New Year, new challenges!

January got off to a good start with plenty of rain and hearty gusts of wind to discourage any inclination to shop during the limited New Year’s Day opening hours – already I’m two quid up!

I’m limiting myself to £2 per day for food, travel, clothes, entertainment, and anything else that doesn’t come out by direct debit, and as usual I have withdrawn the total cash so I can see exactly where I stand throughout January.

sterling currency bank notes and coins fanned out from open wallet.

Since I came in under budget for October and November, this reduction should push me a bit more, although I did make several bulk purchases of staples I was out of over December which will make the going easier, most notably 5kg chickpeas, 5kg split red lentils, 10 litres value soya milk and 16 loo rolls. I also visited my parents over the holidays and came away loaded down with frozen goodies, mostly soft fruit, plus jars of pasta sauce and a box of apples. I shouldn’t need to buy very much food at all apart from cabbage and carrots, I hope!

Not expecting to blog every day, might do a weekly summary plus anything notable.

If anyone reading would like to join the £2 a day challenge please let me know in the comments, or set your own amount. If you’ve never done anything like this before I really think it’s an interesting thing to attempt, just to drive home how much many of us will fork over loose change in the usual course of things, not realising how it adds up, and how seldom we would go back to purchse that thing if there hadn’t been cash spare on first sight. Limiting for two months made the freedom of December seem very luxurious to me, even though don’t think I went over what I would spend in a normal, unconstrained month.

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November ninety – day twenty-six

Tired today. My neighbours have a malfunctioning burglar alarm that has been erupting into unpredictable whoop-whoops for the past few days (and nights), sometimes every half hour or so. I do have earplugs, but they don’t completely cut the sound out, and the noise makes me jump sometimes because it’s so random.

As well as being near the end of the November ninety challenge, I’m also on the final stretch of the 20lb weight loss challenge I started with B back in June. I was at the goal weight and then suddenly put on 3lb for no apparent reason, so I went out and bought Ryvitas and fruit for brunch today to help with the final kick. £2.52 spent on those to bring the month’s spend to £72.50 (target for day 26 is up to £78). Four more days! I am going to celebrate December 1st with fried potatoes!

Dinner tonight was pea soup. The value frozen peas I bought a while back have lasted well, mainly because they’re not as nice as the regular peas I usually get. Another lesson learned. It’s not a very good saving if you’re reluctant to eat the product instead of deriving pleasure from eating it!


The £100 challenge for October

Every now and then I like to make life more interesting by setting myself a budget challenge.

hand holding bank-notes totalling one hundred pounds.

I’ve done these before, so I know that it’s possible, but also that it’s surprisingly hard. Lucky me that I have some choice though, I do realise that. Now that I work part time at my main job, my basic salary only barely covers my bills, and the extra work I get offered is what pays for food and fun, but I’ve been fortunate enough so far to keep getting that work.

The £100 challenge for the month of October means that I set a limit of that amount of spending money. This includes:

Food
Drink
Socialising/events
Travel
Clothing
Household goods such as cleaning supplies

It does not include bills which come out via direct debit, e.g. phone and internet, heating and property-related expenses.

At the moment I am supposedly trying to lose weight for a 20lb challenge (everything is easier if you make it into a challenge!), which I totally slacked off of while Vegan MoFo was on, so that’s good in a way, should mean I spend less on food, although salad stuff can be expensive… and I now have a ton of food in the freezer, all those onions, and my boyfriend’s parents sent me a carrier bag full of apples from their tree. Really, I could probably get by not spending much on food at all, but I really like trying new things and buying bargains, so it’s a huge temptation for me.

Tomorrow I’m going to do a cupboard inventory. I’ll be keeping track of my daily spends on here and hopefully posting some frugal and/or low-calorie recipes.

Some friends I mentioned this to are interested in joining. If you are too, please leave me a comment. Misery loves company! 😉