Now that the new year is finally here, you’re ready to tackle your resolutions and make 2023 your best year yet. However, your eagerness to keep your resolutions could cause you to overspend and bust your budget.
According to a 2018 survey, 40% of people who made a New Year’s resolution spent between $100 and $500 to achieve it. About 14% of goal setters spent $500 to $1,000, and nearly 8% spent $1,000 to $2,000 in total on New Year’s resolutions.
Believe it or not, people also spend a similar amount of money on their financial New Year’s resolutions by purchasing budgeting software, sessions with financial advisors, and other tools.
I’ve been feeling the temptation to invest in my New Year’s resolutions as well. This year I want to become more self-sufficient and make things from scratch, such as bread, cheese, candles, soap, and clothing. I also have a bunch of financial New Year’s resolutions I’d like to achieve, including continuing to pay off my home and save for a car. However, I don’t want my homesteading or financial goals to cause me to overspend. Here are some of the things I’m doing to minimize my spending on New Year’s resolutions.
Show Commitment Before You Invest in Your Resolutions
If your New Year’s resolution is to lose weight or learn a new hobby, you have to be careful not to go overboard and buy equipment you won’t use or don’t really need. About 90% of people give up on their New Year’s resolutions, leaving them with excess hobby supplies they may never use again.
It’s a good idea to hold off on purchasing lots of equipment for your New Year’s resolution until you’re sure your new hobby is going to stick. Most people lose steam on their goals by mid-February. If you’re still going strong in March or April, you can consider rewarding your commitment to your hobby by investing in equipment that will help you improve your craft.
Until then, try to get by with the bare essentials you need to do your hobby. If you want to get in shape, you could do free bodyweight workouts that don’t require any special equipment to help determine if you enjoy working out. Once you’ve stuck to a consistent exercise routine for a few months, you can purchase some weights to further your progress.
I’m doing this with my bread baking hobby to help reduce costs. I’m requiring myself to use up all the flour in my pantry before I can go out and buy the specialty flour I want, such as rye and semolina. That way I won’t waste money on expensive flour I won’t use if I give up on this resolution prematurely.
Side Hustle to Buy Supplies
Another strategy I’m using to save money on my New Year’s resolutions is use side hustle income to pay for them. I recently received a $160 check from an investing app I recommended to family and friends. I used it to buy candle and cheese making supplies so I didn’t have to work that unexpected expense into my January budget.
You could pay for your resolutions by picking up a few extra shifts at work, delivering food, or picking up some freelance work. Some credit cards and bank accounts also have sign-up bonuses that you can take advantage of to earn some extra cash. Just make sure not to rack up a balance on any credit cards you open.
Don’t Fall for Marketing
There’s a reason why gyms advertise during New Year’s TV programs. Millions of Americans make it their New Year’s resolution to lose weight and believe signing up for a gym membership will make them more committed to their goal. But very few people end up following through and making full use of their membership, so it’s essentially wasted money.
New Year’s ads will make you believe that spending money on your resolution is the only way to achieve it. But oftentimes there are more frugal ways to meet your goals. As mentioned above, you don’t need to go to the gym to lose weight. You can work on your fitness by going on walks and following free exercise videos on YouTube.
Many companies will use a self-improvement angle to try to sell you stuff this January. But purchasing fancy kitchen gadgets doesn’t guarantee that you’ll stop ordering takeout and learn to cook in 2023. Spending your hard-earned money on your New Year’s resolutions isn’t the key to achieving them—hard work and commitment is. Remember that staying consistent and trying to make progress toward your goal everyday is more important than having the latest and greatest tools!
Purchase Secondhand Equipment
Last but not least, purchasing secondhand equipment is a great way to reduce the cost of your New Year’s resolutions. One of my self-sufficiency goals for 2023 is to learn how to make my own pasta from scratch. Instead of buying a brand new pasta maker, I’m going to keep an eye out for used manual pasta machines at the thrift store and on Facebook Marketplace.
There’s a good chance you can find whatever hobby equipment you need used. My spouse and I have been able to get great deals on everything from cameras to fishing equipment to yarn by shopping secondhand. Check out your local Buy Nothing group on Facebook too. People who have resolved to declutter their homes in 2023 may be giving away great stuff right now.
What are your New Year’s resolutions for 2023? How do you plan to reduce the cost of your goals and hobbies? Share your thoughts and tips in the comments below!
3 Tips to Help You Keep Your Financial Resolutions
My Financial New Year’s Resolutions For 2023
My Favorite Personal Finance TV Shows
Vicky Monroe is a freelance personal finance and lifestyle writer. When she’s not busy writing about her favorite money saving hacks or tinkering with her budget spreadsheets, she likes to travel, garden, and cook healthy vegetarian meals.