Sunday, January 18, 2015

Spend Less, Save More

For my New Year's Resolution, I would like to spend less, and save more. For a family of 7, it's pretty difficult especially when new things to buy/pay for pop up randomly and all at once. I figure, though, if we start small and cut little things here and there, we can end up saving a good bit of money.

For starters, eating out is going to not happen. Okay, maybe not not happen but happen wayyyy less often. After the bad luck with restaurants in the last month, I need to stay away from sit down food for fear of losing it on the next unsuspecting manager I run across. Fast food is something I cut out for awhile but started eating again because we were ridiculously busy with soccer. Now that I am NOT coaching and hardly volunteering at all, I feel like I can better plan what we eat while we are on the go. I need to start eating better anyway so the less fast food the better.

My Starbucks obsession is a bit tricky. I have this amazing Starbucks keychain my husband bought me for Christmas and while I love showing it off, it still means a $6 espresso drink every time I swipe it. I also got a Keurig for Christmas. Seems a bit counter productive, wouldn't you say? Never the less, I have a brand new coffee maker that can make me a decent flavored coffee without ever having to leave the house, for less than $2 a cup. I know I won't totally switch to my Keurig but I am pretty sure my laziness will win out more often than not, allowing me to save a little bit of cash. 

I've also decided the kids and I will start a want/need notebook. Anything we want we have to write in the notebook. If, for some reason, we decide we no longer want it, we can cross it off and never have spent the money. If it's something we need, we can get it right away or see if there is an alternate to what is needed before running out and spending the money. I am hoping that by creating a want/need notebook we will have more ideas when birthdays and Christmas come around. We have always been a family that buys what they want because we were always financially comfortable enough to do that yet we never put anything into savings and we never thought about the what ifs. 

In order to plan for those what ifs, I think on payday I will make sure all previous debits/checks have cleared and then whatever is leftover will be transferred into the savings account. If it is truly extra then we have no need to spend it. It will still be there if the next pay period we find ourselves running low, but chances are good that we are only spending that extra because it is there for us to spend. 

I haven't thought much about couponing, only because I am terrible about remembering to bring my coupons and I hate hopping from store to store to get a better deal. I think in regard to groceries, I will just have to pay more attention to the sales and start meal planning better so I am not running out for this, that, and the other thing and ending up spending $120 when I ran in for tortilla chips and salsa. It really is my downfall. I always come back with way more than I went for.

I would like to start bringing in some money of my own as well to put solely into savings. I know I will start by decluttering and getting rid of the extra stuff we have for a little cash but I'm not sure where I will venture after that. Considering getting into the baby shower business by selling diaper cakes and cupcake onesies, but we will see since that requires spending money before making money. 

Other than saving money, I plan to work on myself over the next year. Losing weight, getting fit, and being happier and healthier. Spending less money should help with that!

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