I’m changing some bad habits and creating some good ones. I’m on a ‘spending fast’ for 12 months as of December 1, 2014. Coming up with a funky name is suppose to help it feel more fun than it is in reality so I’m calling it “Thrifty 15” (you know, coz I’m going to be mega thrifty in 2015, genius right?).
This crazy money saving adventure was inspired by Anna of www.andthenwesaved.com. She managed to wipe out her debt in 15 months. We’re talking about $23,605.10!!! To read more about Anna and how she managed this feat click here.
Basically this is budgeting gone crazy. You come up with a Needs list that helps you decide what you have to spend money on (Rent/Mortgage, Utilities, Medical, Food etc). And then you put together a wants list (this is pretty much all the stuff you spend the rest of your money on – movies, eating out, concerts, new clothes, trinkets, linen etc). During the 12 months your aim is to only spend money on your Needs.
Sounds fun? Probably not. Sounds easy? No sir! Well not for someone like me who loves to spend! The truth is that it
will might not feel ‘fun’ all the time. But the benefits of clearing off any debt and paying off my mortgage sooner rather then later is going to feel amazing.
As far as my Needs list goes, its going to look pretty similar to Anna’s with two slight differences. The first being that I will still be buying gifts for birthdays and Christmas (this will still be on a strict budget), the second is that I will allow myself $50 each calendar month as spending money on whatever I want. If I don’t spend it then yay, but I’m far more likely to stick to this plan if there is a bit of give.
So its the 8th of December and you’re wondering how my first week went. I can tell you that I have prevented myself from spending an estimated $183 dollars just this past week. And it feels good! How did I mange this? Well here is a quick run down:
Fuel – I have managed to get myself out of the habit of buying food at petrol stations by buying myself a bottle of water (not just a small one either, I get the pump 1.5L bottle). I figure this is better for my body then the junk I could be buying. But now that I’m on the spending fast that’s an extra $6 a week I’m not spending.
Eating out – I would easily spend $20 to 35 eating a meal out over the weekend, that can be at least 3 meals out on the weekend equaling anywhere from $60 to 105. Now your thinking “Wow you spend heaps” haha, yes I did. Now you’re thinking “but Kathryn isn’t that so boring not even having one meal out and cooking at home all weekend?”. Actually no, but then this is week one! I tried out some new tasty recipes over the weekend and even froze some meals for the week ahead! I do have a few plans up my sleeve to help me stay on track but making it feel like I’m eating out – stay tuned for more on those!
Supermarket – I also saved money at the supermarket by shopping at Aldi, sticking to home brands, and keeping clear of junk food – bad for the wallet and body! Planning my shopping list before I leave home is really key. Also never go to the supermarket hungry!
Lunch – I really didn’t pay much attention to how much money I had been spending on Lunch during the week. Even if I only buy my lunch once that is a minimum of $10. It can end up costing me $35 all up when I walk up the street and can’t resist stopping into the book shop and buying myself a $25 book! So packed lunches this week, and no book shopping!
Not a bad start I do say so myself. The tough part will come when all the new movies I want to see come out at the cinema and I have to say I can’t go! I will see them eventually, its all for a good cause!