I really tried this week to chalk up a few “no spend” days (other than my PAYG travel) but I kind of had the worst luck in terms of my health and injuries so Monday turned out to be the only day I didn’t spend. I had to cancel a trip to Oslo in favour of dedicating the time to my side-hustle (nailed it!) and spent some intentional time with friends. In spite of the rubbish run of luck, it was a rather decent week. Here’s what happened:
I didn’t track my November and December spending daily like I’ve got accustomed to over the last year or so and I can see the difference in spending for those weeks relative to the rest of the year is rather high. For one thing, I went for at least 2-3 weeks at a time eating every single meal out. I shopped indiscriminately and didn’t really set a budgeted amount for Christmas shopping. My spending was not very intentional. To help me get back into the habit of recording daily and provide more accountability, I’m going to try to keep a discretionary spending money diary post going for at least a couple of months.
This is a rather shamefaced blog post. It’s over halfway through December and I’ve only just got round to doing my spending review for last month. I’ve also been very bad at documenting my daily spending, keeping track of my discretionary spending envelopes and have generally been behaving rather badly the last few weeks. I’d like to blame it on the festive season but I know it isn’t really that. I think that I’ve got a little bit too caught up in today, instant gratification and the a little less bothered by the things that should matter i.e. paying off debt and saving toward the lifestyle that I [think I] want to live. Here’s the dirty on November.
I need to pay rent in a few days and I haven’t got the money in my current account. I have done some side-hustling recently and am owed enough money to cover the difference. I also loaned someone £350. However, that’s not the only spending I’ve done. I’ve really done some serious damage via my food and socialising categories.
Yesterday, I opened and read an article by Mindfully Spent about the power of habit. She talks about how, as a naturally erratic person, it’s taken her a while to build good habits and the impact those habits have had on her financial status. ‘A while’ was about 6 weeks. She successfully stopped paying for parking, cut back on buying coffee and started planning and prepping meals in advance. It apparently took her around 6 weeks to achieve these goals. She said, and I quote:
How did I know that I’d made a real change? My whole mindset about paid parking shifted. Now, the cost savings and the extra exercise I get when I use free parking feels like a reward. There have been one or two days when I thought I might have to pay, and I dreaded the idea. Once a mindless convenience, the expense of parking now feels like a horrible waste.
I was torn between reviewing August and reviewing how frugal my recent Berlin trip was. The August review won because I really need to get a handle on my spending for the rest of the year. This month was super important for two reasons. Firstly, it’s been a year since I started tracking my spending and trying to control my money. Secondly, I was able to make a decision (since I now have savings) to go home to see my ill dad albeit for only 3 days. How did August go?
One of the highlights of my year is my trip to Paris with my football team. We take part in a weekend-long tournament that usually involves a lot of singing, dancing, drinking, playing football and generally having a blast. I suppose this weekend could rightly be compared to Spring break, a hen/stag do, or other such lads/ladies on tour situation. Last year, my Paris trip was the straw before the straw that broke the camel’s back. I somehow managed to spend three or four hundred pounds more than I planned to and it had the most disastrous impact on my financial situation.
I was super late for and had a pretty large suitcase that meant that walking in the 20 minutes it would take to wait for the bus was not an option. I thus decided to take an Uber. This will be the third Uber entry in my June spending tracker (since my months run from payslip to payslip). May was rather spendy – relative to my aspirational spending plan although it’s a lot better than it was a year ago. Therein lies the problem. I’m still being kind to myself because compared to the hot mess that I was a year ago, my spending looks good.
I named this blog “Diary of a reformed spendthrift” after I had the epiphany that I had been living a life of financial irresponsibility. It’s past tense and alludes to the fact that I’m a finished product, that knowledge of my previous state of mind would automatically propel me to the destination that I seek – one of luxurious thrift. My previous posts on failing my ‘£1 a day on food’ challenge and my extremely spendy February share my frustration at my seeming inability to spend in line with my aspirational budget. Continue reading
I’m 15 days into my uber frugal month and I’m going to be honest, I’m failing. I suppose I’m not just failing, as my last update showed, I’m failing hard. I’ve taken Ubers, I’ve bought clothes, I’ve bought lunch and takeaway repeatedly. I bought an awesome pair of yellow sneakers that I totally adore but given that it’s been raining a lot, they might not have been the most practical purchase. Essentially I’m pretty sucky at being frugal.