You may have noticed that my money saving posts have been a little silent of late.
Here’s the low down.
To be honest, it turns out that sometimes ringing banks for a better deal is confronting. Looking for a better phone plan can be plain boring. And tracking your spending is monotonous and sometimes demoralising!
You find a better electricity deal, save $500 and then a week later your car breaks down, phone stops working, microwave starts spitting sparks and the fridge dies (true story sadly!). $2,000 in unexpected expenses later and the small win seems inconsequential.
As a comfortable middle-class family, with a decent income and a nice savings buffer, there really is no desperate need to save $500 on my electricity bills. We can still afford to have electricity. We are not going to have to forgo anything to pay our basic utility bills. Nor do we have to work extra hours to make ends meet. It’s easy to be apathetic.
So what indeed is the point? Why spend an hour hacking away at our spending and saving $500, when my life tomorrow will be no different to today? Is sitting and watching Netflix a better way to spend my time? (Or in our case, free to air TV, since the Netflix account was shut in week 1 of my savings challenge! Ha!!!!)
You might have a different motivation, but I try to remind myself of this.
$500 is not having to worry about the car repairs.
$500 is 10 extra hours with my kids instead of work, or time to volunteer and work on my passion projects – if not now then in the future when work is no longer fun or life calls for a change of direction.
$500 is a donation to a charity that matters to me – 200 malaria nets for example, or sponsoring a child.
$500 a year is a mighty fine holiday, or over 6 weeks of living expenses, in 10 years time.
So no – I don’t need the $500. But from little things grow. For me, $500 IS a contribution to building that nest egg, a buffer if I ever want to say FU to work!, or retiring early. It’s going on that special holiday or having a sabbatical.
So many greater things are a culmination of smaller actions – and sometimes that’s hard to remember. The first 500 words of a novel you want to write seems inconsequential, until you team it up with the thousands of words that follow. That first short training run seems pointless and painful until you’ve pushed through hundreds more, and finish the event you once thought impossible.
That $500 contributes to my future freedom. It means that even in a small way, I am using my money in the most efficient way possible to live my version of a happy, purposeful life. That’s why it matters (to me at least!).
And that’s why, despite the fact that it is boring, monotonous and sometimes demoralising, I’m back on the horse. This afternoon I’m off to the bank to save on fees and consolidate bank accounts. An hour’s work for several hundred dollars of savings. But more about that next week. Xo
For now, I’d love you to share some of motivation. What inspires you to find a better deal on your bills or stick with a savings plan? What matters to you enough that you take action to use your money wisely?