Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Its Resolution Time!

Everyone is making resolutions right now; new year, new you...etc, etc.
Mine is always lose a few pounds and thus far, I've been doing good but my real goal this year is to get better with my/our money. We have little saved since we are paying down medical, credit card and college loan debts. So, I have made a resolution to tighten my spending belt and not only pay off these debts this year, but also start contributing to our retirement funds as well as getting a 6 to 8 month emergency fund going and maybe even a little vacation fund so we can go somewhere next Christmas!

I have been reading a lot online about how-to and these are some of the best tips I've found;
Sign up for fee-free checking and savings accounts (as well as credit cards without an annual fee)
If you got/are getting a yearly raise, put it straight into a Roth IRA and if you put in just $8,000 a year at 5% for the next 35 years, it will grow to $500,000!
Pay down credit card debt first; highest interest to lowest, regardless of the amount owed. I know that makes sense, but that is always a hard one for me; I see a higher owed amount and want to pay that off first!
Impulse control (my biggest issue!); if you want to make a purchase over $50, ask the shop to hold it for 24 hours. Check out your finances and if you still want it and can afford it, then go ahead. I always get caught up in the thrill of the sale or bargain or my wants and forget I can’t buy everything! I think this is how Lilly ends up with most of our money; deals at via stores or putting the sale on sale.
Eat out less (yes, also a no-brainer but for those like myself who detest cooking, this one is hard!) I already am trying to go back to packing rather than eat at the school cafeteria (delicious but overpriced!) and trying to limit us to two dinners out a week (it sounds like a lot to many, but we used to eat out 5 or 6 times a week. Yes, that’s how much I hate cooking and my hubs doesn’t know how!)
Allow money for indulgences or else you will go crazy and over-spend more than before! This is one I know to be true; which is why I have budgeted for two meals a week out and less funds for grocery shopping since its cheaper than eating out. The money we save from not eating out, will be put into savings since we already allocate funds for debt repayment.

What did I miss that is your sure-fire way to save money and do it well!
I hope you all are sticking with your New Year’s resolutions!


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