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for food, travel, clothes, entertainment, and anything else that doesn’t come out by direct debit, and as usual I have withdrawn the total cash so I can see exactly where I stand throughout January.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

looking forward to 2014

Having a rest from spending challenges this month has been nice in some ways but I’ve started to feel a bit queasy about the amount I seem to have spent on nothing.

I haven’t been keeping accounts, but I’ve gone over the vague goal I set myself, and I don’t even have the excuse that I’ve been buying presents, because with the exception of a couple of token gifts I’m having a giving truce with everyone this Christmas. The main spending has been on eating out and drinks, which isn’t really surprising. Don’t get me wrong, I haven’t gone into my overdraft from quaffing champagne, but maybe I shouldn’t have any more thalis for a while.

Several things are happening in January. It’s common for people to try and kick or curb bad habits after New Year and you may have noticed that charities have now started trying to cash in, there are at least two with “Dry January” sign-ups being pushed and since I’ll be back on a tight budget with no money for booze I’ve signed up for the Alcohol Concern campaign.

Talking of that budget… since the previous two challenges came in under target I’m going for another reduction. £2 a day, that’s £62 for the month. Haha, this is going to be horrible, isn’t it? But I am strong. STRONG, I tell you!

And finally, the 20lb challenge is done, but from January to June the next weightloss goal is another 10lb, which will put me squarely in the middle of the “normal” BMI range. Again, there is a £100 forfeit at stake if we are heavier than the target at final weigh-in.

If anyone would care to join me in any of these endeavours please leave a comment, or if you have a different aim you’re working towards please let me know! I might even join you 🙂