• Anita Vandyke

The $1000 Project Weeks 3 and 4

In undertaking this challenge, I've come to realise the value of money. Money is tool for freedom, not just a destination or goal. Here is a summary of Weeks 3 and 4 of the $1000 project and most importantly, did I reach the $1000 target?


My relationship with has changed over the years. In the past, I had a 'lack' mindset. I didn't think abundantly about money. Money itself is a man-made construct, you can always make more money, but you can't make more time.


Here are three lessons I've learnt over the past few years that has helped change my money mindset:


1. Vote with your dollar

This challenge has taught me that saving money is not about deprivation, it’s about redirecting your money towards things that truly matter. Shopping at the local mall used to be a weekend hobby. Nowadays, I like supporting local grocers and getting out into nature. None of these things have to cost a lot of money. Your money and how you spend it needs to align with your values. Use your money wisely.


2. Buy just enough

Humans are greedy creatures, most of us in the Western world believe that the key to happiness and success is obtaining 'more'. This is most evident in the way we purchase food. How often have we bought a 1kg of flour and only used two cups? Or a whole bag of salad leaves and leave them sitting in the fridge to become a rotten mess? Often, we buy too much food and it spoils before we have a chance to eat it. When we are buying pre-packaged goods, we are also paying for advertising, branding and excess goods.

Buying from the bulk store, we make ourselves accountable for how much really need. By buying just enough, I have found that I spend less. Buying from bulk stores doesn’t have to be expensive. In Australia, bulk stores can be more expensive than standard supermarkets, but if you buy what you actually need, you find that you can keep costs down.


In San Francisco, my local bulk store is actually cheaper than supermarkets as it is a co-op supermarket. This helps reduce grocery costs and also eliminates the need for excess packaging. It saves money, and it saves the Earth's resources. Which brings me to the next lesson...

3. Be mindful of the Earth's resources

We can all save money by participating in the circular economy. Rather than buying everything new, you can save money by making secondhand your first choice.

When I first moved to San Francisco I aimed to decorate my home with entirely secondhand furniture. Everything in this picture except for the lamp and TV were sourced secondhand. I sourced items from thrift stores such as Community Thrift and Goodwill. The rest were sourced from antique stores in San Jose. Not only was this a major cost saver, it’s a great way to be part of the circular economy and prevent stuff from sitting in landfill. It’s time to make secondhand your first choice. We need to be more mindful of the Earth's resources and in doing so, we can save time and money.


Breakdown of Week 3 of the #the1000DollarProject

Monday: Saved $15 by eating lunch at home instead of eating at the local cafe.

Tuesday: Saved $15 by eating lunch at home instead of eating at the local cafe.

Wednesday: Another day where I saved $15 by eating at home.

Thursday: I had some friends come over for a zero waste meet-up and I saved $30 by inviting them over for tea and muffins instead of going to a local cafe to pay for overpriced food and drinks. Inviting people over and entertaining at home has been a huge cost saver!


Friday: Had a no spend day! No money was spent at all during this day, I walked everywhere and had lunch at home!


Week 3 total savings = $90!!!

Breakdown of Week 4 of the #the1000DollarProject

Monday: This was the biggest side hustle of the month! I sent in 5 bags of clothing to ThredUp and they finally got processed - I got $406.18!!! Yes, that's right, by selling my old items of clothing, I actually gained some side money. It just shows you, that you can declutter your home and get rid of old items that no longer serve you and gain money as a result!


Tuesday: I scored another set of discounts from UberPool - $3 off the next 10 rides! This saves me $30!


Wednesday: Saved $15 by eating lunch at home instead of eating at the local cafe.


Thursday: Another day where I saved $15 by eating at home.


Friday: Went to Berkeley, California to visit some friends. They had a Groupon voucher that was due to expire, so they let us use it for free. We had a tasting of IPA beers that was valued at $40 for free!


Week 4 total savings = $506!!!


Total savings to date = $270 (week 1) + $310 (week 2) + $90 (week 3) + $506 (week 4) = $1176!!!!


That's right - I couldn't believe it that's $1176 I saved this month by packing my lunches, entertaining at home and finding side hustles such as selling my old clothing to ThredUp!


SugarMamma has taught me anything is possible when it comes to money - we just need to change our mindset and be creative!!


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