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. I 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.