If you’ve been following my advice, try something new: No non-fixed spending for the rest of January.

Think of it as Dry January for your wallet. The big, post-holiday credit card bills are on their way, and a little cutting back may retroactively make your holiday decisions seem logical. 

Obviously you have to pay for your basics like utilities — everything that is otherwise known as a fixed expense. But as far as the frivolous purchases you make with your discretionary income — they can take a rest until February. Don’t go shopping. 

It’s kind of difficult to not spend any discretionary money when apps are automatically deducting monthly fees through the iStore or Android’s Play. But don’t hate the iStore; the fact that they run the show makes canceling easy. Delete the apps that deplete. 

Another thing to do is unsubscribe to all those emails that come in from all those places that wanted your email. Most email systems, including Gmail, allow you to report spam and even block an email address. Of course we can’t stop them from minting a new and different email address, but thankfully most emails somehow know which are correspondences and which are spam. It’s worth reviewing your filter and fine tuning it.

This is also a good time of year to create a spending plan. A self-imposed state of austerity will help you put things in perspective. Look at what you spent last year, what your fixed expenses are, and see what you can adjust. Don’t forget to negotiate with your service providers before you write your spending plan. Cheaper options always exist, even at the electric company. 

Cable companies will frequently negotiate with you for lower prices, but these deals usually expire after a year. Additionally, power companies often provide access to micro-producers which may be cheaper than the main company. 

From “Organization Tips for January

When it’s finally time to make your spending plan, it may be daunting. It’s not unlike a diet in the sense that falling off the wagon is to be expected. What matters is how you react to it. JHA has money coaching services in addition to helping people create spending plans. Contact us to learn more.