First Person: Personal Spending Challenges for 2013

Yahoo Contributor Network

Now that the new year has arrived and the reality of our 2013 financial outlook is becoming clear, it's time for me to take personal steps to save my family money. This will be our first full year with a mortgage payment, and all the new expenses that came along with the house, so it's really important for us to have a firm grip on our budget. To get us going I'm setting some personal spending challenges for myself. Here are three ways I'm challenging myself to save money in 2013.

Reduce the amount of movies I purchase

Throughout the years I've done my best to curb my need to buy movies as soon as they are released on DVD, but I always seem to fall back into the trap. I spend around $20 per movie, and I estimate that I buy a least 10 a year. That is $200 on movies I will only watch once or twice. Instead of buying the movies, I'm challenging myself to rent the movies I want to see from RedBox, which only charges $1.25 per night. Doing this will save us around $187.50 on 10 movies.

Eliminating soda

Both my husband and I decided to start this year out with a new healthier attitude. As a part of our new plan, I vowed that I wouldn't eliminate anything from my diet, but would instead limit things. Of everything I enjoy, I truly thought soda would be the last thing to go, but after 10 days, I was ready to let them go. We were spending around $12 a week on sodas, so cutting that expense will save us at least $624 a year. Who knew getting healthy could also save you money?

Spend less on one-day-only sales

I often struggle to say no to store sales. When I see something on sale that I know is a good bargain I almost always buy it. Most people would think getting something at a bargain price is a good thing, but when you're buying things you don't really need it's a bad thing. Last year I estimate that I spent at least $250 on things I didn't need because they were on sale. My personal challenge this year is to force myself to pass on sale items if I don't "need" them.

If I'm able to complete my personal finance challenges I will be able to save around $1161.50, and I plan to put at least 50% of that money straight into our savings account.

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