Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”- Mark Twain

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

First Thing's First - Discover Your Budget & Shave Off Extras!

Although this seems like it would be a given, writing out your exact monthly budget can really be an eye opener and a great starting point to stuffing your piggy bank. I thought I knew my budget before I started my money saving journey, but truthfully I didn't know it as well as I thought I did until I seen it written out in front of me.

I started by writing out my monthly after deductions income. I get paid every two weeks, the same amount (salary). Next, I listed my re-occurring monthly bills. Car payment, rent, telephone bill, power bill, cell phone, gas, groceries, etc. This was really an eye opener as to how much I have left over. To be fair, I do live with my boyfriend, and we split living expenses right down the middle.

My next step was to shave off what I could from my monthly bills. Do I really need the long distance plan on my home phone? I rarely ever call anyone out of my calling area. Answer, no. One less monthly charge. Do I really need super-ultra-amazingly-jet-like wireless high speed internet? No, not really, regular high speed internet is just fine for me, considering between my boyfriend and I, we might use it one hour a day. Many monthly bills have little extras that can be shaved off, if you sit down and look at them. Any savings off of these bills will result in more money in your piggy bank rather than in the piggy bank of a huge company.

By downsizing just these two bills, I've saved $10.00 per month on my home phone bill and $20.00 per month off of my internet bill. Total savings of $30.00 per month, or $360.00 per year!

I then tallied up all of my bills, many now lower than they had been since I'd gotten rid of the extras I didn't need. I realized that I can pay all of my monthly living expenses in one (whole) pay cheque. This leaves the second monthly pay cheque all mine. Funny how I'd never noticed this before. It seemed like I was always strapped for cash, but come to find out I just wasn't spending wisely. The first thing that popped into my mind was Scotia Bank's slogan "You're Richer Than You Think". LOL!

By doing this simple step, it brought me back to reality of my spending budget. Now that there is a good starting point, working on other areas of the budget can take priority.


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