Ed’s note: This post was written by guest editor Canna Campbell of The $1000 Project.
The $1000 Project was a personal challenge that I set for myself where I took one big financial goal and broke it down into small, manageable, and therefore easy, mini goals. That is, focusing on saving and earning $1,000 at a time. Every time I had $1,000 saved up, I invested it into shares, which would pay me passive income via dividends. (My money now working for me, instead of me working for my money.)
Over 12 months, I saved and invested $32,000. When I decided to do it again, I saved another $36,000 in 13 months. I shared all my tips and progress via my YouTube channel Sugar Mamma and website with my followers who were doing this with me to help inspire them.
By the end of both rounds, I was so amazed as to how quickly this money was manifested and how much fun this was to do. It was addictive, and my followers were experiencing the same realisation.
So if you feel ready for a new and different type of personal challenge, I dare you to get on board with the $1,000 Project. And what is the best thing about this challenge, is get to decide where each of your parcels of $1,000 goes. Whether it be to finally get out of credit card debt, pay off student debt, save for a holiday or even first home, or simply to have some emergency money, it is completely up to you. To get started, follow these steps…
Canna’s 7 steps to saving outside of your salary
1. Create a goal
Make sure it is meaningful and excites you. It needs to be quantifiable and detailed, so that you have laser focus in achieving it and see and feeling yourself progressing towards the accomplishment of the goal. For example, “My goal is to pay off my credit card debt of $18,000 by July 2018”.
2. Open a separate savings account
Open up a second savings account, (ideally linked to your everyday account so it is easy to check and add money to it, and has low fees), and nickname the account on your internet banking to either $1,000 Project Account or in relation to your goal, e.g. Holiday savings account.
3. Brainstorm earning ideas
Write down as many ideas as possible as to how to you can earn extra money outside of your job. You might like to sell unwanted clothes and furniture, you might want to take up a weekend job, you might want to look for a better paying job. You could do babysitting work, be an uber driver, walk dogs, become a tutor. The choice is yours.
4. Brainstorm saving ideas
Make sure that they are reasonable to you, your situation and circumstances. They can be as simple as taking lunch to work, to not buying as many clothes to cutting down on some of your personal expenses. It is up to you to decide what expenses can go and what can stay. To help make this as efficient and easy as possible, you can use the Sugar Budget from the App Store, which helps you go through your living expenses and work out what expenses you can cut out or reduce, to help create some more cash, that can be put to better use.
The moment that you have $1,000 from creating these extra earnings or savings, make sure that you immediately pit it towards your goal from your dedicated savings account. E.g. transfer $1,000 towards your credit card debt.
6. Review your progress
Do this regularly. Look at how close you are getting towards your goal, and stop and realise how good it feels. Study what strategies are working and build upon from those so that you keep building momentum.
7. Raise your bar
When you have achieved your goal, give yourself a massive pat on the back, but when you are ready, move on to another new and exciting goal. Keep growing. For example, paid off your credit card debt, then build up some savings for emergency use so that you never fall back into debt again. Or saved up some emergency money, start building an investment portfolio. Keep evolving and seeing how powerful your financial stretch really is with The $1,000 Project.
The $1000 Project by Canna Campbell is available now (Viking, $34.99).