Rachel's Challenge

So, in short, my friend Rachel set the challenge of spending nothing, zilch, zero, or as close as possible to zero as you can in January. My first thought on this was an excuse - "I can't possibly do that as I am starting the garage conversion" - but then I realised that I could do it in all other aspects of my life. I have plenty of food in the freezer and store cupboards and it would be good to have a clear out before things pass their use by date, and to make way for newer stock. I have enough cosmetics to start my own pharmacy and enough fat to burn that walking instead of taking the car can only be good thing. Also, the very fact that I am spending money on a garage conversion is really a reason to try and save in other areas, not an excuse!

I am going to keep you informed on how I am going, not by writing a new post each day but by updating this one. The year started well as far as spending is concerned.

1st January - Total spend £0.00
Having food poisoning and not actually getting out of my PJ's all day will most certainly have helped here - though I could have always spent money via the internet, but it didn't even do that!

2nd January - Total Spend £0.00
Feeling much better today I ventured out of the house on foot to visit a friend. I would have bought a pint of milk on my way home but the shop was shut so, by default, I can report another zero day!

3rd January - Total spend £0.00
Feeling rotten again today. Having been lulled into a false sense of security about feeling great once in the second trimester I am shocked to find that I am actually have the worst nausea that I have had so far. All good for the spending though. I didn't leave the house and what little food I ate came from the freezer.

4th January - Total spend £0.90
Bought milk finally! Also used the car to go and buy supplies to lay shed foundation, but when we got there the shop was still on Christmas Holidays. So the journey (and the fuel) was wasted. So again, would have spent more money if the shop had been open, but by default a fairly inexpensive day.

5th January - Total Spend £0.00 
Managed not to spend any money again, but I did have to use the car as I had to go back to work today :-( . However, I did calculate that I will only have to do that another 84 times! For tea I found some leftovers in the freezer - I wasn't really sure what it was and so couldn't decide between pasta or rice to go with it - I settled for rice pasta! It was quite a yummy find. Must have been a batch of 'what's in the fridge' with aubergine!

6th January - Total Spend £0.00
So I managed it for another day but I am so going to have to visit the supermarket for fresh stuff soon. The fridge is almost bare. Drove to work and back (about 23 miles in total). My dad fetched the materials for the fence and foundations today so technically I have spent money on that, but I haven't actually shelled out yet and don't know how much. Also got a letter from the council today saying that it is ok to go ahead with the garage conversion so I can really start spending now!

7th January - Total spend £7.21
I had to have a little spend today - I bought bread, milk and an energy saving light globe. I resisted the urge to do a full grocery shop. The last remaining veggies (1 small butternut pumpkin, a sweet potato a half a brown onion and a couple of spring onions) along with some beans from the freezer, are about to become soup for tonight's dinner and tomorrows lunch. I have the ingredients to make a mattar paneer for tomorrow's dinner. I don't think I'll get beyond that without a shop though!

Bonus dinner! 
Just after I typed the above, before I even had time to peel a sweet potato, a friend who I helped out on Tuesday rang to tell me he had cooked my dinner - a rather scrummy sausage casserole. So, veggies were saved - I think I can live for yet another day!

8th January - Total Spend £0.00
It was handy that I didn't eat the soup last night - this meant I was able to feed the hungry workers that put down the foundations for the shed and started on the chicken fence. Really, I have spent money on the fence etc, but it hasn't left my hands yet, so I claim a £0.00 day again.

9th January - Total Spend £32.15
I finally had to give in and go to Sainsbury's. I don't think I have ever been so excited about buying a fresh lettuce!

10th January - Total Spend £0.00 but...
OK, so, I actually didn't part with any money today either, but I sure am using it. First of all I drove to work and back - a shame but it has to be done. Then over to Peterborough for my pre-natal aqua yoga (course paid for in advance last year). Also the chicken fence is finished and the shed is being erected on weds, and people need to be paid by the end of the week. But home renovations don't count do they...

11th January - Total Spend £60.21 (plus a big wad of cash for the shed man!)
£57.67 of this was for fuel for the car, the other £3.54 was for onions, tomatoes and apples.

12th January - Total Spend £30.00
My first indulgent spend of the year, this £30 was spent on a massage. Reflexology and a leg massage to be precise. I could say it was for medical reasons, as I am having a bit of trouble with fluid retention in my legs...

13th January - Total Spend £3.80
Groceries - fruit and water to be precise. I know that buying water is ridiculous, but I had drunk all that I taken with me to work and was still thirsty. The only place to fill up a water bottle at work is in the girls toilet, and I'm simply not doing that!

14th January - Total Spend £31.78
£15.18 on groceries and £16.60 on gifts

15th January - Total Spend £18.52 (all of which was totally unnecessary - bad girl!)
Today was the first real day that I spent money that I could have avoided. I went to uni on the train (fare will be refunded from work), but I spent £2.30 on the car park at the station when I could have walked. It was windy and rainy though, and I was tired and running a bit late. Then, when I could have taken a pack up, I bought all my food for the day. I have grown to loathe doing my pack up, and it was Saturday, and there is a Planet Organic cafe just around the corner from the Uni... Total spent on food and drink for the day £8.23. Then, as I was waiting at the train station for a connection I noticed a new Jodi Picoult novel, which somehow found it's way into my bag in exchange for £7.99. Ooops!

16th January - Total Spend £0.00

17th January - Total Spend £12.25
£1.39 on a Birthday for my great aunt who is turning 100, and the rest on groceries

18th January - Total Spend £40
Having my hair cut a dyed

19th January - Total Spend £1.39
Another birthday card - for a 4 year old this time!

20th January - Total Spend £15.81
Tesco - the cupboards are bare - I was cooking Tarka Dahl in my new slow cooker and went to the cupboard to get a tin of tomatoes and there were none, I didn't have quite enough lentils either. I got a bit annoyed with the whole exercise - I feel like I am always going to the supermarket for little bits. So this time I did a bit of a stock up on store cupboard items and also bought sausages as I think my next slow cooker experiment will be sausage casserole.

21st January - Paid some bills!!! Total Spend £346.83 :-(
Gas £180.28, Electricity £77.32, Landline £41.43, Mobile £22.74, Internet £10.25, Window Cleaner £6,  Boots (hair conditioner, belly cream and heartburn remedy!) £8.81

22nd January - £14.04
Oil for the car (£11.59) and a Hot Chocolate (service station price!)

23rd January - £29.05

24th January - £61.02
Im bored of Rachel's challenge now!!! I don't like it anymore!!! [pout]
£50.15 on fuel for the car, £5 on a car wash (I know, but it's cold!) and £5.87 on groceries

25th January - £14.39
Natal Hypnotheraphy CD, as recommended by my friend Tara

Rachels challenge that she has set for herself is to mimimise her waste. I don't have much - there is certainly no food waste now that I am a chicken mama, so I am setting myself a different challenge. I am going to see how much money I can make, by selling stuff I don't want.

26th January - £0.00

27th January - £10.37
I had a voucher to use on baby clothes that expired tomorrow. £5 off when you spend £10. So, seeing as I had just heard bubba's heartbeat I no longer had to fear I would tempt fate by shopping. With the money off, I ended up paying £6 for 14 vests (white of course!) 7 in newborn size and 7 0-3 months. The other £4.37 was on milk, bread, and a pot of chilli olives from the deli (not essential I know, but one deserves a treat to celebrate a heartbeat!).

28th January - £34.36
I ended up doing my main weekly shop. I had a theory that only buying things when you actually need them would be cheaper and reduce wastage, but I don't think it did really. Will soon be able to tell as I have a fridge full of fresh veggies at the moment. Going more frequently for a few things seems to be a bit of a false economy, although I always call in on the way home from work rather than making a special trip, I really don't like supermarket shopping. This Friday night I decided to get it all over and done with and not have to think about it again for a a while.

29th January - £65.40
Advance purchase tickets for the Baby Show and the train fare to get there.

30th January - £19.99
Spare gas cylinder for the sodastream

31st January - £0.00 

Total spent for the month  (not including the building stuff) £857.67

I am quite shocked at this really - I thought I could do better than that. The gas electric and telephone bills are quarterly ones so I don't have them every month, however house and car insurance don't feature here, not does servicing, repairing and MOTing the vehicle - and there was no council tax payment, and no clothes or shoes, and I had already paid my aqua yoga class up front, and I have been conscious of my spending...

Not looking good for an unwaged single mum is it - better find more ways of saving I think, not sure how though!

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. My name is Emma and I am a lifestyle entrepreneur, writer, teacher, coach and mentor. I am passionate about eating real food, learning, travel and health. I get to spend my days with my amazing son who has chosen to learn from the world rather than at school. We write to share the life we love and to help others create a life they love too.

1 comment:

  1. Bleugh for the food poisoning!! Not fun!, but well done with the no spend yesterday.

    I'll update later.