Wednesday 13 February 2019

No Spend January

So in January up until payday which was 28 days I decided to challenge myself to go on a mega saving campaign. It is only when you actually do something like this you realise what you spend your money on. I have some big travel plans in the works this year, meaning a lot of money needs to be saved. I do have a little disclaimer as I love doing posts like this but as my outgoings will vary compared to others, I always feel like it is open to opposition. Yes I still live home, something which I still love. Yes I am saving for a house. However, what I spend my money on is my choice, and I believe people can spend their money on what they want to!

I had an approximate idea of wanting to save £500 after my out goings. Each month I have a list of bills which I pay every single month, so I took of the total of all the outgoings and went from there. This was not including the £200 that I had already put into my help to buy house ISA which I do each month. More than anything else, this was a challenge and a bit of a reality shock all rolled into one. The main goal of this was to not buy any material goods e.g. any clothing or makeup.

So the first thing which I bought in January was a McDonald's on new year's day as I was horrifically hungover. I was clearly very ill as I spent £8.28! The day after went to Waterstones and spent £6.49 on a book. I then made a last minute decision to buy an additional present for my sister's birthday which was £30. On the 7th January I spent £15 in Boots, I am not sure what on but I don't think it included any makeup. It was more skin and health care buys. On the 10th I went to Aldi and spent £15 on food to get my through my upcoming night shifts, along with £2.60 on cleaning products and another £7.95 in Superdrug. I then naughtily went to McDonald's and spent £4.68.

My mum did not help as I was in need of a new suitcase for my holiday next month, and she saw a cracking bargain in Morrison's so I spent £35 on a new one. I did need a suitcase and it was a bargain, but I definitely broke the rules buying this! On the 17th January I cheekily went to Nando's for a catch up with a friend, and also managed to spend £14 in Asda. I once again went to Aldi and spent £10 before another week of night shifts. I feel like my major failure of this experiment took place within 2 days, I went for a carvery with the work girls and spent £9, had a cup of tea from Costa and then sneakily treated myself to some new gym gear from Decathlon costing £29.45. I also took £30 cash out along the way to pay for my dance lessons and to buy other bits and bobs.

I added up every single transaction I made excluding the expected bills and it totalled £240.08. I bought other little things here and there costing £2 and £3 which added up to about £20. Now I thought it would actually have been a lot less than the £240 as I had really, really tried. It simply shows me how buying little things here and there add up quickly. I had in my head that it was about £150. I was doing really well, but I can be impulsive which I have shown when I managed to spend £50 in two days without any thought.

I know my usual shopping habits include a few trips to Zara and a few ASOS orders so I have definitely identified that it is the materialistic goods e.g. clothing and makeup which make up a large amount of my 'treats'. This isn't actually new news to me as I know that this is where I downfall when saving. Out of the £500 target I set on payday I had £482 left so I think I did pretty well.

Having set the challenge I found that I was feeling guilty about buying things and that definitely stopped me buying anything unnecessary (most of the time!). I am quite an impulse buyer, and as soon as payday comes I can easily blow £100 on clothes in one session without thinking about it. During January I also cleared my clothes out and realised the vast amount that I actually have. I am pretty sure that I will be sticking to minimal clothes purchases this year. I think it would be a great challenge to get out cash at the start of the month and only have a certain amount each week. When I have cash it definitely makes me think twice about buying something.

This has definitely shown me that I am capable to save if I want to. On the whole I think I am quite sensible with my money. I know I am lucky enough to be able to buy myself things, but there are definitely cuts that I can make. The main goal of no spend January was to not buy any material goods e.g. any clothing or makeup and I think I did fairly well with that. I am definitely going to try and take what I have learnt into the upcoming months, and hopefully save enough for my dream trip at the end of the year. It is definitely achievable and I have proved that I should stop moaning and start saving!

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