A woman in London named Michelle McGagh made a bold decision back in 2015 after she realized she spent a lot of money on things she said were “unnecessary”, including clothes, eating meals out, and coffee: she decided not to spend any money on anything extra for a whole year.
McGagh obviously still had to spend money on the essentials: mortgage, bills, toiletries, and a weekly grocery bill of $35 for her and her husband.
She said, “But there was no budget for luxuries – that meant no cinema trips, no nights in the pub, no takeaways or restaurant meals, no new clothes, no holidays, no gym memberships, not even a KitKat or cheeky cheesecake from the supermarket.”
Pit stop between seeing houses and a fashion show. My cycling chic probably won’t cut it with the fashionistas pic.twitter.com/ZIWDTklkOE
— Michelle McGagh (@mmcgagh) September 17, 2016
McGagh used her bike to get everywhere, wore the same clothes over and over until they became worn out, and she began to notice how much extra money she had. She even began overpaying her mortgage.
She said, “I’m grateful to have disposable income to save and feel I should make the most of it – I hope I have encouraged other people to reconsider their spending patterns too.”
— Michelle McGagh (@mmcgagh) November 12, 2016
Some people called out McGagh over her experiment, but she was quick to point out “there is a big difference between poverty and frugality. This experiment was not about living in poverty because poverty isn’t a choice. I could still pay my mortgage, bills and food. The last year has been an experiment in extreme frugality and choosing not to buy, rather than not having a choice.”
When her experiment ended, McGagh said she had $23,000 more money than when she started. To celebrate the end of one year of buying nothing extra, McGagh bought her friends a round of beers and a plane ticket to visit her grandfather.
I was too hungover to post this yesterday but here’s me buying a round of drinks for my mates on Saturday night pic.twitter.com/PqzARconHS
— Michelle McGagh (@mmcgagh) November 28, 2016
You can read more about McGagh’s experiment HERE.
Maybe you don’t have to go to the extremes that McGagh did, but it’s probably a good idea to cut back on spending on the extra stuff, don’t you think?