The stealth savings challenge

I am all for things happening by stealth that achieve results. From my ‘Eat your Frog’ post, you will know that I now exercise first thing in the morning before my body has a chance to work out what is going on and put up a violent reaction.

Recently, I came across a similar concept related to savings. Saving money can be dull and often one of those grown up tasks that we think ‘I’ll do that next month’. However, when a crisis occurs you really wished you had started sooner.

This stealth savings scheme is based on the humble fiver. Each time you get a £5 note you save it. Not £5 in coins or a £10 note. Simply, each time you find a fiver in your purse, you store it away for a rainy day. There are some stories on the internet (if they are to be believed!) of people who have saved thousands in a short space of time and paid off debt, mortgages or created a lovely nest egg for the future.

I have a beautiful tin that I am going to utilise for this purpose and am hoping to save enough over the year to pay for one of the things on my 34 before I am 34 list (though probably not the Wing Walking)!

There are some other ways that I am hoping to increase my savings and spread the cost of expensive times of the year, such as Christmas. From the start of this year I have;
• Put £25 a month onto a supermarket gift card. When Christmas comes we will be able to pay for the big Christmas shop including all our alcoholic treats with the gift card. We also save all our Reward Points for this time of year, so we can enjoy the festivities without choking on the cost.
• Buy £25 worth of gift cards for a variety of high street shops a month. This will allow us to spread the costs of gifts and make it feel like free shopping when it comes Christmas. However, given the recent HMV issue with gift cards, I may well just pop some money away into a savings account for this purpose.

At the end of the year I will let you know how this went and how much we saved. I think there will be something rewarding about watching these totals grow without having to make a conscious effort to pay for festive expenses. I am not going to notice these small amounts during the year, but hope that it will be a nice surprise at Christmas.

How do you feel about savings? Is it quite an old-fashioned concept in our buy it now, pay for it later culture?

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