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New Year, New Budget: How I’m Saving in 2020

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Scranton chapter.

Over four thousand years ago, the ancient Babylonians began practicing new year’s resolutions meant for their gods. Today, resolutions have become a way to address the needs and wants of people in society. For millions of people across the globe, some resolutions come back year after year: lose weight, quit smoking, and eating cleaner. However, I believe financial stability should be at the top of the list because, without this, those goals can’t be achieved. New year’s resolutions drive creativity, foster passion, expand one’s skill set, and help learn something new.

For my New Year’s resolution, I’ve decided that I want to save money in 2020. I am excited to see what kind of doors will open and close for me as I progress through the year and improve my spending habits. As I share what I will be cutting from my budget, I hope this helps you find balance within your budget as well. 

Impulse Buys

If you have ever checked out at the grocery store, gotten to the register, peered around at the carefully placed merchandise, bought something you did not want, and regretted buying, that’s an impulse buy. These expenditures add up over time and can significantly upset a balanced budget. Writing a list before venturing out to a store and only using cash. Lists give the consumer a clear guideline as to what they should be purchasing. Once you get to the register, that’s the fun part. Since you’re only carrying cash, you won’t have enough to spend on impulse buys because you would have stuck to your list.


Monthly fees

Avoiding monthly fees also helps increase savings. Some of the monthly fees I will be cutting out of my budget are from Spotify premium and my lingering gym membership. Music without ads is nice, but in the long run, I would like to see my money in other places, so I don’t mind the ads. As for the gym membership, it’s not worth keeping while I am away at school; this is also an expense I can’t justify. Sometimes automated fees can add up if they aren’t kept track of, but it is satisfying when you know where every dollar you spend is going.



Coco Chanel said, “Fashion fades, style lasts forever.”  

It is easy to fall into the trap of following trends even if you don’t like them. Trends may tempt you to buy something at the moment when you should be asking yourself: Do I genuinely enjoy this item, or will it be out of my wardrobe once it’s out of season? Fashion trends change year to year in order to help businesses make money. Be true to yourself when buying clothes, instead you need to ask yourself: Is my inner English pilot going to come out one day if I buy this scarf? Should I wait for her to emerge? The answer is no. If you think this is going to be a ‘one-time item,’ don’t buy it because if you don’t want to wear it now, you won’t later.


Delivery Apps

When campus dining gets old, delivery apps are a popular alternative. This food doesn’t always start out expensive, but costs start piling up. There are usually spending minimums on items, then delivery fees, then the consumer owes the driver a tip, and the whole order easily comes over $20. To avoid wasting all your money on food delivery, find time in your schedule to use your meal swipe at school to get something quick and easy. Sticking with dining hall hours could help keep your day on track. I will be cutting delivery apps out of my budget to try to make myself stick to a tighter schedule and plan out my day better. If you do the same, it could help you save money as well as being more productive.

College Textbooks

If you go through life saying “every price is negotiable…” you know where I am going with this. The best way to save money on things that you can’t cut out is to do your research and find the lowest prices. Although textbooks aren’t a frequent expense, since we only buy them at the start of each semester, they are a huge one. To avoid paying full price, try renting or borrowing textbooks as a cheap and efficient alternative. The college bookstore is not the only place to get your books! Platforms like Amazon and eBay create a wider playing field for consumers while promoting competition among vendors.

Saving money in the new year is not impossible. Everyone starts somewhere, so don’t expect yourself to spend $5 for the entire month of January. The budget cuts I’m suggesting are not rules. These are habits that will help change your mindset so that you can save a little at a time until you’ve achieved your financial goals for the new year.


Happy New Year!

"History has its eyes on you"
Carly Long

Scranton '22

Carly is a senior studying Strategic Communications with a concentration in Legal Studies at The University of Scranton. This is her third year as CC at HC Scranton, which she hopes to continue to elevate. In her free time Carly can be found writing, working out, or buying new products to feed her skincare addiction.