Happy 2016, folks! January 1 is such a good feeling, isn’t it? So promising. Tis the season for resolutions! I know a lot of people are against making resolutions and a lot of people also make a lot of resolutions that they don’t end up keeping. (Myself included.)
Despite the bad rap resolutions get, I enjoy making lists and I think it’s smart to evaluate your choices/lifestyle/character and be honest with yourself about what you would like to improve. I don’t think you have to wait until a new year to do it, but it’s as good a time as any and I support anyone who wants to challenge themselves to be or do better.
I’ve pinpointed several things I want to work on this year, but my absolute NUMBER ONE goal for 2016 is to get my money right. I’m awful when it comes to finances! Yes, my bills are always paid on time, often even early! But the embarrassing truth is I have nothing in savings and I’m bleeding hundreds of dollars a month.
I did the math and the numbers don’t lie. After I pay for everything I need to pay for in a month – all bills, loans, rent, gas and groceries – there is a nice little chunk essentially unaccounted for.
Money that could be used to:
- Pay off my car YEARS early or
- Put THOUSANDS of dollars in savings or
- Go on a cool trip or
- All of the above, eventually!
Money that is actually going to:
- TJ Maxx? Target?
- Protein bars
- SERIOUSLY, IDK!
I believe that life should be enjoyed and that it’s a-okay to treat yo’self sometimes! But I also know that I need to be realistic about the kind of sacrifices that are necessary if I want to save money for an emergency, travel, or a house someday. My goal this year is to figure out where that line is and find a happy spot where I’m not depriving myself of anything but also being smart about saving to achieve some short- and long-term goals. It will definitely be an ongoing process.
My first step is a No-Spend-January. I’m challenging myself to ONLY pay for necessities for the entire month. Again, that’s bills, loans, rent, gas and groceries. I’m hoping this will act as a “reset” and help me build some good habits to take into the rest of the year! I’m a little scared, to be honest, but I know it will help me realize how much mindless spending I’m doing and what I can and can’t cut back on.
There are a few exceptions. (Duh.)
Things I already had planned for the month that I will not be canceling:
- Dinner with a friend I haven’t seen since I switched jobs
- Bday gift for my sister
- Gym membership, healthy food, doggy daycare for Herb if we’ll be gone all day or overnight (Things that may seem “extra” but that I deem “necessities” – I think it’s important to be honest about these and know what I just have to work into my budget!)
I have really been looking forward to Kansas City Restaurant week, which is this month, but I know if I want to be serious about this challenge, I have to skip it. I’ve also paused my Ipsy and Hulu for the month. I mean business!
I think the hardest thing for me will be eliminating my morning coffee stops. I usually stop by Dunkin or Starbucks a couple of times a week! I know it adds up like crazy and I’m hoping that once I see how much I can save it’ll be easier to resist.
Good luck to all my other resolution setters out there. You can do it! If you have any tips for saving, please let me know… I need all the help I can get. 🙂