Ever since my shift in mindset, I’ve started seeing every single purchase and every single consumption differently. Previously, when I’d decided to knuckle down and save, I’d be able to grasp the concept of not buying clothes, and not going to ritzy bars with hefty entry fees and premium cocktail prices. But what I always struggled to compute was how giving up a cup of coffee, or cutting back a few pennies on my food shopping would make any difference in the long run.
And so, I didn’t.
I carried on lounging around at Starbucks, and I carried on popping into the supermarket for random ingredients to recreate a dish I’d seen online, or to pick up something like cacao powder that was completely not essential to my life.
But because they were low cost items, and bought from a supermarket rather than a clothes shop, I thought it was fine.
I’ve talked a lot about the day I wrote down all my transactions for the month of August and realised I’d been to the supermarket 32 times – and that’s when things all started to fall into place.
I did a week where I tried to spend as little as possible. Just one week. And realised how much more abundant my finances felt, just by not spending a few dollars here and there. I was finally able to understand that doing things like only buying coffee every other day, or planning my food shopping more carefully would actually make a difference. Previously I saw it as ‘oh it’s only $45 a fortnight’. But then I realised, $45 a fortnight is $1170 a year – that’s the cost of my flight home to the UK each year.
And if I stashed that $45 a fortnight for 5 years, it would be worth almost $6500 with a bit of compound interest.
Small savings are actually the best kind of savings, because they take the least effort.
It might feel tough at first to go without that morning latte, but as a true coffee addict, trust me, you get used to it. I’m now in the habit of taking my coffee from home – buying one out feels like a real treat, so not only am I saving money, I’m enjoying the coffees I do buy even more.
So in essence, yes, small savings DO make a difference to your life. But do they ever result in wealth? I talk about that here.