The year 2020 has brought about so many unique challenges that no one could have planned for. For many people, the COVID-19 pandemic meant a loss of income or, maybe, your job altogether. Even though the economy is slowly getting back to normal, you may still be struggling a bit to make ends meet. You’re looking for any way you can save a little cash in the coming year.

While 2021 promises to be a bit more prosperous than the crazy year we’ve just had, your main focus is probably just getting your finances back on track. Don’t worry, there are plenty of simple tips and tricks to help you save money on essentials when your funds are a little tight. It may require a bit of a lifestyle change or cutting corners here and there, but you can still live a relatively normal life full of all the things that bring you joy. Here are some money-saving tips for you as you enter the new year.

Lower your fixed bills.

Everyone has fixed expenses that you have to budget for every month. Bills like your rent or mortgage, electricity, water, cell phone plans, and the like. See if there is any way you can lower your monthly payments. Consider refinancing your mortgage, switching to a less expensive phone plan, or using less electricity on AC and opening more windows to cool down your home. By lowering these utility costs in small ways, you can end up saving big.

Cut out trips to the spa, stay at home instead.

When money is tight, you may need to cut back on some of your amenities. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy these things in new ways from home. For example, your spa trips or weekly manicures may not be something you can afford anymore. Instead, invest in stick on nail design options that will allow you to get that gel nail salon look right from home. You can still look fabulous and feel great without breaking the bank.

You don’t need extravagant technology.

The need for technology and electronics is unavoidable in today’s society. However, you don’t need to keep up with every trend. Rather than splurging for the new iPhone or Android, can you get last year’s model for half the price? Or look into how to find discounts on electronics with online stores. There are plenty of ways to still have the tech you need without spending a fortune.

Start celebrating smaller.

Parties and celebrations are a great part of your social life, but they can be pricey affairs. This year, can you consider ways to start celebrating smaller? You can celebrate your birthday by yourself with rest and rejuvenation or host a small 4th of July cookout rather than a big bash. You can still have a happy birthday without all the hoopla. Try to be more intentional about your celebrations so you can save money.

Avoid big trips.

Another thing to avoid when you’re trying to save cash are lavish vacations. You can still enjoy a weekend getaway, but a big trip with expensive hotel stays and excursions may not be an option this year. Instead, try to find ways to create memories at home that will be equally as special.

Eat out less.

Food is another huge cost for your monthly expenses. One way to save extra cash is to eat out less. Spend your hard-earned money on groceries and try out more recipes at home. Save eating out for special occasions and celebrations so you can save the extra money.

Make a budget and stick to it.

One of the biggest ways to save money is to make a plan for how you’ll do it. Create a detailed budget for your family and make sure you stick to it. By staying in control of your money, you can avoid any surprises and make sure you’re saving more.