Having a budget gives you the most control of where your money goes. If you have goals of saving for retirement, buying a home or car, paying for a child’s education, then this is the tool to help you achieve those goals. Without it, you may just keep asking yourself “where did all my money go?”
Consider the tips below as you adjust your new budget this year!
Evaluate your TV entertainment costs.
Cable TV can be very costly these days. There’s a good chance you already have fast speed internet at home, so why not consider cutting out cable and switching to a streaming service? Many have free trials so you can test how it works and if your favorite shows are available before cutting the cable. Just remember if you turn off cable, you can always turn it back on if it doesn’t work out! Try looking into popular services like YouTube Live, Hulu, SlingTV, or AT&T Now.
Can you relate to my friend’s experience and why he switched to streaming tv?
Two years ago my wife and I decided to try and evaluate what we call “lifestyle creep.” We realized that we were paying $260 per month for cable. The most ridiculous aspect of this business relationship was that I forgot that we were paying $15 a month for each cable box and we had 3. Our family and friends love to get together at our house and eat dinner and watch movies and so we were slow to change but once we found an “over-the-top” service that gave us ALL of the same movie channels and real-time experience that we were looking for at third of the price we were willing to take a chance. At this point, we pay about $70/mth for the same thing we were receiving before.
Consider your food costs.
The more you plan, the better control you will have. Instead of browsing down the grocery aisle or thinking up random meal ideas at the store, write out a meal plan for the week before you go. This also takes time, but it works like a sub-budget.
If you give yourself $500 for groceries, then you can plan how to spend that money specifically to make it stretch. Also deciding on where to shop or buying store brand items that have the lowest prices can help stretch that budget category. Don’t forget to utilize grocery stores online coupon wallets (HEB, Wal Mart, etc). It may not seem like much, but saving a few dollars every trip helps your overall budget.
Finally, decide if going out for a night out is really in your budget. You shouldn’t feel guilty for spending money on a good meal from time to time—you deserve it after working hard! However, if your routine involves too many expensive meals each week, it may be time to reconsider making a change.
For help with your budget, reach out to a Financial Advisor today!