Hello lovely!

Happy Summertime! Of course, in true British fashion, I got sunburnt on the first day of sunshine. Idiot. Mainly because I was trying to avoid buying suncream… Jeez.

Clearly, from that statement alone, you can tell that the first month of my No Spend Year has been a learning curve! Wow!

I’ve made lots of mistakes this month, and therefore learnt lots of lessons. See the end of this post for a list! 

My money mindset.

While my No Spend Year started in June, the journey of changing my money mindset really started in January 2017 when I stumbled upon a Prosperity Challenge that Lindsey Whittaker was running on Facebook. I signed up and I showed up and it was life changing.

Lindsey is super supportive and positive. She runs a Facebook Group called The Prosperity Club, which is such a great space for talking about money and understanding your money stories and what is holding you back. You can find her Facebook Group here. There are lots of fantastic videos and content in there for you to go back through and level up! Check her out. You’ll be glad you did.

June’s biggest lesson for me has been:

Why you should never go food shopping hungry – the maths!

So while we all know we should not go food shopping hungry, how much difference does it really make to your weekly shop?

I’ve never had a food budget before (no surprise there!) so while I knew that I bought more junk food when I went shopping hungry, I never really knew what that meant for my bank balance. Until now.

Let me present exhibit A – my Tesco receipt for my hungry food shop.

I have highlighted the things that were not on the shopping list – the unplanned purchases that were made due to me being hungry.

  1. The bread and the chicken (Quorn chicken slices to be exact). Now half of that loaf and that packet of chicken are still in the kitchen over ten days later. I probably wont ever eat that bread. What a waste.
  2. Goats cheese, salad leaves and pre-cooked salmon fillets. This meal was epic. I really loved it. But it cost me £6.50! For one meal! This was the point at which I knew something had drastically changed in my mind. To think £6.50 was expensive for one meal when I used to spend £25 on a meal out and think that was actually good value. Wow. Who even am I. Well, whoever I am, I am excited about it!! I might actually pull off this No Spend Year malark!
  3. The chocolate. I have a chocolate problem. So in an attempt to find a solution (read: not give it up) I bought the cheap stuff. Well, it isn’t worth it. So that should never happen again. When I gave up sugar I found a lush sugar free chocolate online, but as that is £1.50 for a very small bar, I’ve decided I’m giving up chocolate for the year. This is day 2. Wish me luck…
  4. Benedryl. Now I did buy a ridiculous number of packets of allergy tablets. But they were on offer and I take them all year round due to my aversion to animal fur (lucky me) so I’ve adjusted that accordingly.

It should also be noted that this food shop was clearly just meant to be for breakfast and vegetables. I already had all of the other things from my previous week’s shopping. (Turns out £30 is actually a lot to spend if you do it right. I am still learning to do it right of course!)

I was super pleased with my basa fish fillets at £2.50. They were really yummy! But the smoothie mix is still in the freezer and one pot of the organic yogurt took weeks to be consumed, so I obviously didn’t need those things either! (Clearly the Diet Pepsi problem needs addressing too. But chocolate first, Diet Pepsi second!)

The Maths

So, adjusting Benedryl into a weekly spend of £1.80 – I spent a total of £41.96 in Tesco while hungry.

That is a whopping 40% more than my food budget. FORTY PERCENT MORE!!!

So next time you think about going shopping hungry, remember that it will cost you 40% more than you bargained for!

I could have actually treated myself to goats cheese and salad (to go with my basa!) and still come in at only 90% of my budget if I hadn’t bought all of those unnecessary impulse buys.

Imagine a life where you come in under budget AND get treats! I should have eaten some dinner before I stepped foot in that store. Dam.

(For the extra mathematical amongst you, I got 40p off for brand guarantee, it just isn’t pictured because the receipt was long enough!)

More of this month’s mistakes include, but are not limited to:

Food accidents!

❌   I spent £17.40 on CHOCOLATE

❌   I spent £8.96 on raspberries and yogurt (all that plastic packaging as well… ugh)

❌   I spent 99p on salted peanuts (they were so not worth it)

❌   I spent £8.10 on ONE M&S LUNCH (I got weak one Friday late in the month. And I created an entire carrier bag full of plastic rubbish in the process. Never again!)

All of those extra food items added together is over one week’s food allowance!! If I did that every month that’s £425 for the year! That is over 2% of my credit card debt. Wow. On chocolate and raspberries… incredible.

On the plus side, I still spent much less than I would have normally. I mean, usually that £8.10 M&S lunch was a daily occurrence. So I am still winning. But clearly I need to be stronger in July.

Travel

❌   I bought a train ticket to London (to see a concert I booked months ago) and then

❌   I bought a Diet Pepsi while I was there

I don’t feel quite as bad about this because I did only by a return ticket, and walked in town instead of getting the tube (saving nearly £7!) but I didn’t need to buy that plastic bottle of Diet Pepsi (more plastic </3)

Misc.

❌   I bought suncream

❌   I bought aftersun

❌   I bought hair dye

Now since I got burnt I am pretty sure the suncream and aftersun are essentials by anyone’s standards, but the hair dye… I feel a bit guilty about that. However, my hair looks lush. And I am single. So I can’t really go an entire year leaving my hair to grow out. No Spend Dating is going to be entertaining right? So I need to buy the hair dye… (Great justification, yeah? Haha.)

So to conclude, June has been a huge learning curve. I am collecting my receipts, acknowledging my mistakes, and learning learning learning.

Food is my biggest issue right now. Socialising is easy to do for free in summer. I imagine this will become a different story when the nights draw in. But I’ll worry about that in October!