It’s three months into my no – low spend year and I’m doing ok, there has been a massive financial bump in the road and it wasn’t caused by me, I’m working on not blaming while still being honest, more on that as we go on.
This month I took a leap of financial faith and went to a Sikhi Kaur’s camp (like-minded Sikh women gathered together for a weekend), it was completely worth it, it has rejuvenated my soul for a year. I wrote about it here. The cost of going:
Camp place: £30
Open return train ticket to Walsall: £26
Hot snacks en-route: £15
Sikhi gifts for me and SK: £17
Well, that did come to more than I expected! Though with careful planning i.e Taking lots of snacks, a water bottle, a magazine, making it cheaper and overall for a weekend away, that’s still pretty great!
I’ve noticed I tend to buy wants nearer the end of the month, I’m strict on not buying any clothes, out of curiosity to what or if anything is going to break that. I just get relaxed knowing payday is drawing nearer, I could have organized mall parking beforehand, made pancakes at home and not followed along with going into the Apple shop to ask about iPads when all the information I needed was online anyway. Still, it was a fun day out, going with the flow and being a small family unit for the day.
Examples of needs bought:
A prescription: £9
Another warm pajama top and blankets for teaching yoga classes: £26
Baby SK next size up in long sleeve vests, sleepsuits, leggings, tops: £50
Examples of wants bought:
Basics of Sikhi top and children’s book by artist: £17
Sirgun Kaur Mul Mantra sheet (haven’t had time to do): £1
Dress pattern: £14
Procreate app: £10
This month new editions include:
I bought an iPad and pen on finance, similar to how I did with my laptop (that I paid off last year), it’s less than before (£43) and the only thing I’m paying off monthly, aside from car insurance. The purpose of it is to carry on drawing posters and make it an easier quicker process, I want to learn illustration and calligraphy and I easily mess things up and spend hours and sheets of paper till it’s perfect and crisp. This took a lot of thought (a year) and it being £500 is not as lofty as my £1200 laptop.
I felt inspired after Kaur’s camp to change the style of Roti I eat, we have a multigrain wheat Elephant Atta here, though a gluten freestyle made from grains interested me. The best I can find is £5 for 1KG on Amazon, I bought 2KG and I will monitor how long it lasts as I want it to be cost-effective too. So far less sugar and less wheat are making me feel more clear-headed than in ages.
The financial bump in the road, was that of my husband’s doing. There’s only so long one person can use an overdraft for and it not hit them in the face like an angry bush in the night. Overdrafts and credit cards are NOT free money. They are NOT something you’ll figure out later unless it is an absolute emergency. I’ve learned this the hard way personally through paying off debt all of 2018 and not being able to save anything and now too. As a freeze comes to his account and pays not redirected until this month, I am supporting myself with a carefully saved sum that was supposed to go on a car. While this has stressed me out the last few days, I can see the bigger picture. I am sticking to my financial learnings, I’m still committed to my goals and whether I have money or don’t I’m still able to follow the Suze Orman line – Just because you have it, doesn’t mean you have to spend it.
That being said, all the consequences can not simply fall on me, the frugal free activity finding woman and mum of one, no. For someone to learn, they need to understand the consequences of their actions, so absolutely no money will go to him. Even when I hear ‘Please just £10 for petrol (to drive around leisurely)’ or ‘I want to go here, just £10, I’ll give it to you back’. Nope. I know there is food to take from the fridge and money on a travel card, that’s fine with me! Not having any financial sense and some financial abuse in my past has made it quicker to spot and easier to call out.
In a review of the month in general, I feel I have been spreading myself too thin, I’m using my creative brain again though am I doing lots of little actions with not much result at all? Or am I feeding my hungry creativity once again? I’m learning an instrument, painting in my journal, freestyle journaling, learning and practicing yoga sets, making a dress from a pattern, drawing and writing. Time is of the essence, especially with a baby who has dropped one nap, though she is finally going to bed a little earlier. I’m working on a ‘one thing’ on what is truly essential, I’m reading Essentialism by Greg Mckeown. Coming off social media has helped greatly, now that’s not in the mix, creativity has replaced consuming and scrolling.
The Numbers February:
Budget: £196 and food £300
Yoga Earnings: £54
Put in short term savings: £75
Put in long term savings: £15
Put in pension: £16
No spend days tracked: 13
At the end of February, I still had £90 left, I used up my travel card to go into central London for a free talk and I haven’t needed to fill up my car. I only used one page of a tracking sheet, compared to usually two A4 sides.
My aim for March is to buy only needs and make more money, Yoga classes filling up is still slow progress, I enjoy teaching and having the surprise of someone turn up to a drop-in class. I’m applying for jobs and things are looking up (she says, after weeks of wavering doubts and comparisons to it being easier to find gold).
I’m also going to have to make meals last and cook more ‘Indian style’ like my generous mother in law, last month I learned how to finally after two years of getting out of it, make Roti, what’s in store this month!
Doing a no-spend year makes me question buying wants even more, is it ok to just buy one want a month and feel satisfied and happy to do so? For example, I bought an essential oil roll-on for menstrual time, it may help, it may not. It may be a great investment and I did look around for the cheapest but best version I could, Neal’s Yard women’s energy (£8). Then there’s the question of going to an art class at £25 hosted by Jennie Maizels, oh how I want to go, though currently £25 would sit better in my account. As not forgetting I have website fees, a car MOT and baby SK’s birthday all together. Another questionable item was sharing my money through going to an event mothers day, thankfully due to all the birthday prep, I’ll be going to two free events that day instead.
Is this the part of the journey where having control of how much I give to others and myself is put to the test and before I press ‘order’ or ‘book’ is questioned and self-inquiry is done to whether or not I need it?