The excitement of the new year brings with it a sense of new hope and, for many people, motivation to make improvements. Typical resolutions like losing weight or improving your diet are all wonderful commitments, don't limit yourself! If you want to make the most out of the new year, consider making some of these money-saving resolutions to build your nest-egg.

1. Be Smart With Unexpected Income

When you come into some extra money, it's hard to resist the urge to spend it right away. Whether it's a tax refund, a birthday gift, or just a bonus payment at work, try to be smart with how you allocate the income. Give yourself the freedom to spend one-third on something you want, one-third to pay down a debt, and one-third to savings or retirement.

2. Set Aside 5% to 10% for Retirement

When you're young, it's easy to think of retirement as something that you don't have to worry about until later. If you want to build a nest egg for retirement, however, you need to start early. The best thing you can do is allocate 5% to 10% of your monthly income toward your retirement fund. And don't forget to take advantage of 401K and retirement matching programs your employer may offer.

3. Shop with Cash Instead of Credit

Having a debit or credit card handy is convenient, for sure, but it may also result in unnecessary spending. When you swipe a card instead of counting out cash, it's easy to forget about the transaction or to make purchases you might not otherwise make on an impulse. To save money on unnecessary spending, set a spending limit for yourself each week and take out that much cash. When it's gone, it's gone! Wait until the next week to buy that new pair of shoes or whatever the case may be.

4. Tally Up Your Spending Habits

Creating a budget is a great way to save money but if you don't want to go so far as to limit yourself, you should at least think about tallying up your monthly spending so you know exactly how much cash you have flowing in and out. You may also want to follow some rules. For example, the price of your home should be no more than 2.5 times your annual household income. Your total monthly debt payments shouldn't be more than 35% your monthly income, and your retirement fund should be 20 times what you want your annual income to be.

5. Pay Down Your Mortgage

For many families, the monthly mortgage is the biggest recurring expense. Depending on how high your mortgage is, the idea of making extra payments may be difficult to imagine but, if you can do it, you'll save yourself a lot of money in the long run. When you send in your mortgage payment each month, make a small additional payment to principle. You can find free calculators online to figure out how many years making even a modest additional payment might shave off your mortgage.

You don't necessarily need to make all of these new year's resolutions, but think about each option and choose one or two that you feel confident you can implement. When you make one of these resolutions, try to make it for the entire year, not just a few months. That's the best way to maximize the benefits!

Frugal Village