Single mum Canna Campbell saved $32,000 in one year thanks to a clever budgeting trick.

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Last year, Canna Campbell saved what many people earn in a single year.

Starting in September 2015, the single mum and creator of finance YouTube channel Sugar Mamma TV managed to save $32,000 in just 12 months.

Even better? Not a single cent came from her salary.

It’s all thanks to a clever budgeting trick she created called ‘The $1,000 Project’.

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A photo posted by SugarMammaTV ( on

“I wanted to prove to people to stop being limited by your salary and defining your financial situation by your salary. I’m sick of hearing people say ‘I can’t afford to invest, I only earn $50,000 a year or whatever that number may be,” she said on the latest episode of I Don’t Know How She Does It.

“You have the capability of creating, manifesting, earning, saving money beyond the limitations of your salary.”

Listen: Canna Campbell explains the $1,000 project. Post continues after audio.

Campbell originally decided her goal would be having enough of a “passive income” – money earned outside of her annual wage – to buy a $2000 designer handbag each year.

It grew much bigger.

The 36 year old said she did a range of “weird and wonderful” things to reach her target of saving blocks of $1,000 each time.


“I did market research -I ate crackers, I rented my house out on Air BnB, I used some of my tax refund, I took on an extra project which I worked on on the weekend. I sold stuff on eBay, I sold stuff on Gumtree, I did all sorts of things,” she said.

“When I used my loyalty program I saved money because I’d get a $20 voucher if I spent over a certain amount of money on grocery bill, so I would use that. And every time I reached $1000, I would invest it.”

Over the 12 months she committed to the project, and taking no money from her salary or savings, Campbell saved $32,000 which she then invested.

That works out to be about $2,000 in savings a month. Not bad, hey?

“It blows my mind. That’s why my best friend says ‘No you didn’t actually do it? You have $32,000 in cash?’ and I said ‘Well no, not in cash, it’s in shares now but yes I did it’,” she said.

By breaking down the saving goal into a smaller chunk like $1,000, it becomes much more manageable. If $1,000 is too much, she says you can make it into even smaller goals like $100.

“Create your own goals, customise it to your situation. It’s about breaking your goals into baby steps,” she told last year.

Campbell restarted the project again in October and believes she’s saved about $4000 so far.

“I’m a little far behind so I’ve got to catch up. But I even rented my house out on Air BnB. I was going away for the Christmas period and rented my house out so I got some cash for that,” she says.


“When you open up your mind there are so many ways you can actually earn money.”

She’s also been getting ideas from her YouTube followers who have been doing the $1,000 project themselves to pay off  everything from student debt, credit card debt and personal loans to a deposit on a first home or investment property.

“People have been writing in saying they’ve started doing proofreading to earn a bit of cash at nighttime, data entry, packing shelves at nighttime, babysitting and dog-walking,” she says.

“One girl from New Zealand is even house-sitting, getting paid $3000 a week to live in these amazing homes and look after their pets. And she’s using that money to pay off her credit card.”

She says the reaction of people who have participated in the project are incredible.

“People are amazed, they’re writing to me saying ‘Oh my god I can’t believe I’m doing this and saving’,” she says.

“And the emotions that are coming in – feeling in control, feeling empowered, feeling proud, feeling like you’re achieving something. It’s just magnifying and it’s exciting because it builds momentum – what can I reach next?”