One of my goals for 2018: give up unnecessary spending for seven days and succeed.
(Sidenote: this is just a way to keep track of spending habits. If you freelance or don’t work a 9 to 5, there might be other ways to help curb your spending. The tips I mentioned below are habits that most people already have because they don’t have any other choice. Convenience has made my abled ass prone to spending unnecessarily)
I’m saving up for my first overseas holiday next year and I need to change my spending habits. So I figured I could try out a #nospend challenge to see what I usually enjoyed blowing money on.
What do I spend cash on a weekly basis?
- Bus fare (essential)
- Data (sometimes)
- Take-out and snacks during the day at work
- Clothes or spontaneous purchases (like H&M candles)
How did I survive this week? Well, it was hard.
I tried to start my day with a pretty good breakfast, so I didn’t feel hangry later on. I tend to snack when I’m stressed, upset or emotional and honestly it’s not a mood. I figured having a healthy low-GI breakfast would help tide me over.
Packing my own lunch and snacks
Sounds pretty simple, no? I usually take lunch to work anyways (thanks Mom) but knowing that I didn’t have the option of buying anything, kinda sucked. I had to pack enough snacks because my tendency to want sugary shit at 3pm is real.
Making my own coffee
I’m one lucky gal, the office I’m in has a pretty fancy coffee machine. Although there’s nothing wrong with ol’ Ricoffy/Frisco or whatever, I need a caffeine kick in the morning. I’ve gotten into the habit of making coffees.
Resisting sales, take-out and dinners
If you’re a young adult in a city, you’re probably ordering Uber Eats, going out for drinks/dinner and getting notifications from online retailers about sales. It’s hard but honestly, over the past week (along with my shopping fast), I definitely try to not go overboard with the unnecessary expenses.
Coffee: R35 x 5 = R175
Take-out (Burger King, Simply Asia, etc): R110 x 2 = R220
Snacks: R35 x 4 = R140
Spontaneous purchases: R250+/- (candles/frames/decor shit)
Total = R780 (kinda)
While doing a no-spend week might not be realistic for everyone, I’ll probably do more no-spend days in and around my month. It doesn’t help to save money in one week and blow half of it next week. I also don’t believe in depriving myself just to be miserable. This exercise was just a way to see where and why I spend so much, and how to keep track of it.
I hope this helps and that you’ll try something like it too.