AJ: A few years ago when Kirby and I started down a path of more aggressive saving we started with a specific goal and it still continues to drive our decisions and lifestyle day in and day out. November, however, is always a struggle for us. We have two annual charity events that take place in November for organizations we care about greatly, family birthdays, and of course, Thanksgiving and the start of the holiday gift-buying season. So in an attempt to juggle all of our priorities and maintain our goals, we’re issuing a November Challenge – to save an extra $100.
KJ: So with the challenge upon us, what inspiration will we draw upon to find an extra $100 to cut to get closer to our goals of home renovation projects (yep, still have a number of things on our home’s to-do list)? Angela is a budget cutting specialist, so I think our extra $100 will come partially from our regular food budget (soup season anyone!?), some from keeping our home just a little bit cooler, and our “everything else” budget where all our discretionary expenses are grouped. Coupon searching, here we come!
Now it’s your turn
What’s going to get cut in your family’s budget this month? It’s only $25 per week, how hard could that be? Maybe it will mean one fewer meal out each week, cutting back on Starbuck’s, shopping just a little bit less, finding a great discount on something you already purchase, or using grocery coupons from weekly ads to stretch your budget just a little bit more. Here are just a few suggestions of how you can make it happen:
Separate your wants from your needs – When you learn to separate what you want from what you need, you will find budgeting decisions can be much easier. It allows you to think about what it is you need versus what you could live without.
Make a list – Make a list of all of your large, anticipated purchases coming up in November. Maybe it’s a fun thing like a nice meal out with friends, a new suit, or a couples’ massage. Maybe it’s something less fun like veterinary visits, car troubles, or home repairs. Once you have created your list, start to look at what you can do to either (1) reduce the expense – maybe you can share a meal, buy one less drink, or use a coupon, or (2) eliminate the expense. Sure, it’s not a great idea to push that vet visit or put off a home repair that’s urgent, but if your home update isn’t needed this month, maybe it can wait.
Start a budget – It’s easier to find a way to cut an expense when you know how you spend the money to begin with! Try building a budget to understand where your money goes each month.
Everyone has different goals and priorities, so there’s no one size fits all. Your $100 could come from one category, or it could come from a lot of budget categories. A Starbuck’s here, keeping it a couple degrees cooler in your home, and cutting out a couple drinks at the bar…you’ll be surprised with how much you can stretch your budget when you put your mind to it!
- What are you going to do to cut $100 in your November budget?
What do you plan to do with the extra savings?
Tell us how you made it work.
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