How to Save £4000 in Eight Months #4kByChristmasDay
I’m two months in to my goal of saving #4kByChristmasDay: that’s £4,000 in eight months!
But how do you save £4000 in eight months? That’s what I’m learning these days…!
I started this goal at the end of May 2019, after the dust settled on our wedding. We paid off our £16,000 debt during the prior July, but building savings afterwards was a tough challenge. As soon as we started to save, we decided to get married because we realised we wanted to move forward with our lives after focusing so much on clearing our debts. Our wedding cost around £5,000, and once that was over, I’ve thrown myself into saving.
Something I’ve learned on my financial journey is how much I enjoy a challenge. I treated our debt free journey like a challenge, with targets and charts and tons of planning, and it paid off- literally! I thought saving would come naturally once it was over. But it was actually a lot harder to achieve without making it a focus like we did with our debt free journey.
So when saving just wasn’t happening, I thought back to paying off debt to figure out how we could apply what we learned to this.
What worked? How did I pull that off, and how can I apply it to saving?
I needed to work through a plan that taught me how to save £4000 in eight months. And that’s when I realised that I needed to give myself a savings goal.
£4,000 is a large enough figure to make it a challenge, without being too large that there would be no way I could achieve it.
Eight months is enough time to do it, but not so much that I’d slack off and not focus on it.
I needed a plan that I could break off into manageable chunks so I wouldn’t get overwhelmed. I could break this one into £500 per month. Then I just needed to figure out what to do day-to-day to get there.
The one thing I was adamant about was that I didn’t want to save the majority of the money from our salaries. To be honest, I’ve had enough of extreme budget life. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt with cash and then sold it on eBay. I am all for living well for less but I simply don’t want to go back to restricting what we spend to the bare minimum because I feel we’ve paid our dues by getting out of debt.
So I decided that I wanted to make the majority of the funds for #4kByChristmasDay from side hustles and things beyond my day job. The rest of the funds will come from excess money I have when I’m smart with spending, or I save on something I’ve budgeted for.
But for the most part, my savings are going to be the product of side hustling.
Two months in and I’m at my target of where I need to be at this point (over £1,000). I’ve been amazed at how easily this has worked, but just like getting out of debt, success is a matter of making a robust plan and giving it your focus. And I’m surprised at just how many ways there are to make money out there!
So what I’ve decided to document how to save £4000 into a blog post that I’ll keep adding to every time something new crops up. If I have a link to a relevant blog post, I’ll link it. If not, I’ll try to post about this is the coming months.
So here goes!
How I’ve Made Money for #4kByChristmasDay
- If there’s a product or service I like, I use a refer-a-friend, referral or affiliate link when I talk about it on my blog or social media channels. I only have a couple of affiliates. These are things I’ve tried and tested and continue to use myself.
- I currently sell a book and a budget planner.
YouGov (survey app)
Prolific (survey app)
Testing Time (market research)
Checkout Smart Reimbursements
How I’ve Saved Money for #4kByChristmasDay
Food Spending Cut by £5-£10 per week
- Had a fakeaway instead of a takeaway
- Dropped a brand on one of two regular grocery items
- Chosen a free alternative on Shopmium/Checkout Smart and banked the saving
Date Night Spending Cut by £30-£50 per month
- Cut out one round of drinks on date night
- Cut out one date night per month
- Drove on one date night instead of drinking/getting taxis
- Had friends round for food and drinks instead of going out
Travel Spending Cut by £10 per month
- Walked instead of driving to the park/gym
- Walked home from work instead of getting the bus
Saving I Didn’t Even Notice
- Rounded savings up to the nearest £5 every time I transferred money to savings account
- Saved account buffer that we didn’t spend by the end of the month
- Topped up my savings to meet my monthly target at the end of each month (I’ll admit I do notice this a little because last month I had to top up a good bit, but this keeps me on track so I have to put this in!)
As my savings goal progresses, I will keep updating so please keep checking back to get inspired! Please let me know in the comments if there is anything you’ve done that will help others who are trying to save, too!