The end of the year is rapidly approaching. A new year is the perfect time to fix any financial mistakes you’ve made, and any bad spending habits you may have to set your family and your budget on solid ground for the upcoming new year. If you’re like most people, you may not know how to begin fixing those issues. These 10 frugal tasks you need to do before the end of the year are a great place to start.
10 Frugal Tasks to Do Before the End of the Year
Do a financial audit
If you’ve never done a yearly financial audit, now is the time. To do one, download all of your bank statements for the year. Go through each one and make a list of the unnecessary expenses you had. Total them up. This will allow you to see just how much money you wasted this year hopefully making it so you can fix it next year if need be.
Reconciling Your Checking Account
These days most people don’t write checks, which means they also don’t reconcile their checking accounts. This is a bad idea because you can easily miss fraudulent transactions, wasted money and more. If you haven’t done it recently, make certain you reconcile your checking account before the end of the year.
Find new ways to reuse things to save money
Reusing something instead of throwing it out is a great way to save money. Before the year ends, find ten or so new things you can reuse to save. Doing so will set you up to start the new year saving instead of spending. This post, 25 new uses for old things, is a great place to start for ideas!
Try Menu Planning
If you’re not already, give menu planning a try before the end of the year. Not only can it save you time, but it will also help you save money on your grocery bill. It doesn’t matter whether you plan for a month or a week. Anything will help if you’re not already doing it. In our family, I have incorporated a 20 meal rotation for dinners. Kids are picky, so this ensures most of the meals will be enjoyed by everyone because I have picked favourites for the rotation.
Try Freezer Cooking
Along with menu planning, give freezer cooking a try before the end of the year. It saves time, money and stress for you! The easiest way I have found to start freezer cooking, is to made a big batch of dinner one night and freeze the leftovers. Spaghetti sauce and taco meat are some of my favourite leftovers to freeze.
Once a Month Grocery Shopping
Part of the reason you may be having trouble saving on groceries is because you’re in the store more often than you need to be. That’s why it is important to give once a month shopping a try before the end of the year. When you’re in the store less often, you spend far less money. Once you try it, you’ll very likely never go back.
Another major issue most people have with their finances is not making a budget. If you’re not currently making one each month, give it a try before the end of the year. Make sure you stick to it for at least one month. I think you’ll be quite surprised by the changes you see. The Budget Binder Kit that I have made is a great way to get started with budgeting.
Cut Unnecessary Subscriptions
As you’re reconciling your checking account, be sure to keep an eye out for any unnecessary bills you’re paying each month. This usually happens in the form of a subscription. If you haven’t used it in the past 30 days, you do not need to be paying for it.
Work on Cutting Utility Bills
Aside from groceries, utility bills are one of the highest expenses a family can have. Before the end of the year, take the time to work on lowering them. Put your lights on timers. Fix any leaky faucets. Cut your shower time by 90 seconds. You would be surprised at how much savings those little changes can really add up to.
Get Your Car Tuned Up
Car maintenance is very important to keep your car from becoming a money pit. Before the end of the year, be sure it gets a tune up. This includes an oil change if needed, tires rotated, battery checked and other routine tasks. By keeping it maintained, you’ll set yourself up for a new year with a great running car.
So there you go. 10 frugal tasks to do before the end of the year so you will be well on your way to a more financially secure future! What’s the first thing you are going to work on?