I have been challenged by Scottish Friendly to take part in their Money Saving Diary Challenge, and it’s definitely one for me. As you may have read here recently, we have just booked a holiday to Walt Disney World next summer so we are all about saving at the moment!
The idea behind the challenge was to keep a diary of all expenditure, however small, over a few weeks. I have been doing this for just over a fortnight now and I can already say that it has made a difference to my spending.
I think it helps that I am very motivated to save at the moment as we have a clear and exciting goal in mind that helps to keep me focused. I’d say the first thing to do if you’re looking to save money is be clear about why you are saving. Whether it be long time retirement, for the kids when they’re older or perhaps something more imminent such as a holiday, home improvements or a car, by keeping the end goal in mind it can keep your saving on track.
It’s worth then considering where to put the savings. I tend to move some money as soon as we’re paid, and then save where I can each week and add that in at the end of the month. It’s this part that has really been boosted by the money saving diary challenge.
For the purposes of this, I first reviewed our normal monthly bills and utilities to ensure they were at the best possible prices. I then looked at other regular expenditure to see where we could reduce costs. Once I was happy with all of that, I started to keep my diary on all other spends, so I did not note down things such as the mortgage, council tax and so on, I concentrated on the areas where I could spend less.
An easy saving was around the weekly food shopping. I have experimented with a couple of different supermarkets this month looking for savings and I have meal planned properly and shopped on offers and deals, creating our weekly menu around these. This has saved us around £15 per week and I’ve still another couple of cheaper supermarkets to try so I am hoping for further savings there.
By writing down all spends, the little bits here and there, it made me think more about how necessary they actually were and made me realise how quickly the few pounds here and there do add up over a week.
The overall learn from this challenge is simply: ‘Do it!’. Yes, I plan to continue keeping my spending diary and I will integrate it into my bullet journal from next month. By writing down everything I spent it did make me think before buying and made me analyse more closely buys that were necessary or just whims, and where I could make savings.
What about you? Do you keep a money saving diary?
Disclosure: This is a collaborative post