Money Mondays, Gathering Time

December is here and that means it is the gathering time! This is the time of the year to gather all that is important to you and bring them together. Families are gathering at homes, around the table and into your wallet. LOL Most people part with old clothes, and furniture time of the year. It is also the end of the fiscal year! But have no fear, because you will be gathering all of your receipts, bank statements and bills. You are smart and savvy and will be figuring out how to make the next year livable!

Did you keep all of these items through out the year? I hope so! If not, that is a task for the new year. Grab a highlighter, and a quite room and go through your bank statements. Highlight restaurants, coffee shops, and clothing/gaming/toy stores. These often are un-budgeted items that effect your monthly cash flow. When you total up for the month, then the year, evaluate that number. Is it too high? Was a certain month worse than another? What happened? What is your proposed solution?

When working with young adults in money management classes, I've learned that many people don't prepare themselves for their behaviors and they don't make changes often enough. Prepare yourself for 2013! Make a change for 2013! If a monthly average of $300 for restaurants was too much, set a different goal and stick to it! Use a different bank account, a re-loadable gift card, or set cash aside. Stick to the concept that when its gone, its gone and do not dip into other funds.

My restaurant goal for next year will be no more than $120 a month or $30 per weekend. I will set $60 aside per check and will spend it wisely. Clothing is not a problem as I only buy one shirt, pant or pair of shoes every other month and I shop clearance with coupons. Can we say 60% off of $30? Coffee shops will take a hit next year! I'm limiting myself to one trip per week! I usually only go once or twice, but I'm being strict at once a week. I will place $20 on my Starbucks or Caribou card once a month and when its gone, so be it. I began this habit this month, so 2013 won't be too hard on me. Give these steps a try as soon as you can, but make 2013 livable and as stress free as possible.

From, Maruki

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