I Tried Saving Over $500 in a Month: Here’s How it Went
Updated: Oct 1
I am coming back today with a quick reflection on a challenge I tried completing (and failing miserably) a few months ago. I haven't really taken the time to reflect on why it failed until now so let’s get started!
In the beginning of February, I made up my mind to start consciously saving money. Before, I would save money here and then, but it was never consistent or meaningful. With this in mind, the goal was to save a large amount of money in a short period of time. I researched various ways to achieve that, and what came up the most was 30-day challenges. Inspired by the m, I decided to make my version of a 30-day challenge.
Using Canva, I designed a 35-day Money Saving Calendar. Each square had an amount of dollars —either $5, $10, $15, $20, or $5o. For the next month, I would randomly choose a square, put a sticker on the square and that was the amount I would save away for that day. It seems easy right? Wrong!
The first few days were not that difficult, and I was able to SAVE money. I thought I was doing a get rich scheme—but with my own money. However, as the third week approached, the excitement diminished. I could not keep up with the challenge and eventually made the decision to not continue further.
When I think about it now, it was the right choice. It would have been impossible for me to continue. There were too many variables that I should have taken into consideration before starting a challenge as rigorous as that. I narrowed it down to four distinct reasons as to why this challenge was unsustainable for my life. The next few paragraphs will explain in detail!
1. Saving Money Every Single Day is too Much
To put away amounts such as $30, $40 and, 50 dollars in one day was not feasible for me. I am a work-study student and we work a specific number of hours regulated by the university. To add on, each week I am usually out of the house five out of the seven days, which results in me purchasing more than I would like to. I couldn’t keep up with the demands of the challenge and the demands of my life. That thought brings me into my second realization.
2. Them Bills Did Not Come to Play
There’s always a time where we experience financial hardships, and unfortunately that was happening to me. I started this challenge after the holidays and the bills came knocking at my door! Plus, second semester finances wanted to visit as well! With all those factors, the challenge definitely wouldn’t have lasted for me.
3. I’d Forget to do the Challenge
I am someone that is forgetful, so this variable was inevitable. There were times I would forget to save money and every time I missed a day; I would always make sure the next day that I remembered to save for that day and the one I missed. That adds up y’all—it really does! The days that I was not consistent would cost me a lot of money that I could not use! The struggle dollars whew!
4. Saving Money is Painful When There is Debt
Consciously and consistently saving money is a goal of mine for 2020. On the other hand, I do not enjoy being in debt. While doing the challenge, the debt I have accumulated was always at the back of my mind. My desire for saving money was not as strong as my desire for paying off my debt. Navigating those two conflicting thoughts was extremely challenging for me.
What will you do Now?
Good question. Since the challenge failed exceptionally, I resorted back to my usual saving methods by putting money away after each pay cheque. What makes it different this time is that I am making sure I do this for EVERY paycheque. My focus now is paying off my credit card (hopefully by the end of this month) and saving little by little—it’s manageable that way.
Tracking my finances bi-weekly on a spreadsheet has helped me tremendously become responsible and accountable on how I spend money. It’s not a perfect system and I am still trying different methods to manage my finances.
Note: I have been debt-free since March y’all! However, I put the pause on my spreadsheet as I have been out of a job since April!
Well that is that! I hope y’all enjoyed this post. If anyone wants a crack at the 35-Day Money Challenge, click on the PDF file below and download.
I hope anyone benefits from this resource in any way. Let me know if you are up for the challenge. Share any tips, money-saving challenges or advice down below in the comments. I'll see you on the next post :)