Monday, 19 November 2012


I am dreadful with money – just dreadful. I earn more than enough to live comfortably – given my super low rent/mortgage deal – but I always, always spend more each month than I earn. I’ve tried spending less on food, I’ve tried going out less, shopping for clothing less, but all to no avail. Small changes aren’t helping as I just find other ways to spend my cash. Frankly it is pathetic.

I really need taking in hand, and with no one to do that but me I just haven’t known where to start. Time for a spendervention.

After not even making it to the end of the month before scraping the bottom of my overdraft this time (thanks to an extravagant dress purchase – I’m a fool for a frock) I’ve decided that this week is a no spend week. i.e. I will buy nothing but essentials until payday. As such, I have been out and bought food for lunch for the week. A loaf of bread. I already have tins of fish and a slab of cheese at home so that is work lunches covered. I also have tons enough in the freezer to eek out for dinners for the week (two servings of pie, some chicken,a chickpea curry and one spag bol – oh the excitement!)

In addition I am not smoking or drinking until the weekend. Well, I can’t, I only have £5-odd. Yes, that pic at the top is my actual purse right this minute.

I know, a week sounds pretty lame. However we are about to enter the festive Season and even one as lacking in Christmas cheer as myself would like a roast and a bottle of bubbly on Turkey Day. Really, this week is a trial run for January 2013. My designated No Spend Month – or as my Ameri-pals call it, a “No Spender Bender”. I’ve decided, see, that 2013 is the year I “sort myself out.” Well, my finances at least – and hopefully with that other great things will follow.

I’ve taken some steps already which have been:

• Cancelling my gym membership
• Taking out a loan to pay off 2 of my credit cards thus reducing monthly repayments by half
• Switching gas and electricity suppliers (such a faff – almost done, now have to give them meter readings for the BILLIONTH time)
• Joining the local library – I’ll pick up my card and some books this week.

So this week I am going to be scraping by on the cash I have and spending my time thinking about:

• Why I shop – what does it give me? What am I rewarding myself for?
• What do I spend money on? Other than awe inspiring vintage dresses.
• What else can I do to save more cash?
• Are there any “luxuries” I cannot live without?
• What do I have that I can sell on eBay?

Ugh. It is going to be a tough week of self analysis – or, well – selfish analysis as heaven’s, I think I just realised how gluttonous and selfish my life really is.

Have any of you managed a no spend month? 

Any frugal tips or tricks you can offer to make life a little less painful?


  1. I have done a couple No Spend Months, but always had a goal in mind, saving for a holiday, a big purchase, ect. The key for me is to stay away from eBay and etsy during those months. Give yourself a few outs for needful things. You shouldn't feel guilty about having to buy stockings because your last pair got a ladder. It's about learning to save, not punishing yourself.

    1. Thanks love, I think I fall too easily into the "this must be a punishment" mode of thought...

  2. I am on a super low budget at the moment as were doing up a house. We try to not buy lunches out, stay away from any kind of shopping but its important to still do nice things that don't cost a lot, On a saturday if you normally shop or party, have a movie night in with friends or go for a nice walk in the park. I soon found I didn't really need to spent to have a nice time,

    1. I've made lunch for tomorrow and have tomorrow evenings food all worked out. A big killer for me is definitely the alcohol and cigarette spending. Just cutting those down will transform more than just my finances!

  3. God I feel your pain I'm crap at saving money I always manage to find something to buy. I tried to stop buying clothes altogether and failed dismally I couldn't cope with going cold turkey! Got to get my shit sorted next year too so I shall follow your progress with great interest for hints and tips.

  4. I work at a non-profit and have tons of debt from law school, so I am constantly in a thrifty state. It's lucky that I don't drink and enjoy lots of quiet activities, because reading books and writing letters is cheap! But I also find that it is much easier to bring my lunch (thus saving money during the week) if I made something pretty delicious on Sunday. Then I WANT to eat what I bring and I don't feel like I'm settling. Last weekend I made amazing coconut, sweet potato, and cilantro (you might know cilantro as fresh coriander in the UK) soup. It was SO GOOD and I looked forward to eating it at lunchtime. I also dropped my gym membership and took up running -- it's free! For lower impact, you could also walk or hike. And my library has tons of DVDs, so I don't rent movies or have a Netflix membership. Also, just in case you didn't know, for all of your regular bills (cable, internet, phone, etc), sometimes if you just call and explain that things are tight and you're looking for the best deal or considering switching providers, they'll adjust your rate. Often they're pretty nice about it and you don't even need to do much to convince them. And, despite how it might sound, I don't deprive myself entirely. I've decided that it's okay if sometimes I need to put something on my credit card (even though I'm trying to pay them off...or at least make some downward progress!) because nice things here and there can go miles towards making me feel good.

    Oh, and hi! I started following you a month or two ago through bloglovin. Love your blog!

  5. I'm really bad at not spending, I think loveing vintage makes it hard, if you see something good you have to get it because you might not see it again!
    I've just been reading a book on habits and how you can go about changing them, there was a bit on money management and they said it was better to get into the habit of just carrying a little book and writing down everything you spend and this will then affect the way you spend, as it's quite shocking! I was thinking of giving it a go!

    1. Ooh, I like the book idea. Might use the notes function on my phone.

  6. Budget... When you can see where, when, and how you spend your money sometimes it really helps! There's a great budgeting program my husband and myself use called YNAB. It has four simple rules to help you get you get your finances in order - working off the principle that you should live on your last pay check - NOT your current one, so that you always have a "spare" pay check in reserve!

    We really like the program, it's simple and easy to use, and it helps us to keep track of every single cent. It's not an overnight magic fix - we are still scraping the bottom of that barrel some months, but we can see improvements to our saving/spending ratio, so I can really recommend it.

    Good luck!

    bonita of Depict This!

    1. P.S. - It also has apps for your phone so you can use it any where - we love that function. :)

  7. I cut out spending for Lent last year. Even went so far as banning 'nice' soaps and moisturisers (I went for Boots own brand- worked fine). Mind you, TBH I am a bit of a tightwad naturally so I took perverse joy in the whole thing. And I kept taking glasses of wine off the husband, what's his is mine etc'!!

  8. Ooh I feel your pain - I really do!
    I am a shopaholic at heart but after some serious over spending and a lack of income I have had to try and seriously cut down. Where I think I saved the most money is firstly with food (looking around for the best deals) and not impulsive buying yummy things!! So I have a strict list and stick to it. My clothes are often charity shop, eBay or I have really shopped around for the cheapest high street purchase. Umm what else!? Cancel all the super expensive subscriptions I never use like the gym, weight watchers etc! And make sure any subscriptions/direct debits you need such as your mobile phone are as low as they can be :)