Money challenges might not work for everyone, but they can teach us something about our financial habits. Consider a month-long "money diet" to see just how much your savings add up.
Picture: J R/Flickr
Eliza Cross of HappySimpleLiving has been organising a "January Monthly Diet" for the past six years. For the entire month, Cross takes a break from all spending that's non-essential. In an interview with Forbes, she explains how the challenge helps her finances:
When I see how quickly money can accumulate when I'm not frittering it away on restaurant meals, impulse purchases and more stuff, it's very exciting. The financial fast inspires me to be more thoughtful about how I spend money the other 11 months of the year.
Again, money challenges certainly have their critics, but I like many of them. They can give you a sense of control, and that can often lead to better habits. With this particular challenge, I like the idea of seeing just how much cutting back can add up.
You can also learn a lot about your own spending habits. You might discover that there are things you pay for that you can get for free. You might find out some services you spend money on don't really take much time or effort to complete yourself. You might gain a clearer perspective on what "essential" spending really is.
You can join Cross' challenge using the link below, or you can simply give it a try on your own. Either way, check out her full post for more detail.