Welcome to my no-spend month

keep-calm-and-don-t-spend-money

Hello Dear Reader,

It’s October and doesn’t it come round really quickly. Every year, I have a fiscal fast in October. I buy food from the supermarket which I cook at home and fuel for the car to get to work and that’s it. I don’t take any cash from the cash point and neither of us spend any money on anything except: direct debits for bills and household running costs, food,  and fuel until the 1st of November. Our autumn half term break is in October and we don’t spend any money then either. No charity shops, no ebay buys, no outlet purchases no matter how much of a bargain. Any sales that pop up in emails will be deleted unopened and our purses will stay firmly shut.

We’ve prepared with toiletries and cleaning materials for the month and there’s nothing we need that we don’t already have. We don’t eat out more than once in a very blue moon anyway and the same goes for a takeaway. I bought some new work shoes yesterday from Clarks online outlet so if you see me collecting them (click and collect doesn’t incur a delivery charge) from the local store, I’ve already confessed that all £28 of them (half price) was paid for on the last day of September.

You might wonder why we do this. When we were seriously in debt from 2009 –  2011, we lived like this every day. We stopped spending on anything but necessities completely until we were debt free and this month of non-spending realigns our priorities towards saving. Most weeks for us are non-spend weeks and our only expenses are food and fuel but we all have our downfalls. We love books and trawl charity shops for books and we’ve got plenty we haven’t read yet so we don’t need any more. I’m a quilter and have enough fabric for current projects and I aim to complete some unfinished projects this month. So, like anyone, I’m liable to spend money when I don’t need to and this month reminds me that I already have all I need.

Don’t feel any need to join in or tell me why you can’t join in as what you spend or don’t spend is entirely up to you. I will however share with you how I’ll manage this for the month. I must admit that I do most of them any way.

  1. Take tea bags and coffee to work everyday and make my own.
  2. Take my own lunch to work every day.
  3. If we go out, take a flask and packed lunch. We love a car picnic even if it’s wet and cold.
  4. Complete craft projects with resources we already have.
  5. Invite friends to share our food with us and accept invitations to share with them.
  6. Use up what we have: toiletries, fragrance, cleaning materials and long life food such as tins.
  7. Don’t go into any shops other than the supermarket for a month.
  8. Keep busy with the jobs that need doing at home.
  9. Long weekend walks on the moors or beaches at low tide.
  10. We moved any money we didn’t need when we were paid in September straight into savings so we didn’t have any money to spend other than food and fuel. We know the exact amount each month that goes out of direct debits, including standing orders to savings accounts so we always know the amount that can be spent. We moved that amount.

 

It won’t be easy, it never is! Sometimes, I forget and start to plan meeting up with friends and then have to rethink with a no-spend alternative such as a walk and then back to their place or my place for coffee and something homemade. Something will be needed and I’ll just have to grin and bear it until the end of the month.

So, he’s to a month of tight waddery, skin flintery and frugality. Let the annual no spend month commence.

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxx

 

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How I saved money this week


Hello Dear Reader,

I usually go’shopping’  twice a year. I go when I need something such as new clothes or shoes. I don’t feel any need to go any more than that. I’ll often be on the look out for something for the home but might take years to buy it. I’ve been contemplating buying a new sofa since we repaired our sofa and then seriously thought of buying a new one when we had to repair it again. The carpentry is holding out, so the contemplation continues. 

I certainly can’t understand the cult of shopping. I’m not influenced by advertising and have never sought out a single fashion item I’ve found in a magazine. In fact, I find the whole aspect of commercialism and those who succumb to it, well…………..odd. I can’t imagine what it is like to feel the need for brand names, for the latest this, that or the other. I certainly don’t understand the need to have a fashionable car, or sofa or wall paper. I just don’t get the desire of any one to keep up with the Jones or compete in the ‘who has the most middle class family’ competition. For those who have to get little Fifi everything all the other little Fifi’s have, I just wonder where it will all end? My children went without almost everything as children as we just had enough money to feed them and keep a roof over their heads. We had nothing to aspire to but survival and were grateful that we did. 


 If and when I go shopping, once I’ve found a suitable jumper or pair of jeans, I buy them and go home. I’m not tempted in any way to buy anything else. I’m quite happy to have one or two good items of clothing and add that to what ever I have. I’ve never felt the need for a new ‘wardrobe’. 


I don’t feel the need to try the latest restaurants, to get dressed up and sit somewhere crowded and listen to the chatter of strangers around me. I’m happiest at home and look forward to having time to clean the house from top to bottom, to sit and sew, to listen to a play on the radio, to watch a film or just to go for a walk. 


I have to ask myself sometime whether I’m being tight fisted or mean but I usually find the same answer that I don’t need very much. 

When I thought about cooking something for the weekend, I just thought of vegetable soup as it’s my favourite meal. No restaurants full of inane chatter for us, just our own company, a clean and tidy home, simple food and raise a mug of tea to not spending. How did I save money this week? I simply didn’t buy anything!

Over to you. Are you a spender? Does something new cheer you up? Do you enjoy the sound of other people talking in restaurants or like me would you rather avoid them? Am I alone in hating sharing my dining experience with stranger, especially badly behaved ones? Anyone else have a spend free week to share?

Until tomorrow,

Love Froogs xxxxxxxxxxx

Nope, no shopping today either!

 Hello readers,

This is for one person, you, the one who asked me. Well here it is. You asked how do you stop shopping. Well it’s like this……………just stop doing it! How did I give up smoking, I stopped putting them in my mouth and lighting them! I stopped buying them! How did I stop shopping, I didn’t open the door and I didn’t go in! Drug addicts are always addicts but they don’t always have to be users. I still have compulsive behaviour. I just direct it somewhere else.

My blog today is all about the living you can do and not go in shops.

You may well shop because you’re bored…………..what the duck? Emotional shopping? Do you really get anything out of it? Remember! Their job is to get your money off you. If you have so much you can spread it around then give it to Cancer Research, the Salvation Army or Oxfam, give it to the chuffin’ dogs home, but do something a lot more worth while than shopping for rubbish I bet you just don’t need.

I didn’t run up huge debts shopping, I ran them up on keeping my house upright and fighting the ex in court to keep my children, and then on my education! I’ve always thought that shops were dens of sin, peddling pretty trinkets to people with no self worth. There was my answer, look down on dirty capitalism and commercialism and refuse to dirty your hands with their filth. I now have a whole host of things I do instead of shopping.

1. Read library books.
2.Walk every where, it takes up your day and keeps your arse from sliding down your legs.
3. Do the housework without electricity, it takes up your day and stops the bingo wings from flapping in the wind.
4. Grow food…………most of the muck in supermarkets is rubbish anyway.
5. Volunteer in the community.
6.Visit your neighbours……….mine are smashing and I do like the occasional chat.
7. Make what you need, whether jam or sloe gin.
8. Recycle old clothes into quilts.
9. Cook everything from scratch.
10. Learn to knit or crochet.
11. Work in a charity shop………I’m nosey, so I’d love the comings and goings.
12. Exercise, for free by running or walking – see #2 for validation as to why you should.
13. Share your faith with others and be part of a church community – or not!
14. Be a conservation volunteer, part of coast watch, take part in beach cleans………..

 I’m going to leave the rest to my readers. What do you do, that costs nothing, that keeps you out of shops. How do you advise people not to go shopping. Personally I would rather gouge my eyes out with lolly sticks than even look through shop windows! There are so many ways to live, I choose to live mine away from commercialism and make, mend or grow it myself.

Until tomorrow,

Lots of love,

Froogs xxxx