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!


Glynis said...

Well done! It is amazing how we overspend, we have been more careful lately and it is paying off.

Roz Andrews said...

Thanks, Glynis. Glad to hear that reducing spending is working for you, too. I think that one of the reasons we all overspend is that there are so many opportunities to spend money everywhere!

Anonymous said...

Well done you Roz!!! You have done so well!

Roz Andrews said...

Thanks, notesfromthefrugaltrenches! Your blog has been very helpful with regard to tips and tricks, and very inspirational too!

Best wishes,


Sher said...

Hi Roz,
Congrats!! You've done it...and have been an inspiration to others, like me! We are currently in such a patch of tighter financial straits, so reading about your experience helps me to see where we can cut back, too!

Have a great day and thanks for sharing your experience with us,
Sher :0)

Roz Andrews said...

Thanks, Sher. I hope that you will find some good ways to cut back on your spending, while still enjoying life! It is possible!!

Best wishes,


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