Spending Ban Update #1 | #NoMoneyMay

Monday, 18 May 2015


For those of you who aren't aware, I'm currently on a spending ban, which I've named #NoMoneyMay. Beauty products, clothes, accessories, shoes, food on the go, and Graze boxes are all banned, but exceptions will be made if I run out of essentials like skincare products.

So, how has it been so far? 



Day 1 and I'm already facing my first challenge, when I end up going out for last-minute drinks with my friends. Normally I'd use this as an excuse to eat food at the pub but instead I hurriedly make some ham and mushroom pasta before leaving. Since Jess is driving me there and back I spend a grand total of £3.30 on a rum and coke (and wince at how much it costs; until I moved to Wales, I had no idea how expensive it was to drink down south).

Day 2 and I face temptation yet again, when my well-meaning dad draws my attention to an offer in Saturday's Telegraph - they're selling a box of Rituals goodies for under £20. I love, love, love their Fortune Scrub so I really think about caving in and getting the box, but there's nothing in there that I need. I let it go. In the afternoon I make the teas for my dad's cricket club and earn myself a nice £25, which goes straight into my purse and stays there. I feel smug.


Day 3. £5 from Nan. Win.


Day 4 and Dad's treating us to dinner (living at home for the summer does have its perks). I thoroughly enjoy my vegetable lasagne  is it weird that I actually prefer the veggie version to the meat one? It's not as stodgy and I have a feeling this ban would be a lot more difficult if I was still in Wales.


Day 5. Today was quiet, no temptation.


Day 6: I save a few quid on the bus fare by getting a lift into town. I go to Pork&Co, my current favourite place for food, with Dan and Spag, two of my closest friends. Socializing and all that comes with it is allowed, I'm just not allowed to be excessive, and I eat my pulled pork mac 'n' cheese without feeling guilty. I have to buy new moisturiser, which means a trip into Superdrug  so tempting, but I make it out of there without buying anything extra, yay me!


Day 7: I'm working as a poll clerk for the general election so there's no risk of going anywhere; I have a fifteen-hour working day and I'm not allowed to leave the building.


Day 8: I'm counting ballot papers today, so, again, no risk of spending any money, since lunch is provided. When I arrive home at 7 all I want to do is eat and go to bed.


Days 9 and 10: I eschew the usual trip into town (too tempting) in favour of a lazy weekend so I can catch up on blog posts and just relax after working in the election.


Day 11: So, I caved. Sort of. Not really. I'll explain: I had an appointment at the bank to discuss savings accounts, and while we were there the advisor added up the amount of debt I'm going to have by the time I leave uni. I freaked. It's not like I wasn't aware of the debt (I am) or that I don't know anything about the student loan system (I do) but I never actually had a concrete number in mind before, it was just my student loan. But of course, she said the figure out loud and it was all I could think about

So, I did what I always do in times of crisis, and shopped (because the natural response to finding out how much debt you're accumulating is to go out and spend more money. I don't understand myself sometimes). Thankfully, everything I bought was for the festival, and therefore wasn't banned, it just felt like it was because I was in panic-mode. I got a parka that folds up into a pouch (in case of rain), high-waisted shorts (I only owned one pair before and yet they're the one thing I always reach for in warm weather), and a mini cross-body bag (soooo cute). Then I went home and ate an entire bar of milk chocolate with salted butterscotch.


Day 12: I'm supposed to be going out for lunch today but the plans are cancelled. While this might not be good in terms of socialising, my bank balance is much better off.


Day 13: One of my friends asks if anyone's up for a trip to Prague. My immediate response is 'Errrr, yeah' because I've barely travelled anywhere and the older I get, the greater my wanderlust gets, but I do have to take a step back and think about the ol' bank balance. Luckily, the holiday will be relatively inexpensive, and I have savings that will cover it. I'm hoping and praying Prague will be a thing.


Day 14: I hold my hands up: I genuinely caved today. I went to M&S Simply Food with Mumma (dangerous, but I survived) and then afterwards we went to Matalan  Mumma to look for jeans, and me to see if there were any work-experience appropriate tops in there. There weren't, but they did have the cutest jumper with a Peter Pan collar, and I made the mistake of touching it and it was so soft and then I tried it on... and it fit perfectly. It was clearly meant to be so I bought it and I regret nothing. Actually, that's a lie: I feel bad for breaking the ban. In hindsight, setting one at a time when I knew I'd need to buy things was a really stupid idea (not that I need anymore jumpers). But, be proud of me, I also fell in love with a pastel blue satchel and didn't buy it, so it's good to know I still have some restraint.


Day 15: A quiet day writing blog posts and cleaning the house = no risk of spending money. And I should think not after yesterday!


Day 16: Miraculously, I don't spend anything on the trip into town, and then it's off to work at the cricket again. 


Day 17: We go for lunch at a family friend's house, miles from any shops. It's the perfect Sunday: food, family, and lots and lots of laughter. Plus Nan gives me another fiver, which is always welcome!


Despite failing, I'll be continuing with #NoMoneyMay, just to see if I can stick it out for the remainder of the month; I'll let you know how I get on in a couple of weeks' time! Wish me luck (and maybe don't hold your breath...)

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