6 Feb 2010

Save £1000 in 30 Days Challenge

Why did a Tribe Called Quest just pop into my head?

"Can I kick it?"

OK.....JUST for the nostalgia....then onto serious matters

*Beautiful long drawn out sigh* No booty shaking, hood rats, derogatory lyrics, n*gga this, n*gga that all up in that video. Can we have those days back please???


Last week I had time to kill whilst after work before going out to dinner, so I decided to browse all types of books in Waterstones. Then I came to one of my favourite sections…

Money. Making it. Saving it. Investing it.

I’m pretty good and organised when it comes to all three so finding a book that was going to help me with what I already know was going to be a challenge within itself.

Whilst flipping through a book I noticed a save £1000 in 30 days challenge. I didn’t read into it specifically, but thought “hmmmmmm”

So now a week later I’m still thinking “hmmmmmm” and even if I don’t make the target figure in 30 days, isn’t trying to accumulate £1000 in 30 days better than not even bothering with the challenge at all?


Your aim may be to save £1000 but only manage £350 or even less. That will still be great, because your intention yesterday may not to have been to save AT ALL. Whatever you manage to keep is always a bonus over it going into a retailers pocket. And maybe next month you won't become so pissed looking at your bank statement wondering “where the hell did all my money go last month” if you instill a little discipline when it comes to finances.

I remember tweeting something last week off the top of my head, along the lines of:

“I’m enjoying NOT shopping, as I can SEE where my money is NOT going.”

It’s NOT going to Selfridges, Niketown, or Swarovski. I can SEE the money in my account staying put.

So today as of February 5th [being Day 1] I’m going to attempt the challenge. March 6th will be Day 30 and at the halfway mark on Day 15 [19th Feb] I’ll update you all with my progress.

So Miss ReTweet [she knows who she is] on Twitter asked: “how does this work?”
You just put some money aside, when you get it, every day, every week, at the end of the 30 days, whenever you can and whenever it suits you. Best to have a bank account separate from your main one to put the money in. If you don’t have one, no problem, but it makes it much easier to keep track of.

“I can’t afford to save £1000”
Shoot I may not be able to either but I'm gonna try. It’s fine though, I chose £1000 because that's the challenge I saw in the book. Plus the higher the goal the more effort in the challenge to achieve it. Choose a figure that best suits you if you find £1000 uncomfortable or not at all attainable. Could be £100, £500, £700 whatever amount you want in your currency [as I know my blog readers aren’t all British].

I say find that comfortable figure you know you can achieve and add an extra £100 onto it, so that will make it your final goal amount.

“Aside from my job, how can I earn more money for this challenge”
Off the top of my head and I'm no expert by any means....
  • eBay – don’t look at what you have as being rubbish. “One diva’s trash is another diva’s treasure." I sold a Guess watch I’d only worn once with a non-working battery for £80. Used clothes sell, so do new ones. Try it and see. Although look out for FREE listings days on eBay to save money. I store all of my listings in Turbo Lister 2 and upload them all at once. My sister is an avid ebay seller. I spoke to her this evening and she said she sets herself weekly goals of selling £100 a week of items. This is of things she has at home. She doesn't import anything to sell. She also said the other night she made sure she listed at least 3 items. You don't have to list every single item you have in one go, but 3 items daily [or whatever you can manage] is 21 items a week. Better than nothing!
  • Mystery Shopping
  • Selling scrap gold for cash [I’ve done this twice and recommend the top one in the country [UK] ‘Falkos Gold’] I’ve blogged about them here before.
  • Clinical trials
  • A 2nd job
  • Blood donation [if they pay for blood in your country]
  • Trading Forex/Options/Spread Betting [spread betting it illegal in the USA] ONLY if you’re experienced and knowledgeable]. Don’t attempt this if you’re not!!!
  • Do you have any old mobile/cell phones? Sell them! Even if you get £3 or £10 for an old phone. That’s £3 or £10 CLOSER to your saving in 30 days goal. Use Mobile Valuer to compare which company will pay the most for your old phone. 
  • Enter as many online competitions to win money. [I don’t do this but may start…someone has to win right? It could be you!]
  • Have you checked your bank/credit card statements. Are you owed any money for unlawful bank charges?
  • Go back over your taxes for the last 6 years [5 years 10 months to be exact]. Type 'rebate tax calculator' into Google, and for each tax year enter the gross amount and tax paid. If you're owed any money you'll get a cheque from the Inland Revenue in weeks. I did this years ago and got over £3,000 back over 3 different tax years. It's well worth a few hours work just to see if you're entitled.
  • Check your utility bills, especially gas and electricity. Sometimes on a direct debit you over pay and are rarely unaware of this.
  • Water bill. Will it be cheaper for you to go on a meter? I live alone in a 3 bedroom house the previous annual bill was about £230 based on a family of four. I switched to a meter because I knew little old me wasn't using that much. I now pay £9 a month for water.
  • Home contents insurance. I used to pay £273, went on a comparison website and got better insurance coverage for only £65 a year. It's now increased over the year to £89 since then.
  • The same with travel insurance. Don't be afraid to change insurers. I was with Columbus Direct [I always buy Annual Multi-Trip insurance].  My policy was £29 a year when it came time to renew Columbus wanted to charge me over £60. Good old faithful price comparison website,  I got out of my comfort zone and am now insured with OUL Direct for £25.47
  • Have you gone through all of your direct debits and standing orders recently. Are you paying for things you no longer use?
For me I call this a financial clean up. Where I went though any and everything that had the £ sign before it and saw what needed to be changed, refunded, stopped.

There maybe other ways to make/save money, but you get my drift on different ideas to come up with. If you think of any other ways then please let me know.

For the UK folks Money Saving Expert is a well known and good resource for the money saving and making. Check out their forum too.

For the US Scrooge Strategy  Now there maybe better US financial gurus out there. If you know of any websites then let me know in the comments and I'll edit the blog to add them.

Also think of ways in which you can SAVE money!
  • Do you really need THAT dress/shoes when you have 15 you thought you needed and have never worn?
  • Is your fridge/freezer/cupboard is well stocked? Do you really need to spend £20 on a take away tonight?
  • Going to the cinema? Go to the supermarket and get your popcorn for under £1 and stop paying close to £5 for it. I get my popcorn from Tesco for only 85p. Same with the drinks and sweets and smuggle them into the movie.
  • Put down the Starbucks! Total them up over a week/month/year! Now get over the shock and bring a mug and some coffee granules to work.
  • Near a Cineworld cinema then invest in an Cineworld Unlimited pass £13.50 a month to see as many films as you want. One film may cost £7-8. If you see only 2 a month you’ve already saved money. I live no where near a Cineworld but at that price a train/bus ride to Wandsworth from South Norwood is worth it than paying £7.00 at the Vue cinema in Croydon which is only 5 minutes away.
  • Do you need to buy breakfast and lunch at work today? Breakfast maybe an average of £2.50, lunch £3.50 that’s £30 a week £120 a month. Spend 5-10 mins the night before and bring your food into work.
  • Get to the club before 11:30 or somewhere where entry is free. Go with a friend who's a driver and you have a pretty much free night out.
  • Want a social night in. Call up the girls/boys, bring a bottle/snacks and have a social gathering at your place. Siddown, chat, drink, laugh. Some of my best social moments have been in my living room and not at the club. I've done these in the past. Better still the host usually gets left with the snacks and alcohol that's leftover. Trust me there have been moments where I've started my Sunday mornings with alcohol. In moderation of course.
  • The same can be done with an informal dinner party. Instead of bring a bottle you all cook and bring a dish.
  • Make the most of the coupons that the supermarkets send you. I ONLY use the ones that relate to the products I buy regularly. I don't see the point in using a coupon to buy something I don't use. That IN THEORY doesn't help me save money, but spend it unnecessarily. If I don't buy wine why am I going to buy wine JUST to make use of the coupon???
  • Love going out to dinner? Register on Toptable and check out the 50% off food bill offers to save money if you do go out. I ALWAYS book through Toptable and have done for years.

Whatever you do don’t turn your nose up at small amounts and think “I can only save £10 today” I would have loved to have saved £10 a day/week from when I started working at the age of 16 and stuck that in a high interest account. In the same breath don't think oh it's only £3 for lunch today that's not a lot. It adds up trust me!

Every penny you save is one step CLOSER to your financial goal.

Don't scarfice bills or debt payments just to say "I did it!!" that's just retarded. Take care of your bills, food etc then see what you can save from what's left or think of ways to make some more.

I've been doing fine weeks before not even thinking about a saving money challenge. So why is it the same day I decide to start this the following happens and I've had to stop myself in the last 6 hours from.
  • Being in Convent Garden and NOT going to the Indian Restaurant that serves the most delectable food.
  • Actually called Domino's Pizza, made the order and then said "I don't want it"
  • Refrained from ordering an Indian when I got home that have the BEST naan bread EVER!
  • Saw Finnair were doing return flights to Japan for £499 and where I would have done a spur of the moment thing and booked. Actually didn't.
  • Got an e-mail that New Kids were doing a North America tour and went on-line to Ticket Master to book a ticket at their NYC show in June. I did this 3 times before I stopped myself. 
  • Went to Amazon to buy Lee Daniel's movie Tennessee starring Mariah [you all know I'm a fan], Season 4 of Girlfriends and Tyler Perry's I Can Do Bad All By Myself.
I'll give myself a pat on the back! I think now that I'm concious of the challenge it may be harder. But hey I love a challenge, so why not!

I could go on and on and on about different way to attempt this challenge so first things first.
Pick a figure whether it be big or small and just have a go! The worst thing that could possibly happen is you could actually save some money over the next 30 days!


  1. Lol, I wonder who Miss Retweeting is.....
    I'm definitely trying this cuz I'm bad with money! Very bad and I need a financial clean up.
    Starting today 6th Feb, going to save 1000 Naira a day, so at d end of 30days, I should ve 30,000 naira. Lord help me!
    Off to look for ways to make and save
    Thanks for this!

  2. I love this post! May I recommend another good financial info site:

    And if you pay tax in the UK, make sure you have an ISA!


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