This is my total gain from the Gain a Grand challenge. It’s not bad considering I got sick and didn’t do much towards it for half of the month!
However, it’s not as great as it looks either. My four biggest savings came from:
- Shopping around for travel accommodation ($348.80)
- Cashing in rewards ($116.88)
- Waiting before buying ($100)
- Going without ($100)
With the exception of going without, these are not true savings.
When shopping around for accommodation, I usually stick to my budget, using the savings to get more for my money. That is, I spent $500 on $850 accommodation, rather than spending $500 on $500 accommodation.
The rewards that I cashed in had been accumulating before the month started, and the items that I waited before buying will now need to be bought.
Because the month got so busy, I also didn’t reconcile the savings against my budget. It’s likely that I also had unplanned expenses to offset against this. However, if I had been able to focus on this more, I would have had the opportunity to make more gains.
A general theme seems to be that the biggest savings came from the biggest expenses. As such, this wouldn’t necessarily help if you’re already living on a tight budget. However, it’s definitely worth re-visiting. I can usually use one or two of these tips to help me through a particularly lean month. For those of you who don’t generally budget or think about what you’re spending, there’s potential to gain far more than a grand.
The GoalGetters Gain a Grand challenge provides suggested daily activities to help you save or make money, helping you towards your financial goals.