No Spend 2019 – Update 4

Finally, some success has been had!

I have managed to still have cash in the bank on payday!  That has not happened in a very long time, it is an indication that this new plan is beginning to work for us.  This last month feels very different than the previous month, it has been comparatively easy, although there is no room for complacency.

I have made several adjustments to our lifestyle to ensure that we will cope when my income drops in May.  Basically, we are living on what we will have in the summer and hanging on for dear life onto the difference so we can get through the summer without too much trouble.

Our two short breaks this year are covered which takes the pressure off.  I am looking forward to a summer full of free activities because that is what we can afford plus we have relatives coming from overseas so that will be fun too.

You may ask why are you talking about summer, we are still in the midst of winter and spring is a million miles away?

Well, I am nearly finished my second semester of university, classes finish really soon then I have exams a month later. So my summer is nearly here…

catch you later

cmx

ps. My son is still fundraising to go on Outward Bound Thank you x

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My son is fundraising to go to The Outward Bound Trust on MyDonate

My son is raising money so he can attend outward bound this summer.  He would love it if you could help a wee bit.  Here is his bio and why he wants your help.

Thx cmx

Source: I’m fundraising for The Outward Bound Trust on MyDonate

No Spend 2019 – Update 3

EPIC FAIL

It started so well and it ended so badly.  I have less than £5 between my bank and purse and 6 days until I get paid.  We have been ill for most of the month which impacts everything.  Was it all bad? Well no, it wasn’t but it has illustrated to me how out of control I am when it comes to spending what little money I have.  The sad reality of living on a low income is there are 100 ways to spend a tenner and I will spend that tenner.

WHAT I DID WRONG

I had a number of unplanned purchases this month of a larger slow cooker and some clothes for my ever growing son and books for university.  They in themselves were not bad purchases but necessary? No.

When I think back I wasn’t going to buy ANYTHING and yet I bought some really stupid things like some decorative pieces for the living room and a couple of mugs which were cheap but it all adds up – none of which I needed.

I didn’t freeze some of the food I bought at the start of the month so had some expensive food waste as a consequence.  I am cooking more than ever but I gave in to the food delivery apps more than once and overdid Meerkat Meals too and what is worse is that it can be anything up to £35 a pop and there is only two of us.  I was especially bad in the second week of January.  I spent too much money at breakfast and lunchtime on campus too.  I need to cook every day, food and exhaustion has always been my greatest downfall, I will say I reigned myself in after week two but it was too late and there were some unintended consequences.

I had two fines that required paying immediately which was frustrating and should have been avoided plus I also missed two hours of paid work for one client.  The reality is if I stuck to my own rules and done all my work I would have money to spare despite the fines.

WHAT I DID RIGHT

I am glad that I am doing this now and didn’t wait until the end of the academic year when my income drops in half.

I cancelled all my extraneous subscriptions, moved my broadband supplier, I renewed other contracts to keep the costs lower.  I have stopped buying movies and clothes for myself, I have also not bought any stationery.

I am cooking more than ever and I am taking packed lunches to university some days, the slow cooker is my friend and so is Asda because it is cheap and good quality plus they make a lovely pizza which saves us a fortune.

I lost 4kgs.

I didn’t spend on Amazon or Groupon.

I said no a lot.

We didn’t go to the cinema every week.

I avoided driving great distances so only been to refuel once, which is not only great for the bank balance but also the environment, (yes I know food waste is bad).

RESET

I am now planning in greater detail what I am going to spend in this month of February.  I am still ill but by planning I am less likely to give in to my old bad habits.  I am going to assume there is a big bill coming and wait.  I will continue to review my services and contracts to make sure I always have the best available deals.  I need to stay away from the nick nacks in Asda, I think that was the reason why I said last time I was going to shop online instead of instore. I also have to repay £250 on payday which is not a great start but if I really stick to the rules and cook it should be all good.

So the rules for February are:

  • Breakfast at home.
  • Packed lunches and water.
  • Homecooked meals every day.
  • Pizza must be store bought.
  • Shop at Asda and freeze stuff.
  • Meerkat Meal once only.
  • Meerkat Movie only for a good new movie.
  • Pay for the Ferry*
  • One art lesson~
  • Tubing~

GOALS

  • Have something in the bank on my next payday.
  • Have all my bills paid on time.
  • No surprises.

catch you later

cmx

*We are going to the Western Isles in April for a long-planned trip to visit friends and aid us with our Gaelic.

~for the kid.

Reset – time to learn from my mistakes.

As you know I have started a No Spend year this year, I am not one to do New Years resolutions, however, I do like a reset.  Primarily, because you can do it whenever you like, I am planning to do a number of resets this year which I will share with you. Some will be the natural side-effect of my No Spend year, others will require more work but I am looking forward to it.

I will be doing a series of blogs reflecting these changes, I have already began the “No Spend 2019” series, I will be following up this post with a series called “Starting New Habits” it will be a review of my accomplishments rather than a raking over the coals.  I will also be repeating my “November Blog Challenge” and looking for something similar to do earlier in the year.  I am attempting to do a bullet journal this year too I am already making some hilarious mistakes so I will let you in on that. I will be reading more so I hope to do some new book reviews which I haven’t done for a few years.  I will share more tidbits from university and my journey to learn Gaelic.  I may also include some before and after cleaning tips on occasion too.

My main focus of this year is having a Positive Mental Attitude “PMA” and we all know that’s new!  I will be touching on some hard topics too but always looking forward keeping a “PMA”.

I will be getting ideas from YouTube, Instagram and other bloggers, feel free to let me know what you’d like me to write about too.

catch you later

cmx

No Spend 2019 – Update 2

So I have done my final shop of the year with no list and a vague idea of what I needed, ironically I have forgotten butter which was why I went in the first place.

I spent over £50 instead of £15 this is why I will be doing online shopping only from now on.  Thankfully it is food so it will not be wasted

I have made a vague meal plan based on what I bought rather than the other way around.

I am looking forward though what is done is done.

I already have my first shop of the year scheduled for the first payday of the year. The bank cards I don’t want to use are put away until I absolutely require them.

Wow this is scary and so we begin……

catch you later

cmx

No Spend 2019 – Update 1

So I informed the kid of my decision to do a “no spend” year.

His initial reaction was absolute horror!

He took a while to process it because it is going to effect him greatly.  He was devastated to learn that toys, computer games, dvds, and nights out with his friends where now off my spend list.

I am not cruel I am still giving him some pocket-money along with his grandparents.

After his initial misgivings he has realised that I am actually not stopping him buying  or doing these things. He just has to save up his pocket-money first.  My brother helpfully gave him some tips on how to save so he doesn’t lose out on his social life when buying his dream trainers.

I have already implemented the no spend over the last week or so, which honestly, has not been hard given that we are currently skint but I have not bought any movies through Sky and no takeaways.  I am actually enjoying cooking again I am so out of practice so I am taking baby steps plus the kid isn’t complaining.  It will get harder when there is actual money in the bank so I have also imposed some minor restrictions to aid me on my quest.

  • I will be doing grocery shopping from my laptop – I always overspend in store.
  • I am staying out of town – because shops.
  • No aimless browsing of online stores especially Groupon and Amazon – I frequently impulse buy.

The kid has recovered from the initial shock, I think he is still swithering between she’ll last a fortnight, my life is over and this is interesting, I am glad I gave him a heads up though I think he will be much more helpful going forward.

He has offered to cook lunch and dinner tonight!

catch you later

cmx

No Spend 2019

After what proved to be a life changing year, somethings just don’t! My spending habits are atrocious and they always have been, my priorities always wrong and money gets spent regardless.

I have decided to embark on this experiment that I have seen all over YouTube as the year is coming to a close.  I realise that this maybe a lot for me  to accomplish.  The reality is this experiment is to help me correct decades of bad habits but I need to sort it out now.  My income is due to drop in the summer and I need to ensure that we can survive by breaking the bad habits I have now and “saving” the difference.

Hahahahaha – me – saving we shall see.

So below I have listed my new rules.  I will also be ensuring I am getting the best value for money on everything by using cash back and price comparison sites.

Rules

  • USE UP WHAT I HAVE.
  • PLAN MEALS.
  • STICK TO SHOPPING LISTS
  • NO TAKE AWAYS.
  • NO MACDONALD’S, KFC OR BURGER KING.
  • NO NEW MAKEUP OR TOOLS.
  • NO NEW SKINCARE UNTIL IT IS ALL GONE!
  • NO MOVIES & BOOKS.
  • NO CLOTHES
  • NO HOUSEWARES.
  • CANCEL NON-ESSENTIAL SUBSCRIPTIONS!!!

Exceptions

  • NECESSARY BUSINESS EXPENSES.
  • REPLACE LIKE FOR LIKE WHEN WORN OUT/FINISHED.
  • MEERKAT MOVIE NIGHT & MEAL.
  • COFFEE & LUNCH @ UNI ONLY.
  • UNIVERSITY TEXT BOOKS.

Essentials

  • SHAMPOO, CONDITIONER, BODY WASH, TOOTHPASTE, DEODORANT, MOISTURISER, MASCARA.
  • HAIR X 2. THE KID’S HAIR X 8.
  • LAUNDRY DETERGENT, SOFTENER, BOOSTER.
  • FUEL & ROAD TAX.
  • FOOD.
  • UTILITIES.

Food – Meal Planning

  • EMPTY CUPBOARDS BEFORE REPLACING, RICE, PASTA, TINS, CONDIMENTS, HERBS & SPICES.
  • EMPTY FREEZER BEFORE REPLACING CONTENTS.
  • FRESH FRUIT & VEG ONLY ENOUGH FOR THE PLANNED MEALS.

Subscriptions

  • KEEP NETFLIX & AMAZON.
  • CANCELLED BIRCHBOX & LOOK FANTASTIC.
  • CANCEL NOW, APPLE & MY FITNESS PAL.
  • CANCEL HELLO FRESH, INK DROPS & ONE MORE ONCE THE TERMS HAVE ENDED!

Yep, did you see that? I can’t remember all the subscriptions that I have, I am actually not surprised which is disappointing.

I appear to be shouting all the way through this list! Hey I need it!

I will be back in a few weeks to report how I am getting on.

catch you later

cmx

Anniversary of sorts

So I logged in to write some thing else but I received this notification and changed my mind!

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So I was not aware I have been flying but this is amazing! How could it be 8 years already?  So I am going to say thank you to everyone who has been here from the beginning (you know who you are xx) and thank you those who popped in and out over the years and those who have just joined. I have plans so let’s see if I can develop those with you.

I want to thank those who have provided inspiration to me for my blog.

I also I want to thank those who have supported, put up with and loved me over the last eight years you all make slightly sane.

Most of all thanks to the kid you are awesome.

catch you later

cmx

November Blog Challenge in Review

So this month I completed the November Blog Challenge which I had actually started two years ago, I am pleased that I have finally finished it. It actually came into its own really this year.  I was struggling a bit with my new workload and the rigours of university life it had been a culture shock that no amount of forethought had prepared me for.

Refocusing on blogging has been refreshing and life changing, it has allowed me to get back to why I started blogging in the first place.  It is and always has been my way of processing my life helping me focus and cope better.  The terms brain dump or stream of conscience come to mind.

The joy of the November blog challenge is that the topics make you stop and think, some where so easy and then others stumped me.  I may not have written in depth essays but even the shortest of posts have been of help to me, maybe you enjoyed them or not and that is fine.  I now have a long list of blogs which I will be embarking on over the next wee while.

It made me consider and dismiss embarking on a vlog as much as I enjoy watching others on YouTube I have no need to go down that road.  Writing is where I am happiest and this challenge allowed me to think on things other than my own neurosis which is never a bad thing.

 

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November Blog Challenge Day 30 – Why I Blog

I have many reasons for blogging.

The main one is to get out! I think it is called a brain dump these days.

I do internalise a lot of my stuff which is so toxic to me and contributes to my depression. So I took up blogging around seven years ago as a way to reorganise my thoughts and get them out of me in the hopes of being able to move forward. I hadn’t written anything for two years but found myself being busy in life but I also was swimming through a quagmire of depression and self loathing and had no real focus despite having decided to apply for University and getting in!

So I had a series of events culminate during the start of this month that resulted in a health scare, more about that another time, but thanks to this blog and the advise I received, I realised that I can’t do everything but I can do a lot!

I now have a plan and time to achieve my goals.  I am looking forward rather than back and I am able to focus on what is truly important to me and my family.  I am not sure that I will ever be 100% free of my depression but I won’t give up trying.

I also realised that this could become an income source but I am not sure I want to do that so I am working out what is best for me and how to get more readers without paying a fortune, I would prefer a natural build up of readers so we will see.

catch you later

cmx