Tired of clipping coupons, pinching pennies or hate sticking to a budget? Wish there was an easier way to save some money? A budget is kind of like a diet, you are either on it or off it. Like a diet, a financial budget is hard to maintain in the long-term, it requires constant motivation, purpose and commitment.
Check out these tips to help you create a new fun, healthy spending plan:
1. ALDI'S K-CUP COMMITMENT. I love to drink coffee, especially K-cups! Months ago I discovered $3.79 Caramel and French Vanilla K-cup boxes at Aldi's, a third of the cost of other stores such as Price Chopper, Wal-mart and Target. Let's do the math!
- 2 boxes per month at $10.99= $21.98.
- $21.98 - $7.60= Savings of $14.38.
- $14.38 x 6 months = $86.28
- $86.28 x 2 = $172.56 per year
Notice, I didn't say you couldn't have coffee or ever go to Starbucks, just buy your coffee at Aldi's.
2. FINANCIAL BUDGET V. SPENDING PLAN. No one likes a constrictive budget or diet. Instead, think of it as a spending plan, allowing you the flexibility to change and tweak your goals each month. Fixed monthly expenses are constant but areas such as cable tv, clothing, food, cell phone data or plans, birthday gifts and celebrations will fluctuate from month to month.
3. 14 DAY NEEDS CHALLENGE. On Sunday night, buy everything you think you will need for the next two weeks: Food, laundry detergent, shampoo, toiletries, diapers, pet supplies, clothing, gas for your car, pay your bills for the next two weeks, everything you can think of. Enjoy the process of buying these items.
Next, commit to not spending any money. This includes going to the drive thru, snacks at work, picking up dinner on the way home, random Target runs, extra toys for the kiddos,
If you must go to happy hour, arrive early, let the staff know what you plan to order and only pay for what you eat or drink. Bring cash and leave the credit cards at home.
4. LET THE KIDDOS HELP PLAN DINNER. Make a grocery list for all meals for the next 14 days. Let the kiddos pick out their favorite recipes. Don't forget the dessert! Consider dessert for special nights of the week. Remember, we get bored with things when we have them all the time. Think pizza, chicken or cheese enchiladas, fun recipes you can make in advance and freeze. No chance of veggies going bad or someone eating the cheese you were saving as an after school snack.
5. TURN OFF THE TECH! Turn off the cable, Ipad, cell phone and get out the games. Sorry, Scrabble, Uno, Connect Four, Monopoly, Chutes & Ladders, Risk, Pictionary, Charades. Play tag and hide-and-seek outside. Have a water fight with the sprinker. Blow bubbles! Anyone can last two weeks. Journal about the people you love and recall a happy memory.
Gentle, positive changes to spending habits you can live with are the key to financial happiness.
If you are interested in learning more or want to understand your spending habits, call 913-244-8786.
Until next time,