My partner left this morning on an 11 day trip to visit family in Joburg and Durban and I’ve decided to use this opportunity to binge save. In fact, I am going to turn into a stingy hermit for the next week and a half and I’m actually quite excited about it.
The reason I’ve decided to do this is twofold. Firstly, to make up for some unexpected expenses that have come up this month. And as life goes, the previous month had some unexpected things too. I know I shouldn’t be too hard on myself, but I really want to achieve the financial goals I’ve set and I just need to make a few sacrifices now to get my monies in order!
The second reason for this binge saving spree is that I need to change my “money-cycle”. Currently I live off my credit card for the month and then pay the amount due at the end of the month (after I receive my salary). I rather want to have the cash in my bank up front at the beginning of the month, and even though I’ll still use the credit card I won’t strictly speaking be in debt as I will have the money in my account.
Another way to look at this is that even though I pay my card off at the end of each month, I really am in debt during the month as I don’t physically have the money (I need to wait for my salary). It’s strange how I’ve excused it for so long but now that I’ve started using a super cool app to track my money, it’s time to change to a “have the money upfront” cycle. This simply means that I need to pay the full credit card debt off asap! (Luckily it’s quite manageable but I will need to do it over 2 – 3 months to help smooth the budget and still be able to stick to my savings goals)
So, this savings binge has a true purpose and it’s enough to motivate and excite me.
The plan is quite simple: save on everything I can! Groceries, electricity, water, fuel, anything really!
- No meeting friends for coffee / drinks / dinner / etc
- No work lunches
- No buying of coffee during the work day
- Eat in every night (nice healthy budget meals)
- No weekend breakfast at my favourite spot (even if I’m feeling lonely)
- No activities on the weekend
- No unbudgeted expenses (unless of course it’s an emergency)
This sounds like hard work and downright boring! I know; it is. Budgeting and managing ones money really shouldn’t be such a drag but every now and then one must just make a few sacrifices to get things in order.
The really exciting part for me is that I will very soon be in a much better cashflow position and far more in control of my finances. Even though I thought I was quite on track I’ve found a better way to do things. The lesson for me is simply to constantly learn and to adjust your budget and processes along the way.
It’s hard to know exactly how much I’ll be able to save over this period but I’ll certainly be able to calculate it at the end of the month. I track my expenses each month so I have a pretty good idea of how much my monthly spend is in all the various categories. Based on what is left at the end I’ll be able to see how successful this period is.
Day 1 Progress
Today has been a very successful day and I have spent absolutely no money! Hubby and I cooked 3 huge pots of food over the weekend and packed them into freezer portions. Now I just need to add some fresh veggies or salad and I’ll be sorted for the whole period.
So today I had a packed breakfast and lunch for work and tonight I’m eating a freezer potion. I also happened to have a free coffee voucher today which made the morning start off much better.
I don’t think this is exciting enough to everyone to warrant a daily report back, but I’ll certainly blog every few days on how it’s going and any obtasacles, tips or general happenings along the way.
If you feel that your finances are a mess and aren’t sure where to start, start by tallying up all your debt and all your money (savings, investments, etc). Just figure out where you are at right now.