Budgeting Tips to Recuperate from the Holiday Season
The holiday season is an expensive time of year, and it can be stressful thinking of how to get back on your feet after this season of spending! Don’t worry, you’re not too far over your head! There are some simple and easy steps you can incorporate into your lifestyle this year to ensure you and your family recuperate from the holiday season! Follow these foolproof budgeting tips.
Create a Budget
The first thing you’ll need to do to start recuperating from the holiday season is to create your budget! A budget does not have to be complicated. Simply following the 50-30-20 budgeting rule is an easy way to keep your budgeting simple. 50% of your income should go to essentials and necessities, 30% should go to anything else you may need or want, and 20% of your income should be set aside for savings.
To streamline your budgeting, creating an excel spreadsheet to manage your expenses and spending is a great place to start. On your excel spreadsheet include your fixed expenses such as your rent, insurance, car payments, and additional monthly payments. Next calculate the amount of money that is left over for your spending. Determine what you will use the additional 30% on including groceries, clothes, or eating out. Then the final 20% goes straight to your savings! By creating this excel spreadsheet and establishing a rule for your budgeting, you will be surprised at how fast your savings will rise!
Reduce Unnecessary Spending
If you’re unable to make the 50-30-20 budget, it may mean you need to reduce some unnecessary spending. Although it is okay to treat yourself to dinner out or a coffee every once in a while, after the holidays it is important to cut back on spending as much as possible. Rather than spending money on breakfast and coffee on your way to work, meal prep make-ahead breakfast options and brew your favorite coffee at home. Cooking your meals at home will help you save money and also keep you feeling healthy by eating meals that nourish your body better!
To ensure that you are reducing unnecessary spending, make a grocery list and be sure to stick to it! Order groceries online and pick them up at your local grocery store to reduce temptations to buy additional items in the store.
If you see something that you would like to purchase that is nonessential, write it down and think about the purchase for a day or two. Think about whether the item fits inside your budget, whether you need the item, and whether there is an alternative option. Thinking through your purchases will help ensure that you are not overspending and not purchasing items you do not need.
Reduce Monthly Spending
Are you paying for subscriptions you don’t use, or maybe that you don’t need? Are you spending an uncomfortable amount of money on a car or house payment every month? Maybe your credit card debt feels like more than you can handle. There’s solutions to all of these problems and more. Go through your subscriptions and eliminate those you’re not using often, or subscriptions you just don’t need. Many times, people pay for subscriptions to avoid advertisements… just watch the ad! An extra 30 seconds of your time could save you hundreds of dollars!
If your credit card debt is overwhelming you and never seems to get any smaller, make a little more than the minimum payment every month. If the minimum is $25, make a $40 payment each month. You can even use the money you save from canceling all those subscriptions to pay off your credit card debt faster.
Lastly, if you’re driving a super nice car with a super large payment, it might not be a bad idea to give that up. You have plenty of time in your life to be able to splurge on a nice car. While you’re in a tough spot financially, it might be better to get a less expensive, but still reliable car that has a much lower monthly payment. Don’t forget to get a car with good gas mileage too!
After you have kept up with your budget for a while, treat yourself for your diligence and for your perseverance! Budgeting is a lifestyle change, and it is important to continue working hard so you can recuperate after every holiday season! Treat yourself to a free afternoon at your favorite park, or have a cozy night in with your family watching a movie with your favorite snacks. Doing these simple, yet relaxing and rewarding activities will save you money as well! Every once in a while, splurge on a fun night out… sticking to the budget of course!
Last but not least, cut down on your spending by ensuring your HVAC system is working properly. If your HVAC system is not working its best, then your energy bills can skyrocket as your system has to work harder to make your home comfortable. Without proper maintenance, your system might also need costly repairs more often. Spending a small amount for annual maintenance twice a year, could save you some big bucks in the long run! At Stricklin Mechanical, we offer pre-priced maintenance plans so you don’t have extra unexpected costs later down the line! Have questions? Contact us!
The last thing to worry about after an expensive holiday season is unexpected HVAC expenses. Reduce the risk of unexpected costs by scheduling routine maintenance with Stricklin Mechanical. If you are seeing any signs of a faulty HVAC system, contact us at 256-841-6003 or visit our website at https://stricklinmechanical.com/. You can also email us at [email protected]. We are here for you!