I recently got a Bullet Journal for Christmas and after getting shamelessly lost in the Bullet Journal holes on Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube, I added a BUJO staple to my own journal – a spending log to physically record my spending (excluding rent, bills, travel). I was not prepared for how it would make me feel. It was SO confronting to see where my money be going. And while I’m a big believer in looking at your bank statement regularly (I do it once or twice a week), I am horrified to see where my money goes unnecessarily. It’s all good and well saying YOLO and clicking confirm on your purchase or YOLO-ing on your contactless bank card, tap-tap-tapping away, but sitting down at the end of the day and physically writing down exactly what I bought and how much I spent has been grim. Grim but necessary.
But in the spirit of new year, positive vibes, optimistic attitude I decided to distract myself, move away from what I do spend money on, I’m yet to come to terms with that, and instead think about all the things I *try not to spend money on, sometimes actively, sometimes not.
I like to think of myself as frugal, I do try not to waste money and find other, cheaper ways of doing things. And in some areas, I’ve become really good at it (most of the time).
Lunch. take my own lunch in most days at work. I do this because spending anything from £5-10 on lunch a day, 5 days a week, to me, doesn’t make sense. I also don’t like the idea of having a sandwich every day, I find it boring and too samey. So my home made lunches vary from sandwiches to pasta to quiche (which is my thing in the cold winter) to soup etc. I don’t like having to decide what I want to eat and then inevitably going for a sandwich or paying for something I don’t end up enjoying. Every now and then I will treat myself to a nice market lunch or go for lunch with someone. When it’s occasional, it feels more like a treat and I don’t feel like I’m wasting money.
Hot drinks. Although I’m a big tea lover, I almost never buy it, but not necessarily because of the monies. I have an obscene amount of sugar in my tea, 3 teaspoons. And I can never gauge it with the sachets (one time I got it just right, after 8 (!!) sachets) so I just don’t bother. I prefer to make it myself in a kitchen where I can add my sugar with a teaspoon and fewer pairs of judging eyes. Knowing that it could end up costing me like £15 a week (and/ or diabetes) if I got a cuppa every day is more a bonus.
Plastic bottled drinks. Besides milk or squash, I wouldn’t typically buy plastic-bottled drinks like soft drinks. This is more of a recent change for me, in an effort to be kinder to the environment. Cutting down on plastic is really hard so I try to do my bit by cutting out plastic drinks. I also have a Chillys bottle which has made this a lot easier as it means that I always have a drink. Plus, it means I drink more water.
I could definitely improve and reduce my spending on a lot more but I’m happy I’ve been able to maintain not spending on these three things. Next month, though, I’ve decided to do a no-(clothes)spend February. Extreme measures and that. I have no idea how it will go but I will report back with the outcome.