Want to improve your financial life? I recommend taking the 7 day challenge as a first step. What is the 7 day challenge?
I challenge people to track daily discretionary spending. EVERYTHING for 7 days! Most people won’t ever do that, but if you will, you can uncover some spending that is taking you further from your goals and dreams. This is discretionary spending, like coffee, eating out, drinks, online shopping… You get the idea. Write it down, then total it for the week. The total may surprise you! Then go back and determine: What is negotiable? What is non-negotiable? Is there something you are spending money on that isn’t adding value to your life?
When we did this years ago, I uncovered a coffee habit (with a pastry) that was costing me about $30-$40 a week! I decided that it wasn’t really adding value to my life, just sucking up dollars and adding calories (and yes I was a couple pounds heavier those days…) I decided to stop this habit because Chris and I were focused on buying a new house. So, I opened an account to re-direct these expenses (Chris had his too, by the way, and they were more costly than mine!). We now had a purpose for these dollars rather than just giving up something. Instead of spending money on these items that weren’t bringing value to our life, we put the money in our new house account and I tracked the growth. It now became a fun and meaningful process watching the money grow and us getting closer to our goal of buying a new house.
Another interesting thing that happened through this process was creating a new healthy habit! I haven’t thought about or craved my sugar-filled treat for years and even now when I go for coffee, I only get a regular coffee. Not only am I saving money, I’m saving calories! I created a new habit that continues to bring more useful dollars into our life we can use towards our savings and I really don’t miss the latte and the pastry! Chris ran the numbers and found that one habit change alone over the last 8 years has added $7,300 of useful money into our lives!
Take the challenge and see what new habits you can create that can change your life.
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