I know this sounds a little crazy at first, but hear me out! I first came accross the idea of ‘no spend days’ when i joined the online bullet journal community through instagram. For those of you who don’t know what that is, its basically a self written diary you use to help you plan and track most aspects of your life.
‘No spend’, was very often a tracking meaasure that alot of journallers would plan into their weekly or monthly journal spreads to help them manage their money. I thought, regardless of being borderline obessive compulsive with squirreling my money away, this was a great idea. Down went my tracking boxes and I proceeded to record what and if I had spent each day.
This all seemed great, until you find yourself days on end writing figures into boxes with an overwhelming sense of guilt. WHY AM I SPENDING. I took a step back and looked at the bigger picture, yes, I am spending, but what am I spending it on.
You see, tracking the days which you spend is a little irrlevant if you don’t spend for 10 days and end up spending in large (or larger) sums on other days to compensate. What matters is not how often you are spending, but how much you spend and what you are purchasing.
A good example of this, is I always until very recetly believed that doing a decent food shop once every 2 weeks was the most frugal way of tackling my food expenditure. I would stock up the cupboards and refridgerator and buy enough to make all 3 meals of the day at home. This is undoubtably cheaper than buying food out each day. The problem I found with it was being just one person, it’s nearly impossible to use all my fresh stuff before it goes off, and I almost always needed to top them up in week 2. Wasted food is wasted money.
Buying food in the local convenience store everyday, is also not cost effective. I’ve found that having a good cupboard full of essentials and dry goods, and buying reduced items on an almost daily basis seems to be a winning combo. I also, being in a shared house have very limited fridge and freezer space, so this suits my life too. My food spend has dropped from nealy £30 a week to closer to £20, and with time I think I can bring it down even further.
The same applies for other items. If I find a pair of good quality flip flops for a fiver in Novemeber, yes it’s a £5 spend, but it’s a spend that’s saving me money as i’m not paying the higher price in May (see here for reverse season shopping post).
So I conclude, don’t worry about spending each day- it’s about the WHAT & WHY not about mentally punishing yourself for parting with the pounds. If it’s something you need, or will need, at the best price you can find it for, then that sounds like money saving to me.