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I set myself a challenge at the start of October: to save or earn an additional £500 to throw back into my savings.
So, how did I do?
Cutting back on fixed costs:
I set myself the goal of slashing some of my subscriptions. I spoke to my mobile phone provider, my broadband provider and I checked my gas and electricity costs.
Here’s how I did (all prices per month):
- Broadband: £38.99 to £28.99
- Gas & Electricity: £115 to £74
- Mobile phone 1: £10 to £7.50
- Mobile phone 2: £16.62 to £11
This saves me £59.12 a month! That adds up to £709.44 over the course of a year, which is fantastic.
In each case, I phoned or messaged the company I was with and mentioned that if I switched to a competitor I could get a cheaper price. They all offered to drop our monthly bill.
Cutting back on variable costs:
- Food: £512 to £348
- Transport: £60 to £81 (oops)
This saved me £305 this month! If I can maintain that level of savings on my food bill, I could save £3,660 a year… wow!
Total amount saved: £364.12
The biggest win for me was not getting takeaway at all during October. There was one day where I really craved chow mein from the local Chinese takeaway… but I resisted! Instead, I had a veggie burger from the freezer. Cheaper, healthier, and more satisfying in the long run. 🙂
Total amount earned during October:
I looked to earn money on the side in a variety of ways:
- Performing 126 ‘hits’ on Amazon’s Mechanical Turk earned me a whopping $15.33. Yay!
- I signed up for Vindale Surveys* and earned $14.47 by answering surveys.
- I re-opened my Fiverr* Gig for SEO writing, but didn’t get any bites. If I’m honest, I made no attempt to promote it, so I am not surprised.
- Finally, and most amazingly, I earned £1.16 and $0.65 from this blog! (Thank you so much to the people who found my Gift Guide for those on a Budget useful!)
Total amount earned: £23.72 (at current exchange rate)
Okay, truth be told, I could’ve done better here. But my main job was hugely stressful this month, I caught a stomach bug that wiped me out for a week, and basically I just didn’t have the bandwidth to invest a lot of time or energy into side-hustles.
My main focus is building up the foundation of this blog. In the meantime, I’ll keep spending a few minutes here and there on Vindale (in particular) as it’s an easy way to earn a few extra bucks. But I won’t be expecting it to replace my main income any time soon.
Final result from the Month of Money challenge: £387.84
So, I didn’t meet my £500 goal. But I did make some easy, ongoing savings that will add up over time. I do have £388 to throw into my emergency fund. And, hopefully, I can keep up the reduced spend on my grocery shop next month too.