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June 30, 2014
The 52 Week Savings Challenge has ended! (Please insert desired celebratory music here). I cannot believe that a year has already passed. Congratulations to those of you who participated and completed the Challenge. Also, a big thank you to the readers of this blog who have followed me on my year-long journey, many of whom encouraged me along the way when I felt like crawling under a rock and living as a hermit for the rest of my days.
If you did read my last blog, I left you by saying that with the massive expense that my wedding was becoming, I was not sure if I would be able to complete my Challenge. Well, I am happy to inform all of you that I DID IT! (Happy jumping took place at this news) That’s right, even with all my other expenses, I still managed to put back my money. It feels pretty awesome to have completed a goal that I set out to finish a year ago. Now, I must be truthful with you as I have been thus far. To complete the Challenge, I put back wedding expense money into this account to be able to reach my goal of $1,378, which I am technically going to count because it is still money that I was saving. At the end of 52 weeks, I had a whopping $1,575, exceeding my original goal by $197! Again, snaps for Tawny.
I now must regretfully tell you that I did spend ALL of my Challenge money this week. It paid for wedding items so it’s not like I just went on a massive shopping spree, even though I would have much rather done that. As I mentioned before, saving money for future needs is what the whole point of this Challenge was about. We all need to be more aware of our spending habits and establish a routine of putting money back into savings on a regular basis. I say that making it sound easy, but I will admit saving money is a very hard thing to do. Can I get an Amen? With all the life bombs that happen, and will happen, it becomes very difficult to set money aside when there is an actual need for it elsewhere in your life.
This Challenge taught me a lot about self-discipline, will power, budgeting, and really defining my needs vs. wants scenario. I had to make a lot of hard decisions and sacrifices, and get pretty creative on how to make things work, such as trying to fix my broken window or what I could make for dinner with what I already had at home, e.g. grilling bread and cheese together makes a darn good sandwich. If you search hard enough and honestly decide what is an actual need (not cable TV), everyone can make cuts in their spending to save a little more. I am sure glad I did, so I had a reserve of money for when I needed it and was not scrambling to come up with the cash.
I do plan on taking the Challenge again in the future. I think this will be great for me and my new hubby to start together! I have had suggestions from others, such as starting the Challenge at week 52 and working backwards or doubling the amount every week (only brave souls should attempt this).
I want to hear from you on your experience or what suggestions you have. How did the Challenge go for you? What would you have done differently? Will you do the Challenge again? I know many started the Challenge, but a life bomb happened and had to use their savings. I encourage you to try again and see what happens. Let me hear your story.
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