Saturday, August 22, 2009

Weeks Two and Three of the Buy Nothing Challenge, August 2009

Gosh, August is going by so quickly - I can't believe that the third week is over already! So much is going on in my life at the moment that I didn't have time to post last week, so I'm writing here about the last two weeks of the Buy Nothing for August 2009 Challenge.

Week 2

In week 2 of the Buy Nothing Challenge, I was aiming to spend no money at all outside the rules. I almost achieved this. The only spending outside the rules was:

  • A total of A$27.50 on Sunday Funday train tickets and a Chinese meal before going to the circus at the Sydney Exhibition Centre. We were very generously given the circus tickets, so we were fortunate enough to have a great family afternoon/early evening out on a tight budget. We went with some friends who introduced us to a great value place to eat Chinese food - the food court on the edge of Sydney's Chinatown. I would highly recommend it - we spent just under A$20 on a selection of delicious Chinese dishes, including curried beef that was so tender that it melted in your mouth!

Week 3

Week 3 didn't go quite as well. We didn't spend money on anything outside the rules on Monday to Friday, but, once again, the weekend proved difficult. However, I did sell a couple of things on eBay, making a total of A$62, which helped to boost our funds a little. Our spending outside the rules was:

  • A$12 on food and drink in McDonalds on Saturday. The children got extremely bored in the house and so I took them to McDonalds down the road where there is an indoor play area. Of course, they wanted food and drink as well (even though we'd already had lunch!) but I guess A$12 was not too much to pay for a couple of hours' entertainment.

  • It was a glorious sunny day on Sunday and we took advantage of it by going to one of our favourite places - Woy Woy on the central coast, north of Sydney. We ended up spending more than we intended - A$7.50 on the train fare (we can resist the Sunday Fun Day offer of A2.50 per person to anywhere in the Sydney area if you are traveling with children!), A$12 on drinks in our favorite cafe in Woy Woy, A$8 on ice cream, and A$30 on takeaway fish and chips - it was such a beautiful day that we ended up staying later than we planned and so had fish and chips there. Total spending for the day was A$57.50.

As for the grocery shopping, it has been at A$200 for each of the past two weeks. Next week, I'm aiming to reduce it to below A$200!

Progress Report

What am I learning about saving money from this challenge? First of all, that frugality is a habit. The longer I am on the challenge, the easier it seems to be to restrain myself from spending money unnecessarily. I'm glad therefore that the challenge lasts for a month, rather than a week or two - I think that it will help me to put good long-term habits in place.

I'm also realizing that we need a have a monthly budget for family days out at the weekend. We enjoy these times together as a family and the fact that we've not given them up during the challenge shows how important they are for us. After August is over, I will set a future monthly budget based on our spending on these days out during the month of August.

I find it much easier not to spend money on week days (Monday to Friday) than at the weekend. It wasn't too difficult to eliminate such temptations to spend money as going to the shopping centre after picking my daughter up from school and visiting a coffee shop with my son while my daughter was at school. I think I'll be able to keep up such habits after the challenge is over.

So, onto the last week or so of the challenge...


Glynis said...

You are doing well with the budget challenge. We are still sticking to ours and it is paying off.
Thanks for saying goodbye to Ghunibee scraps and joining my other blogs. New Scribbles has an award for you.

Roz Andrews said...

Thanks very much, Glynis, and you're welcome - I am sad to see Ghunibee Scraps go but glad that I'll keep up with you on your other blogs.

Wow! An award! You have made my day - thank you so much! I'm so excited - it's the first award I've received for Crafts on a Budget!! Thanks again!

Best wishes,


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