Many families make a New Years resolution around money. Most want to save more and get out of debt. Many of today’s families are looking for simple ways to put money back in their wallets. This makes sense. I know I am one of them, I want to save more, and do more with the dollars I do spend. So how can families take simple easy steps to save money this year:
1. Breathe-remember to get financially fit takes time and practice just like with any sport you train for, except hiccups along the way and know that it is ok.
2. Get a plan. You can never reach a destination without a plan. A budget is a road map to get to where you want to go.
3. Track. Every good athlete tracks their progress or has a coach who watches out for them. By tracking what you are doing you can find simple little ways to do just a bit better.
What are some easy adjustments your family can make to help you pay down debt or save or even better do both?
I went out for a lunch recently with a friend who has spent the last year tracking every dollar in and out of her house. She was surprised to see how much she really did spend on certain categories. I think we all get a nice wake up call when we track spending.
So what are 3 big categories we can all look for simple ways to save?
Groceries- No home can survive without a grocery bill. But how can you do better at the grocery store? Do you price match? Bulk buy? Shop the sales and learn about sales cycles? There are choices you can make today to cut your food budget. It might be about buying less processed junk–I know in our house we are working on that this year. It might be about reducing waste- do you realize how much food we throw away every year?
Entertainment- Do you really need that night out at a bar? Why not make it a games night at home with friends and why not make it potluck. Love Movies, instead to hitting the theather ever week with can rack up over the year make the library and Netflix your entertainment hubs. You can also look for free events or low cost ones for your family to enjoy. In every community they do exist. I know here in Toronto there are free events every single week.
Travel– There are many ways to save on travel. From looking at when you go, high season vs low season, to choice of location, to could you have just as much fun with a camping trip to a provincial park or a road trip. If a train trip is your thing and you live in Canada, Via Rail tickets go on sale often, watch for them and plan your trip. My daughter and I have traveled by train extensively in Canada and we both enjoy it. We also like to go camping, nothing beats smores around a campfire.
There are so many easy ways to cut costs and save money every year. Just take a look at where you are spending and look for creative ways you can reduce it.
What are some of the ways you are thinking of reducing your costs this year?