One month down for 2019. How did you do with your financial goals in January?
We have only one financial goal for 2019 and we made some progress in January. For the first time in 9 months, we made an extra payment to our last remaining non-mortgage loan.
It was a great feeling to make that payment, and to continue the momentum I want to double down on our financial goal.
So I am declaring a Frugal February.
…oh boy, you might be wondering, what does that mean?
The goal of Frugal February is NOT to feel deprived,
but rather find creative ways to get through the month without unnecessary spending.
The goal is to be extremely intentional with our money,
so we can put more towards our financial goals.
8 Action Steps for a Frugal February:
1 – Write a budget/spending plan for February.
In order to succeed with your money, you must spend time on your money–and that means writing a plan for your spending. I’m a big fan of Zero Based Budgeting. If you’re new to writing a budget, read: How to Start a Budget (and be successful at it!)
If you need encouragement and guidance with your budget, join my private Facebook group: Family Budgeters Unite! This group is dedicated to helping you succeed with your money. Check out the group and watch my Facebook LIVES where I describe the steps to writing a budget. (Note, you will be asked to answer 3 simple questions when you join. This is to keep out any trolls and help to keep the group a safe and encouraging place.)
2 – Track your cashflow.
Do you know how much money is flowing in and out of your bank accounts? Review our spending daily to understand where your dollars are going. You might find some interesting habits.
One way to track you spending is to log all of your purchases, bills, atm withdrawals, and any outgoing on notebook paper at the end of each day. Assign a budget category to each transaction, so you can add up what you spend on food, fuel, clothing, self-care, etc.
For a list of budget categories, read: How to Start a Budget.
3 – Cook/Eat from the pantry and freezer.
Groceries is the easiest budget category TO GET OUT of control and the easiest budget category TO control. To reign your grocery spending in, you must plan all of your meals.
Spend Frugal February planning your meals from food that you already have in your kitchen, refrigerator, and freezer. Use up all of those odd ingredients. Supplement with stuff that’s on sale at the grocery store.
4 – Use up the products in the bathroom/cleaning closet before purchasing more.
I LOVE luscious skin creams and deliciously smelly bath products and I have a bathroom closet to back up that claim. I also have a laundry room with enough cleaning products to last us a very long time. I’m going to challenge myself to use up cleaning supplies and health & beauty products before buying anything new.
5 – Plan ahead.
Review your calendar every night to preview the next day. Will there be events or activities that could cause an unexpected expense? What can you do to prevent those expenses? Pack snacks, drinks, coffee, books, etc to take with you to hopefully prevent unexpected purchases.
6 – Happy (frugal) Valentine’s Day!
I enjoy Valentine’s Day, but it is on a Thursday this year and my kids’ activities aren’t canceled due to the holiday. Our active life goes on, so I will be planning a nice eat-at-home dinner with a special sweet treat, rather than eating out.
7 – Look for FREE entertainment.
Find free fun in Frugal February. (Say that 5 times!)
- Invite friends over for a potluck/game night, instead of going out to dinner.
- Borrow movies from the library.
- Go sledding.
- Check out your local town’s calendar to find free entertainment and activities. For example, my home town has an Ice Fest in February. Businesses in the downtown area have purchased ice sculptures and to place on the sidewalk outside their business. It is definitely an activity that is to encourage small town businesses, but it is free to walk around and check out the over 50 sculptures.
8 – Find Cash
What can you do this month to increase your cash coming IN? Read my post, 31 Days to Find $1000, for ideas. How much cash can you find? Set a goal for yourself for February.
What can you do in February to improve your financial goals? Share in the comments.