22 seven, the money management app, sent me an email letting me know that it’s National Savings Month. They’re clever enough to know though that a) what does this actually mean to most, b) if there was more money to save, we’d probably be saving it, and c) some of us have no money to save (especially if you have a fondness for lipstick, sneakers and buying LEGO presents for your son).
So, instead of sending me a long press release with savings tips for people who might not have surplus to save, they gave me a mission: “Follow seven of our challenges over 22 days, and we’ll help you find more money”. More money, they said. So I eagerly accepted. Plus their email was phrased in such a way I couldn’t resist: 22 days, seven ways to Get Your $ Together (you can read more about their campaign here)
22seven listed 14 challenges to help me find more money, from which I had to choose seven. Some of them seemed impractical or money-saving but sanity-losing, which would therefore cost me more money in wine, chocolate or lipstick to make me feel better. One of the challenges involved making gifts instead of buying them, but since I’m not too crafty, this probably wouldn’t work, and I doubt anyone would appreciate coloured-in pictures from my adult colouring-in books.
Here’s what I’ve chosen, and for the next 22 days I’ll be sticking to them, and charting how much – if at all – I save.
- Lunch deloaded. Eat packed lunches and snacks for a week instead of buying them. Compare that with what you normally spend on food (easy if you use 22seven). Or, make coffee at home and work instead of buying it.
- Happy snaps. Take a pic of the thing that made you happiest today/this week, and the thing that was most expensive. Tomorrow/next week, do more of the happy and less of the expensive.
- Find something free. Do something free (or cheap) for entertainment and compare that to what a meal or night out would have cost.
- Have a no-spend Sunday. Cook from your pantry, read a book, go for a hike… and compare that with what you might have spent on a normal Sunday (also easy if you use 22seven)
- Pay yourself first on payday. Put a few hundred bucks into a loan or savings account or investment and see if you even miss the money later in the month.
- Coin jar. Put every coin and any spare change that comes your way into a jar for 22 days and see how much it comes to at the end.
- Cash it to cap it. On a night out, decide what you want to spend and only take that much cash (no cards – which allow you to keep spending).
I’m curious to see if these small things make any difference to what I have in my bank account before the next payday, and whether I’ll actually be motivated to put that money away into something smarter than the MAC store or Superbalist.
If you’re keen to join me on 22 days of trying to spend better, then let me know, and we can connect with each other on social media etc.
I’ll also be giving away a R1000 voucher to any South African store (I’d choose Woolies or MAC) of your choice if you can guess how much money I save in 22 days. I’ll post details of the giveaway soon, along with feedback from this challenge.