She saved up over S$18,000 in just one year of not shopping AND she could quit her full-time job!
When we first get our disposable income upon getting our first job, we get excited knowing that we can now afford to get whatever we want. We don’t have to answer to anyone and we have minimal bills to pay. But as we progress in our career and lives, we start to have more bills to pay, shopping is something that should come second.
But some of us tend to lose control and still let our desires overwhelm us. This is how many people get into debt and without savings. However, one woman decided to quit shopping for a year and here’s what she found.
Near 30 with no savings
Cait Flanders was 28 while her little sister was still in college. She was shocked to find that her sister was successfully saving 20% of her income as a full-time college student.
Cait, on the other hand, was barely putting away 5% of her monthly salary.
“All of a sudden the wheels started turning,” she said in an interview with INSIDER. She wondered if she could live on less than 95% of her income.
It turns out, she absolutely could.
Cait had only recently finished paying off nearly US$30,000 of debt, which left her spending money aimlessly on other things.
If she wasn’t careful, she would have had wound out in another round of debt.
“I wasn’t moving toward any of my goals,” she said.
That’s when she decided to quit shopping for a year, starting on her 29th birthday.
Quit shopping for a year
According to Cait, she stopped herself from buying new clothes, books, electronics, furniture, or takeout coffee for the entire year. In fact, she could not purchase anything that was non-essential.
“Unless I was in some kind of situation where I absolutely needed it or had to replace something, I could not buy it,” she said.
However, she did have a list of “approved items” she knew she needed to buy that year. Like a formal dress and high heels. She had five weddings to attend that year so she decided to buy one outfit for the five occasions.
In addition to not purchasing these unnecessary items, she also kept an inventory of what she already owned so she wouldn’t make impulse purchases of random items.
Saved up US$13,300 (S$18,200) after she quit shopping for a year
Since she quit shopping for a year, Cait managed to save US$13,300 (S$18,200). With the savings, she hopes to travel more as well as save for retirement.
During this year that she quit shopping, Cait also managed to quit her full time job and got herself into freelance writing.
After her first year of the shopping ban, she let herself continue the good habit for another year.
However, in the second year, she started tracking her spending and keeping count of things like how many tubes of toothpaste or sticks of deodorant she actually used in a year.
Would you be willing to quit shopping for a year if it means getting your finances in order? Let us know what other things helps you save more money in a year!
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