Saving $250/Month: Week Three - The Snowball Effect

Friday, March 28, 2014

This saving money thing is easier than I thought.

Suffice to say, I’ve kicked my coffee habit. So, my original goal of saving just over $60 a week has proven to be far easier than I thought.

Last week, feeling all inspired, I decided to examine my miscellaneous expenses – things that I pay for regularly either as subscriptions or memberships.

No surprises that I found some good savings there. With a busted ankle, I don’t need to be paying my regular gym fees until everything has healed.

So far, the coffee and eating-breakfast-out savings amount to $180 over three weeks. I’ve saved a further $96 with my suspended gym membership. I didn’t renew some magazine subscriptions, so that was $70 I didn’t spend.

The grand total is $346.

How else can I save?

I believe the reason I’ve found it easy to make that level of saving in a short period of time is because I’ve chosen things that were technically luxuries.

None of these things were essential to my daily existence. They were ‘nice to haves’ rather than things that I truly needed.

And, being a creature of habit, I thought there might be more such opportunities.

One area I’ve looked at is my transport costs. I’m fortunate enough to live somewhere that has great public transport and, more often that not, it’s my mode to get anywhere.

However, due to the aforementioned ankle injury I had been driving my daughter to school. And, while it was only around 20km per week, that does add up over a month to one tank full of petrol. My ankle is now good enough for walking but not much else.

So, this is my cunning plan. It’s “two birds with one stone” plan. If I walk the 4km every day, I’ll be making up for the lack of gym activity and, I’ll save around $60 a month in fuel.

If I can do that for the rest of this year, even over winter, that’s a potential saving of $480!


Making my savings plan work for me

The other thing I’ve done is to ensure that the money I’m saving is not just being randomly spent on other items, like grocery shopping.

I’ve opened an account that earns high interest and have deposited my newfound savings into it. My goal is to add the fuel cost savings each fortnight, which is when I’d regularly fill up the car.

So that $346 I have saved so far, is earning interest. This way, my saved cash is working for me. By next week, with coffee savings and fuel cost savings, it will be around $438. Then, the interest will be added the following month.

While the interest on a $438 deposit isn’t a huge amount, it’s still worth doing in the long run. And, somehow, earning interest as reward for good savings behaviour appeals to me – it’s money going in that I don’t have to add.