How to Save $250 in Four Weeks Without Really Trying
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Part One: The Savings Plan
I have a plan. It’s not the most original plan in the world, but my goal is to save $250 in the next four weeks. Then, I figure, if I can do that a few three more months, I’ll be able to afford a holiday. Not a huge one, but one where I can comfortably kick back for about a week.
My goal: To save $250 in four weeks
This means, on average, I’m going to have to save $62.50 a week.
How am I going to do this?
I’ve looked at what I’m spending on prepared food – not my grocery shopping, the extra stuff. The things that really are indulgences. It came as a bit of shock when adding it up, just how much I was spending on this.
Here's how I went just this last week.
|Day||Coffee 1||Coffee 2||Lunch||Coffee 3||Daily Savings|
Well, I think the first part is going to be easy. I’m going to stop buying coffee every day. I drink around two cups a day, and I mean the proper stuff, not the made at home variety.
This little two-cup a day habit is costing me $7.00 daily! Sometimes on weekends I’ll have three cups over a lazy brunch - it seems it all adds up.
While that may seem like a lot of coffee, I also know that I can stop easily. I love drinking it but I can just as easily go without. I don’t think I’m addicted. Even if I just cut out coffee I’m going to be saving more than $50 a week.
Then, there’s eating lunch out. When did it become socially acceptable to charge $9 for a sandwich? I mostly bring my own lunch from home; left overs are a wonderful thing.
However, by the end of the week, I seem to find myself eating out. So, on average most weeks, I am buying lunch twice.
Not buying lunch on those two days will save me $18.00 each week. And, if I really want to get serious about this, my last Sunday brunch cost $19.50, not including coffee. Can I make a perfectly good breakfast at home on a Sunday? Yes.
Making it realistic
So far, my saving plan tally has me saving $20.50 a week more than my target amount required to hit my savings target of $250.
I figure it’s good to have a bit of leeway. So, if I do buy a coffee or forget my lunch, I’m still on target to make my savings goal.
I don’t want to feel defeated if I don’t follow the plan exactly.
One of the keys to making a goal achievable is to be realistic. While, from this math, I could save $83.00 a week, chances are I’m going find myself in a situation where I will buy a coffee or some food.
The other thing I plan to do to keep the motivation going, is to create a checklist. I will itemise each item, and, when I achieve the goal of NOT BUYING COFFEE, I can tick that off and add to my savings tally.
One of the things I’ve learned is that goals not only need to be achievable, they to have a tangible sense of progress within them.
If you think about it, when we make ‘to do’ lists, we usually add things that we’ve already done so that we can cross them out. This, without us consciously realising it, provides a sense of progress.
So, now that I have identified how I’m going to hit my saving goal, I’m going to create my Savings Goal NOT TO DO List. As I check that off, I'm progressing towards my savings goal: my holiday.