This is the last challenge we’ll have that pertains directly to budgeting as a whole (at least, for awhile).
In February, we’ll be focusing on the grocery aspects of our budget.
But this week, I’d like us to take one last look at budget-related things:
- Get your free credit report
- Look over your budget method one last time to make sure it’s working
- What do you want to really improve upon this year?
1. Get your free credit report by visiting www.annualcreditreport.com. Not to be confused with Freecreditreport.com, this site really IS free. You’ll be able to check your credit report with all three companies. For an additional fee, you can find out your credit score, if you’re interested.
If you haven’t ordered your report in the last 12 months, do it now. Even if you don’t use credit cards, it’s important to make sure there aren’t any errors. Check it for accuracy, and if there’s something that’s not right, take the steps to correct it right away (accounts that are closed, wrong addresses, wrong names, wrong…anything).
Also, check credit reports for everyone in your household that has a social security number. Yes, check your children’s reports. It’s free, after all. There likely won’t be anything to check, but if someone has stolen their identity, it’s best to find out about it now, rather than them have a nasty surprise when they turn 18 and try to apply for college, or get an apartment, or be an adult.
2. Next, you’ve had a few weeks (or more) to use your budgeting program that you’ve discussed in Better Budget Challenge # 2.
Is it still working for you? If not, find something that will work. If it is working, then carry on.
3. Finally, take a look at your recent spending habits. However far back you can track, take a look and evaluate your spending.
What areas do you want to improve? Do you want to improve on your grocery spending this year? Maybe incorporate healthier foods without spending more? Perhaps you want to cut back on how much you spend on clothing. Or dining out. Or entertainment. Or the "where did that money go?" fund. Whatever the category(ies), write it down.
- What overall category(ies) do you want to improve upon?
- What will you do with the unspent money?
- How are you going to reduce spending in this category? List specific ideas.
This will keep you accountable, give you goals to aim for, and help me determine how to steer the rest of the year’s challenges.
If you haven’t yet joined in on the Better Budget Challenge, feel free to jump in where you are! The overall goal for this is to help us improve our budgets by keeping us accountable and offering support to each other. Be sure to visit participants’ posts, and offer your ideas and encouragement.
If you’d like to participate, please link back to my post so your readers can find it. Write your entry and put your link to your specific post in the Mister Linky function below (not a link to your homepage–I’ll have to delete that and ask you to try again).
As usual, I’ll write a round-up of posts this weekend. Thanks for participating!