Sunday, 29 December 2013


It's that time of year when we all set about fixing our lives- budgets, health, family goals etc etc. I'm no different. I want to know what I spend and what I don't. I wanted to make a spread sheets which sets out my spending, except I don't know how to start with making one. So I googled it. I found an online one which you can download and use- bonus, why reinvent the wheel!? I used the money saving expert one here. I put in all regular monthly payments, but didn't include things like the weekly shop. I wanted to know exactly what I have going out each month so I can set my shopping budget accordingly.
 once I had number crunched I discovered this;

  You spend LESS than you earn... £687.56 £8,250.68    
HAPPINESS Hurrah! You balance your budget. Well done!  
Providing you've been honest with yourself, it's time to relax a little - but MoneySaving doesn't stop there. In fact it's just beginning. Paying less for things means you have more money in your pocket to enjoy life more (and possibly save some for the future too!)

The typical savings from doing this can be £3,000 - £5,000 a year. My estimate is it'll take a full day's work but look at the return. It'll be the best paid work you've ever done.
    Now save yourself even more money….    
    Give yourself a money makeover  

Now before you get too excited remember I have not included things here like food, the ever growing need to cloth the growing children, home repairs etc. However it is nice to sit and look at that happy little figure isn't it.

Now factor in that I have a car I need to make a £6500 payment for in 19 months as well as the shopping etc mentioned above, not so rosy now is it? in fact if I am to make the payment on the car without resorting to more finance I need to save £342.11 a month from today. So take this figure from my monthly left over figure gives me  £345.45 for everything else. Still sounds a big figure left over, I know there isn't that much in my bank account now, and I don't get paid until the end of January. Why is this- oh yes because these figures do not factor in the costs of popping to the shop for a pint of milk, or the weekly veg and seeing something that looks like a good bargain. Such as this

Beautiful cake holder, now I am well aware that I don't need this, but I did WANT it and it was only £2.00! Blah blah blah and so the justification goes!
but factor this in every time I go to the shops and it adds up. Also included in this is not the fact that people have birthdays and there is Christmas. I need to get better at saving. I have bought Christmas presents and birthday presents for 2014 already- I took advantage of the sales.
I am determined that next year (2014) I will get more money savvy. I will eek out my wages because I do not want to be taking out further finance to pay off my car. I love my little car, and is so true for many people in todays world I need a reliable car to get me to work so that I can afford to put food on the table/ pay the rent etc. Taking out the car loan was a big commitment but it was the most financially sensible method for getting a reliable car for me when my old one died in the summer.
I started NO SPEND DAYS in June 2013, and I am carrying this challenge through into 2014. I set my sights in 2013 at what seemed like an impossible task of 10 no spend days per month. This challenge really helped me to avoid the shops and therefore unnecessary pretty impulse purchases. I an going to set the bar higher for 2014- here's to 20 NO SPEND DAYS per month. That equates to 240 NO SPEND DAYS over the year. Sounds do able doesn't it, however from last years experiences the hardest no spend day weeks were those that fell in the school holidays. Although we don't participate in many expensive days out, I do like to buy a treat such as an ice cream for the children when we are out.
So challenges for this year to find a way to save at least £4105.32 and to have 240 NO SPEND DAYS. Oh my gosh put like that it seems insurmountable! Please wish me luck, I think I shall need it!


  1. Hi Sarah! Good luck with your 2014 goals! I think you can achieve the 240 no spend days (I am targeting 150 no spend days). The key is going to be to bank your no spend days. So if you know there is a school holiday the next month be extra careful with planning your spending this month so you can carry over a few extra days. That's my plan :-)

    ~ Pru

    1. Thanks Pru, yes you are right that would be a sensible way to 'save up' for the no spend days to account for during holidays. Good luck with your goals :-)