New Year – No Spend Challenge: How to get that frugal feeling

New Year – No Spend Challenge: How to get that frugal feeling

I’m nearly two weeks in to my New Year – No Spend Challenge and I can’t wait to share with you how I’m getting on, and what I’ve learned so far.

If you’re following along with your own challenge I hope it’s going well and please do share with me in the comments.

Do you know what’s surprised me so far? I love not spending money! All you frugal folk out there will be nodding sagely, but it’s been such a long time since I’ve felt the buzz of not getting something.

I’m exercising more! Are the two connected? Maybe. If I don’t need to spend, I don’t need to shop, I don’t need to unpack and deal with packaging or work out where to put said item. So I am definitely saving time. I haven’t looked at clothing websites, except to buy socks for my daughter because she’d grown out of all of hers. But I decided where I was going to buy them first, went straight to the website, looked only at socks, purchased and then put my phone down.

Have I spent money?

Yes. The socks, they were one purchase. I also bought three new light fittings for our utility room. I know, it sounds crazy, but it really was necessary. All our light fittings in there blew and they had non-replaceable LED bulbs, so the only option was to replace the whole fitting. This time with ones where we can change the bulbs! As the utility room houses our bread machine, microwave, washing machine and pulley airer, we really do need to see to use it!

Anything else? A birthday present. This wasn’t strictly necessary, the birthday is not until late February so I could have waited. However, I already knew what I wanted to buy and it was in a post-Christmas sale, so I decided to spend the money now, to save the money overall.

And…..? I ate lunch out with a friend this week. I chose in advance what I would have so that I didn’t overspend, particularly as I’m also trying to eat more healthily. So I had soup, a coffee, and a cookie (ok, not that healthy!) It came to about £10 and it was worth it to spend time with my friend.

What’s next?

Already I plan to continue a form of no-spend as a long term approach to financial management. Having money to spend doesn’t mean you should spend it, and that is a lesson I have lost in the past few years. I want to focus on sustainability, reducing living costs and making the most of less and one major way to achieve that is to stop buying things!