2 February 2013

Small Change/Big Difference Challenge

We seem to always be struggling with money, especially at this time of year, just after Christmas we seem to have to tighten our belts a little. Saving for Christmas is a nightmare too. I always say that I'll save the spare money in our bank each week but I always end up treating myself to a nice expensive cappuccino and the saving goes out of the window.

When  I was asked to do the saving challenge whereby I would fill in the information on the graphic here, which is all about those little extras we buy, I was shocked at the amount it said that we actually spent on those little luxuries each year. Snacks, coffee or a nice takeaway cost hardly anything but add them all up and it does accumulate to quite a big amount. 


For me, I have usually a snack everyday, a takeaway coffee on weekends and a takeaway on a Saturday night. Other than that, I don't smoke and hardly ever drink so don't spend money on those items. I wasn't expecting it to cost that much on a yearly basis but was shocked for it to come back that I spend £580 on these small things. 

It then asked how much I would like to save from this amount. I thought for a while and then went with £250. This is because I was looking at short breaks this year, the cost of the one I liked was £250, yet we couldn't afford any of them so basing it on this, if I cut out some little things and can save that amount then we might be able to take that break next year. 

Note: This graphic uses average prices for each product. This may not be the exact amount you would save but gives a general guideline

The graphic then popped up with what I should cut out to achieve my goal. If I could cut out buying coffee and have 3 snacks a week instead of 7 I would save £262.08. This means that I can still have my weekend takeaway too. I was actually quite shocked at this, I mean such little things. Cutting out these things that cost only a few pounds could save me that much money in one year. 

Results after a fortnight
I must admit, giving up my takeaway coffee was hard but I did it. The snacks weren't so bad. I really only bought them as I was in a bit of an habit of dropping Thomas off at Nursery and them popping to the shop and purchasing something.

Keeping the money to the side that I would usually spend on these things, after the 2 weeks trial I had saved £12.80 (£2.00 per coffee and 60p per snack/chocolate bar). I was astounded that I had saved that in just 2 weeks of cutting such small things out. I also used Mamma Vouchers when shopping online to find deals and discounts on my shopping. 

I found this experience so fulfilling knowing that I was making such a big difference in such a small way. I will definitely be sticking to cutting out these items and hopefully next year we'll be taking our family break with the money I've saved.

My tip for you
If your going to give this a go, give yourself a goal at what you want to gain at the end of it. Not the actual money that you'll save but what you will do with the money once you've saved it. This way you'll spur yourself on to keep cutting out the little luxuries as you know you've got something to enjoy at the end of it.

1 comment:

  1. I love this, how fab that you've saved money by cutting out the small things. We can all miss the odd treat but a takeaway is a nice family treat; you haven't even got to cut that out :D

    I dread to think how much I waste. Smoking is my main expenditure and I hate it so much.
    I'm off to fill in that Voucher Code link you shared - it may shock me into sorting my act out!

    Thanks for sharing.

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