Bills, budgets and not spending!

 Over a year ago, I read Ilona’s blog and down the side of it are a really sensible advice and one piece I’ve always followed was to write down every penny you spend. I check food prices, diesel prices and if I can’t get something at the charity shop or booter, then I judiciously shop round for it. It’s a long long haul. The payments have gone through for my holiday and I’ve written them down and it’s left my savings account very much depleted. Every other aspect of my trip is going to be bargain basement and I’ll tell you all about that when I go. In the meantime, I’m not giving up on throwing everything I’ve got at the debts I’m repaying.

I’ve reached a repayment milestone, from when I started snowballing to throw every penny I had a repayment, which I’ve been doing seriously for fifteen month, well, I have fifteen months of payments to go.

 Even though I’m close enough to ‘feel’ half way, I’m really not easing up. I just don’t shop! I’m off on holiday and not one new item of anything what so ever will be bought to take with me! Last year, when I cleaned the caravans in the summer holiday, I noticed that there were clothing labels and price tag labels in almost every caravan I cleaned. It was as if, it was normal to buy lots of new clothes when going on holiday. It seems stupid to me; I go on holiday to slum it and work on the principle that no one knows me so what do I care if they think the worse of me.

 In the past, I used to put the holiday on the credit card and then spend a year paying it off! I would also look at holidays as treat time. If wanted something, or to buy someone something, then I wouldn’t even think of it! I now have a totally different perspective, the holiday IS the treat!!! We will be taking most of what we need and eat with us, I’ll be in a caravan so cooking will be a doddle and the only thing I will buy is wine for DB!

 Having taken steps to not only reduce debt but work towards being debt free is rather like my new exercise regime. To be honest, it’s really hard and sometimes I don’t want to do it. I’d like a night in front of the telly but I know nothing is ever going to change unless I get outside and move my butt! I’m striding the streets and not really comfortable about doing this in broad daylight in sight of the masses. The beginning of anything is so very very hard.

I learnt a few years ago, if you do something for 30 days, you can programme yourself for it to become a habit. It works for quitting something too. If you can give up: carbs, meat, smoking, drinking, sugar or what ever you’ve decided to give up, then you’ve probably done so for life. Therefore, if I’m to accept that philosophy, then after 30 consecutive days of anything, then the pain, discomfort or just feeling an utter twat will diminish! Now I’ve been a ‘non-spender’ since 2009, ‘going without’ doesn’t seem any kind of hardship and I don’t care what people think of my life style. I’ve paid back (not paid off…….it wasn’t my money!) £22,500! since November 2009! There were some really scary times, times when I had to say no to people who I thought mattered to me, when I’ve felt uninsured, when there’s been nothing left in the freezer and when I’ve got the car back home on fumes.

 Using my theories of sticking to something for 30 days and then it becoming habit is being really, really tested but I have to have faith in my own convictions that anything is possible if you are brave enough, stick to what you believe in and hang on when it gets tough. My three mile walks, of which half of that is up hill, already seem easier, even after just a few attempts at it. I’ve conquered a mass of challenges over the past year or so and every footstep in front of the other feels as wonderful as every time I make a payment or pass by a shop without going in. I never ever thought the day would come when I would say, that having a tight budget and sticking to it, over paying and not spending or exercising daily until I work up a sweat would make me feel so very very good!

Thanks so very much to the incredibly kind words you all left for me, £65 in a restaurant was the biggest blow out I’ve had in years and I agree, it was well spent! Thanks to the 620 of you who are now following and cheering me on from the side lines, and to those of you who read and stop by. The support is just incredible.

Until tomorrow,

Froogs xxxx

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20 thoughts on “Bills, budgets and not spending!

  1. Well done FQ- good positive post. I for one definitely think the quality of my life has improved since I started on my frugal path in 2005. I feel much more in control and happier in my own skin.
    Sarah

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  2. Another inspiring post, I'm looking forward to hearing about your holiday. Do you think you will continue with this lifestyle once the debts are paid, or will you 'ease up'? x

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  3. Wow Froogs – go you. Paying back 22.5k is absolutely amazing and well done on reaching the top of the hill – look can you see, way down at the bottom, there's London 2012. I would like to celebrate with you (if I may). We started our own journey around about the same time (Jan2010) and have paid off 13.6k. It is a good feeling to look back and see how far you have come. Keep goin' gal, love Annexxx

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  4. Well done Froogs – you are tackling so many things at the minute – debt, diet, exercise…and still smiling [mostly] …we all admire your determination and look forward to the day you are debt free and dancing!
    blessings

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  5. Thank YOU for being so inspiring to those of us who are a little closer to the beginnings of our debt repayment journeys. Have a wonderful holiday!

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  6. Is it wrong to feel just a little bit superior when you are not drawn in to the “gotta have it” crowd? Because I do!!! I enjoy being frugal, I feel as though I'm beating the system along with a lot of other like minded people.
    Thanks FQ
    Jane x

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  7. What wise word's you write,i really enjoyed your post this morning,thank you!!as i have said before,you are a true inspiration to me and other's,and you are doing so well on your Diet,hope you have a lovely holiday,you deserve it!!

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  8. What an inspiring post!

    Can't wait to hear about your holiday! Question about your lingo: What is a caravan? Is it like what we call a camper in America? Did you have a job cleaning others' caravans?

    We are going on holiday soon, too, but we call it a vacation here. We considered camping in a tent, which we have done before in the past, but decided to rent an inexpensive cabin.

    I love what you said: “I go on holiday to slum it…” I couldn't agree more! I want rest and relaxation and time to do absolutely nothing. I've been gathering a whole stack of free books to take with me. Our only money spent will be on food.

    Sorry this comment is so long. I'm just so fascinated with your little window to the world!

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  9. So glad your goal is in sight. You have both done really well and should be so pleased with each other.
    When I started work, many years ago, the old Subpostmaster I worked with gave me one piece of advice that I have stuck to and passed onto my own kids, 'Never buy anything on the never never, always pay cash for it'.

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  10. So glad you are giving yourself a holiday – you deserve it and I agree – the holiday is the treat. We wouldn't have had credit card debt if it hadn't have been for a couple of very extravagant holidays at the start of the new millenium. Since then, we have holidayed under canvas and they have been the best holidays I have ever had – ever the rainy, stormy days in Cornwall are fondly remembered. The best meal I ever had was cooked on my camping stove and eaten under shooting stars watching the Persaid shower in Guernsey. The actual meal cost about £4 for the lot of us. Just to let you know, as a light at the end of the tunnel moment, we are now totally debt free – and the feeling is a bit overwhelming. I will never ever get another loan, or pay anything on my credit card that I cannot clear at the end of the month. I will be a bargain hunter until the day I die! I know now that you cannot buy the very best things in life Good Luck. xxxx

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  11. Keep it up Froogs! I've adopted the philosophy that I just have to stay out of stores. If you don't see consumer goods, you won't consume them. And going for a walk or sleeping better at night because you are making progress is much more satisfying than buying something!

    I bought dishes this past week and it made me realize why I hate buying stuff. I've come to really see retailers and consumers in a more realistic light. It will be a long time before I buy anything else… and you're an inspiration to help me stick that resolve.

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  12. Well done on all counts and I hope that you have a great holiday, OH and I have had great holidays over the last 30 years in tents, trailer tents and occasionally in a caravan or a cottage, of course it was a bit cheaper for us 'cos we were not resticted to school holidays. Ali.

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