The Diary of a Micro Saver – Day Eight

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Big savings for small budgets.

Welcome to Day Eight of the Micro Saving Challenge.

Are you overwhelmed at the thought of having to save money? Read our big savings for small budgets plan.

This challenge isn’t about making you rich overnight. It is meant to be a plan which uses small, baby steps to help you reach your saving goal one day at a time. Even those with small budgets can make some savings once they have a savings goal. I am going to focus on what can be done in just under three months. If I can do this for three months I know that I will find it motivating to move to a six-month goal and so on.

I am going to post a new entry each day talking about the challenges I have faced and the small changes I have made to get to my money-saving goal.

As lockdown 2.0 looms on us in the UK I am conscious that there is a lot of uncertainty out there for many of us. I will keep posting my daily challenges. If you can join in please do. Even if you can only make a couple of changes it will all help. Remember that our Micro Saving challenge is ideal for small budgets. We make a lot of small changes which soon amount to some big savings.

Step One

If you are just joining us and have missed the instructions from Day one, you can access them here.

Before we get started on day seven’s challenge, make sure you have banked your 11-week challenge money. We are on the 28th day of saving. Challenge one should have £18.06 banked, challenge two £77.14, and challenge three £84.70.

If you are like me and counting down to payday, challenge three is quite frightening at the moment. I have made a note to pause my daily savings transfers until payday when I will make sure I catch up. I have made a mental note to look into one of those micro saving Apps like Plum.

As a reminder here is what you should be able to bank by December 31st by following this step alone: challenge one saves £30, challenge two saves £155, and challenge three saves £255. Pick a challenge which works for you and stick with it.

Remember to keep a track of what you have banked. The numbers today might seem small but I want you to remember this is a day by day challenge. It is not meant to change your bank balance over night however it is meant to show you that with a few small changes you can achieve big things.

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Step Two

Before we get started with today’s challenge lets recap the challenge from day seven.

Your challenge was to start rounding up. If you missed the instructions they can be found here. This is the perfect example of where little things can make a big difference to small budgets.

With the right type of bank account it should be even easier.

If you think that it is too much hard work to do this every time you spend some money – do it daily or weekly. By adding convenience to the process you are more likely to stick to it.

For example if my total spending for the week comes to £65.01 I will round up to the nearest £10 so will bank the difference between £70 and £65.01. Again these may seem like small amounts but when combined they will make a huge difference to your balance.

Make sure that ’rounded up’ money is your savings account, you don’t want to undo all of the hard work.

Step Three

Today’s challenge is simple again. I want you to challenge yourself to reduce what you spend on your shopping this week.

This is going to be a tricky one for me this week because my Gousto introductory offer expires and I am back to paying full price for my dinners. It is still a good offer for what you get but I might reduce it next week depending on what else we need.

How do you reduce your shopping bill? I am proud to say that we spend the same amount now as a family of 5 as what we did as a couple. That isn’t really a good thing I don’t think. I can’t help but wonder about all of the waste we must have had for so many years (granted I used to bake and do lots of fancy cooking pre children).

Here are some tips and tricks that I have learned over the years.

  1. Make sure your budget is clear. Challenge yourself in a realistic savings amount.
  2. Look in your cupboards, fridge and freezer first – find 5 items which you need to use up and use these as the inspiration for your meal plan.
  3. Have a meal plan – this is the key! Try it for one week and see what difference it makes. Plan for a mix of budget-friendly meals which everyone will eat. The items you found in step 1 should be your inspiration.
  4. Make a shopping list – stick to the essential items you need for the meal plan.
  5. Shop from the cupboards, fridge and freezer first – check and double-check again what you already have.
  6. Order online – this helps keep in control of your budget. You can add and reduce things as you need and see what changes you need to make to stay on track.

Step Four

Make sure you keep track of what you find. It is important to see how the small savings you are making add up.

Step Five

Remember we aren’t trying to become millionaires overnight. This challenge is about reaching the small goal we set for ourselves by 31st December. If you think you can reach your goal with a lesser saving then do it, otherwise, try and save even a small amount for the next three months.

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