When was the last time you spent an entire day looking at your budget?
Yes, a day.
At a time when most of us are quarantined to our homes, time has gone from fleeting, to something we suddenly have plenty of. Rather than bing-watching that latest Netflix special on your next day off, consider something less exciting, but more beneficial for you and your financial future. Time to sit down for a date with your budget ... okay go ahead and grab a glass of wine as well.
I recently did this very thing and I came away with a game-plan to TRIPLE what I saved last year. Now, that’s not to say your situation will be the same, but it really is amazing what sitting down with your budget will do.
Here’s what I discovered.
- My mortgage interest rate was too high, so I refinanced my home.
- My automobile insurance was too high, so I called around and found a better deal.
- My cable bill was too high, so I bought an antenna (seriously). I realized I have Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney Plus, why do I need cable?
- My internet bill was too high. Why was it this high? I needed to know. Turns out I’m paying $14 / month rental fee for a router I could actually purchase for $65 and not pay that $14 / month rental fee. It also turned out they have a package promotion on their website where I could save even more.
- My cell phone bill was too high, so I paid off my cell phone.
- My eating out and discretionary spending was too high, so I sat down with my wife and figured out a game plan so we can get this in check.
- My side business income was too low in my off season, so I came up with a game plan to add more gigs and more income during my downtime.
After this exercise I realized I could save thousands more per year than last year with just a few phone calls and some minor life changes.
Here’s the catch. It took a SOLID day of going through each budget item with a fine-tooth comb. Each item I would look at it in depth. Why is my cable bill this number? Is there anything I can do to lower it?
There is power in intentionality. There is power in looking at things from multiple angles. When you are not distracted and sit down with each budget item, you start to realize how a few dollars here and there will end up making a big impact on your budget for the long term.
I encourage you, if you haven’t done it lately, sit down with your budget — each line item — and carefully inspect it to see if you can be saving money.
An added benefit of doing this for me, was discovering a vulnerability in my insurance policy I didn’t realize I had. I fixed this and saved myself a major potential problem down the road.
Don’t just let life happen to you, this is a way to take it by the horns and take control of your finances. Take a day, sit down and plug away at your budget!