General ramblings

Not Buying It…

February 1, 2014

Those of you who read my 2014 New Year’s post, may have noticed this, teeny tiny half possibility of a resolution for January:

  • I am contemplating a month buying nothing (except food and toiletries etc). I have fallen into the trap of wondering around the local charity shops and picking up bits and pieces because they are nice, or might be useful one day, and then suddenly I have spent a tenner, and if you do this a couple of times a week, it soon adds up. I will start a new mantra-I have all I need, I have all I need….

Well….I did it!
I decided that for January, I would Buy Nothing (for me), and nothing for the house. No nice bits of fabric from the charity shop, no knick-knacks, no clothes. Nada.
I did have in my head that if the kids needed something, we could buy this (and BigSmall did indeed need new shoes), and it was my Dad’s birthday at the end of the month, so I knew I would need to buy something for this, but what I really weaned to tackle was the kind of mindless spending, that I have somehow managed to justify to myself because it’s not ‘new’ stuff. It is however, still ‘stuff’. And stuff that we, or I, don’t really need.

We are also, in the way of most households I suspect, in January, trying to cut back a bit, so I set a budget of £50 a week for all expenditure that wasn’t food shops or fuel for the car.
I thought this would be pretty easy to stick to-given that the big expenses like food and fuel were covered elsewhere, and it really is just ‘spending money’-I envisaged having quite a bit left at the end of each week, and being able to use all the leftover bits to save up and buy myself some new running trainers.
BUT I have been really quite shocked at how easy it is to spend £200 without really noticing it, and without really buying anything.

This seems really obscene to be admitting to, and I am more than a little ashamed, but I am struggling to remember where it has all gone-we had a family trip to the cinema in the New Year, which was £30; BigSmall needed TWO new pairs of shoes, so that was £45; we went to the dentist (£36); and I signed up for a 10k race (next week-eeekkkk!, £17). Add in a couple of sneaky trips to a cafe or two, some postage for parcels, and suddenly £200 is gone, gone, gone.
I was really shocked by this. By how easy it was to spend what is actually a reasonable amount of money, whilst thinking I was being really careful.
So this month, I am continuing with my £50/week budget, but will be writing down everything I buy, so I can evaluate at the end of the month, and see where the money has gone.

I will keep you posted.