No spend days become…

  

Hello Dear Reader,

Whilst in a reflective mood today and I wondered how I became such a tightwad. I worked out that I save in excess of my household costs. So, that’s 40% living costs and 60% savings. It didn’t happen overnight. 

Those of you who’ve read for years know that we went deeply frugal in 2009 to clear our massive debts and kept being frugal to pay down our mortgage. You see, I’ve always got a goal and reasons to keep my purse firmly shut. And when I say shut, I mean it. I don’t purposefully buy few clothes, beauty products but I just don’t need much. There are many many experiences that I’m looking forward to and that I experience right now that costs nothing or next to nothing. 

Whether it’s cynicism or maybe contentment but most of what I see for sale just doesn’t interest me. Fads, fashions and on trends just don’t do anything for me and instead of saying just no, I also think, who on earth would want this rubbish? The world and all its marketing tries very hard to part with my money but some how, the likes of you and me can just see it for the gawdy meaningless tripe it is.

So where am I going with all this? To begin with, I started with no spend days. You see, I used to keep money on my person and there was always something that could be bought even if a bag of salad. I made up my mind that I would pick a day on which I wouldn’t spend any money. I kept at that until it became a habit. I then moved on to more than one day and then just kept going.

It’s reached the point where, on the first of the month, I can pay everything by direct debit, leave £200 to pay for a month’s groceries and then move every penny to a savings account. Currently, 75% of that is transferred to our French bank account to pay for the woodstove installation and the building work we need done. The other 25% pays for anything we need here but once there’s enough in the account we transfer what we don’t need to the mortgage capital. My no spend days are now six days a week and sometimes I don’t ‘get the shopping in’ every week.

Living a debt free thrifty life isn’t for everyone. I know some of you like the theatre, cinema, eating out, having nice up to date clothes and if you enjoy that then carry on. For us, it’s trips to France and now to our other home in France so that’s my version of a ‘night out’. Those of us who save up for the experiences that are important to us happily have no spend days so we can afford to do so.

Now my lovvies, over to you. Are you part of the ‘no spend’ fraternity? If not, would you like to be? (I’ll get back to the how many steps tomorrow) What motivates you not to spend. I like our little end of the blog chit chat and look forward to hearing from you.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

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14 thoughts on “No spend days become…

  1. Hello Froogs, I had started saving for a new kitchen, got so far then had a health scare last week that really put the wind up me , also just turned 60. I suddenly thought I don’t want to wait for my kitchen, I do a lot of cooking and my little kitchen is cut off quite a way from my lounge, When my family is here I feel a bit out of the way and nobody can hear my cries of ” grub up” so I end up running a waitress service. A wall is to be knocked down to give us a kitchen diner to lead into the lounge. We have decided to get our kitchen now on 12 months interest free but will pay it off in 4 months by me super scrimping and enjoying cooking frugal meals in a new kitchen so doing it back to front. This was a “life is too short” moment,spending a night in hospital recovering from a TIA gave me an opportunity to think things through quietly and think how lucky I am to be here and put things in perspective. Thank you for all your hints and inspiration.

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  2. We generally have just one spend day a week (the weekly food shop) I hate shopping with a passion, so anything that saves me having to face the hell of the shops is fine by me.
    I was so glad to have found your site and realise that I’m not alone in my dislike of shopping. I thought it was just me!

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  3. I have a foot in both camps. I love the cinema, clothes and buying stuff for my house but I will not spend money on parking, I use public transport to get to and from work, I read library books, I read magazines on line, I meal plan, I always bring my lunch from home, I refuse to buy coffee at a shop, and I like to be uber thrifty with my garden and like to plant stuff from cuttings. I also make Mr FF cut my hair and haven’t been to the hairdresser since March 2011, because I refuse to spend the money and the time. It’s not all or nothing with me. I like to mix extravagance with thrift. Your blog is very inspiring. I also really admire how philanthropic you are with donating your quilts to charities and helping people learn to cook. You might be thrifty with money but you are very generous with your time and that speaks volumes.

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  4. Since we started living on a lower budget, I’ve realised that my starting point is “spend nothing”.
    That doesn’t mean we don’t buy anything – more that every purchase, bill or direct debit is considered.
    I don’t buy things for the sake of it, or have occasions when I automatically spend money without thinking, like grabbing a cup of coffee on the way to work, or buying the same magazine every week, or stopping at the gift shop on family outings. Sure, I do those things sometimes, but not all the time and not without weighing it up.
    If we have to buy stuff, we’ll look at ways to do things more cheaply first, like free outings to museums, cheaper tickets at less popular times, home made options & home cooking, buying second hand / from charity shops, borrowing from the library, using vouchers or whatever.
    Our aim in living on less is so we can spend more time with our children, so my husband can work in a field he enjoys, and so we can live in a house that we love. We decided happiness as a family, and time together, were worth more to us than buying things. Quality of life, rather than quantity of stuff, I suppose.
    I appreciate we’re extremely lucky to be in a position to choose – who knows how it will go in future, we’re still muddling through!

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  5. I’m like the Queen, I don’t keep money on me full stop. I tell a lie actually, there’s £5 in there. I do shopping once a month for all the non perishables and only buy once a week any fresh veg or fruit and that’s all. A fiver a week should cover it! My total shopping bill is never over about the £100 mark, if I get near to that I feel that I’m not doing as well as I should and go into a major panic….there are just the two of us, like yourselves and no pets.

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  6. Really love your blog, you are an inspiration. My problem is myself and my family have been hit by poor health. My husband has just returned to work after a year off sick. I am now registered disabled aged 45. I have always had your mindset, if you need money work more, I now struggle in my head as I can no longer do this. I will say so far we have not got into debt, I pray it stays that way. Your blog definitely keeps me going through the tough times. Love your ideas and am enjoying your french adventure. Good luck in all you do xxx

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  7. Hello, Froogs! We have had to be extremely frugal since my teacher DB gave up his job as the stress was unbearable and started working for a supermarket as a delivery driver – no full time hours available so at £7.30 an hour and me working as a lower band nurse we had to drastically cut our cloth. I have read your and Mean Queen’s blogs and have great fun doing what we have had to do! 2 daughters at Uni have needed financial help from us but we have been able to do it. Now my DB has been offered a full time job (completely different to what he is doing now) and his salary will at least double. We have decided to continue our way of life as it has been no real hardship and we can pay down the mortgage and hopefully have a few days away (in Cornwall!) later this year. I have many no spend days – that’s just the way it has had to be – and I’m not bothered! Thanks to you for your inspiration – we have no debt (apart from mortgage) and live a fulfilling life.

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  8. Dear Froogs, you have really inspired me.

    For the last month I have really cut back and bought a few luxuries (like petunias for garden in the summer, a couple of pictures from a charity shop) and now am trying to have only £50 spending a month (and £100 on food). I tried hard last month and overpaid my mortgage by a larger amount than usual which has cheered me up.

    I hope I can maintain this and pay off mortgage and if possible save for a new kitchen. Originally my plan was to have a new kitchen but with redundancies in education at the moment I might have to delay that and pay into my mortgage.

    I am so glad you have helped inspire me.

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  9. Dear Froggs, I shop fortnightly and it really focusses the mind on making what is in the cupboard go that bit further. Not a meal plan but a very careful study of what we buy over a year led to having a good idea on what is needed to be stocked and what is just “extras”. If the extra is not there, we don’t miss it, if we have a weak moment about nibbles or biscuits we bake a simple cake. Groceries on line once every two weeks, visit the local butcher one week and the fishmonger the next (alternating), a bag of potatoes from the farm shop (not a fancy one, a real one very basic) once every 6 weeks. Rest comes from grown your own! Dont go to shops that can tempt you…until you know you have will power!

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  10. Since giving up work, I have chosen not to buy any clothes, not to have my hair cut, cut back drastically on food shopping, not bought anything for the house etc etc. it feels great not to go out to the shops, but if have to, not feeling I want to buy anything. However, I do go out for a coffee or lunch with friends occasionally because I enjoy it. I feel it’s a good balance 🙂

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  11. Yes, definitely a no spender here! My friends think I’m made, but we are happy to have opted out of this crazy consumerism! Motivation is paying off our mortgage. I’m so glad you got your blog sorted!

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  12. We are country mice and travel 150 kilometers to shop. Two years ago, being appalled at the destruction of the environment entailed in Canada’s tar sand developments, we decided that if we spent less on fuel, it would be our way to protest. It has been seven weeks since our truck left our yard for a shopping trip. We are incredibly free to spend our days gardening, hiking and doing crafty pursuits. I have developed an organized pantry and food storage system and if we do run out of something, like eggs. we do without for a while. There is virtually Zero food waste chez nous.
    Too cheap to pay for internet, I log on infrequently on free WIFI and always turn to Frugal Queen for more inspiration. Thanks for sharing your tips and ending the shaming of frugality’

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