The savings challenge
I have always been good at saving money. However, having a few big projects coming up, such as building a house and wanting to do another overseas trip, I have been trying to kick the savings up a notch. This is also on the back of learning more about minimalism. In the past, I haven't been as conscious of where my money was going and am now wanting to be more conservative about purchasing material items. My new philosophy being "Buy experiences not stuff". Having walked into Target the other day and found myself almost reaching out to buy a new set of towels, even though we already have THREE perfectly good sets at home, I realised how easy it is to get caught up buying stuff and then months later having to get rid of it all because my house and life feels so cluttered. In order to combat this impulsive buying I developed 'The Savings Challenge' as a means to be more financially aware and resist those spur of the moment purchases.
A couple of months ago I bought this notebook from Kmart (another impulse buy, because I thought it looked cool) and originally I didn't have a use for it. I have since separated each page into categories:
My aim is that every time I buy something for myself or as a gift, I will write it in the book, including how much it costs. My challenge being to maintain this habit until the end of the financial year and then to assess where majority of my money is going and if I have made some unnecessary purchases over the year. Dave tells me that this method is precisely what bank statements are for, however, I felt that a hard copy would make the experience more tangible and would help to keep me more accountable. At Target, I resisted the urge to buy the towels, however, I did pick up a new T-Shirt (Which I was hunting for) and it has since been added to the book. You will notice that intentionally absent from the book is food/drink, rent and bills because these are life necessities. This also includes going out for food/drink because as I said previously, it's about the 'experience' not the stuff.
My goal is that this challenge will enable me to save more money whilst at the same time being more environmentally friendly and conscious of minimizing waste. I also hope that the 'clothes' list will have no more items added to it, but instead, that I can pick things up second-hand from my family or friends. If this is something that interests you, pick up or crate your own savings challenge book and join me in cutting the crap. I will give progress updates on how my saving challenge is going and provide an overall breakdown at its completion. Looking forward to seeing all the good that the next year brings.