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Smarter Shopping: Best Budget Ideas to Start This Year!

Posted by on Dec. 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
  • 44 Replies

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? 

ŠiStockphoto.com/Marekuliasz 

by on Dec. 31, 2013 at 12:00 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Flaca43
by Ruby Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 5:38 AM
I want to keep track of our finances and budget better. I will hsve to look up some apps for that. That would be great!
alliesmom112
by on Dec. 31, 2013 at 6:49 AM

Great tips.  We are pretty good about keeping track of our budget and where we spend our money. 

wandep
by Pam on Dec. 31, 2013 at 8:49 AM

Hubby has put us on a strict budget for the new year. We are going to try to pay off our last credit card by May. Then we will have bills and house payment to worry about it. 

bellydancer1984
by Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:00 AM
1 mom liked this

i started making my own laundry soap and wool balls for the dryer i can make everything to do laundry for my family of 5 for a year for 20 dollars....i also make my own cleaner now too it costs about 25 cents a bottle to make and neutralizer spray for about 10 cents a bottle....it saves a lot!!

bellydancer1984
by Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:01 AM

also there is a site called sparkpeople it is for keeping track of food you eat and exercise you do but it also has a page for making a budget it is a great site and free!!

moroccanmommy
by on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:05 AM
I'm a crazy coupon lady and I cut my bill from 500-600 to 150-200 a month..
This month I'm going on a spending fast. Not spending a dime (bills excluded) wish me luck
momma-flynn
by Greta on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:07 AM

We need to stick to our budget this year. We recently replaced our roof & so our savings is not where it needs to be. 

Hannahsmommy816
by Platinum Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:26 AM

try to get dh healthy this year

have more patience

fraujones
by Amanda on Dec. 31, 2013 at 9:49 AM

We definitely want to save more. I have to be better about bringing my lunch to work. 

lizzig
by Ruby Member on Dec. 31, 2013 at 10:10 AM

 not really.  seems we have to do it every few months lately.

my main budget goal for anytime is to be able to save more $$ for rainy days.

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