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How on earth is it already January?!? Yikes, 2019 went by in a flash, and all of a sudden, we are creating our January budget! What?! It is time for some budget reminders to get ready for January. But first…
Since it’s the beginning of a new year, I am going to encourage you to start strong and do some vision-casting for the year ahead. Think about what your financial goals will be for the year ahead. Are you working on saying good-bye to your debt? Or saving for a trip? What is coming up in the next 12 months that you should start planning for and adding into your budget? Think big picture – if you know your niece is getting married in Fiji in November, you better start saving right now!
You can also take a look at the year that we are just finishing and ask yourself a few questions. What did we do well financially? Where did we struggle? Which budget areas do we need to change? Are you ready for some January budget reminders? Let’s go!
What?! We just got through it, and I’m already harping about saving for Christmas. Here’s the thing, though – the earlier you start, the easier it is. Raise your hand if you didn’t save all year for Christmas and found it a bit stressful when shopping time arrived.
(this is me, with my hand up!)
I set an amount for Holidays and Gifts in my budget, but between Easter and birthdays and more birthdays… (Dex is at an age where we could hit a different party every weekend, no thank you.) …we never really built a stock-pile for Christmas. I made it work. But, next year, I’m doing it differently. I will have a Christmas fund that is ONLY for next December. And then, I will cash flow birthday gifts from my monthly budget, instead of from a sinking fund.
Anyways – bottom line – make sure you are saving for Christmas, starting NOW!
While we are talking holidays – don’t forget about good ole Valentine’s Day, coming up next month. The amount you spend depends on a lot of things, but if you go big, you better plan for that in January so you can afford it in February!
Higher Utility Costs
It’s chilly where we are, and these long winter days can be expensive. Make sure you adjust your utility budget to account for increased heating costs. (Or, if you live in the southern hemisphere where it is summertime right now, perhaps you need to account for the air conditioner to beat the heat!?)
Some bills we pay month to month, and some bills we pay a year at a time. If you pay insurance or gym fees all in one shot, make sure you have a monthly amount in your budget to plan for whenever that is due.
For example, if your car insurance is $600 a year, divide that by 12, and put away $50 each month so that you don’t have a big hit when the time comes.
You probably know if you are planning any major trips in the year ahead. Start budgeting now so that you aren’t stressed when it comes time to book your flights, and you only have five extra dollars left in your monthly budget.
New Monthly Bills
Did you buy the kids new phones for Christmas? That will change your monthly bill. Our kiddo is starting guitar lessons in January – something I will be sure to add to my monthly plan!
Tax season is just around the corner, in both Canada and the US. So if you generally owe money at tax time, or you pay someone to do your taxes for you, make sure you are prepped!
That’s it for January budget reminders! If you are wondering about the best way to start a budget, grab our FREE five-day Budget Bootcamp – we’ll get you set up and rolling on a budget in no time!
Plus, join us on Facebook to share your 2020 money goals (and be a part of a really awesome community)! Happy New Year, Reachers, and ALL the best in the year ahead!