With the new year in full swing, it’s never been a better time to take charge of your finances. With a few changes to the way you earn, spend and save, you can get through each day without stressing about cash flow. Not only will you have peace of mind, but also more time and money to invest in your goals for 2019.

There’s a lot that one needs to learn in order to master personal finance. It takes time and experience to fully grasp all the tricks and methods. That’s why we’ve put together some pointers to help you get started. Here are nine simple and effective tips that you can apply to your financial strategy for 2019.

Aim to Save at Least 10% of Your Income

For many of us, ten percent of what we make is a pretty significant chunk of cash – one that seems to disappear when the bills come pouring in. Take a look at where your money is going, not only at the end of each month, but also with daily expenses. There’s bound to be a number of costs that you can cut down on or completely eliminate.

Don’t Splurge When Running into Money

It’s difficult not to be enticed by the prospect of spoiling yourself when a large sum of cash falls into your hands. Next time you receive a tax return, cash prize or birthday gift, move a portion of that money into your savings account before doing anything else.

Learn to Invest Your Money

The world of investment is vast and filled with countless opportunities. Some are worth your money, while others should be avoided at all costs. Knowing the difference between a good investment and a waste of time will help you put your savings in the right places.

Head over to investingoal.com for a primer on everything you need to know about wisely investing your money. Whether you’re interested in getting into the stock market or you’re looking for a good broker to join forces with, InvestinGoal has the information you need.

Build Up an Emergency Fund

No matter how safe you may feel, there are countless situations that could arise at any moment which may require more cash than you have available. Take this year to create an emergency fund that you can only access in dire times of need. It’s an extra peace of mind that will inevitably save your skin one day.

Negotiate on Tech Bills

Head online and do some reading up on how you can negotiate on the costs of your monthly technology bills. Whether it’s your phone contract or internet service provider, chances are that discounts are only a phone call away. Even if you only end up saving a few pounds, that’s extra money to save, invest or spend on something more important.

Learn to Meal Prep

An easy and highly effective way to save money on your grocery bills is to prepare your meals in advance. This essentially involves cooking and putting meals together in batches for a certain number of days or even a week. All you need is a few hours every Sunday and you’ll save both money and time when it comes to eating.

Stock Up on Staples

When you’ve come home from a long day of work and the fridge is empty, it may be enticing to ring up the local fast food store and feast on a convenient and tasty meal. It’s an expensive trap that we all fall into at some stage. Avoiding this is as simple as keeping a steady supply of staples on hand for those rainy days.

Simple non-perishables like beans, soup, rice, potatoes and canned foods can be picked up for cheap and stored for long periods of time. The added benefit of keeping healthy may just save you even more money in the long run.

Save on Transportation

Depending on the distance and conditions between where you live and work, it may be possible to find an alternative form of transport to your car. Consider the bus, lift club, bicycle or even walking if it’s not too far. The amount of money you’ll save on fuel and eventual maintenance fees is pretty significant.

Rent Out Unused Possessions

These days there really is an app for everything – including renting out your stuff. Whether it’s your car, spare room, garage, parking space or bicycle, there’s bound to be someone out there who can give you some extra cash to make use of your possessions.

Take some time to do the research and draw up a plan based on your financial needs and goals. Once you have a clear picture of what you need to do, it all comes down to putting the plan into action and following through with it throughout the year. It might not always be easy, but it’ll definitely be worth it.