This time of the year brings a lot of discussion over goals and resolutions. One big goal that a lot of us set in the New Year is to be more on budget. Sure, it seems like an easy task but putting it to practice can be really hard. Below are some easy budget tips for the New Year that I will be implementing.
Budget Tips For The New Year
Do Not Set Yourself Up For Failure!
Before we dive into these budget tips for the New Year that I am excited to be using, let’s discuss something that we all seem to do at some point in our lives. We create these GIANT goals or resolutions that end up being too hard or impossible to meet. Hello defeat! Resolutions or goals for the New Year should never be something that brings you down or find failure in. Instead, these time of the year should be focused on bettering yourself even if it is a small accomplishment.
So, as you start setting and planning your new year budget make sure you take a step back and be realistic with your goal. Maybe break the goal into a few smaller goals to find that great accomplished feeling as you move through the year.
Before setting a budget, take the time to review what your spending and budget looked like in the previous year. This will allow you to get a full picture about what needs to change, what worked well, and how to create a new budget for the new year. This is a great way to decide what your goal or goals will be for the new year as well. Save more money for an emergency fund? Stop eating out? Save for a big family vacation? Pay off that car note?
No matter how your year looked, make sure you learn from it. The highs and the lows – because that is life! Take into consideration what might change in the new year as well. Maybe you plan on picking up a second job to help pay off those big loans. No matter what you plan, use your previous year to build a strong but flexible budget.
Write It Down
Now that you have reviewed the previous year it is time to create your yearly plan or budget. I am a paper and pen kind of gal so I write this out and crunch numbers. Some others might use electronic options but I like the idea of writing out exactly where my money will be going each month and creating a yearly budget. This also allows me to see the year in full – taking into consideration those months that might be bigger spending months.
Review Your Purchases
Once your budget or plan is created, it is time to start!! There is nothing worse than getting to the end of the month and not knowing where your money went. This is why I have started to review every single purchase I make. I try to do this weekly – I know others that do it daily. Maybe you had one too many glasses of wine on girls night and that bar tab is breaking your heart. EEK! Now to figure out where to balance this expense – maybe skip the coffee stop for the rest of the week? Or decide that girls night next time can be at your house with cheaper food and drinks!
Just because you are reviewing your purchases does not mean you have to stop spending – it means you will start holding yourself accountable for the money that is leaving your account and find ways to move money around through out the rest of the week or month.
Meal Planning Is a Must!
When I start reviewing my spending I often find that most of my spending comes from food. Sometimes it looks like I must not have any food in my home because I ate out all three meals of the day!! YIKES!!! Hey, it happens. But what helps this from happening is meal planning along with reviewing your spending.
Meal plan weekly and create your shopping list from this meal plan. This will allow you to cook at home and stop spending extra on food that you know you have in your cabinets! Plus we all know that this is a much healthier option too!!
Search For Deals and Coupons
Yes, be that person. If you have a coupon for a restaurant and you are meeting up with friends for dinner, suggest that restaurant, no one will laugh at you when you save cash. Deals and coupons can be found everywhere. A few bucks off of your meal or grocery bill is a big deal!! It adds up!
I love the new Target app that allows me to save just by entering my phone number! So awesome because Target gets a lot of my money every month! I am not telling you to go all extreme couponing on me but think about how a few searches online or signing up for store apps could really benefit you in the long run.
Stop Taking My Money!
Okay, how many of us have automatic drafts that come right out of our accounts to things we do not even track or use anymore? ::raises hand:: Recently, I cancelled a magazine subscription that I forgot about, an old gym membership and a massage club membership. I love my massages but I just was not using the membership as I should have been. That being said, these drafts were coming out of my account and none of them were useful.
These little things add up. Before I worked from home full time I spent a lot of money on coffee every morning on my way into work. Think about those little treats that we often stop in for – dessert for the kids, candy in the check out line, trinkets that are forgotten two hours after they are bought, so many little things. Once you start reviewing your purchases you will quickly see how these little expenses are not only unnecessary but they add up FAST!
Make Some Money
Decluttering is another big goal for the new year. If that is something you plan on doing for the new year, why not make some money while doing it. Utilizing the Facebook marketplace, selling apps or neighborhood groups you can easily put the things you no longer use or want on these spaces and make some extra money.
Not only will it help you financially through out the year but decluttering your space can be a great way to feel decluttered in the mind as well. Good for the soul, good for your bank account and good for your home!!
As you step into this new budget for the new year, make sure you get the whole family involved in this goal. Sit down as a family and discuss the goal and discuss how things might look a bit different this year when it comes to spending and money. It is never to early to share this life lesson with your children.
I also love creating a visual savings account for the family so the kids can actually see the money being put away. I use the Reverse 52 Week Savings Plan to do this. Simply print out the FREE printable and get started on putting some cash aside every week for the year!! Have the kids help you decide where that money is going at the end of the year!
Well those are the Budget Tips For The New Year that I am implementing for 2020. I am excited and anxious to see how I do this year financially and really ready to be more aware of where my money goes. I think it will be a great learning experience for me but also for my kids.