Thursday, 18 May 2017

My Self-Imposed Spending Ban

So a personal and random post tonight as I decide to share the reasons and results of my self-imposed spending ban. Before I start, I’d like to point that I’m by no means a Rebecca Bloomwood (I most definitely don’t have a Derek Smeath on my case!), but there have been occasions where I’ve had no self-control (Mulberry purse post-Christmas, I’m looking at you!) and I do love an impulse purchase.

I think I can vouch for everyone when I say December is one of the worst months – all of those outfits and accessories for social occasions, pre-Christmas meals out and of course, Christmas presents. For me, January continues in the same vein: my birthday is the 16th and Ashley’s is the 31st. Which is why I decided, as of February, I’d try and cut back. I’m putting money away each month into an ISA for a mortgage – which can prove difficult after outgoings, credit card bills etc.

Add to this the Mulberry bag I have lusted over for SO long. At the start of my ban, I set myself a target to save that little bit more in my account, so after four months (May payday) I would be able to treat myself. I would be lying if I said I was anywhere close to buying the bag – but it’s something else to now aim for by the end of the year... wish me luck!

So how did I get on?

February
Monthly outgoings - £398.44
Splurges - £288.48
Money saved - £500.00

To calculate my monthly outgoings, I include my phone bill, my car’s service plan, money I give to mum and petrol (I drive 400 miles a week for work alone, so you imagine how often I need to fill up and how much I spend!). I didn’t save that much in February, as I had January’s credit card bill to pay off!

My splurges included a number of meals out, afternoon tea at Malmaison and a couple of hotels I booked for our trip to Ireland in August.
March
Monthly outgoings - £448.40 (I had to also pay for my Spotify subscription this month)
Splurges - £470.98
Money saved - £1,500.00

In March, my splurges included Poppy and Mariah’s birthday celebrations, yet more meals out, the deposit for Palermo, car parking at Stansted for when we go to Ireland and I got my hair cut.
April
Monthly outgoings - £633.45 (I had to also pay for my car’s service, as it was a few months early and the plan didn’t cover the cost)
Splurges - £808.98
Money saved - £900.00

Splurges this time around included afternoon tea at the Sanderson, the balance for Palermo and also the parking at Stansted, Euros for holiday and you guessed it, more meals out!
In three months, I’ve not bought any clothes, shoes or bags, which for me is an achievement – especially considering I’ve already done my wardrobe/shoe rack overhaul. With the first of my holidays around the corner, there are a few bits I need to get, so will definitely be treating myself in May. I deserve it, no? I’m also getting my hair dyed next week and hoping to get my brows tinted and waxed before I go away.

I managed two Boots hauls in this time and I’m so excited to say that both went on the points I had accumulated – is there seriously a better feeling?! I think I must have had over £40 worth of points... It probably sits at about 60p now!

On average, I go out for food four to six times a month – that includes the occasional work pub lunch or trip to Costa – and although it’s an area I could cut back on if I really wanted to save more, it’s one of my favourite things to do! On the whole, I make my lunches for work at home, so I think it could be a lot worse. That said, in three months, I have probably spent £400 on meals out!

I would love to try and go on this kind of ban again and feel that February onwards is the best time to do this. Maybe next year I will try and better my efforts. Have you ever self-imposed a spending ban? I’d love to hear how you got on in the comments.

Love, Lucy xx

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