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Hey all, Robert here. I'm a senior staff writer for TPH for about 2 months now.

I recently had the opportunity to interview our dream job winner, Brittany Cantu, from Iowa. As the winner, we gave Brittany $5,000 to save as much as she could over the course of the month.

She did awesome. By simply stopping her frequent purchases on deal sites over the course of the month, she saved $621! She also replaced that spending habit with selling some stuff she didn't need, which totaled $200, making that a $821 turnaround in just 30 days. That's no joke!

Here's something she said that stuck out to me: “Most of my purchases were around $30. That doesn’t seem like a lot, but when you keep buying that $30 stuff it becomes hundreds to thousands of dollars,” she said. “At the end of the month, I’m thinking, ‘Where did this money go?’"

Here's the whole article if you want to read more about her and the challenge.

My question for you all is – what's one spending habit or financial sacrifice you could make over a month's time that would really help you save money like Brittany?

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That quote about spending is so true! And on the other side of the equation, when you start to look at what that money can turn into when invested over the years and it should really motivate a person to re-evaluate their spending habits.

I tend to be more frugal but I know I spend money on unnecessary things from time to time, I am working on organizing my finances so I can track not only where my money is going but how much certain things are costing me over time.

One thing I realized is that recently I have been randomly buying more snacks every time I go to the store. Generally its just because I am hungry at the time but I end up getting something that may not be satisfying but is just there in front of me. I would say instead of impulse buying snacks, it would probably be better to plan ahead so I have stuff at home that I can take with me so when I get to the store, I won't be as tempted to just grab a random snack.

A re-set can be so helpful. I haven't done a spending challenge like Brittany did, but we recently had our house tented for termites. Having to haul every bit of food out of the house made me realize how much I overbuy groceries! As enticing as BOGOs are, if I buy two of everything all the time, I don't end up saving any money even though I'm supposedly getting a "deal."
I'm trying now to curb my habit of buying a bunch of food that's not on my shopping list, and only buying what I set out to even when other stuff is on sale.

I'm more of a homebody so I guess I don't really have any frequent $30 purchases. But I'd say on weekends, at least one of the days I'd spend $100-200+ as a sporadic splurge.

Since I'm already fairly spartan on weekdays where I don't eat too much, and most of my purchases are just groceries, I'd say I can save a ton if I made my weekend spendings on, say, restaurants, etc. either 1) a lot less spendy (find cheaper spots to eat), or 2) eat at higher-priced places more infrequently, say once every 2 weeks instead of once every week.


I could cut out coffee and save $50/m. (I literally live right next to a DD. I did great cutting out coffee till I bought this condo.) I could also cut out all my 'beauty' categories (hair/nails/etc) and save $80/m. (I tried doing my nails myself. It was a disaster every time.) Even though I budget for those and use cash envelopes, that's still $130 in a month.

For an emergency budget I could cut out more, like giving to church or kids allowance, and I could also not stuff cash envelopes like saving for holiday and vacation funds.  But that would be emergency only- like I lost my job and I need my emergency fund to stretch even longer.

Last edited by KellyFromKeene

All I have left to give up is rent on my downtown apartment and move in with my parents.

My biggest expense grew up and moved out on their own and are paying their own way

I gave up my car
I gave up my cell phone plan
I gave up eating out
I gave up eating beef & chicken
I gave up shopping

I'm getting depressed just writing this... BUT there is the other side of the coin... WHY I have given up spending money.

I am building my own publishing and storytelling empire. For that, I'll eat ramen noodles and live with the parents.

Last edited by Moore Income

I agree that while a $30 purchase doesn't seem much, it piles up. Sometimes, we only ever use this stuff just once or twice. Not only did we "overspend" but also makes our home collect dust!

I gave up "buying" almost everything I need. I turned to "renting". I have rented from canopies, tools, to even cookware for special dishes.

By renting, I get to identify the truly non-negotiables like, for example, a camera. I found myself needing one more. So, I bought it.

One has to identify these "valuable" stuff so you can skip buying those that are not really necessary and save more.

Last edited by Moore Income

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