You know how sometimes you set a goal for yourself, tell everyone about it, and then fail miserably and have to tell everyone how you were on the front seat of the fail bus all the way to Failtown?
Yeah. That’s why I didn’t post about my January goal.
I mentioned in December that I was going to try and control my Christmas spending and actually hoard money throughout the Christmas season! Well, I got carried away with Christmas consumerism and vacation spending, and didn’t manage to save that much.
But in January, I decided that I would save as much as possible – no more frivolous spending. It was a new year, and it would be a new me. I was tired of never having extra savings, and knew it was because I wasn’t giving much thought to my day-to-day purchases. I had a hard look at my spending, and my paycheques, and decided that I could save even more than the 29% of every cheque I have deducted via automatic savings plans.
And I didn’t tell the blog about it.
For some people, public goal setting is beneficial in that it motivates them to do well or face the embarrassment of admitting to everyone they failed. Not me! Have you seen some of my goal setting posts? I basically fail every single goal I set and laugh it off/make excuses, except for the automatic savings plans. That’s money I know I can’t touch.
After I decided to save as much as possible it was like a switch flipped inside me. I gave every purchase a second, even third or fourth thought. I stopped going to the mall, I stopped getting sushi for dinner on a whim, I stopped reloading my Starbucks card at every opportunity. I slashed my disposable spending in half.
I feel like the worst personal finance blogger ever, because I can’t tell you why or how it happened. For some reason I just stopped, and I ended up saving 44% of my net income last month. That’s my motivation to continue this spending holiday into February, because I’ve already cut my spending in half so I can just keep it going (and February is a short month!). In fact, I found it so easy to keep going that I’m on track to save 52% of my upcoming paycheque. Seeing the boost in my savings account is my motivation, even if I’m not setting SMART goals for dollar amounts, I’m still seeing the balance in my accounts go up. That’s good enough for me.
Have you ever done a complete 180 when it comes to your spending or saving? What precipitated it? Have you made it a habit or did you go back to your old ways?