Finance, Uncategorized

Savings Challenge Mid-Year Check In

We are already halfway through 2021! It’s been both uneventful and a bit of a rollercoaster to say the least. I thought it would be a good time to see how I was doing with the savings challenges I set at the beginning of the year. Setting out to do three different challenges may have been a little too ambitious. However, I didn’t have too many financial goals at the time so I decided to go big.

Am I Still Contributing to the Challenges?

It was much harder to keep up with two of the three challenges than I thought it would be. Work didn’t really pick up as much as I thought it would. I didn’t have as much disposable income to lend to savings as I thought I would. Here’s where I stand with the three challenges I had started:

The $5 Challenge – any five dollar bills you get, you save. Of the three challenges, this would technically be the easiest one. However, a lot of places are still not accepting cash I haven’t had as many chances to break the $20’s I use. I have still saved $120, which is pretty good in my opinion.

The Weather Challenge – Choose a day of the week, and the amount you save is the temperature high of that day. This was the first challenge that I stopped contributing to about two months into the year. I think I saved almost $200 before I stopped (it was a very mild winter this year). Instead, I decided to use this as my rollover from my food budget, to save up for more expensive purchases. So far, I’ve saved up $610.

26 Week Money Challenge – there are several different versions of this challenge floating around online and I created my own to use. I made it to week 9 before the limitations of my paycheck set in (bringing my savings to $450). I initially was planning on taking a break and then jumping back on to this challenge. But to be really aggressive with my new financial goal, I’ve decided to stop this challenge as well.

What Am I Doing With The Money?

Each saving challenge was going to go towards a different goal. The 26 Week challenge was for travel, as I’m planning on several trips for 2022. I didn’t get as far as I wanted, but I could cover (budget friendly) plane tickets or hotel stay.

I can’t remember what I was going to save for initially with the Weather challenge. Now it’s my ‘luxury’ cash envelope. My first goal was to save for a Canon G7 X Mark II, as my Powershot is ever so slowly dying. But I’m going to pull some money out for a nice set of headphones and continue to save for a new camera.

The $5 challenge is going towards treating myself to a nice dinner with friends for my birthday. While I’m not sure how much more I’ll save, it’ll more than cover a good meal and a drink or two.

My New Focus

Now that I’m completely debt free, I feel that I’m in a better financial position to be able to get my own place. Ideally, I would prefer to buy over renting a place. Either way, moving is an expensive experience. I’m choosing to focus on stashing cash away, so if an opportunity comes, I can go for it. I’m planning on saving between 40% to 50% of each paycheck. Figuring out where I want to move geographically will also help create a more concrete target to reach for.

I didn’t do as well with the challenges as I thought I would. But I still managed to save over $1000 in six months which isn’t too shabby. Anyone else trying to do a savings challenge? How much have you saved so far?