Hi y'all…have you missed me?
Sorry I've been MIA, I've been enjoying time with family in Oregon.

I wanted to pop in quickly to review the FCF $100 Challenge for August. Summertime made it hard for me to stay motivated and on-track with budgeting. My goal for the month was to consciously make an effort to:

  • Track my spending
  • Spend less
  • Cook more/eat out less
By saving only $3.25/day you'd have $100 by the end of the month. Easy enough, right? If you followed along on Instagram you'd see I had to get pretty creative some days.
Ultimately, I did ended up saving my goal of $100 (yay!) …but it wasn't NEARLY as easy as I thought it would be.
Here are the truths I learned this month:
  • It is not easy to stay motivated for an entire month. I was rip-roarin' at the beginning, but it's hard to keep the fire going for a full 30 days! (With my 10lb challenge too). You need to find ways to keep yourself motivated each week; not just the first one.
  • If you're trying to save money, don't go shopping. AT ALL. I'm overhauling our office. Even though I had a gift card to buy everything (see here), I was running to multiple stores each day – buying and returning things. Even though I had the gift card for the office items, I found myself buying additional things that I “needed”, or that were “a great deal so I just can't pass it up”, or even “I'm out and about anyway so I might as well stop in and grab” groceries. It ended up costing me lots of money in the long run! Thus…
  • When shopping, make a plan. I would go to the store and wander, looking for inspiration or things to buy for the office. I learned the need to think through what I need first BEFORE going.
  • Getting creative pays off. Reuse. Go without. Find an alternative. Use it up. For example, this month rather than going to the store each week, I really tried to focus on making meals out of what I have on-hand…even down to de-clumping brown sugar in the microwave. All those little things really add up!
  • It's more about the habit than the result. Whether you accomplish your goal or not (like with my 10lb challenge experience) it's all about focusing, making conscious choices, thinking through your actions, and making and/or breaking habits…all while kick-starting a longer-term goal. That's exactly what I needed this month to start this season off right!
So let's hear it, how did the challenge go for YOU?? What did you learn? What was the most creative way you saved this month?