This week, I challenged y’all to do a few things in the Better Budget Challenge. (There’s still time if you want to jump in!):
Check your credit report, update us on your budget, and tell us what you’d like to improve on this year.
1. I got my credit report, and ugh, there’s an error I need to fix. In August, I replaced a credit card (my name changed, so I wanted a card that would reflect that). Unfortunately, I lost it before activating it. They sent another one, but the first card is still showing up on my credit report as having a balance. It’s listed in good standing–but it does NOT have a balance. I need to correct this.
My husband will order his credit reports when he gets home from work today. Hopefully, there’s nothing to change there.
I opted not to find out my credit score. I don’t really care what it is right now (even though I suspect it is good). All of my accounts are in good standing, and I’m not trying to qualify for a mortgage any time soon. Next year, I’ll probably order my credit score.
2. We’ve been using Mint.com for the past few weeks, and I still really like it. We’ll continue using the site.
3. I’m still working on reducing our overall expenses. I’ve whittled our grocery spending down, but I want us to eat healthier, as well. I need to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into my meal plan. If that means I need to spend an extra $5 per week, then that’s what I’m going to do (although, I think if I make certain choices, I won’t have to increase my spending).
I want to spend less on car maintenance. I need to seek out rock bottom deals on oil changes and state inspections. Even if that means going a little out of my way, or waiting a little longer at the shop…it’s worth it. There’s a quick oil change shop near my house. It costs $28 with tax, and takes like 5 minutes if there’s no line. I’d rather find a place that will do the same job for $15, and if I have to wait a half an hour or more, I’ll just have a book to read or other things to keep me occupied.
At about four oil changes per year, that could save me $60 each year.
I want tokeep an eye on those little things that I’ve bought in the past–trips to Target, a craft store, etc. These days, I don’t make purchases on a whim, and I want to keep it that way.
And, of course, I want to continue finding ways to save money without greatly sacrificing our standard of living.