I truly believe we can find extra ways to save money NO matter how tight our cash flow might be. I would bet money that there is something you can go without for just 1 month if you really, deep down, wanted to save more money. So let me ask you, what are you be willing to give up for just one month to jumpstart your savings? For just 30 days, can you go without one item in order to get to your goals quicker? Think of it like going on a 30 day diet, or maybe a 21 day fix.
My sister- in-law goes to a nutritionist, and one day we were talking about what an impact giving up one thing each month can have on our health. Maybe the first month you give up soda, then month 2 you give up fried food, and another month you give up candy. It isn’t a drastic change that you will find absolutely terrible and too hard to follow. By the end of the year, you will be eating healthier and will really see a dramatic change in your life. Some people get frustrated when they try to lose weight, and get impatient. However, even if you lose just half a pound a week, by the end of the year, you will be down 26 pounds. Not too shabby huh?
What about when you start living on a budget? Budgets are like diets, they can be great in the short term, but not quite sustainable. It can seem impossible to live when you try to limit how much you spend each month. So let’s take the same concept and use it with spending. I am putting myself through a full year of a monthly savings program. Let’s call it my 30 Day Spending Cleanse. Each month I will give up one thing, just for the month, and put aside money each time I would have spent on that item. I have my first six months planned out with estimates on savings. For some reason I’ve decided to get the torture over with and start with alcohol. Below is a breakdown of the first six months with my savings estimates. I have already completed my first month, so you can see my estimates and what I actually saved.
Month 1: No Alcohol, an estimated savings of $200
- Week 1- out with friends $30 + no wine for the weekend $25
- Week 2- Christmas shopping with family no drinks $20 + no wine at the restaurant for dinner $20+ no wine at dinner with family $15
- Week 3- no wine at dinner with Eric $15+ no cocktails at the dinner in the city $30
- Week 4- no wine at dinner with girlfriends $15 + no wine at dinner over the weekend $10×2
- Actual savings for the month $210.
- My experience of a month with no alcohol: Two of the events I went to were holiday shopping with drinks and appetizers, and they were a ton of fun. I realized during the events that because I wasn’t drinking I was more clear-headed and didn’t spend as much as I have in the past during events like these. Some other bonuses were: no hangovers for a month, and I lost weight. Not too bad of a month, huh? Save some extra money, feel better, and lose weight. One step closer to that Santa wish:
Month 2: No Shopping, an estimated a savings of $300
Month 3: No nails, an estimated savings of $110
- 2 pedicures $50
- 4 manicures $60
Month 4: No eating out, an estimated $150 each week, total $600
Month 5: No desserts, no estimated savings of $30 per week, $120
Month 6: Only buy brand names at grocery store, an estimated savings of $25 per week, $100
Total estimates $1,430 over six months
At the end of each month, I will put the actual savings amount along with some tips and tricks. Stay tuned to see how my progress is with my monthly savings. I am going to put myself through it so I know you will be able to do it too. Will you take my 30 Day Spending Cleanse Challenge?
Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year! Don’t forget to sign up for our Parntering for Prosperity Webinar on January 10th. Click below to register:
Jessica Weaver, CFP®, CDFA™, CFS®
Any opinions are those of Jessica Weaver and not necessarily those Raymond James.