This is the part I have been looking forward to! Sharing tips and tricks to saving money!! Because why else would I be sharing this year long series of how to improve life as a whole?
I think because I worked in medical for so long, I have this phase system to everything in my life. Which is probably why “
Phase 1: Investigate. Figure out how you got here and what you owe.
Phase 2: Explore. Start mapping out a budget and find out what works for you.
Now we embark on phase 3. How we can save money and cut our expenses to ease the stress of bill pay. Today I think I will focus on just the 3 basics being on time, planning, and asking questions.
Being on Time
This is the easiest thing you can do. Plan out when your bills are due and make sure you pay on time.
It is amazing how much you will accumulate over time in late fees even if it is just 1-2 days late.
If you know you will be short, or you are having a problem making the minimal payments do not hesitate to call the company. Many of them will give you an extension, move the due date every month to a date that works best for you, or even offer some other solutions like a limited time lover APR to ease some of the stress.
Need a Calendar to Plan:
Once upon a time, there was a girl named Leah who spent over $1000 a month on groceries and home goods. She did not meal plan or budget. She could never figure out where all her money went. That girl was me.
I am not the only person on the plant that really dislikes meal planning. I mean being told what to eat every day of the week… boring.
But! Here is the truth, meal planning doesn’t have to be like that. You can put Chicken and Potatoes with veggies one day and Shrimp and Rice the next. Then when the day comes that’s when determine the flavors.
Meal planning has saved me $100’s a month. I mean really under $500 a month because I plan along with what is on sale. If it is not on sale that week it is not for us.
The other bonus is my family is on the same page. There is no “Mom what’s for dinner?” Plus, if I get busy the husband knows what to cook… well, sort of.
Another thing that really helped was implementing grocery shopping days. If we need it this is my one and only day to pick it up. This reduces impulse buying, reducing my monthly grocery bill.
Need a meal plan work up?
There is one more planning thing I want to share before moving on and that is a chore list. My friends for years have been asking me how I do it all. Work, run all my errands, keep a clean house, cook dinner every night, and somehow now manage to homeschool my kids. The trick to all this is in the chore list.
Never spend more than 30 minutes a day in total cleaning. Laundry is done 3 times a week, and dishes every night, the whole family does their part and on Fridays, if we all have reached the majority of our accomplishments, we get a family fun night. The kids get their parents on the weekend and our stress levels have lowered because of it.
Need a Chore Chart?
This one can be a tough one because for the most part it is facing your ultimate issue which is debt and the inability to pay it off in a timely manner. We touched base on this in the post Timing is Everything.
But! It really works. When my husband got laid off and we were both jobless a few of our credit card companies offered to drop our APR for 6 months just to make it more manageable while we figure thing out. It was nice and did help ease some of the pressure.
The other thing to do is investigate all your insurances, Medical, Auto, Home and you get the drift. These things seem to take a lot of money but seem to end up on the back burner. Shop around get the most coverage for your budget, you may be surprised to find out you can get more coverage for less.
Let’s say you love your agent and you don’t want to lose them. Still shop around find out what others can offer then bring it to the table, discuss it with your agent, and see what they can do.
There are simple everyday things you can do to lower your monthly spending. Always try the less dramatic approach and see the difference it can make before moving forward.
Financial Task this month dive into the small changes that will make the biggest difference. Update your budget and map out due dates on the calendar.
Self-Task this month: Write down what makes you awesome, what makes you special, what makes you. These things matter learn to embrace them.