This is one of the best challenges I’ve heard in a while :)
From fellow reader, Anne:
I wanted to share a new challenge I am doing for myself. I eat out at fast food/pizza/restaurants wayyyyy too much, and my personal capital export from 2018 made me feel so bad about it!
I am challenging myself to “beat last year!”. Example. Spent $100 on take out last year in Jan (I told you it’s bad) and so I’m aiming to not go over $65 this Jan. Did 65% since it seemed less scary than “cut your spending in half!!”
I am a competitive person, so hoping having a mindset like this will help since I freeze when I see the awesome budgeters out there and give up since I won’t be that good instantly.
I’m trying to think of it as “beating my personal best” like running a 5k and getting better each time? Hoping it works.
Anyways. Wanted to share the idea. I’m only tracking fast food and restaurants, don’t wanna make this too hard and give up, but I’m sure this might help anyone who feels bad about a consistent splurge from 2018!
I love this challenge so SO much because IT’S SPECIFIC TO YOU and not based on any arbitrary numbers/goals! It’s about beating the 2018 version of *yourself* which is so refreshing over constantly comparing your wins/failures to everyone else out there and then feeling miserable afterwards. If you have to lose to someone, at least lose to yourself! ;)
(This reminds me of another note I also received recently after sharing our last net worth report – “You inspire me and make me sad at the same time!” I hate hearing that last part as I only want to bring people UP here on this blog, but I also know it’s human nature and I catch myself comparing all the time too. But again – with this challenge here it’s not only OKAY to compare, but it’s encouraged! Because it’s all around YOUR personal best and no one else’s!)
I’ve stopped budgeting every last penny like I used to so I don’t have exact figures to go on here (*gasp*), but a quick poke around last year’s c/c statement at this time shows I spent around $70.00 on books :) And while I typically don’t put rules around those because I love (and consume!) them, I also enjoy me a good challenge, so in an act of solidarity I will play along with Anne here and aim to spend *less* than $70.00 for the next month :)
In theory if you keep spending less and less over the years there’s no way for your wealth not to grow! Especially if you switch categories whenever you think you’re at the lowest end of what you’re comfortable spending.
So I approve of this challenge 100%, and I hope some of you will jump in and encourage each other to stick with it as well. If you want to connect up with Anne, just shoot me a note and I’ll pass along her email and maybe you guys can form an accountability group of some sort?
Or you can just play at home too and not tell a soul – whatever totes your goat ;)
Here are the rules again for anyone who wants to try it:
- Pick a category of your spending you desperately want to improve
- Search your records for how much you spent on it *last year* around this time
- Commit to spending *less* in that category for the next month!
I know Jan is almost over, so maybe cut it in half if you’re excited, or just wait and start next month. What matters most is just starting and then trying to one-up yourself!!
And if anyone can do it it’s you, because you hold all the secrets to your inner workings :) Use it to demolish yourself! Haha…
I’ll keep you updated with how my non-book buying adventures go in the meantime… I considered for a hot minute cutting back on coffee, but…
Killer resources and apps:
- Best Budget Templates & Spreadsheets (FREE)— The best free budget templates from around the community! Including the ones I use :)
- Personal Capital* (FREE) — A great app to track your investments and net worth. You can see an in-depth review we did here from a millionaire who checks it daily 😂
- You Need a Budget (YNAB)* (FREE TRIAL, then $14.99/mo or $98.99/year) — One of the BEST budgeting methods in the space, with new users saving $600 on avg their first two months, and more than $6,000 over their first year! Check out my friend Vic’s review of YNAB here that went on to completely change his finances 💪
- Digit (FREE 6 mo. Trial, then $5/mo) — This is one of my favorite apps for automatically saving money, and I even came on board as an advisor I believed in them so much! You can see my full review on Digit here.
- Acorns* ($3-$5/mo) – Similar to Digit, this app helps you automatically INVEST money by rounding up all your transactions to the nearest dollar and then investing it right away for you. My full review of Acorns can be found here.
- Honey (FREE) — By far my favorite coupon service out there! Click the Honey button any time you're about to buy something online, and BOOM - any discounts it finds will be automatically applied at checkout. You can see my write up on them here.
- Credit Karma* (FREE) — An easy way to check and monitor your credit score AND report! See my full review of these guys here.
- My Favorite Blogs + Books < -- Click here to see all my other recommendations!