As we’re now two thirds of the way through the No Spend May challenge, I thought I would do another update of our spends and how I’m finding the challenge. 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! However, I did forget when I set out the challenge that we would need to pay for the car insurance and also the car’s MOT and service is also due. So, more spends! But, even with those included, I do think that doing this challenge is making me spend less and really consider what I’m spending our hard earned cash on.
So, twenty days in and our spending looking like this:
- Food – £116.08. This is slightly better at the 20-day mark. I’m hoping to keep food spends minimal for the next eleven days, and keep our food spend under £180 for the month.
- Baby related – £80.43. This is mainly formula as it is £10 a tub plus food and snacks for the Frugal Baby. Non-negotiable spends here. We also went to a nearly new sale in town and got the Frugal Baby a sit on car and a trike for £4.50.
- 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 – £58.17. 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 am working on using up items in our stockpile that we have had for a while, such as the multiple tins of pulses in the cupboard. I made a lovely roasted carrot, butternut squash and chickpea soup last week that used up all things in the store cupboard and was delicious. But, there are still lots of things we could do better on!
- Decluttering and simplifying our lives is definitely a slow process. I’ve got a couple of things on eBay and some more to list. But, continuing to live with less is a continuing goal of mine.
- Even with the best intentions, expenses can crop up when you’re not expecting them. I had honestly forget about the car MOT and service this month, so that’s a significance expense to add to the month. It’s not something you should forget really, but even the most organised of people can have unexpected expenses crop up!
Have you joined in with the challenge? How are you doing so far?