Money, Money, Money…
Last week I decided to try a no spend experiment. I knew that I couldn’t commit to a full week so decided to attempt to spend zero pennies for 5 days. The only exception would be for absolute essentials or emergencies.
We had done the shop that we normally do for the week and meals were planned so in all honesty it didn’t seem like a mammoth task.
I might have underestimated it …just a little bit…
Monday – Day 1
So the week was planned all meals sorted and the fridge full of what we needed for them. We spent today cleaning and sorting so not much need or opportunity to spend, today was definitely the easiest ( she says on the 1st day). The one stumbling block we encountered was after school, we stopped off at the park and this means a walk past the shop. It’s almost automatic to just pop in and get a few bits. The big girl wanted sweets but we managed to get away after a negotiation session.
Tuesday – Day 2
The big girl mentioned she wanted to go to a play centre after school. I nearly said yes and then realised that we were on no spend week so instead I promised a girls night. Now don’t get excited there were no cocktails or dancing involved ( ok its possible a small gin was consumed)… instead the big girl had a bath bomb in her bath and a pamper session followed by The great British bake off in bed with snacks. Spending averted….
Wednesday – Day 3
This is where it started to get a bit harder. I very nearly, without realising went into the shop on the way home from the school run (we didn’t need anything purely out of habit). On looking back this would have resulted in at least a fiver spent on things that we ‘needed’ and I would do this most days. I realised that we were out of milk and so the other half picked some up on his way back from work but I am counting this as an essential.
Its the big girls birthday next week and so I spent most of the night putting things in to my online basket for the party and then realising I couldn’t get it. I feel like this was just delaying the spending to be honest because this is all going to get ordered at the weekend but I did it none the less for the sake of the experiment.
Thursday – Day 4
Today was a bad day for me personally and this sent my anxiety haywire. I was feeling down and really could not be bothered with cooking tea. We very nearly ordered a takeaway but resisted and instead threw something quick and easy in the oven and compensated with some chocolate.
On the way home from school the big girl saw the ice cream van and asked for a treat which we managed to say no to but she did pull on the heartstrings a bit. One thing about this week is that I have had no cash on me anyway which is a blessing in disguise as you cant spend if its not there. I blame contactless for most of my spending these days ….
Friday – Day 5
So the last day came and I realised that we had been stuck in the house a lot more this week. My anxiety was at peak level and I needed to get out of the house with my little man. The park was a no go due to the rain and I decided there and then that we were off to a soft play. So this was where the no spend experiment ended…
I honestly though this would be a piece of cake and it was much harder than expected. I have come to a few realisations about my spending habits that will definitely help me to complete this in the future ( I would 100% do this again because on paper it has helped me to save).
- A lot of my spending is done without thinking ( how bad does that sound). A trip to the shop throw a few extra things in the basket that we don’t need and don’t really think about it but it all adds up.
- The kids pull on my heartstrings and I give in. Even at 7 months the little man gets me because I’m always browsing the baby areas in clothes shops.
- Boredom hits and I look to shop – might be online or a trip to the shops to get us out of the house.
- Emotional eating hits and takeaway is the one for me. This can get expensive on a bad month!
It was really interesting for me to make these observations and it did make me feel a bit guilty that I take sending for granted. Now when I talk about absent minded spending I do only mean a few pounds here and there ( I am by no means rocker fella) but even so this all adds up.
I would definitely recommend the no spend challenge. Give it a go and let me know how you get on.