'Pay yourself first' and more tips for saving money

Big goals can be daunting and overwhelming. That is why Stash CEO Brandon Krieg, a co-founder of the investing app, says you should start small when you're setting your financial goals for 2018.

Stash advises working towards the bigger goals in little increments.

If you can put away $20 a week consistently, and form a habit, Brandon says you'll reach your goal faster than if you try to save too much, get overwhelmed, and give up.

The best way to guarantee you'll keep investing throughout the year is to automate it. Stash has a feature called Auto Stash, which makes saving and investing money habitual. Brandon says you turn it on and let it ride for the year, and every week or two, it will invest money for you.

A lot of Americans aren't invested in the markets at all. In fact, Brandon and the Stash team found a staggering 109 million people are not investing.

Overspending is one of the biggest things holding them back, especially on credit cards. Brandon says if you don't really need to buy something, pay with cash or a debit card or don't buy it.

Better yet, when you're shopping, try Brandon's 24-hour rule. If you find something really big and expensive, go home. Then wait 24 hours and ask yourself if you really need it. More often than not, he says, you'll realize you don't.

Cutting back on that daily latte is common budgeting advice, but Brandon suggests looking at your weekend spending.

A born and raised New Yorker, he believes in having a lot of fun. But the rule in his office is if you go out to have fun, choose either eating or drinking--not both. That way you can still go out and enjoy yourself, but you'll spend less money.

January is a great time to look at your monthly bills and cut back on all of those extra memberships and subscriptions. Brandon says you should cancel any recurring costs that you don't need.

But, he says, if you do just one thing in 2018? Invest. Even if you start small, start investing, make it a habit, and keep doing it no matter what.

Stash calls it paying yourself first.