Finance bloggers stick to the cardinal rule of "start with saving $1,000" but how can you do this when you feel like you are living paycheck to paycheck? I would like to introduce Lean February. It's is my favorite month! First, it gives you the opportunity to get your finances ahead of schedule and start saving. Second, I always choose February because it’s the shortest month and for most people who struggle with budgeting or savings it’s an easy way to move into the new year!
Quick rules for your lean month:
Let’s define these for a better understanding of how low you should go.
Groceries are a hot topic and some say it can’t be done but I know someone who shops for 3 people and has friends over 4-5 times a month on $250 of groceries. $150 should be more than plenty if you are buying for the month. Before going shopping inventory what you have in your fridge, freezer, and pantry. Identify which proteins 1-2 that you’d like to have for the month. Proteins are typically the most expensive groceries. I like to use Pinterest to create a meal plan that focuses on using those proteins and the items you currently have. Another best practice is to stick to meals with 10 ingredients or less. The more you can streamline the meals it hinders the need to purchase obscure items. When the major meals are taken care of, evaluate how much more you will have for snacks. Snacks are most commonly the impulse buys because they can be on sale. If you know how much you can spend you won’t feel like you are being restrained.
After you have paused some of your services and called to see if you can get better deals on your current expenses I have a feeling you might have some time on your hands. Keeping that in mind come up with a list of organization projects that you’d like to tackle. Clean space will lead to an overall better mindset.
Document your process so when you think about doing another lean process you can note what you’d like to do differently or keep the same. Now that your done reading leave a comment with a question of how to complete the process.