First, kick things off by committing to a yearlong savings plan, like the 52-week Savings Challenge. Start by saving $1 in the first week of January, $2 in the second, $3 in the third and so on. After 52 weeks, you'll have saved a total of $1,378 in the bank without even realizing it.
Another popular way to see some yearly savings is to set up monthly transfers. All you have to do is set up a separate account for extra funds and then arrange to have a little money automatically transferred into it every week. It's just like setting up "auto-pay" for your bills, except you're paying yourself.
When it comes to unexpected bonus income, be smart. While a little quick cash can tempt anyone to splurge, using a simple rule of thirds can help keep your funds from disappearing entirely. Here's how it works: Set aside one-third of the money to put toward any past debts. Save another third for the future, and then use the remaining for whatever you want in the present.
Step up your savings for the new year with these tips. With the right plan in place, you can bump-up your budget, one day at a time.