Rhys and I have decided that in 2017 we are going to spend no unnecessary money. Yes, you read that right, and yes I am immediately going to state that this is with the exception of the two bookshop crawls (London is on February 18th, everyone's welcome so tweet me if you want info!) but I will be holding myself to a very strict one book per shop rule!
This year we've got rid of loads of stuff we didn't really use and cleared our house out a lot and we're both feeling so much better about everything. It's also changed the way we shop - before this year we were thrifty shoppers - car boot sales and charity shops are big favourites of both of ours - but we bought a lot of stuff we didn't need. This year we still do that but we're more likely to think about purchases more. We want to take it one step further next year and try not to really shop at all.
Spending FreezeHere's what we're planning to do:
- Get rid of our car. This is more of a stress thing than anything as Rhys does all the driving (because I'm a wuss) and although he loves driving he finds he's always really stressed and tired by it, plus the car is expensive so we're going to see if we can do without and use public transport and our legs instead!
- Get rid of the TV licence (again). We only got it back just under a year ago but we barely watch TV and it seems like even if we were to buy box sets of the four or so series a year that we actually watch plus occasional CBeebies DVDs for the boys it wouldn't add up to £150 a year. Also means we'll spend less time watching mindless rubbish and actually do more productive stuff instead hopefully.
- Not buy books. With the exception of bookshop crawls as mentioned above and if we have book tokens. I have one more month of OTSP Secret Sister to go so I'll spend some for that but I'm not signing up for the next round, and though I'll be running at least two Ninja Swaps this year I'm undecided whether I'll participate or not. If I do it'll be only one parcel per swap and I'll do my best to gift homemade and preloved stuff. It also means I'll only be doing giveaways on the Ninja Book Box website and twitter on occasion and here not at all (because postage costs), but I will be doing lots of books for postage giveaways so watch out for those.
- Bring tea from home in a thermos. I have a terrible weakness for coffee shops because I get into work way too early for my shift (because buses) so I tend to go to a coffee shop at least twice a week. This will stop and I know I'll save more than I think from it.
- Bring lunch from home. We're generally pretty good at doing this when we're at work except when we're not and we're terrible at it when we go out for the day all together. I think this is because we get caught up in the mad rush of getting out the door and forget about food, thinking we'll just grab something while we're out. Hopefully public transport will help with this, as our days out will have to be generally more planned and that'll prompt us to remember a picnic! No restaurants unless we have a gift card! (So anyone who wants gift ideas for me for this year, I love Pizza Express...)
- We can buy shoes & clothes only if they're absolutely necessary, so shoes for the boys are fine, shoes for us aren't unless we've actually worn them out. Also where possible we'll try to go to charity shops for clothes (we mostly do this anyway since you often get way better quality clothes for Primark prices!).
- We can buy only what's on the weekly grocery list. If we want treats that week we have to factor them in to the weekly shop, and we're going to try to make that stuff as much as we can. Ditto for beauty and cleaning products. Homemade stuff is way better for you anyway!
- Buy bus passes and use them to get as many places as we can! If we can get a bus using our already paid for monthly bus passes rather than a train then we will. If we can get a bus part way and save some money, we will. If we can get a bus and hike across a field, we will. You get the picture.
The reason this list is weirdly worded is that I didn't want to write a bit list of stuff starting 'no' or 'not', so I've rephrased things to make it feel more positive! I've started a Pinterest board full of Spending Freeze ideas. Let me know what you think of our crazy plan - I'll be keeping you all updated whether you like it or not (though seriously, if you don't want updates unsubscribe now, you've been warned!).