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This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs – Here’s How Much She Saved

Michelle McGagh worked for 10 years as a financial journalist, but struggled to plan her own budget. She thought it was unfair to tell others how to save money and still have to spend for unnecessary trifles.

Therefore, it was decided to conduct an experiment and buy only the absolute necessities for a full year. She was content with little: she was wearing the clothes she had in her closet, biking, eating only simple house food – and ended up saving $ 23,000. A serious amount, is not it?

Michelle talked about her experience on The Guardian’s blog, and Bright Leaks now have the most interesting parts of her story.

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

I realized that I was huge money on things that are not really needed. Trips to the bar, beautiful clothes, coffee, etc. And all that worry with a mortgage and other major expenses.

It was lost in a whirlwind of endless consumption, relying on advertisements and estimates that only by spending that could be happier. Then I got tired of silver slides and decided to give the old life and change my habits through my fingers, denied everything but absolutely necessary.

Expenses I Kept:

  • Mortgages, utilities, insurance, help my parents, donations to charity, the Internet and mobile phones. All this cost me less than $ 2,000 a month.
  • Necessary cosmetics (shampoo, toothpaste, deodorants, etc.); Household chemicals; Food to cook at home. My husband and I budgeted as little as $ 35 a week for these needs.

What I Left Behind:

  • Hobbies: cinema, bars and restaurants, caterers, cafes, leisure travel, and all supermarket goodies.
  • Gym expenses.
  • New clothes, perfumes, beauty products, more, hairdressing services.
  • Transportation costs (taxi bills of metro, bus, etc.).

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

I Began To:

  • Travel everywhere by bike – I would like to bike for work, meetings and even outside the city.
  • Picnic in a park, traveling with a tent, watching exhibitions and free concerts.
  • Eat simple foods at home, even avoiding chocolate.
  • Home exercise (bike every day worked well but for most of my exercise,).

During this year, I learned to effectively spend money on food. I plan my lunch and dinner in advance, and started cooking. If badly cooked before, now I do pretty well.

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

I will not say it was easy, but especially in the first months, when my old life but without money. Sometimes he was tempted to forget everything and get lost in a bit of shopping, getting drunk in a bar or just buying a bus ticket instead of going up a windy day back on the bike.

However, I realized something important: No need to open your wallet every time if you want to have a good time.

  • You have many free concerts and festivals frequented by all the walking parks I could, took a lot of road racing events and visited more than I had before exhibitions.
  • During the holidays I went with my husband on our bikes along the coast of Suffolk and Norfolk and spent the night in a tent. If there was not my experience, I have never tried – and now I can not wait to repeat the experience.

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

There were other disadvantages, of course. I missed new comedies and movies, failed to be with my friends in a cafe. My hairstyle was something crazy and without proper care. There were also unfavorable moments when our friends invited us to his house, and left empty-handed, because we could not afford to buy a bottle of wine. However, I washed tons of dishes in the houses of friends for dinner they prepared for us.

5 Things I Really Miss:

  • Authentic curry. I learned to cook, but my curry is still far from perfect.
  • Real flowers. I realized how much I missed when my friends sent me bouquets for my birthday. I love them.
  • Moisturizing. I did not have it on the list of needs, and it was a big mistake -. My face was all tanned
  • Perfume. So, I feel more human, because he had to constantly wear tracks and sneakers, bike every day of training.
  • A bus would be so enjoyable in rainy and windy weather, especially before important meetings, if you really wanted to look good.

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

In one year I managed to do what seemed impossible at first glance: I saved $ 23,000 to pay a portion of my mortgage in advance. And it was a delight! Before that, I thought this burden would depend on my neck for 25 years, but now I realize that I can do it in a much shorter time. Of course, I will not radically again, but now I know I can refuse a lot.

Last year, I used to say things like, “I bet you miss so much shopping!” Well, not really. I realized that I did not want her fancy clothes had gone before so much Silver, straight jeans, a little perfume and a haircut are all you need.

When my experience ended, I was not running in stores. Instead, I bought a beer for my friends and family to thank them for their support, and then bought a plane ticket to Ireland where my grandfather lives.

This Girl Spent a Year Buying Only Absolute Needs - Here's How Much She Saved© Michelle McGagh / Twitter  

The most important result of the year for me was that I was more open to adventure and new people. I learned new “yes” to all things. And I noticed how little I have to be happy.

Source: The Guardian 
Preview photo credit: Michelle McGagh / Twitter

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