Anyone who knows me will know that by the middle of the month, every month, I am skint. I end up having to borrow money from my savings account just to be able to afford to get the bus or to go for a coffee with a friend (and quite often to buy some make-up or do a little bit of shopping on ASOS... oops!) which, in turn, means that the next month I'm in the same boat as part of my wages goes straight back into my savings to make up for the borrowed money. Only to be borrowed again in a few weeks. Not good.
With a baby on the way, an imminent house move requiring a huge deposit and an upcoming mini break - in the words of one supermarket giant - every penny counts. I can no longer justify working my way through hundreds of pounds in just a couple of weeks, or nipping to the shops and coming back £50 worse off when I only need to buy a bottle of water... its unattainable and unhealthy, not to mention unhelpful.
This is why I'm taking part in a 100 day spending ban. Starting from tomorrow - Tuesday, 20th January - until April 29th. Or, to make it easier to remember, from tomorrow until the end of April, meaning that I can't spend a penny (not in the wee-wee sense) until May.
Here are the exceptions and the rules.
- Travel (to and from work or when visiting friends and family)
- Household bills and rent (all my direct debits and standing orders, etc, can continue)
- Socialising with friends/date nights (travel, food/drinks and entertainment are allowed)
- Points that I've accumulated on clubcards, stamp cards, etc can be used if necessary
- Gifts and birthday cards can be bought (or even better - made!)
- No shopping whatsoever other than the big food shop for the house
- I can only buy make-up when I've got none of that particular item left, e.g. foundation
- Never buy a quick lunch from the shop or a snack on the way home - it adds up!
- Hide credit card and do not use it at all
- Try to keep the cost down on social outings too; have lunch at Wetherspoons instead of a nice restaurant, get a pot of tea in Costa rather than an expensive hot chocolate, look for cheap cinema tickets and use websites like Groupon and Wowcher
I guess overall I really just want to curb my spending addiction. I spend far too much money in every aspect of my life, from food to clothes to make-up to meals out. I love spending money, I love buying things and I love having material goods surrounding me. This is a habit I want to break and that is what I'm hoping this challenge will help me to do.
Have you ever attempted a spending ban before?
If so, how did you get on?
If you're interested in taking part too, Kat has some great tips over at Tales of a Pale Face.