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for food, travel, clothes, entertainment, and anything else that doesn’t come out by direct debit, and as usual I have withdrawn the total cash so I can see exactly where I stand throughout January.
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.
No spend today and someone was off ill so I got some extra work covering for them this afternoon. It was only 3.5 hours and I realised that would cover over a week’s spending money if I carried the challenge on until January (when I start to feel the benefit of extra work from November in my pay packet). Quite cheering.
In other good news, I checked NHS dental prices, and the first band is only £18 instead of the £22 I somehow thought, so unless there turns out to be something unexpectedly wrong with my teeth my total spend for the month by tomorrow will be £22.45, just £1.45 over, and I’ll be back on track by Friday.
I made it in under £100. Hoorah, and so forth.
Although I bought two bags of Starburst sweets earlier in the month in preparation for Halloween, I do like to give trick or treaters a choice, so just popped to the market earlier today to get some clementines (or possibly they are something else. Small orangey-type things, anyway). The best deal I found was twenty small fruits for a pound, which I got, brought home and put in a nice trashy plastic purple bowl. That brings my final total for the month to £89.02.
I suppose a brief round-up is in order. My cupboards are looking a bit barer than they did at the start of the month, but truthfully it hasn’t been that hard so far. Several people have done much more severe/interesting challenges and written them up, a notable example being Kath Kelly’s How I lived a year on just a pound a day. I’m not ready for a challenge that long and difficult, but I will take on another challenge next month to try to complete the cupboard clear-out that has begun. Call it an Autumn Clean!
Sorry if this has been a bit of a boring read. If I were writing this blog in order to get lots of hits and score a book deal I’d try to have some exciting no-money adventures, maybe crashing some weddings or trying to fare-dodge to interesting places, however the main reason I’ve been keeping track on here is because it keeps me accountable. I’ve found it much easier to resist the temptation of buying things I don’t really need if I know I’d have to write it down for the world to see, so thank you to everyone who has read, liked and commented so far, and I hope you will join me for the November Ninety challenge!