March Money Madness: How to Save $500 in 30 days

marchmoneymadness

Saving is hard! Very hard. No matter what anyone says!

The money you tuck away in your savings account could be providing you pleasure right this moment! No one wants to save, simply because it is unpleasant. I find myself asking, “Why can’t I just buy the shoes now?? Life is short”. Even when I know I should save!

But what if saving could be very easy! As in superrr easy? This 30-day challenge will help you save close to $500 and get your finances in order! If you already save money, then this would just help you save an extra $500, which is awesome! Now not all challenges are made equal. Some are easy like this one, while others are just not meant to be. Believe me, my 30 day squat challenge ended on Day 3!

Before you start planning your finances, start from the very beginning: you need to know how much you make and where your money goes each month. Read: Build A Budget That Works (With Free Budget Template)

They say if you do something for 21 days, it becomes a habit. So what happens if you do it for 30 days? Well, let’s find out!

So what is #MarchMoneyMadness about:

  1. It’s a 30 day monthly challenge which allows you to save money easier!
  2. It is a super easy way to get your finances on track
  3. You get to save money and learn at the same time
  4. There’s a downloadable calendar which will help you along the way. Pin this on your wall!
  5. There’s a downloadable guideline which will help you know what to do for each day!
  6. You have a friend to walk you through the process: Leave a comment below or send me a personal email me here if you need any help at all! CONTACT
  7. You get a day off (Sunday) to chill, meditate on the stuff you did, and catch up on stuff you did not do! Also, because you deserve a day off after saving so much

 

Since you are seeing this after March 1st, you would have to complete the first few tasks in one day. But you’re definitely up to the task! Start by downloading and printing the 30 day Challenge calendar and the guideline below (the guideline is also provided below if you prefer to visit the blog daily). Place the calendar and guideline in places you can see everyday to keep you on track with the challenge!

Download: MarchMoneyMadness Calendar – 30 day challenge

Download: MarchMoneyMadness Guidelines 1-3

#MARCHMONEYMADNESS 30 DAY CHALLENGE GUIDELINE

KNOW WHERE YOU STAND

 Day 1 Debt Day: Write down a list of all the debt you owe – credit card, student loans, mortgages, etc. Also note down the interest rates and the monthly payment you make for each.

Save $1

Day 2 Monthly Expenses: Make a list of all your monthly recurring expenses. This should be easy to do using the monthly budget plan.

Save $2

Day 3 Goals: Write down your money goals – both short-term (ST) and long-term (LT) goals. Use the 2016 goal sheet as a guideline.

Save $3

Day 4 Savings: Evaluate your savings plans. Are they in line with your ST and LT goals? If not you might have to make a new savings plan.

Save $4

Day 5 Share: Share with friends, your partner, parents or whoever else. When you tell people around you your goals, you are more likely to stick to them.

Save $5

Day 6 Chill and catch up!

Save $6

CHANGE

Day 7 Track Your Spending: Track your spending by using apps like Mint, printing weekly bank statements or writing down all expenses on paper or using Excel. This is important so you know where your money goes each month and adjust your spending if necessary!

Save $7

Day 8 Check your credit score! Great credit allows you to get qualify for cheaper loans! Using sites like Equifax Canada or TransUnion Canada, you may be able to get the first credit report for free! If you live in the US, obtain your report from annualcreditreport.com or creditkarma.com

Save $8

Day 9 Evaluate Savings Account: Find out how much you pay for your savings account monthly. Also make sure you are using a high-yield savings account when possible. This will allow your money grow faster!

Save $9

Day 10 Go cash-only: An MIT study found that people are more likely to spend more money when they use a debit/credit card instead of cash. Go cash-only today and see how much you save!

Save $10

Day 11 Cancel unnecessary subscriptions: Save money on those old magazines you don’t even read. If you don’t watch cable, cancel it and get Netflix instead. We all Netflix and Chill already, anyway!

Save $11

Day 12 Set up a financial filing system: File all your receipts one folder for receipts, this will come in handy for tax season. You can arrange your receipts like so: housing (rent and mortgage payments); utilities (phone bills and electric bills) etc. Do whatever works best for you. If you go paperless; use DropBox or a phone scanner app like CamScanner.

Save $12

Day 13 Chill and Catch up!

Save $13

FREE MONEY! (SORTA)

Day 14 Increase your pension allocations especially if you have a Defined Benefit Contribution Plan or an employer matching plan! (Make sure you keep an eye on the maximum contributions you can make to avoid tax penalties.

Save $14

Day 15 Shop for the best credit card: If your credit card rate (go back to the list for Day 1 to find more info) is high (above 16% -the national average in Canada and USA) then it might be time to start shopping for a new one

Save $15

Day 16 Renegotiate phone and cable bills and other bills! E.g. car insurance

Save $16

Day 17 Student loans: Find out if you qualify for a lower payment using the income based repayment plan offered by your government. This plan lets you make payments based on your income and not what you owe

Save $17

Day 18 Spend the gift cards that you have floating in your wallet (or at least gather and stack them till they are needed)

Save $18

Day 19 Consolidate debt: A lot of time if you have all qualifying loans and plans with one financial institution, you might get a great rate! Consider having your car insurance, credit card and savings plans with one bank.

Save $19

Day 20 Chill and catch up!

Save $20

PLAN

Day 21 Deposit the $231 you’ve saved at the end of the day into the high-yield savings account you set up on Day 9!

Save $21

Day 22 Remember those goals you wrote down on Day 3? Put them in a place you can see them every day! This will keep you motivated!

Save $22

Day 23 Budgeting Apps: Use apps like Mint, Level, and Good Budget to help you stay on track with the challenge!

Save $23

 Day 24 Learn: Book an appointment with a financial advisor or block off an hour each week on your calendar to organize your finances. Also make sure you talk to your financially savvy friends! If they’re willing to help you for free that’s awesome!

Save $24

Day 25 Official savings and investment plan: Now you’ve tracked your expenses and know just how much you spend each month. Now it’s time for you to write it down.  A savings plan not written down is no plan at all!

Save $25

Day 26 Grow baby: With the money you’ve saved decide what you’re going to invest in. If you’re in Canada consider putting it in a high-interest TFSA (if you’re in the US – a Roth IRA) and invest in whatever financial instruments you choose, so your money grows cash free. You can also put this money towards your business!

Save $26

Day 27 Chill and catch up!

Save $27

Day 28 Keep on learning: Bookmark your favorite personal financial websites and buy personal finance books to help you get started with saving. The goal here is continuous learning!

Save $28

Day 29 Do your grocery shopping for the next month and make next week’s lunches!

Save $29

Day 30 Celebrate your accomplishments!

Save $30

 

TOTAL SAVINGS: $465!!! 

 

How is the challenge going for you?! Comment below.

Written By

Chinazom Chidolue is a personal finance blogger and an accountant. Growing up in a household with entrepreneurial parents, she developed a keen interest in business and finances. Chinazom combined her background in accounting and her passion for financial literacy and founded Investment Conversations: a personal finance blog which was created to help millennials take control of their personal finances by breaking down complex money topics into easily understandable and fun concepts.

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