January is a great time for a financial reboot.
As we catch our breath post-holidays, many of us find our budgets gasping for air.
Financial counselor Amanda Christensen shares some advice to help us recover and regain control of our finances in 2024.
Find more advice from Amanda at www.utahmoneymoms.com.
Start the Year Off With a Financial Reboot
1. Groceries: Shop Your Pantry
When it comes to groceries, Amanda suggests taking inventory of your freezer and pantry and crafting meals around what you already have. Make a weekly ritual of this, minimizing your store visits and focusing on fresh items. It’s a savvy way to cut down your grocery bills without compromising on meals.
2. Utilities: Conduct a Home Energy Audit
Amanda’s tip for utilities involves planning a free home energy audit. Not only does it uncover potential sources of energy loss, but it also suggests improvements. For an immediate impact, be vigilant about turning off electronics in standby mode and lights left on unnecessarily. Those kilowatts add up, impacting your monthly expenses.
3. Gift Giving: Plan Ahead
For those who love showering gifts, Amanda advises planning a gift list for the entire year. Birthdays, anniversaries, teacher gifts—all accounted for. By totaling these expenses and dividing by 12, you can create a monthly savings plan. This way, when it’s time to buy those gifts, your budget won’t feel the pinch.
4. Medical Expenses: Leverage Wellness Programs
Take advantage of workplace wellness programs that offer incentives like cashback for completing certain health activities. Whether it’s a blood pressure test or mammogram, these programs can contribute to your financial well-being.
5. Date Night: Bring the Romance Home
A budget-friendly date night? Amanda suggests hosting a potluck-style gathering at home, making it official with invites. This way, you’re sharing the expenses and creating lasting memories without breaking the bank.
6. Clothing: Stock Up Smartly
Amanda’s advice is simple—wait. Hold off on non-urgent purchases, placing desired items in your online cart. You might just snag a price drop alert, making that purchase even sweeter.