Sunday, January 10, 2021

Money Habits I Want to Learn in 2021

When I was a kid, saving money was easy.

I had a pink piggy bank on the shelf above my bed. Whenever I found change or received $5 in a card from my grandmothers, I would stick it in the piggy bank and promptly forget about it until I decided that there was a toy or cd that I just had to have.

One time I bought a Skip it. Another time I bought Now That's What I Call Music! 4. What can I say? We all make mistakes. 

Photo by Kristina Paukshtite from Pexels

But now that I'm an adult, saving isn't as easy as it used to be. After I pay my bills and transfer a very small amount to my savings account, there's not much left to work with.

So this year I'm going to try to learn some new money habits in an attempt to spend less, save more, and live more frugally.

1. Spend less on food

I know that food is one of the categories in my budget that I routinely overspend. But this year I'd like to change that. I've been working for a couple of weeks on eating out less and I've been successful at that. Next I am working on emptying my pantry and freezer (eating the food that I already have ) and trying to live by the same grocery budget each week. More details to come!

2. Only go to Target or Wal Mart when absolutely necessary

I live in a relatively rural town and I'm very lucky in that most of the stores that I need are right down the road. The grocery store, gas station, and Wal Mart Super Center are just a quick two minutes from my house. But going to Wal Mart isn't good for me because I get caught up in all of the non necessary things I can by. Candles? I want them. Fleece hoodie? So cozy, I definitely want that.

It's very easy for things to get our of control.

So this year I am pledging to only go to places like Target or Wal Mart when I absolutely need to - or when I have a specific item that I need.

3. Take my credit card off my Amazon account

A while ago, I put my credit card on my Amazon account because I needed to make a larger purchase. But after that, I just left it on there. And let me tell you... it is MUCH easier to spend without thinking when your credit card is on your Amazon account and you know you won't have

This is not good for me and I will be making that update very soon. I will only be online shopping with my debit card because that is money that I already have. Mark my word!

4. Put together a more substantial emergency fund

According to Dave Ramsey, the first step is to save $1,000 for an emergency fund. I have done this, so that is good. But I would like to put some more money into an emergency fund. I'm not sure what amount but probably 6 months worth. I'm lucky that I got to keep my job during the pandemic but a lot of people are not in the same boat.

I'm realizing more than ever that the world is unstable and that we need to be prepared.

5.  Start a savings fund for my dog

Hear me out. I was talking with a fellow dog owner (one of my boyfriend's friends) and she was explaining to me about how as someone with multiple dogs, she has an account where she puts away money for them because as they get older, they need more vet visit and procedures and medications and whatnot.

I can't remember who it was with or what it was called, so I'm going to have to ask her for some more information. My dog is only 3 years old so she's young and healthy, but she's an important part of my family and I want to be financially prepared for when she needs extra care someday.

6. Keep track of my budget & spending

I did this on and off in 2020 and I really liked it when I did it! But then I would forget or I would lose my notebook and it just didn't work out. So I bought a new journal for 2021 to track my spending as well as to keep track of my saving and budgeting goals.

7. Stop using credit cards

The whole reason I have credit cards is for emergencies or big purchases, and that has completely gotten away from me. During 2021 I would like to stop using my credit cards , pay off my debt, and go back to only using my credit cards for gas ( and maybe my plane ticket to Iceland, if that winds up working out this year).

What habits are you looking to build this year?  Let me know in the comments. And if you're a cat or dog owner and you have any recommendations for how to save for your pet, please let me know about that as well.

xo Marian

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