I am sure glad spring is just around the corner, but as we are shaking off the winter weather how are you doing financially? Winter is of course one of the seasons where people tend to spend more money than they intend to. Between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's we can put out quite a bit on food, drink and gifts. Parents have a tendency to go into to debt to make sure their children have a good holiday. Husbands and wives often purchase expensive gifts for each other, as do dating couples. Then there are families who must purchase a gift for every member of the extended family, even if they really never interact with each other. Parties for work, church get togethers, old friends dropping in all make our spending go up.
So, now that the season of spending is over, what do you do next? First of all, don't stress out. Take a deep breath and then sit down with pen and paper to start a budget. On one sheet of paper write out all income. Next list each of your expenses. Be sure you consider all expenses, groceries, insurance, phone bills, gas, electric, garbage, internet, everything must be included. Then examine your list of expenses and see if there is anywhere you can cut back some. Some examples would be:
1. Eat at home more and schedule once a month to eat out.
2. Make sure everyone is turning lights off when they leave rooms, adjust your thermostat a couple of degrees and cut down on shower time.
3. Try to condense your shopping trips when you are going somewhere else to lower your gasoline expenditure.
4. Consider changing cell phone providers to get a lower bill.
5. Write down every penny you spend.
6, Contact the companies you owe and see if there is a way to lower your payment.
My husband and I did number 5 for a period of time and we were amazed at the unnecessary spending we did. A couple of sodas when we could have brought a drink from home. A little snack when we filled up the gas tank. Large sizing everything, because it was a great buy. Even purchasing items on sale because it was a substantial savings, even though we really did not need that item.
Another thing we started, that we still do, is to drop all our change in a jar. It amazed me how much the change added up to. Not too long ago I had about $60 in change in a jar. And my daughters love to talk about the time we saved $100 for food on a trip, just by saving our change.
Now, perhaps you have acquired a larger debt than you can possibly pay off. At that point you may have to consider borrowing from a company like Gladiator Lending. Companies like this can often help you with a small loan, or with consolidating your debts into one smaller payment.
No matter which choice you make, set down that you will control your finances next holiday season, so it won't get out of hand again. We try to budget what to spend on each family member. Occasionally we go together to purchase a larger gift. Figure out what will work for you and your family.
Have any ideas to share? Leave them in the comments. Perhaps your idea will help someone else. Thanks for stopping by today!! See you soon.