I’m over halfway through the month and so far March is looking a lot better than February was. It’s super challenging trying to spend £1 a day given the haphazard nature of my days, splitting my life between my place and my girlfriend’s on different sides of the river, tons of socialising and a massive appetite. It’s also challenging trying to do loads of exercise and sport and get out of bed early when I feel so exhausted a lot of the time.
What’s gone well?
- The £1 a day challenge is on track. I’ve been away for work for a few days this week and eaten wonderful and (relatively) expensive food on someone else’s dime. I’m eating my way through my pantry & freezer still and have supplemented with fresh produce and other ingredients where necessary. Meals I’ve had include boeuf bourguignon, cheese on toast, chicken goujons & chips and canned soup. I’ve taken food into work EVERY SINGLE DAY and packed dinner too when I knew I had a post-work event.
- I’ve cut back on transport charges where I could. I bought wheel locks for my bike – a necessary but un-budgeted expense – but with the shortfall from February’s expensiveness and other planned expenses, I have to wait to be paid for my side hustle to be able to buy a mount for my phone. I’m thus not cycling because I’m terrible at navigating without help. I’ve walked instead of taken the bus or taken the bus instead of the tube to keep things cheaper.
- I’m walking a lot more than I did the last couple of months. I’ve averaged 12 700 steps so far – 2 700 more than recommended but 3 800 steps less than my target. I’m playing badminton every week again – including scheduling it for earlier in the week than normal when I knew I was going to be away subsequently.
What do I need to do better?
- I need to be productive when I’m not at work. I have binge watched TV, played video games or just laid around chatting when I’m not out doing stuff. I have a bucket list of skills I want to acquire, hobbies I want to nurture and creative tasks I want to engage in. I’ve put them on my “one day” list but if I tackled one thing a day for half an hour or an hour, I’d have made a big dent in the list by the end of 2017.
- More walking. I set my Fitbit goal as 16 500 steps a day (average over the week) and I really need to hit that as we get better weather.
- More sport and exercise. At my peak, I’ve played badminton twice a week, football twice a week and cycled everywhere. I also did Pilates or bodyweight exercises at least 3 times a week. I need to add 3 extra exercise sessions – ideally weekday football and 2 x Pilates.
What are my numbers?
|Food||£15.11||This includes groceries and take out but excludes things bought exclusively for my girlfriend or hosting friends.|
|Socialising||£39.90||Packing snacks, only having a single drink and offering less exorbitant meals when I’ve hosted have helped me keep this line item down.|
|Transport||£68.02||For context, if I got a monthly travelcard, it would cost me roughly £140 – £160 (including travel outside zones 1-2) but by substituting transport methods, I’ve spent less than half of that so far.|
You can compare these numbers to my February spending or wait for the full comparison in my March monthly status update.