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This Woman Shows How To Save A Huge Sum Of Money By Cutting Unnecessary Things In Life

This Woman Shows How To Save A Huge Sum Of Money By Cutting Unnecessary Things In Life

Do you often complain about your wages seeming to disappear as soon as they enter your bank account? For many of us, living from month to month in terms of spending is a common occurrence. But have you ever wondered how much you could save if you really budgeted? Michelle McGagh did just that and managed to save up a massive $23,000 in a year by forgoing luxury items and sticking to the necessities. Don’t think it’s possible? Think again!

The Story Behind The Experiment

Michelle McGagh came across as an irony – she was a personal finance journalist for 10 years who wrote about how people could spend their money better, yet she wasn’t doing it herself.

She found she was caught up in the common belief that spending more would make her happier, and she believed that buying the latest products would enhance her life in countless ways.

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So, the idea was born to spend a whole year only buying necessities – no fancy dinners out, no getting the bus on a rainy or windy day, no excessive beauty products or holidays away.

Instead, she stuck to cycling or walking to work, cooking cheap homemade meals, wearing only the clothes she already had in her wardrobe and only buying necessary items such as toothpaste, soap and shampoo. It was time for a massive change. It seemed an uncomfortable prospect at first, but changing her habits and mindset towards money was key in carrying out this experiment successfully. And so, the journey began.

What She Learnt From Living Thrifty

By carefully cutting out daily coffees from the local café and making her own brew, cancelling her gym membership and exercising at home instead, and swapping expensive concerts for free gigs and exhibitions, Michelle learnt a new way of life. As she explains it:

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“I won’t pretend it was easy, though, especially the first months when I tried living my old life but with no money. Sometimes, I had an urge to forget all about it and lose myself in a shopping spree, get drunk in a bar, or just buy a bus ticket instead of climbing onto my bike again on a windy day. However, I understood something important: you don’t have to open your wallet every time you want to have a good time.”

While saving money was her ultimate goal, the most important lesson she learnt was the fact that spending money didn’t always equal happiness.

A Difficult But Rewarding Journey

Of course, it wasn’t all easy. Cutting out all her splurges and pampering expenditures was hard, and after a year, her clothes were starting to wear out, her hair was in desperate need of a hairdresser and she missed her takeout food and coffee dates with friends.

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However, she describes how she’s learnt to efficiently budget food and find the best bargains and even how to cook – skills she never would have gained had she not gone ahead with the experiment.

The biggest bonus of all? She managed to save a whopping $23,000 that went towards her mortgage, which she had been convinced she would need to spend the next 25 years paying for.

“The most important result of the year for me was that I became more open for adventure and new people. I learned to say “yes” to all things new. And I also realised how little I need to be happy.”

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So, if your bank balance isn’t looking how you’d like it to, think about what you really spend your money on. What could you cut out? Weed out the necessities from the luxuries and see how much money you can ultimately save. It might just change your life in more ways than one.

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Jenny Marchal

A passionate writer who loves sharing about positive psychology.

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Last Updated on January 21, 2020

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

How to Develop a Millionaire Mindset in 6 Simple Steps

We all like to dream about being financially wealthy. For most people though, it remains a dream and nothing more. Why is that?

It’s because most people don’t set their mind to achieving that goal. They might not be happy in their current situation but they’re comfortable – and comfort is one of the biggest enemies of growth.

How do you go about developing that millionaire mindset? By following these simple steps:

1. Focus On What You Want – And Take It!

So many people are too timid to admit they want something and go for it. When there is something that you want to accomplish don’t think “I could never actually do that”, think “I could do that and I WILL do that”.

Millionaires play to win, not to avoid defeat.

This doesn’t mean to have to become a selfish jerk. What it means is becoming more assertive and honest with yourself. You don’t have to grab off other people. There is a big pot of unclaimed gold in the middle of the table — why shouldn’t you be the one to claim it? You deserve it!

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2. Become Goal-Orientated

It’s almost impossible to achieve anything if you don’t set firm goals. Only lottery winners become millionaires overnight. By setting yourself attainable goals, you will get there eventually. Don’t try to get rich quickly — get rich slowly.

Let’s take the idea of making your first million dollars and expand on what kind of goals you might set to get there. Let’s also say you’re starting at a break-even position – you’re making enough to get by with a few luxuries, but nothing more.

Your goal for the first year can be having $10,000 in the bank within a year. It won’t be easy but it is doable. Next, you need to figure out the steps you need to take to achieve that goal.

Always look at ways to make growth before cutbacks. With that in mind, you might want to see if you can negotiate a pay rise with your boss, or if there’s another job out there that will pay better. You might be comfortable in your old job but remember, comfort stunts growth.

You may also have other skills outside of your workplace that you can monetize to boost your bank balance. Maybe you can design websites for people, at a fee of course, or make alterations to clothes.

If this is still not enough to make the money you need to save $10,000 in a year, then it’s time to look at cutbacks. Do you have a bunch of old junk that someone else might love? Sell it! Do you really need to spend $10 on your lunch everyday when you could make your own for a fraction of the cost?

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If you are to become a millionaire, you need to start accumulating money.

Here’re some tips to help you: How to Become Goal Oriented and Achieve More in Life

3. Don’t Spend Your Money – Invest It

The reason you need to accumulate money is for step three. Millionaires tend to be frugal people, and that’s because they know the true value of money is in investing. Being your own boss goes hand-in-hand with becoming a millionaire. You’ll want to quit your regular job at some point.

Stop working for your money and make your money work for you.

Rather than buying yourself a new iPad, that $500 could be used to invest in the stock market. Find the right shares (more on that later), and that money could easily double within a year.

There’s not just the stock market — there’s also property, and your own education.

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4. Never Stop Learning

The best thing you can invest in is yourself.

Once most people leave the education system, they think their learning days are over. Well theirs might be, but yours shouldn’t be. Successful people continually learn and adapt.

Billionaire Warren Buffet estimates that he read at least 100 books on investing before he turned twenty. Most people never read another book after they’ve left school. Who would you rather be?

Learn everything you can about how economics works, how the stocks markets work, how they trend.

Learn new skills. If you have an interest in it, learn everything you can about it. You’d be surprised at how often, seemingly useless skills, can become extremely useful in the right situation.

Start developing the habit of learning continuously: How to Create a Habit of Continuous Learning for a Better You

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5. Think Big

While I advise to start off with small goals, you absolutely should have a big goal in mind. If you have a business idea, then that is your ultimate goal – to start that business and make a success of it. If you want to invest your way to millions of dollars and do little work other than research, then that is your big goal.

There is no shame in not achieving a big goal. If you run a business and aim to make $1 million profit in a year and “only” make $200,000, then you’re still significantly ahead of most people.

Aim for the stars, if you fail you’ll still be over the moon.

6. Enjoy the Attention

To be successful, you have to be willing to promote yourself and enjoy the attention to a certain extent. Now the attention doesn’t need to be on yourself, it could be on your brand, but attention definitely attracts money.

Never be embarrassed to get your name out there. That means finding a spotlight and being brave enough to step right up underneath it.

If you run a business, try contacting the local papers. You’d be surprised at how amenable they often are to running a story about you and your business, and it’s all free publicity.

Above all, remember: You control your own destiny. Push hard enough for anything and you’ll get it.

More About Thinking Smart

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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