Yes, weather-wise, January is getting in our face a bit, but it’s also a great month to take stock of your finances, and put some bold moves in play that will save you thousands by year’s end!
1 – Buy yourself a cup of coffee.  Fellow caffeine addicts, hit the Dollar Store for 7 travel mugs.  Get your caffeinated goodness at home rather than your local convenience store, and you’re saving yourself $500 by year’s end, while still getting your caffeine hit.  Everyone’s a winner.  
2 – Get a Warehouse Club card.  Case in point: your local BJ’s, where my Membership card pays for itself within a month!  Buying all the basic staples at BJ’s (bread, produce, butter, milk, meats) I often save at least $50/week on groceries compared to shopping elsewhere.  Boom, that $50 membership card just paid you back $2500 in one year’s time.   Nice return on investment!
3 – Show some love to your Library.  I often connect with people in serious debt who think nothing of an expensive monthly cable package, regular purchases of magazines, books and DVD movies at full price, only to look at them once and them put them on a crowded shelf.  Sound familiar?  Behold, your local library, where all of the above are free.   Let me repeat that – it’s free.  If you’re normally spending $20 or more a week on entertainment like magazines, movies & books, you just saved yourself another $1000/year.  You’re welcome.
4 – Hit your local Goodwill at least once a month.  There are fantastic locations in Exton & Thorndale that never let me down.  I’m constantly finding amazing items in there for easily 80-90% off retail.  Home furnishings, kid’s clothing, shoes, suits, gifts, you name it – they’ve got it, for a fraction of retail.  It’s a perfect money-saving haven for busy families. 
5 – Take care of your car!  Few things put a chink in your monthly finances faster than unexpected car bills.  Check the oil and fluids regularly, get it inspected on schedule, and give it a good wash every couple of weeks to get rid of the salt and dirt. Extra credit if you take your dustbuster to the interior.  Your trusty steed – and your wallet – will thank you.
6 – Dinner’s on!  There’s a truly scary statistic out there that states the average family eats out at last four times a week, with an average $50-60/check for a family of four.  That can add up to $200/week or more.  No good.  Trust me, I know being a working parent can be exhausting, but you know what’s even more exhausting?  Realizing in December 2019 that you worked hard all year to support a $10,000/year restaurant habit.  Keep it simple guys, put some angel hair pasta in a pot at home and have the kids set the table while you throw together a couple of salads.  There you have it – a great dinner with the ones you love, and thousands more in the bank.  Frugal On!

Kristen Hagopian is a Syndicated Radio Talk Show Host, Columnist & Author of Brilliant Frugal Living.  “The Kristen Hagopian Show” airs on Montgomery County’s WNPV 1440 / 98.5 , and Nationwide via the BizTalk Radio Network. She was raised in Delaware County, and resides in Chester County with her husband and kids.  She is honored to be connected with the crew at the Detox Treatment Help Line (800-287-7891) and Elite Rehab (800-932-4082) to help get the word out about their proven strategies to steer the ones you love away from drug abuse. You can find her online at