Just in case you missed what this is about, have a look at the start of my 11 Day Savings Binge. This has been a personal challenge to save money and get my finances and priorities back in order. (Here is the 5 day progress report)
The challenge started off very easily as I was well prepared for it and rather excited. It got a bit harder over the weekend (Saturday was day 6) as I was home alone and would have liked to have gone out. To be honest though it really wasn’t that tough and even though I called this a “savings binge” I could probably have survived with even less! It’s amazing how much stuff we feel we can’t live without; until we do. And then we realize that we don’t really need it.
It’s been great to see how far I can make my money stretch and even though I slipped in a few coffees (and perhaps a slab of chocolate), my total spending over the 11 days came to R398 or R36.18 per day. (If the Rand currency doesn’t mean much to you, then just think that 1 coffee costs around R22 – so my spending equates to roughly 18 coffees) This included groceries as well as some DIY stuff I needed on the weekend. I did a big grocery shop before I started and pre-cooked enough meals for the period hence I only needed a few top-ups. I could have spent less if I didn’t do the DIY, but it’s stuff that really had to be done!
As far as savings go, I estimate that I saved well over a R1,000 and probably closer to R1,500. It may not sound like much, but if I could save R1,000 over 11 days that would be close to R3,000 (or more) over a month if I really wanted to. Now that is something to think about!
All I did was to identity where my money “disappears to” the easiest; the thoughtless spending. For me it’s office lunches, coffees, after-work meet ups and take-aways for those super busy days. With a bit of planning I was able to easily avoid it all.
I don’t advocate sitting at home alone and living a boring life; that’s just silly. But sometimes a few small sacrifices are needed to reach goals and ultimately create a better future.
The lessons learned:
- It’s really quite easy to cut down on spending (no need for drastic measures)
- Life was still quite comfortable and to be honest I could cut down even more!
- We generally spend without thinking.
- Counting my cents made me appreciate small things.
I’m sorry if this is not too exciting or life changing to read, but there you have it. A few small changes saved me R1,000 and now I have a better idea of what is important to me with regards my spending habits.
Why not quickly think about that 1 thing that you spend money on too easily.
Can you do something this week to cut down a bit?