You'd be surprised at what a little experiment can turn into

The other day a fellow Scrimper (Ed’s his name) emailed and shared with me the biggest financial challenge he’s facing. Here’s what he said:

I’ve always felt this way. Never really been interested in saving money. This worked out fine during my hippy dippy phase (late 20s/early 30s), but as my ambitions have grown larger, and more specific, it’s clear that I need to put more thought into how I plan every aspect of my life, and finance is a big part of that.

I don’t know about you, but I used to be pretty “hippy dippy” about spending money too. Then I get a great paying job, and I got really hippy dippy! :P

But one month I finally got sick of worrying about having enough money to make it to our next pay day. I’d had it, something had to change, and I thought it was time for an experiment.

You know, that’s what I loved about getting Ed’s email. He’s been doing the hippy dippy thing, but now that he’s gotten a clearer picture of what he wants in life, he’s ready to try something new, to experiment a little.

When’s the last time you tried doing something new? What’d you do, and how’d it go? Most of the real improvements and changes I’ve made in my life started out as experiments because it’s a great low-risk way to try something new without 100% committing to it.

In fact here’s a few experiments that have made an impact on my life:

  • Dropping $180k of debt in 20 months—that started out as an experiment to spend zero non-essential funds for 30 days.
  • Becoming vegetarian—that started out as an experiment to skip meat for 30 days and see if it made our stomachs feel better.
  • (Hopefully) building a small tribe of people who want to talk about personal finances—that’s an experiment I’m working on right now, to see what kind of conversations we can have if I write to you once a week.

So, how about you trying something new for the next 2 weeks? It could be something to do with money—or not. Here’s a couple suggestions:

  • See how much money you have left for the month right now, and try and do all you can to keep that number as large as possible for the next 2 weeks.
  • Try reading 10 minutes a day on personal finance, here’s a couple book recommendations: The Total Money Makeover, and Money for Something.
  • For the next 2 weeks, whenever something strikes your fancy, instead of purchasing it, write it down in an email and tell your significant other you’re thinking about buying it next month.

I’d really love to hear about the experiments you take on, so please hit ‘reply’ and share what you’re going to do, ask any questions, or just say hi!

Have a happy day!

-Conor