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.
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: