Do you find traditional methods of saving too difficult, frequently realizing you don’t have a lot of spare money at the end of the month? If so, read on, because there’s a ‘new kid’ on the block, a different method of saving that is so easy to do! The 365 Method is gaining popularity, and for very good reasons!
So, what makes this different from the majority of other saving challenges?
The answer lies in not putting a (sometimes unrealistic) lump-sum away every month. Furthermore, we can’t always foresee things that may crop up, such as a medical emergency or a sick pet. This can put a serious dent in your budget and may stop you from achieving your target.
The 365 method asks only a couple of things of you. When buying something, ask yourself if you really need it e.g., the takeaway coffee on the way to the office in the morning, the soda from the vending machine on the way to class, or a restaurant lunch date with your friend.
The other key point this method urges you to do next is simply multiply the price by 365, i.e. the days in a year when you buy your coffee. The resulting cost of buying a coffee every morning will surprise you!
So, let’s say a takeaway coffee is $2.70…
One coffee, every day, for a year costs $985.50. That’s almost a thousand dollars!
In addition to a coffee, what else do you buy that you think you could save on? We all buy things without thinking about it when we could actually do something a little differently and save money. Some examples of budget-friendly swaps could include…
Do you buy a sandwich every day, or a hot meal from an eatery? Is the vending machine your go-to place for snacks? It may be cheaper to make a sandwich or healthy salad at home, to take in for your lunch. It will certainly be cheaper to buy snacks from your grocery store rather than a vending machine.
There are a number of things you can do to cut costs with grocery shopping. Make a list of what you need and stick to it. If you have a list with you, it lessens the likelihood of you grabbing items where you don’t need to. Don’t buy what isn’t on your list!
Also, if you normally buy branded items, try the next ‘level’ down. If you notice no difference from the branded item, you could save more than a few bucks over the total of the weekly shop.
Can you walk or cycle to work rather than drive? If you pay a daily fee to park, find out if it could be cheaper to travel via public transport? Maybe there is someone in your workplace that you can car-share with and take it in turns to drive?
Plan to take a picnic or pre-prepared snacks from home rather than spend a small fortune at venues such as the zoo or theme parks. If you’re regular movie-goers, take bags of popcorn and cans of soda bought from your local store. Try and aim for a no-spend weekend, finding activities as a couple or family, that cost you nothing! There are some great ideas here.
And you never know, some of these changes may even be better for your health too!
Of course, it goes without saying that this only works if you don’t spend that money on something else. Equally, this method needs to be applied every day of the year for it to be a success!
YouTuber Dear Alyne even recommends in her 365 Method video that the money could be invested with (hopefully!) a great return on the initial amount.
To emphasize, if you spend ‘only’ $5 a day on ‘non-essentials’, you would spend almost $2000 over the year. Think about it – you could do a lot more with that than spend it on coffee, candy, or bags of chips!
In fact, by doing this saving challenge each year, you could put the savings towards a second-hand car or a deposit on the one you’ve dreamed of, or an awesome family holiday, or even a deposit on a house. No contest really!
The ‘365 Method’ way of saving works so well because it is much easier to forgo a morning coffee and save the $2.70 daily than it is to put aside a lump sum of $75 over the course of 4 weeks.
As Alyne says in her YouTube video, “the small things add up and become big things”. Each time that voice in your head says “It’s only a dollar”, remind yourself it’s a dollar you could be spending on an exotic holiday or a new car.