I find that the children's message (a quick 5 minute lesson during the service for children) at church is often as meaningful for the adults as the children. This past Sunday it was about New Year's Resolutions and how people try to make big changes all at once and fail 88% of the time. The takeaway lesson was that it is better to make small changes and build up to the big changes.
I am not big on New Year's resolutions, but I do like to set goals. Often my goal is to save more money. That is a broad goal, and one that could benefit from making small changes to reach a big goal. With that in mind my January money goals are:
*Cut grocery budget to $40 per week and use the extra $10 for stocking up on sales. This will involve eating from the pantry/freezer some and allow me to use up some items that have been floating around in there for too long.
*Cut out frivolous spending. If an item is not a necessity or an item I have been searching for that is a good deal, I am going to pass. W and I both get "fun" money each week that is ours to spend so this goal is more for bigger items. These are things that would be nice to have, but I can wait to purchase later.
*Build up the "Life Happens" accounts. Since I am cutting back on spending I want to put the extra money into savings. My Life Happens accounts include medical, dental, car repair, etc. These events will happen, and it is better to have money set aside for them before rather than after. I also set aside a bit of money for entertainment, clothing purchases, and things like that.
I think these three small steps will be a great building block for a larger goal as the year progresses.