At the beginning of January I set myself a challenge to spend as little money as possible over the month. There were a few reasons for this:
- I needed a new challenge to try
- My goal for this year is a financial one
- January is the quietest month in terms of birthdays and events
- I needed something to kickstart a frugal mindset that I hope will carry me through the rest of the year.
I set myself some rules for the month:
- Money can (and should!) be spent on rent, bills and essentials like groceries, toiletries and petrol.
- Money can be spent on parking should an activity be free. The reason why I am including this is that we have several press reviews at the theatre coming up over January, and while the tickets are complimentary we pay a few pounds for parking.
- Should I need to go somewhere, I am allowed to spend money on bus fare, but not on a taxi unless it is an emergency (Note: I never learned to drive, hence why I am including this).
- I am not allowed to spend money on non-essential items, including new clothes, books, takeaways, snacks, meals out, taxis, drinks at the pub etc.
Before I started I was unsure of how much I spent each week. I don’t really buy much online except for the birthday and Christmas presents. Fashion isn’t my thing – I have a few nice outfits for when I go out but my wardrobe generally consists of hoodies and sweats. I do love my makeup but my last big purchase was a Pat McGrath palette a few months ago which will last me quite a while, and replacements of eyeliner and mascara were bought for me as Christmas presents. What on earth was I going to do a no spend challenge if it didn’t appear that I spent much money?
It turns out, I had very little idea about my spending habits.