As we’re a third of the way through the No Spend May challenge, I thought I should do an update of our spends and how I’m finding the challenge so far. I am pleased I decided to do this challenge, as it has refreshed my mind when it comes to finances, and have made me feel a bit more motivated than normal.
The point of the challenge is to reset our finances, use up things we already own and try to live without the need of spending money. Getting into the cycle of spending frequently inevitably means that we spend more that we should and accumulate things we don’t need. I thought May would be a good month to do this as the weather is getting warmer, the nights are longer and we can get outside more and enjoy the fresh air, which also happens to be free!
So, our spends so far have been:
- Food – £79.05. This is surprisingly high considering we are only 10 days into the challenge. An order from Muscle Food has bumped this up but I’m still surprised by this. Maybe our food bill needs to be looked at again.
- Baby related – £43.57. This is mainly formula as it is £10 a tub plus food and snacks for the Frugal Baby. Non-negotiable spends here.
- Deposit for cake smash photo shoot – £50. We had decided a while ago that we would get some professional photographs taken for the Frugal Baby’s first birthday, so booked this and paid the deposit.
- Haircut – £55. I booked this a month ago, long before I thought about doing a No Spend Month, although this isn’t a necessity. I get my hair cut twice a year, as I have long hair and don’t know how to do it myself. I’ve also had a slightly different haircut this time, which is why it cost more than normal.
- Petrol – £38.17. This is a necessity as I now have to get to work and back! Although I’m working three days a week and not five, petrol costs soon add up.
Thoughts on the challenge so far:
- Purposely not spending money is actually a lot harder than it seems. If you honestly buy only what you truly need, your spends on a day to day, week to week basis would be very little. It is so easy to spend a bit here and there, on nothing in particular.
- I thought we kept our food spending low, though, as can be seen from this, they’re not as low as I thought they were. Ordering meat from an online company means buying more that a week’s worth, but even so, our spends here are creeping up. I wonder if that’s just prices going up, or are we buying more that we don’t need?
- Even though I thought we were fairly frugal, there are lots of areas that we could do better on. I have a sourdough starter kit in the cupboard which I need to get round to, for example. I could then make us bread rather than buying it at the store. There are tins in the store cupboard that could be used, rather than buying more.
- Sorting out things to sell is a much longer process that I thought it would be. Deciding what can go and what can stay, what can be donated and what is trash, takes a while! Living with less is definitely going to be a year long project.
Have you joined in with the challenge? How are you doing so far?