Don't Let Your Resolutions Blow Your Budget
One of the best things about a new year or a fresh start is to work on creating a better life for yourself. The resolutions you set often mean a change in your habits or situation, which may mean that your budget is going to change, as well. As you set each goal, you need to consider the financial impact of your resolutions so that you are not going to go broke. Each resolution may have an initial cost, a monthly fee or long-term costs. This article will help you plan for the added expenses so that you can reach your goals without breaking the budget.
Consider Your Initial Costs
Start by looking at the initial cost for each of your resolutions and determine how much you need to shell out to reach your goal. For example, if your goal is to lose weight, you may have an initial cost of buying new exercise clothes and shoes. You may also have a joining fee for a gym and a possible fee for kitchen tools like a scale that will allow you to measure your food properly. You may need to choose some of these costs to put off for a few months. It really depends on how tight your budget is and how many total goals you are working on each year. Planning your spending can help you to reach your goals since you will be able to spend the money needed on them.
Plan for Monthly Costs
These are the changes you are going to need to make in your monthly budget to reach your goals. If you are planning on working out at the gym, you will need to plan for a gym membership. If you are planning on changing the way you eat, like all whole foods or switching to organic food, you will need to adjust your monthly food budget accordingly. It may take a few months to fine tune how much it is going to cost you to cook in a new way or for the other supplies you need to reach your goals. You may decide to make some of these changes slowly or to look for lower cost alternatives. Take the time to shop around for the best value on your monthly expenses.
Remember Final Costs
These costs may be what you are working toward throughout the year. For example, if you set a goal to run a marathon, you will have the cost of the race, and possible travel to and from the race. The amount is really dependent on the activity and the race that you want to do. If you are promising yourself a reward when you reach your goal, then you should plan and budget for that reward too. If your goal is a big one, then it should not be too difficult to save up for it each month.
Make Your Plan Work
As you plan out each step to reach your goal, be sure to work that into your budget. This will help you to prioritize your goals along with your other spending. As some of your habits change, you may find that your spending changes as well, which can free up more money for your goals. For example, if you are committed to eating healthier and start cooking from home more often, you can cut back the amount you spend on eating out and your lunches each week. This money can put toward covering your food budget that is likely going up. Additionally, you may not spend as much on movies or video games if you are spending more time at the gym, and that can balance out your gym costs.
Also, consider hunting for deals to help you reach your goal. You may find that the community recreation center is more affordable than your gym or that you can use the gym offered by your apartment complex. Be budget conscious about your goals, and you can find ways to afford to work toward them. You may find support groups that can help you find more affordable ways of getting things done. If you are also working on financial resolutions like getting out of debt, you may want to limit your spending even more.