One of the greatest things about a new year is the chance to start again in so many ways. One of the ways we get to start over is in the area of finances. I’m about to sit down to re-work our family’s budget. So I thought I’d share a few budget-making tips at the start of the year.
1. Review Last Year
Look over your 2014 spending. What did you get right? What did not work? How did you do with your debt? Did you reduce or eliminate it or did you add to it? How about your grocery budget? How does your savings account look? Did you pay all your bills on time or did you run into late payments and bounced checks? Take an honest look at it all and figure out how you’re going to fix your failures. Let’s do better this year!
2. Re-evaluate Your Budget
Is your budget accurate? Is it working for you or do you need to make changes? Did you add a gymnastics class for one of your children? Did your toddler get potty trained? Cut that diaper cost out of your budget and take a second to congratulate yourself on a job well done. 😉 You might need to review your budget with your spouse. An inaccurate budget is like no budget at all. So, make it count.
3. Predict Extra Expenses
Take a look at last year’s “extra” expenses and make some educated predictions about ones that may come up this year. Then, make a plan to start saving for those. Extra expenses may include special trips, dental work that needs to be done, summer camps, and even Christmas presents.
4. Ask for Discounts
Take a look at your bills and look on each company’s website to see if they have any offers or discounts available. You can also just call customer service to find out about any deals or discounts that may be available to you.
What do you do to make an effective, successful budget?
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