Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Buy Nothing Challenge - Week 4 to the end of August

This final period of the challenge covered two weekends and, as usual, our spending outside the rules occured on weekends:
  • $12 on train tickets and $12 on drinks in a cafe for a little trip out on Saturday, making a total of $24. I was quite pleased with this, though, because I normally spend much more on such a day out. We even went in a toy shop with the children and did not spend anything, which is a major achievement!
  • $12 on swimming for the four of us at the local pool on Sunday.
  • On the following Saturday, we went to a local fair and took $30 spending money with us. We spent all of it on rides, food and a craft activity for my daughter. We all enjoyed the afternoon. We could have spent a lot more money but taking along just $30 was a great way of prioritising our spending.
  • On the final Sunday of August, we stayed at home and spent nothing! I just thought I'd mention it as this is a major achievement for us at the weekend!!

I've also managed to reduce our weekly grocery bill so that it is now just under $200 per week, so I'm happy with that too.

The challenge was very worthwhile. I found the first two weeks difficult, but, as time went on, I found it much easier. I think that it's important to give yourself at least three or four weeks to get into the habit of elminating your unnecessary spending.

A few other things I found that helped were:

  • Staying away from the shopping centre. If I go into the shopping centre, it is inevitable that I will spend money, especially if my daughter is with me.
  • Having little or no cash in my purse. It sounds obvious but, if you don't have any cash on you, you can't spend it! I used to spend about $20 during the week on bits and pieces. Since doing the challenge, I have ensured that I only have a dollar or two in my purse and therefore I've saved more than $80 this month just on cutting out the unnecessary extra spending.

Circumstances dictate that we'll have to continue with these frugal habits into September, but I don't feel so bad about it. I've learned a lot from the challenge and I hope that I'll be able to continue on this frugal path once our financial circumstances change, so that we'll be able to start saving again.

Sorry I haven't posted any craft articles recently. I have meant to, but a lot has been going on in my life that has taken priority. Watch this space for some more craft-related posts soon!

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