As this month of small change draws to a close I thought I would update you on how 'no spend month' has gone and make a small confession! Our challenge was to avoid extra expenditure this month in any way we could, re-using, doing without or just making the most of what we had .
- Household bills and mortgage costs were obviously fairly important and couldn't be avoided but I like to think that the whole ethos of not spending concentrated our minds a bit and we have been very careful to not waste electricity (turning off un-needed lights) and heat (shutting doors and curtains).
- Fuel costs were not included in the challenge but I have tried to be aware of how much petrol I used in my car, combining trips if possible or deciding to postpone the trip if that was an option and I have only had to visit the petrol station once this month.
- Incidental spending on sweets and treats has been completely avoided and I am so proud of my boys who have taken this completely in their stride. My little one even told me all about a lego set he really wanted and had saved for but assured me he wouldn't buy it until 'no spend month' was over!
- Lack of spending on shop produced cakes and sweets has benefited us and the planet all round. We have made all our cakes and biscuits at home (using organic ingredients I bulk buy from a whole food co-operative) saving on waste packaging as well as money and food miles and increasing our time together.
- Apart from my organic box delivery I haven't been buying food, we have had great fun using the contents of the larder and the freezer (both of which have benefited from the good clear out and clean) and in the process we have realised what items we really want to replace and which ones were just there due to impulse buys.
I find the best possible way to avoid spending is just to not go anywhere where you can buy anything and this technique has again benefited us in ways we didn't expect.
- More time at home equals more time together and more time making things from what we have!
- In the first week our total spending as a family came to £5.23 (not including the big stuff that goes out of the bank) that was just for milk and some stuff needed at school.
- Our cash envelopes have remained full and all in all I think we can consider the whole thing a big success in many ways.
Now is the time for the blushes and a small confession. As I said avoidance is the best way for me to not spend and this was proved when for reasons beyond my control (I had to go and get a prescription filled in a local village) I just happened to pass my favourite charity shop and there just happened to be the most gorgeous and lovely and irresistible little pot in the window and I came over all weak and couldn't stop my feet from turning and taking me in and I sort of had to do it didn't I?
This is the culprit and I have to confess that it was I who failed to manage the whole month without spending on things I didn't need - my 8 year old managed it while I fell at the first hurdle. It only cost 50p and it's not new and it didn't cost any extra in fuel and it is really recycling so I am hoping you will all forgive me - will you please?
Only a few days left to go now and then spending can return to normal . I like to think though that we have all been taught to think a bit about where our money goes and what we really need to spend it on and that might mean that normal for us is a bit more thoughtful than it used to be. Have a lovely weekend and I will be back on monday to celebrate the last day of String-a-long - will that last bag get finished? I know what I will be doing all weekend!