The Atlantic Credit Union Round-Up Challenge: Wrap-up

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As the first month of 2018 is now behind us, we wanted to check in with our Round-Up Challenge volunteers one final time to see how they did with the challenge, what they learned, and how much they saved.

When we last checked in with Amanda, Brandon, Casey, and Zach we found that like all habits, this one was a little hard to get into. But now that January is over, we wanted to check in one last time to see how everybody did!

HM: What did you learn about your financial habits this month?

Amanda: I tend to spend in buckets, often on the weekend when I’m running errands. My trying not to buy coffee on the way to work definitely shows in my spending habits—often on those days, I don’t spend anything.

Brandon: It turns out that I don’t really have a lot of little purchases day-to-day. Most of the transactions I ended up rounding up on were for the occasional takeout order, video games, or online purchases (movie rentals, online shopping, etc.).

Casey: I mostly already knew this, but my financial habits are fairly frivolous. I have a lot of the “treat yo’self” mentality, which I know I desperately need to change.

Zach: I don’t exactly set budgets for things like food or entertainment, but my spending was pretty consistent throughout the month and very similar to past months, as well. I did make a lot more purchases in the first half of the month than the second (20 transactions from Jan 1–15 and 12 transactions from Jan 15–31).

HM: Did anything about your spending surprise you?

Amanda: I spend a ton of money on cat food (only the best)

Brandon: I make a lot more unnecessary purchases than I thought I did.

Casey: Nothing in particular surprised me.

Zach: I ate out 10 times this month which was more than I thought I would. However, after seeing my results half-way through this challenge, I said I would eat out less for the next two weeks and succeeded!

HM: Will you continue this challenge next month?

Amanda: I don’t think so. I usually track my household’s spending pretty closely and meet quarterly with a financial advisor, so we set amounts per week that go into savings, RRSPs, and debt repayment based on my income. However, I do think this would be a fun challenge for a charity jar of some kind at the office.

Brandon: Probably not, just because it’s time consuming. I think it would be more practical if I used cash, but all of my purchases are on debit or online. I will be trying to spend a bit less unnecessarily and save more though. 

Casey: I’ll continue the challenge, but I’ll be sure to actually stick to it. This first month allowed me to be aware of my habits and now I know I need to change them.

Zach: I think if I downloaded an app or had my purchases round up automatically, I would. It’s a bit time consuming when you do it manually!

HM: How much did you save over the course of the month?

Amanda: $14.31

Brandon: A little under $30. 

Casey: I’m not entirely sure how much I saved because I eventually spent the money.

Zach: $13.27

HM: Any big plans for that money?

Amanda: Nope. I spent a lot this month, should probably keep this in the account for now.  

Brandon: Hopefully this is the start of a new, more responsible me with great saving habits (it’s probably going to end up being spent on shwarma bowls though).

Casey: I’m planning to not eat out and spend my money on foolishness in February because this challenge brought to my attention that it’s relatively easy to save money and I should be trying harder.

Zach: Not sure yet. How much cryptocurrency can I get for $13.27?! The money is just sitting on my dresser at the moment. I will sign up for a TFSA soon and start saving.

How did you make out with the Round-Up Challenge? Tag us on social media using the hashtag #CURoundUp to let us know!

If you’re just looking for a bit of advice with how to get started with your savings, what to do with all that money you’re going to save, or long-term savings advice in general, talk to your local credit union.