Thrifty Thursday – Budget Binder
Well friends, it’s 14 weeks until Christmas! Yes 14 weeks today! That’s a little more than 3 months and leaves just 98 shopping days. Just because Christmas is coming doesn’t mean that you need to go into extreme debt. We found a fun and FREE printable budget keeper that will help get you through the season. 30 Handmade Days has a great site with tons of homemade ideas. She also has recipes, printables, and a ton of ideas that might save you money in the months to come. Today we feature her free budget binder printables. This binder is a great way to get the entire family on board with hitting budget goals. Sometimes a little self accountability and team work are all it takes to get moving on great goals. Set some goals as a family with your new binder. If you still haven’t set aside money for Christmas, it’s not too late. Saving just $35.71 a week will net you $500 by Christmas. $71.43 will net you $1,000! How do you save $72 bucks a week? It might be easier than you think. Here are a couple of suggestions:
1. Coffee Drinkers: Make it at home! $4 a day x 98 days is $392 (and that’s just one drinker in the house). If you already make it at home and have a Kuerig, try using the reusable trap rather than the disposable cups. A canister of coffee is $10 for 240 cups. Thats just 4 cents a cup. The disposable cups are about 61 cents each. That doesn’t seam like a lot but it adds up to almost $60 between now and Christmas.
2. Produce: It’s Expensive! Don’t buy it at the grocery store if you don’t have to. Look for co-ops and local farms. You’ll support you community and save a bundle. If you don’t have time to research markets. Just ask friends to give you produce…Yes you heard me. This is the season for harvesting. Often times our friends and neighbors have an abundance of one kind of fruit or vegetables that they are eager to give away before they go bad. Put a post on Facebook asking if anyone has extra fruit or veggies. You would be amazed at what you’ll get! You’re saving will be in the hundreds.
3. Start a change jar: Tell your kids that all the money in there over the next 3 months can be used for their Christmas money! They can use it to buy a gift for you, their friends, teachers, etc.. These are gifts we tend to forget about and don’t budget for. They can add up, but so can your change! Knowing they get the money, your kids will be more willing to contribute to the jar.
4. Dry-cleaning: It’s very expensive! Try wearing less items that need to be dry-cleaned over the next couple of months. If you have to, iron what you can at home. 1 shirt is about $7 to dry-clean and $3 to launder and press. 10 items over the next 3 months can save $70+
5. Eat at home: It’s a “no brainer” we know, but this is a big one! Kids, husbands, wives, all need to eat lunch and it costs a bundle. Prices are going up not down and healthy eating is even more expensive. For those that eat out every day, quit it! It’s hard to even get a lunch for under $5 anymore. 70 days of lunches at $5 is $350.
If you’re already doing all of these things find out what is effecting your budget that isn’t a necessity. It could be a special drink at the gas station, buying an app on your phone, saving on gas by carpooling, get a new insurance bid, plan your menu around sale items, or making your family outings free options the next couple of months.
We hope we’ve helped kick start your budget planning.
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