If you have noticed that you have let your budget slide a bit over the past few months, you are not alone. Between the stress of kids constantly being home and the uncertainty of Covid-19, a lot of habits have changed for families across the nation. Having meals delivered constantly and grocery orders dropped off has been a saving grace for many families alike. However, if you are ready to get your finances back on track this fall, keep on reading. Here are great ways to recover from your summertime spending:
Adjust Your Routine
Having a routine is the quickest way back to financial recovery. Routine is what makes a habit stick. Now is the time to reflect on what routines are working for your family and which routines are causing chaos. Consider the events that your family partakes in each day.
Morning time routine/getting ready for work and school
After school and work routine
Evening and dinner time routine
In each scenario, consider what aspects are causing you and your family to be late, forget items necessary for work and school, or what things require you to end up spending money (forgetting to pack a lunch, etc.). Diagnosing a problem with your routine is a surefire way to save big on time and money.
Tackle A Meal Plan
One budget item that simply cannot be eliminated is your food budget. However, you can save big bucks by being crafty in this area. You can expect to simplify your shopping list, save money, reduce waste and make your days run much more smoothly.
Of course, this approach takes some time and planning. It is also the perfect opportunity to get your whole family involved. Have the kids pick out their favorite meals and find some new options to try. When you have a completed menu, you can just make sure your grocery list has those items on it. This prevents you from running to the store midweek to pick up an ingredient or two.
Keep in mind, your plan can be flexible. You can then designate a night or two out or a night for leftovers. The long-term financial results will be encouraging.
Get Organized, Stay Organized
It is easy to let clutter build up and your home to become disorganized. Now is the perfect time to declutter and get your home cleaned up (especially for the holidays). Organizing and decluttering does not have to be overwhelming. You can tackle one room a day or one per weekend. It is ideal to send some things off to donate, recycle and get important documents properly filed away.
It is also important to organize your finances. It is time to get real about your summer spending. You will want to research what you spent over the summer months and where you can cut those extra expenses in your current or ideal budget. This is a great launching board not only into the holiday months but also into the upcoming new year.
Set Your Goals
Creating defined and achievable goals is your ultimate end game. In order to maintain financial goals, you should follow these simple steps to turn your dreams into reality:
Make Specific Goals: Your financial goals should be specific and measurable. This is the only way you will meet your goal is if it is defined and a measurable end result.
Define Your Why: You need to decide why you want to achieve your goals. Be specific and go beyond just wanting to save some money. What does saving this money mean for you and your family?
Set a Deadline: All goals need a timeline. Set that due date and stick with it.
Breakdown the Plan: Your goal should have several bite-sized pieces. Break down your plan into monthly objectives or specific plans for each of your paychecks.
Sometimes it takes a big change to make real progress. Many people resort to a spending freeze in order to jumpstart their success. This can be done in several ways and for a period of time, you decide on. For instance, you can choose to spend money on nothing (besides bills) for one month or just one week. It is a great way to bulk up your savings and test your patience.
Getting back on financial track this fall does not have to be overwhelming. It does take some time and patience to identify the areas you and your family are falling short on. By developing healthy habits and routines, you can expect to see big changes when your goals are well-defined.