To some January starts the New Year, but for most people with children the new school year starts the New Year. Primarily because kids need new everything: new sneakers, new backpacks, new clothes, new school supplies, etc. They get organized – their desks in their bedrooms become uncluttered and file folders reappear, along with paperclips and newly sharpened #2 pencils.
As kids get organized, so do parents. Now that my kids are back in school, I’ve been spending many hours going through ‘stuff.' It’s amazing how much stuff can pile up even as adults: mail, bills, invitations, sign-up forms for CCD classes and sports. Over the summer I pay my bills, but I have to admit I do not look at them very closely as it seems time does not allow. Between vacations, baseball tournaments, weekends away, play dates, pool dates, beach dates, leisure family baseball games in the backyard, and catching fireflies, there’s just no time to look at bills closely. As a standard rule for myself, now is the time of the year to analyze bills and revisit the budget.
So to start the new year off right, I reviewed some of our bills this week. I learned we’ve been paying for Starz and Showtime without even knowing we had those channels. I also reviewed our auto and home owner's insurance policies. It seems our rates increase annually, so after some comparison shopping I was able to drop our rates by $290 a year. While these are not huge dollars, it’s better in my pocket than theirs. It’s important to not spend money unnecessary. Taking a few hours to review your budget and bills can lead to extra money in your wallet.
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( Photo Credit: Valueline / Valueline / Thinkstock 81178007 )