No spend month update

What do you do when you are on a no spend month? Well, luckily I find it easy to amuse myself without spending any money. It has been a busy time at Shoestring Cottage anyway, so I haven’t had time to worry about things to buy. I have had one lapse though….

Budget DIY

No spend monthWe have finished stripping off the wallpaper in the living room (well, Mr S did it while I was at work). I have two days off next week and plan to rub down and wash all the woodwork, then paint it all along with the ceiling.

We have leftover paint so intend to use all of that up before we buy any more next month. We have a nest of tables and a cabinet that need painting as well.

There is plenty to do that doesn’t involve buying anything during this no spend month.

Food rotation

Food bills have been pretty low. We can see the bottom of the freezer, which is often very full. This is a good thing as it means food is getting used rather than hanging around going stale.

We have been buying food, obviously. Just trying to minimise our spending by using up what we have.

Bad hair day and a no spend month fail

I have had a lapse during my no spend regime! I really need a hair cut. Every day is a bad hair day at the moment.

Because I don’t want to spend much I have called the local hair and beauty college. I have an appointment with one of their students for next week. It will cost just £10 for a cut and blow dry.

This isn’t allowed during my no spend January but it will be after pay day so I am going with it.

Regular readers will know that I have been known to cut my own hair on occasion. However, this time it needs more specialist attention.

Dave Ramsey debt buster

I recently started reading Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover, not because I am in debt but because I am interested in financial issues. It fascinates me how people get themselves into a financial mess, but even more so, how they get out of it.

I will do a review when I have finished it. In the meantime, I have been watching some of his videos on You Tube. They are interesting and funny! He is often brutal in making sure people are aware of their stupidity in allowing themselves to get so outrageously in debt. At the same time he is supportive and constructive when offering advice to help them out of it.

He makes no bones about the fact he is a right wing Christian. I am neither but I do agree with his basic position that people need to get out of the view that you can have everything you want, right now, whether you can afford it or not.

I find it terrifying how easily people who are already in debt can get into more debt. How youngsters fresh out of university with student loans and a low paying job can get an expensive car on finance. Just how ‘normal’ it is to have lots of credit card debt. Food for thought.

If you aren’t familiar with Dave Ramsey he is worth a look.

What’s hard about a no spend month

It can be boring. If you want to go to the cinema, you can’t. The pub? Not on a no spend month. You fancy some new clothes – this is a no-no. However, you can still watch stuff on You Tube or TV, you can catch up on all those books you have bought and never read. You can take more exercise for free. This post has plenty of ideas. You can have a wardrobe declutter and discover things to wear that you had forgotten you had.

I am forgiving myself my £10 haircut and resolve it will be my one weak moment. How about you? If you are on a no spend month how is it going?

12 thoughts on “No spend month update

  1. I somehow think January is meant to be boring so that we appreciate all the other months, ha ha! It seems an awfully long month, though, but somehow we’ve got to the 19th – almost the 20th – and I’ve hardly noticed the weeks as they’ve gone by so quickly, and now it’s even light a 5 pm here in South Devon.
    I actually think it’s sad if anyone is bored if they feel they can’t go to the cinema or the pub as there are so many things they can do, and buying new clothes to cheer oneself up is just indulgence. So, instead, enjoy a walk, take a picnic (even if going out in the car because it’s too cold to sit outside), read a book, visit a museum (many of them are free), do a jigsaw puzzle, play board games, watch a DVD or something on Netflix, play music, do some spring cleaning even though it’s not yet spring. None of these things costs anything (apart from your picnic food and that could be your lunchtime meal) and all could be fun.
    Me? I’m actually helping the economy to remain buoyant! Someone has to buy a new pair of oven gloves; we don’t want the manufacturers to go out of business, do we? And I’ve also bought new mop heads for the steam cleaner. How exciting is that! Talk about the last of the big spenders, ha ha!
    Margaret P

      • Ooh, Jane, I went mad today and bought a replacement dustpan-and-brush in B&Q (joke coming up: is there a B&Q in Torquay? There’s a Q but there’s no B! I think that was a Paul Daniels joke) and it was the princely sum of 97p. My husband asked how much it was? I told him and he said “That much?”
        Margaret P

  2. Spending £10 in one month can hardly be considered “failing”!! 😀
    I spent £12 on a yoga mat and sweatpants from Primark (all in a good cause, so forgiven! 😀 ) but caved in a National Trust gift shop. Normally I walk right past without looking, or am not tempted, but they were having a mead sale and had sneakily displayed the bottles outside the shop where I could see them! 😀

  3. I read Dave Ramsey’s total money makeover just after my ex left and LOVED it. I have never been stupid with money but my ex had us in debt up to our eyeballs. I have since re-read it and it holds just as true for me as then. The only thing I don’t agree with is tithing 10% of your pre-tax salary, probably because I’m not religious and am not sure all churches use that money as I would wish. I read one time ages ago a young, single mother who was struggling with her rent and the payment on her car to get to work, plus day care etc. and someone mentioned tithing!!! To me, if you can’t put food on the table and you are at risk of losing the roof over your head tithing is the last thing you should be doing. THAT is when the church should be stepping in, in my opinion. I know not everyone agrees but for what it’s worth, that’s the only point I don’t agree on with Dave Ramsey.

  4. I agree with Julia, £10 on a haircut is not failing. You could have gone to a high street hairdressers or even an expensive salon and spent £100+. Don’t be so harsh on yourself. Overall you are doing really well.

    I too, have given the no spend month a go. I am so pleased with myself in that despite seeing some nice jigsaws in the local charity shop, I picked them up and put them back down and walked away. I have to go to a work meeting on Monday and was looking for some knew trousers but I’very given myself a talking to and am now wearing a skirt instead. I did budget for birthday presents and this month was fortunate to get some nice charms for bracelets for a couple of relatives and a friend. All were half price. This will mean that I’m also sorted later in the year when the birthdays drop in. Winner winner chicken dinner. My food shop has dropped in total. Admittedly there was some food left over from Christmas but I’m sure if I stick to shopping at Aldi and using recipes from The Savvy Shoppers Cookbook, that bases recipes on things from Aldi/ Lidl without the need for 47million spices …. ok maybe that was an exaggeration but you get my drift., I’l keep in this positive frame of mind.

    I’ve signed up for ebooks … well, audio books really as I plan on giving these a go, from my local library. I’m possibly gonna try and roll this into next month …. scary. Will decide at end of this month.

    Keep up the good work Jane and the motivational posts.

    I’m surprised how easily

  5. My no spend month failed by the 5th Jan when my car cost me over £1000 for a new clutch and coolant system repairs!!!! 🙁

    • Oh dear! That’s an emergency so needs doing. I still wouldn’t class that as a fail as if you use your car everyday it’s essential spending.

  6. You have done well! I too am badly in need of a professional haircut. A friend told me that she can cut hair, but I am nervous about that. I have had a self enforced no spend January, which happens every year for me, as, being a yoga teacher, my income comes to a grinding halt from a week before Christmas through to the second week of February. So, I have always saved all year long so that I can survive during that period. But now that I am on the pension, and living alone, it actually is easier.

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