Saturday, August 8, 2009

Week One of the Buy Nothing Challenge, August 2009


Week one of the Buy Nothing Challenge for August 2009 is at an end. I don't think I've done too badly this week but I have had some spending outside the limits of the challenge. Here is a round-up of my spending on items other than food and bills:
  • The dental check-up. Unfortunately, the check-up revealed that I do need further treatment, which I can't afford at the moment. I hope that the problem doesn't get a lot worse before I can afford the treatment.
  • A day out on a budget - total spending was A$27.50 for our family of four. Last Sunday was a glorious day and we decided to take advantage of the sunshine by heading for a beautiful place called Brooklyn on the Hawkesbury River, north of Sydney. We spent a total of A$7.50 on Sunday Funday train tickets, ate our packed lunch and fruit, had a nice walk, the children played in a park and then we spent A$20 on ice creams and a plate of chips (French fries).
  • Postage for couple of handmade cards and a handmade note book for my friend in the UK, whose birthday is next week.
  • Oh yes, I almost forgot - I also spent A$29 on a pay-as-you-go credit for my mobile phone. I didn't upload it until I definitely needed to make a call and, since it is valid for a month after you upload, I saved a little money on the days on which I was out of credit. As we don't have a home phone, our mobiles are essential.

I employed a few strategies to stop myself spending money this week:

  • I had to visit the shopping centre to go to the post office but I went there just a short time before I had to pick my daughter up from school. That meant that I had just enough time to go to the post office and walk back to school before pick-up time and so I didn't have any time to browse in shops. I had thought of going after school but I knew that children + shopping centres = spending money, no matter how hard you try!!
  • Often the hardest times to avoid spending money is when my daughter is bored, so this week, she went with one of her friends to the local park. We took along some food that I already had in the house and the girls enjoyed an afternoon tea in the fresh air.
  • Today (Saturday), my daughter has a friend coming around and the girls are going to make cookies using ingredients that I already have.

Although I didn't do too badly last week, I want to try harder this coming week. I am aiming to spend no money on anything outside of the rules. I'd also like to reduce our weekly grocery bill further. In the past few months, I've already reduced it from A$250-280 per week to A$200-220. I would like to reduce it to A$180-200 (and possibily further) but I don't know how as I'm being as frugal as I possibly can at the moment. I'll have a look on the Internet and see if I can find some tips.

I'd be interested to hear how other people on the challenge are doing. I'll be visiting Crunchy Chicken later to find out.

2 comments:

Glynis said...

Sounds as if you are doing great. I reduced our shopping bill, I am using less meat and adding more veg. It is surprising what a difference it makes to the purse and DH hasn't noticed!
Good luck for next week.

Roz Andrews said...

Thanks, Glynis. That's a good idea to reduce the meat and add more veg. We would save more money if we had one or two vegetarian dishes each week but my husband doesn't like eating anything that doesn't contain meat or fish!!

 
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