We’ve officially finished YNAB’S 30 Day More Money Challenge and the results are in! If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, go ahead and check out my original post here and my update at the halfway point here.
When we started this challenge we set the goal of saving $1,000. Did we make it?
According to our paper tracker the answer is no. In reality the answer is yes.
According to our savings tracker where we documented all of our savings each day, we saved a total of $914 over the 30 days. Not bad, but a little shy of our original goal.
However, I’m confident we definitely saved more than $1,000 thanks to doing this challenge. When I used YNAB to compare our average monthly spending over the previous 4 months to our spending in January, I saw that we spent $2,707 less in January than the previous 4 month average.
Even though the previous months were characterized by higher spending for the holidays, it wasn’t that much higher, and it’s safe to say that at least $1,000 of that savings can be attributed to the More Money Challenge and probably closer to $2,000.
The best part was, even though we spent a significant chunk less than the previous months, it didn’t feel like we were really cutting back too much. The fact that the challenge forced us to stop and take a moment to think before we made lots of small but usually default purchases really helped reset some of our spending habits that had been creeping up. And it’s a wild to see how those little habits added up at the end of the month.
In fact I think that’s why we didn’t hit the $1,000 goal on the paper savings tracker. The last week of the challenge we got kind of sloppy about tracking our savings, because as the month wore on, we stopped having so many urges to consume things that at the end of the day there wasn’t much we could say that we would have bought but didn’t.
In fact we didn’t write down any savings on the tracking sheet at all for the last 6 days. Was it because we didn’t actually save money or because we had stopped wanted to spend it as easily through out the day? I think it was the latter.
Our tracked savings in the second half of the month were actually mostly due to returning things we had bought the previous month and realized we didn’t need, canceling a subscription we weren’t using any more, and skipping some smaller purchases here and there.
I will admit, we had a really rough week for other reasons at the end of the month which did result in us caving and getting take out one night, despite the strict no dining out rule. I don’t feel bad about it.
All in all the experience of doing the More Money Challenge was great! We both have already talked about wanting to incorporate a no-spend / no dining out week once a month for the upcoming year. I figure if we can do that, it would be the equivalent of doing 3 of these challenges a year but spread out to make it a bit easier and sustainable, while also having the benefit of keeping the lessons fresh in our minds.
Based on our results from this past month that could mean an extra $3,000 – $6,000 saved at the end of the year!
If the More Money Challenge sounds like something you’d like to try, you can find the workbook here. Happy Challenge!