Who doesn’t love a good challenge? I know I do. Every time I see someone participating in a challenge (like the Decluttering Challenge, the 100 Thing Challenge, Project 333, or any of the various happiness projects out there), I can’t help but want to join in. Life is vastly more fun when we make a game out of it.
As I pondered challenges one afternoon, the thought occurred to me that perhaps I should try to write 1 million words in a year. Why? No particular reason. It just sounded like it would make a great writer’s challenge. I quickly grabbed my calculator/cell phone to determine just how many words per day that would amount to. The answer is 2,740 (give or take a word). Ouch! That’s a lot of writing, especially given that my average blog post is around 650 words and a typical grant application is roughly 2,500. I’d have to write one grant a day plus 3 blogs a week to reach 1 million in a year. My employer would be happy, but that’s just not going to happen.
The math of this little experiment led me to a different kind of challenge though – one more in line with our goal to save money.
To save a million dollars in a year, one would need to sock away $2,740 every day. Not a very attainable goal for the average person but what about an amount like $27.40? It might be a stretch but at the end of the year we’d have $10,000 in savings. Hmm…
$2.74, I decided, was definitely reasonable (per person). At this rate, an average couple could have $2,000 saved in a year. $2,000 is a respectable sum, especially considering that 40% of Americans have less than $500 in savings. 54% don’t even have a savings plan in place and 45% are afraid they’ll never be able to save…yet every day 4.7 million Americans stop by Starbucks; each spending approximately $4.05 on coffee and treats. Wow! That’s a lotta lattes!
I say skip the coffee and keep the cash. Even if you save just $1.40 per day (the average price of a 20 oz. soda), you will have accomplished more than most.
Who’s up for the challege?
Another great savings trick we use is the Save As You Go feature offered through Wells Fargo Bank. Every time we use our debit card, $1 is transferred from our checking to our savings account. The average consumer will make about 12 debit card purchases per month, which adds up to $144 in extra savings per year. Now that’s my kind of reward card!