get pricey pretty fast.  Consider alternating who hosts with everyone bringing a dish instead of going out.  Hosting a dinner and a movie night can be a fun, and cheaper way to be social on a budget.

  1. Pick off hour events

Little things can save you money.  Check out a matinée instead of an evening film, lunch instead of dinner, or a Tuesday night instead of a Saturday.  Clip coupons, and inquire about group rates.

  1. Start your side hustle

There are lots of little things you can do to earn a little bit of extra cash that will only take up an extra 1-15 hours a week depending on how aggressive you want to get with your plan.  Use your bike to deliver Uber Eats, your car to become an Uber driver, or consider some evening babysitting for local families to help increase your bank account balances.  Other options include pet sitting, yard work, snow shovelling, blogging or writing for websites, teaching a musical instrument, tending bar one night a week, or tutoring a student.

Little things can make a huge difference, as long as you stick to it and are willing to practice a little patience!  If you have a savings hack, feel free to share in the comments below.

Happy New Year!

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