I definitely want to be more money conscious this year. I use to be afraid of money quite some time ago; I knew I had money to pay my bills I just had a literal fear of dealing or being in debt. As I feel anyone can relate these days with an issue like that.
I’m busting out the calculator and excel sheet(s) and getting the ball rolling on saving and balancing and actually BUDGETING. My eventual g0al is to pay next month’s bills with this month’s money. Giving myself a buffer and not getting into the ‘just had a enough to cover my bills’ or ‘not enough money at the end of the month’ position. So much stress and tension is brought on by money and it’d be nice to not think twice about it, ever.
Below are a few way’s I’m going to start making the valiant effort in the budgeting direction and manage my checks & balance going forward in 2012.
1) Making my food |
I’m definitely guilty of feeding my coffee fix at Dunkin daily and eating out because it’s just plain easy and convenient. When you think about it, $2.50 for a large coffee daily is $12.50 a work week just on coffee. Now think about how often you try and grab a quick bite for lunch and even dinner. It adds up quickly. I think I’ll save a lot more if I try and make my food at least 3 solid days a week and bring my lunch in twice a week.
2) Bills |
I want to make a big effort to pay my bills 1 week in advance. This will help build that buffer I was talking about above and alleviate ever thinking about late payments. I’m updated my phone calendar to give me alerts one week in advance to ever bill I have from now on, so that I’m able to accomplish this goal.
3) Taxes |
I’m a sub-contracted worker. Meaning, I am responsible for my managing how much I pull out for taxes. I got on a great regimen of pulling 25%-30% of the money from my paycheck into a seperate savings, just for taxes. I don’t touch that account for anything but depositing money and forgetting about it till it’s time to file. Granted it may be a big chunk but being 10-99’d I rather be safe than sorry and if anything, I’ll have a nice amount of money to put in my buffer account and/or build up my money market account!
4) Shopping Smart |recognizing needs vs wants
I have a tendency to buy ‘stuff’ aka the clutter I mentioned in a previous blog post, just because I think I’m getting this super deal on it, not because I need or even want it. I buy it due to the shear fact I’m getting a ‘deal’. I’m going to start actively prioritizing my shopping ventures to when necessary (needs over wants/impulse buying). As for grocery shopping, I tend to ‘stock up’ because ‘stuff’ is on sale or because ‘I may’ get to making something that calls for that ingredient and I either never get to making that recipe or the food goes bad because I just got too much. I’m going to make an effort to shop once a week for the week ahead, so that now no food is in danger of spoiling and I’m not wasting. I really hope I can learn to incorporate coupons into the mix. I’ve never been one to actively use them but they’re free so why the heck not?!
5) Give Money Away |
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve donated money or given money to charities and have failed to get a receipt or documentation I did that. Do you know that’s a tax write off?! Going to be a stickler this year about that and maybe even try and find a charity I firmly support and believe in to give to or maybe make an effort to donate to a new one every month.
6) Read a book |
Taking suggestions in this department. I know there are a lot of motivational speaking books on finances etc, but I really want a valued book on money and finances. So please help me with this one, so I can get the ball rolling on a good read that will help me.
7) Remember to live |
Though budgeting is all about saving there is an appropriate time to reward yourself and indulge. I want to learn and understand exactly what I’m spending on my ‘going out’ excursions and try and cut that in half. In the last couple months, I think I’ve done an awesome job in kick-starting this resolution…just need to keep up the momentum!
8) Keep the Change |
So many times I say keep the change or I don’t need that penny. Well ya know what I do. That change so quickly can turn into dollars. I’m actively starting to put all my change into an old glass bottle and once it’s filled I’m going to deposit that into my savings/buffer account and repeat the process.
9) Less is more |
To put simply, evaluating my current expenses and seeing where I can cut costs. I currently don’t have cable which is one large expense. And I’ve change my cell phone carrier to cut expenses as well. This will be an ongoing work in progress.
It’s going to take a few regular visits to my own blog to remind myself of my money resolution(s) that I’m working actively to accomplish this year – but I think this is a good start! Do you have any more to add?
-Star Padilla #Chapter2012