Like most people, I want to save more money this year and budget my money more wisely. We are not getting any younger and those retirement savings will never be enough. I looked through all of the challenges posted but none of them are for me. I don’t want to go without to get to some arbitrary budget total for the month. I just want to spend more responsibly and save extra cash this year.
My 2015 Budget Plan
While I do not want to be held to a budget of save $50 this month and $75 next month or $1 this week, $2 next week etc I do want to stick to our household budget better. This has always been easier for us when meal planning as we know what we are buying and have a separate account for emergencies. I want to make a budget and stick to it, get our grocery spending back down where it was and incidental spending way down.
How I Am Going To Save
First, I want to buy less things we do not need to buy. Not to say I will go without, we have the money so why not enjoy some of it, but there are purchases that are just not needed that we can do without. The obvious one is coffee/food out. Never say never, there will always be times we will pick up a Timmies, if nothing else, I do it to get out of the office for five minutes, but the bagel I grab at the train station when I can’t be bothered to make breakfast despite sitting in my PJs for half an hour on twitter? What about that cute purse that I in the mall?
For January, I am staying out of the mall! Nothing good comes of going to the mall, and I am trying to get back on track with my budget by only buying necessities for January unless it is such a hot deal (and something I need) that it cannot be ignored. I have been quite good already, I resisted the call of Boxing Day sales after noticing many were at prices that were matched throughout the year but without the crowds and shiny clearance signs to make me buy other things.
Be better about shopping: Things have been hectic lately and on top of pizza for dinner when I just can’t be bothered to cook, we have been shopping badly. No lists, no coupons, just get it done and buy whatever only to get home and realize we are missing key ingredients for meals which we then grab at a convenience store. I want to go back to meal planning which will help me make my lists for groceries too. Pay more attention to sales and stock up when something is cheap and/or has a coupon. Use cash back rebate apps to save more without the organization time for coupons.
Shop online: I am one of those people who get dragged in by the eye level / cash register goodies they put to tempt me. I can save thousands every year with coupons, but waste a lot while shopping and looking for coupons and deals. I will buy more online, use ebates and Great Canadian Rebates to get money back on those purchases while sticking to what I need.
Buy at the right time: Sure by xyz gadget needs to be replaced, but does it need to be replaced right now? Most things I can live without for a while and watch for a sale to buy a new one, or get one on kijiji etc.
Earn more: While I have cut back at work, there are other things I can do to earn money, sell items I do not need, Field Agent mystery shop jobs that I see but often do not get because I can’t be bothered at that particular time. I have Swagbucks and Superpoints accounts that I have not been using, despite making $30+ a month from them on a regular basis before as well as surveys to be completed.
Track: I want to track my totals, be accountable to myself and share it here to keep me on track for the rest of the month so watch out for my monthly totals.
How are you saving this year?