I so want to save money, pay down debt and learn to live this year. So I set some goals for myself this year that each month I look for ways to save money.
I started off right after Christmas doing our yearly budget for each month so I know what comes in and what goes out. I figure if I can account for it and create a budget for things than I can control the flow of money. I hate the feeling of bleeding money and the holidays are the worst for that.
So I am planning out some things to save money, pay down debt, limit excess spending.
Last June I started doing cash for gas, allowance and groceries and we have stuck to it for the most part. I plan out meals each week and limit how much we go out to eat. I realized that we go out so infrequent now, that I really don't know where to go eat anymore because I can pretty much make it at home.
I have learned to make the rose pasta sauce my kid adores at the Italian restaurant. I can make better than Olive Garden's Chicken and Gnocchi soup (I need to share that recipe). Pizza night is way more fun making it ourselves but I do admit to ordering it on occasion. The added benefit, we are eating way healthier and we either lose or maintain our weight when we eat in. Over the holidays, we ate out more because of the family being here, and I felt sluggish.
The other thing I am doing is the 52 week challenge which should be our travel money for next Christmas. I had some already cut chalkboard labels and stuck that on a big mason jar for our savings. Our first buck went in this week. I also heard of people doing it in reverse and starting out with the 52 bucks first. Either way, my goal is stick to it.
I also decided I needed to figure out a way to stress less about the holidays this coming December so, I decided that each month I would put away a set amount for presents so by December I should have it all covered for the people I need to buy for Christmas. I also plan on trying to purchase gifts as I see them for people and tuck them away.
Along with that I have my monthly folder where I put all the stuff for the month in there. I have Birthday cards ready to go for the next six months, as well as my holiday envelopes, and anything else that might need taking care of over the four weeks. I also write myself notes for the next year.
Overall I am trying to stay as organized and on track as possible for 2014. I have goals each month I would like to meet both personally and possibly professionally as well.