Something about a new year makes me reevaluate my life. Whether you set goals or have a word of the year to go by, I think we can all agree that we love to save money! There are a few things I have done to line up our budget this year.
- We cut cable. It has now ALMOST been a year. We stream Netflix, Hulu ESPN and Disney+ but are saving $100 per month ($1,200.00 per year) NOT paying for cable. Our biggest concern was watching sports …we DO live in Louisiana after all. The ESPN app has everything that we need; we also have an antenna for anything that comes on major channels.
- We have two set days we eat out. This was a hard one … we were the family grabbing food to go multiple times a week. We have tried to stop in the past but without a set plan, we failed. For us, we now eat out on Friday nights and Sundays for lunch. Parents and kids both KNOW this and so we plan where we are going to go.
- We have a set grocery budget per week. I have tried monthly and biweekly (with our pay periods) and for our family, weekly works best. I place a Wal-Mart pick up order. Mostly because this stops me from buying everything I see, but also I can go to the checkout screen and see exactly where I am toward my budget at any point during the process. I schedule for a Saturday morning pick up. I leave my house and am back home within 30 minutes with our groceries. Money & time saver!
- We shop at Sam’s for bulk items. If you have storage space, this will save you on paper products, laundry detergent and household cleaning supplies. The key for us is to go in with specific items in mind and to use Sam’s Scan & Go on the app. That way, we checkout on our phones and do not have to stand in line to check out. They scan your phone as you leave the building.
- We gather with friends for dinner at their houses. We each bring a dish, eat, and visit. It is wonderful. This saves us from one night a week cooking and it gives us a sense of community.
These are some pretty small changes that make a big impact on our budget when we follow them. I like to remind myself that I am following a budget so that I can have money later in life, not because I have to. I want to teach our children how to respect money and to spend it on FUN things like vacation instead of stuff (or groceries, HAHA).