If you’re anything like the rest of the world, you’ve probably already found yourself wavering on your New Year’s Resolutions. Sticking to the habits that help us reach our long-term goals proves extremely challenging once the momentum of a new year has worn off. So when it comes to saving money to be invested in your future, we often find that participating in mini savings challenges can help.
That’s why, along with our partners at Wealthsimple — simple, affordable investing for anyone — we’ve asked four different influencers to participate in a “no-spend challenge” this spring. Today, we’re checking in with Jessica at Choosing Chia. Jess challenged herself to spend $0 on anything non-essential for two weeks, with the goal of using what she saved to be invested for her future goals. Here’s what she had to say!
TFD: How successful were you at completing the challenge?
Jessica: I’d say I was pretty successful overall! I tried to limit my spending on food to only groceries, and cook at home with friends rather than going out for dinner. I also felt more conscious about not spending money on things that I don’t “need.”
Did you have any hiccups while you were completing your challenge?
I did have one — ordering my lunch on a busy work day. It was the day before leaving on a 10-day trip, and I had no groceries in my fridge and didn’t want to buy a bunch of groceries before leaving for 10 days, so I decided to just order a salad for my lunch instead. It was the only time during the challenge that I didn’t cook my own food!
How much money do you estimate you saved that you can now use to put in investments?
I’d say in the 14 days of doing the challenge, I saved about $200 that I would have spent on going out for dinner, drinks, and shopping for things I don’t need.
What spending did you miss the most?
Going out to dinner! That was the most challenging for me since it’s an easy activity to do with friends on the weekend or after a busy workday. Especially since it’s currently still winter where I live, it’s hard to find alternative free activities to do instead of grabbing a bite to eat or a drink.
Was there any spending you were surprised you didn’t miss? If so, what was it?
Not particularly. I always make it a point to have my coffee at home and cook most of my meals at home, so there wasn’t anything I was surprised I missed.
Would you ever complete a no-spend challenge again?
Absolutely! I feel like doing a no-spend challenge is like doing a detox in a way. The same way it’s great to detox your home with spring cleaning or detox your body by doing a healthy eating challenge, I think a no-spend challenge is a great reset to remind you of what you actually need to spend money on, and how much money your spending without even realizing.
What helps motivate you to invest/save for their future when you’re tempted to spend on things in the present?
Setting goals for myself really helps me stay motivated to save. I like to set big goals for myself, such as being able to save for big investments, like a future house. When I keep my eye on that goal, I know that it’s not worth it in the present moment to waste money on things I don’t actually need.
What do you hope to use your investments for eventually (i.e. what kind of retirement you’d envision, or if you have shorter-term investment plans)?
I hope to use my investments to own property, maybe even in more than one country! Eventually, I’d like to be able to retire comfortably and be able to keep up the type of lifestyle I have now without having to worry about money.
We often hear from our audience that they feel like they don’t have enough to invest in even a basic retirement fund, so a no-spend challenge is a great way to find where you might be able to save more than you think. And with a company like Wealthsimple, you can start investing today, no matter how much you’re starting with. Click here to learn more, and get your first $10,000 managed for free.
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