I planned to do a blog post about Bullet Journaling this week as I have recently discovered this addictive form of organisation. But I thought it would be more fitting to lead with this as one of the spreads I am doing is to track a challenge I have set myself for April to not spend any money.
It’s always a bit awkward talking about money and the lack thereof. My toes are curling at the thought of discussing it and I always feel like “money” should be said whilst guarding one’s mouth and said out of the corner of one’s lips! Perhaps I’m so crap with cash because I’m so rubbish at talking about it! Anyway, it’s always nice to know that you’re not the only adult with a spending problem. Writing this was inspired by the honest post by the ever wonderful Sara Tasker from Me & Orla. It really resonated with me because I, too, tend to buy things I cannot afford, don’t really want or don’t need simply because I’ve seen someone else has got it and they look happy, so if I get it, I’ll be happy and like myself too, right?
Wrong. Always, always wrong! All that happens is I have a book or a piece of clothing or item of jewellery cluttering up my house reminding me every time I look at it that I didn’t want it and it hasn’t made me happy, or successful, or cool, or…not me. And looking at it all makes me feel physically sick sometimes. And embarrassed. I’ve never hidden anything I’ve bought, but I have lied to the Mr (and myself) about its cost and affordability. That’s quite sad, isn’t it. Forgive the emosh post – but I really do think at the grand age of 32 I should get a handle on myself. It’s potentially as dangerous as comfort eating, this constant spending without resources.
Never has this been more of a worry for me than now: I’ve got three months left of maternity pay and I still have an overdraft to pay off. When I return to the day job next year, I won’t have any spare cash with which to pay it off. So I need to get some good spending (or not spending!) habits and fast.
So here’s my plan. First of all, I’m telling all of you about it, so I’m accountable. I feel like I’ll be much more likely to succeed if people know about my plans.
Secondly, I’ve involved my husband. He is EXCELLENT with money and actually enjoys doing his banking. I hate it and hope that the minus figure has come about due to my lax use of insecure internet connections to make online purchases rather than my own spendy ways. He doesn’t understand my relationship with money, Stuff, or myself but he is endlessly supportive. So after I paid all my online bills, I asked him to change my PayPal password. No more shopping during the night feeds!
Next, I removed my saved payment information from the likes of Amazon and removed the one-click buying settings. There has been loads of research about handing over cold hard cash for stuff is harder than handing over your plastic and hoping it doesn’t get declined. So my bank card is out of my wallet. I have £20 per week to pay for buses and coffees when I take Edith out and that’s it.
This is going to be tough for me but I’m confident I can do it. As an added bonus, whatever’s left from my weekly budget is going towards a treat for myself on April 30th if (when?!) I succeed.
So, I think I’ll save my BuJo post for next week, but in the meantime, I’ll be sharing my progress of “No Spend” April over on my Instagram Feed. Join in using the hashtag #AprilNoSpendChallenge and we can share our money saving tips!