Well, it’s November, which means the October Zero Day Challenge special event is done! I’d like to thank everyone for participating, we all had a blast! Not only were we able to save a ton of money, but I hope some of the participants were able to change the way they viewed money, and may keep going with the Zero Day Challenge. Only time will tell, but let’s see how everyone did!
First off, I would like to thank Zero Day Fiancée. Some of you may have known, but I was traveling on business for the past 2 weeks. My fiancée helped out from choosing winners, to writing posts, and sending out those Amazon gift cards!
What is the Zero Day Challenge?
To start off, what is the Zero Day Challenge? It’s a system I created to help myself save money. I used to be really bad at spending money. Seriously, terrible. I spent every single post-tax dollar that I earned in 2016. That’s simply unsustainable. I essentially lived paycheck to paycheck, and I didn’t even know it.
How was I ever going to achieve my dreams if I couldn’t save any money? I’m getting married in 2018 and eventually want to buy a house. How would I ever afford a down payment if I spend all of my money on worthless crap? Oh, and did I mention I live in New York? Starter homes in my area cost about $500,000, so I really do need an oversized down payment.
The Zero Day Challenge is simple: track your spending, and aim to have as many “zero days” (no spend days) every month as possible. A “zero day” is when you don’t spend any money. The more days when you don’t spend any money, the less money you spend per month, and the more you can save.
This strategy really helped me out, because I would easily spend an extra $20 – $30 per day on “stuff.” Usually food or something less useful. This adds up to hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars per month in mindless spending. Actually carrying out the Zero Day Challenge helped me cut my monthly discretionary spending by $1,700. And now, I’ve managed to shave off an additional $1,500 by moving in with my parents.
Seriously, it’s helped me out, and I know it’s helped out people who tried it out this month too!
For this special Zero Day Challenge event, I was able to get about 25-30 people participating in total. That is almost 30 people who wanted to save more money. Let’s see how they did!
I will say that not everyone shared their financial positions, and that’s perfectly fine. Sharing your finances on the Internet is really tough, especially when you knew that I would post about it!
Here are some highlights:
As you can see, there are a bunch of happy people who took the challenge, and managed to save some money. Maybe it was $20 on a video game that you may have not really needed (I’ve spent almost $500 on video games this year, and barely played). It could be taking your family to a company event… for FREE!
Regardless, the results speak for themselves. Many people were able to save money. We can even see how Sarah saved an extra $192 during October. Imagine cutting your expenses by $192 with a tiny bit of effort, and no noticeable change to your quality of life! What can you do with an extra $192? Pay off your debt, start saving for retirement, even donate to charity! These are just a few examples, but $192 really is a lot of money.
Plus, a lot of these people won prizes. So you may have saved $192, and won $50 in prizes, making it even better!
Remember, the goal of the Zero Day Challenge isn’t to force you to spend less money. It isn’t designed to make you not buy something you really want or need. The Zero Day Challenge has you think about your purchases before you buy them. Maybe you really don’t need to spend that $20 or $30 right now. Maybe it won’t really make you happy.
At the end of the day, I’m honored to have helped so many people reduce their spending. It’s so easy to feel financially trapped. I’m glad that I helped some people out, and I know that I’ll keep helping people in the future! If you participated, please tell your friends! The more people that we can get to save money, the better off we’ll all be.
I can’t finish this post without selecting winners! This last set of prizes is $50 each, for posting your spending calendar or Zero Day Finance spreadsheet. I know this takes a lot of courage, posting financial information really is quite difficult. I’m glad that you were brave enough, and shared your stories.
I’m proud to announce that Bethany, All About Balance, and Sarah are the winners for this section!
Although I’m still recovering from my extreme jet lag (12 hour is tough to deal with), but gift cards for week #4 and the grand prize will go out tonight, so watch your email inbox! Thank you again for participating, I’m glad that I was able to help you out. I hope you keep saving money, and improve your financial situations.
If you have any questions relating to budgeting, strategies to save money, even investing, let me know!