It’s a new year and this year can be different. What makes that difference happen? We set ourselves up to succeed, and put our best good-faith effort behind them. Think of one or two obstacles you face when you set a resolution to save money. Some might ask, “Where did I fail last year?” By replacing our pitfalls with a plan and a few new habits, success can be ours.
Here are a few ideas to get you started.
I began with an extensive clean-out of areas in my “storage” which I hadn’t tackled for some time. There, I found missing cords I no longer had to purchase replacements for (cha-ching!), extra school supplies, and a few mementos I enjoyed seeing again. I renewed my resolution to not hoard my “to-do” piles, and to set aside time each week to reduce their place in my life. Maintaining better life-organization will save me time and money this year.
What do you like to buy multiples of or collect? For me, it’s books. Buying books, even when I’m “browsing” is a big budget-buster. I admit sometimes, I find that the “good deal” I purchased is a copy of one I already own. In the excitement to score a huge savings on a book I know I’ve wanted to read, I can’t recall whether I own it already. Today as I organized, I was reminded of the books I already own. I’ll save money in the future by having my books neatly on the shelves, at-the-ready to read and for reference before I buy another. What we already own needs to be cherished as the savings we can hang onto – it’s money in the bank.
How about a creating a budget? I know, it’s not everyone’s favorite pastime – but it’s worth the time spent reviewing your financial plan. Having a “spending plan” allows you to be prepared for emergencies and make decisions that will move you closer to your long-term goals. If it’s been awhile since you’ve created a budget, there are a few free resources available to you.
Dave Ramsey’s “Zero-Based Budget” will show you how every dime of income and expenditure has a place – and that defined place helps guide your spending.
ChartJungle.com is a free, printable resource for all that you want to get organized in your life. For the purposes of getting our time and money in order, they have a useful selection:
Goals involving reduction of debt can be visualized monthly using ChartJungle.com’s “Account Balance Chart”. Choose a monthly budget form which meets your needs, there are several to choose from. Also, there are forms for the steps towards your other goals: daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. A plan put on paper and reviewed often will encourage you in times of temptation or chaos. Step forward today, you can do it!