Smarter Shopping: Best Budget Ideas to Start This Year!
I always love January. Okay, so not the bitter winds whipping my face as I trek to and from Kiddo's school and not the extra few pounds that creep onto my thighs after the weeks of over-doing it starting way back at Halloween. No, not those parts of January, but the whole starting anew, kicking off new habits, forgetting old ones...that part of the first month of the year that gets everyone focused on positive changes.
Positive change is something that my household needs in terms of our budget. Eating wasn't the only thing we overdid...definitely spent more money than we should have around the holidays. It seems that happens every year. Sigh. As January rolls around, we reassess our budget and get back on track (while wearing work out gear of course, to get our waistlines back on track too). What are we tweaking on that spreadsheet to get our bottom-line in good shape? Here are a few I'm thinking about!
-- Redo that food shopping. Whether it is cutting back on eating out or breaking out the crockpot for some cheaper meals, finding a way to trim the food expenses is a prime way to save anywhere from $20 to $50 a week. Sometimes it helps to change how you shop - switching to two big grocery runs every month rather than three times a week.
-- Evaluate your musts and wants. Be sure you aren't spending extra money on wants that you think are needs and look over that cell phone bill or cable bill to see if you can find a cheaper option with another company or plan.
-- Figure out a tracking way that works. For me, it helps to keep track of how much I spend each day with a money log. How I do that is another story. I need to find an easy way to track it. Same goes for keeping tabs on bills and overall state of financial affairs. Maybe an app? A computer program? Finding a way that you will actually use is the key.
Do you reassess your budget in January? What are your budget goals for 2014?