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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

Freelance Writer

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Last Updated on August 15, 2018

30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

30 Fun Things You Can Do This Summer Without Spending Much

Summertime can be a real strain on your wallet. The sun is out, there are people to see, places to be; it’s no wonder you might be short of funds during these sunny months. Not everything has to cost you an arm and a leg.

Take some time to go through this list of 20 cheap summer activities and make some realistic goals to complete as many as you can.

Video Summary

1. Visit a strawberry festival

Summer is prime time for tasting strawberries. More often than not, an area that grows strawberries will have a strawberry festival. Indulge yourself in strawberry pies, jams, cakes and more!

2. Have a picnic

Take your partner or your family to the local park and enjoy a relaxing picnic. Designate each person to bring one food item of their choice to add to the fun.

3. Camp in your back yard

    The summer heat can sometimes make it hard to sleep. Why not enjoy the heat outside in the yard? Pitch a tent or gaze into the night sky.

    4. Take long walks

    Discover something new where you live. Take the afternoon off from your chores and go for a long walk. You may be surprised by what you discover.

    5. Break a world record

    Breaking a world record doesn’t have to be time-consuming. You could even break one on your lunch hour. Give it a go!

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    6. Go on a bike ride

    The number of bike paths on roads in big cities has increased dramatically over the years. Take advantage, and enjoy the summer breeze.

    7. Join a gym class

      The gym is not everyone’s idea of a good time, but why not go with a friend a join a class? Spinning, yoga and step classes are always more fun with friends, and a lot of gyms allow you to pay-as-you-go.

      8. Find a new hobby

      The summer is the perfect time to find a new hobby. Serotonin (our body’s natural “happy” hormone) is produced by the sunshine and will be at a yearly high, which is great for when we want to tackle something new.

      9. Join a sports team

      Not all sports teams are competitive and require huge amounts of your time. Join in the fun with like-minded people, get fit, stay healthy and make some friends along the way.

      10. Make a slip ‘n slide

        Gather your friends, some plastic sheeting, a hose, washing up liquid if desired, and make a huge slip ‘n slide just like these guys. Granted, yours won’t be as big, but you get the idea… it’s fun!

        11. Make a treasure hunt for your kids

        Today’s digital world sees our children more often than not playing inside than outside. Why not create a sense of adventure by making a treasure hunt? Only rule? It has to be outside.

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        12. Visit a free festival

        Towns and cities are awash with free festivals, with themes from film to science. Scout your local area and discover something new.

        13. Visit the zoo

          Let’s face it: we love animals. While browsing news websites and social media networks you’re bound to come across a few pictures of cats. Take a trip to your local zoo for a better experience.

          14. Take a road trip

          Enjoy the open road with a few friends and take a road trip somewhere–anywhere. Just go out and enjoy the sunshine!

          15. Play ultimate frisbee in the park

            Frisbee is always great fun down the park, but why not turn it into more of a competitive sport by playing ultimate frisbee?

            16. Make your own ice cream

            Ice cream is a very versatile dessert. Make a sandwich, enjoy a cone, or simply just enjoy a bowl full. Better yet, making your own ice cream allows you to create any flavor you want.

            17. Invite your neighbors over for a BBQ

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              When was the last time you invited your neighbors over? Do you even know them? Now’s your chance. Just ask each person to bring a food item so costs don’t mount up for you.

              18. Get a summer job

              For many students, summer is the time for relaxation and fun. But who said earning money and being productive isn’t fun? You only get out what you put into a situation.

              19. Attend a charity event

              Attending a charity event is a great way to raise funds and awareness for a cause, meet new people, and generally have a good time. Search for your local charity event today.

              20. Visit a national park

              National parks are a great way to explore nature and learn something new. You could even volunteer and make a difference in helping restore natural habitats.

              21. Visit your local comedy club

                Local comedy clubs are extremely underrated. They are cheap to attend and no doubt you’ll have a barrel of laughs.

                22. Make your own hammock

                  Hammocks are very relaxing, are perfect for summer afternoons and are surprisingly easy to make.

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                  23. Read in your new hammock

                  Now you have your very own hammock, the only thing left to do is enjoy it. Grab your favorite book and read to your heart’s content.

                  24. Watch a movie outside

                  Movies are great. Relaxing outside in the evening is great. Put them together and you’ve got a perfect combination. In D.C, Maryland and Virginia this summer, for example, you can enjoy a huge number of movies outside.

                  25. Take a hike

                    Hikes are a great way to keep fit and see more of Mother Nature. There are countless trails available for you to explore. Why not try some this summer?

                    26. Learn how to fly a kite

                    As a child, you probably had a kite and haven’t touched it since. Why not dust it off and attempt to fly it? It’s tricky, but well worth the challenge.

                    27. Work out at the park

                    American cities are full of parks with ample space for a work out session. No doubt you’ll be happier to work out in the sun rather than a crowded gym.

                    28. Take your dog to the beach

                      One of the many joys of owning a dog is taking him or her for long walks during the summertime. This joy is enhanced when visiting the beach, for both you and your dog.

                      29. Make a summer smoothie

                      Healthy, delicious and perfect for the summer. Not only that, there are countless recipes ready for you to try.

                      30. Attend a free yoga session at the beach

                      No experience needed and all skill levels are welcome. Take yourself and a buddy down to the beach and try some yoga. You’ve got nothing to lose!

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