One thing I said at the beginning of this challenge was that I wanted to live not just exist. What do I do in my free time and how has it changed? I love reading, kayaking, and food, so I’ve been finding ways of making these cheaper or using them to their best advantage, for example I’m a member of the local kayak club which costs £60 per year. I go kayaking twice a week, once on my own and once as part of the social group during BST and will try to go on the weekends when the clocks change back… however that will depend on the weather, somehow I can’t see myself kayaking in rain or snow! There is a kayak hire place nearby but as that costs £16 per 90 minutes, so the initial cost is definitely worth it to me. I love the feeling of being out on the water, plus once I’ve been a member for 6 months I can get my own key and go kayaking whenever I want (and I can’t wait). Yes I could give up kayaking and save £60 per year, but is it worth it?
Instead of buying new books I now go to the library or raid friends shelves for something new. ‘I’ve gone through my kindle and noted down any books that I’ve bought but haven’t read plus sometimes it’s worth checking amazon, they have some cheap deals 🙂 I love snuggling into my giant cushion with a green tea and a good book.
I haven’t bought clothes in ages, instead I had a clear out both at my current house and at my parents where I used to live (yes some of my stuff is still there three years on…. I suggested clearing it all out and my mum reacted with horror… I don’t think she wants to admit us kids have grown up?) anyway I found loads clothes that I’d forgotten about. Life tip; turn all your drawers upside down before you go clothes shopping, it’s amazing what you find!
I also check my bank account more regularly than I used to, having the app on my phone makes it a lot easier to track how much I’m spending. Previously I have been known to get to a cash point and honestly wonder if my account has been hacked as I couldn’t figure out where all my money had gone, by tracking my accounts more I know what I’m spending money on and its made me more aware of do I really need this item or is it a impulse purchase?
If I’m honest about my spending a lot of it used to be spent on going out socializing most weeks. That’s the hard part of living frugal, do I cut back on the amount of times I go out? Often it is a meal after work with some colleagues and things like that. I’ve heard of suggestions that you could cook together etc, but there seems to be a lot of reasons why it wouldn’t work that well. So I’m trying to figure it out, a lot of the time my head will become obsessed with an idea, ie if I’m trying to loose weight I will pretty much starve myself (yes I know its not good, its something that I’m working on!) so if I’m trying to save money I go all out and try to spend as little as possible. Still not good if it means avoiding all situations where I may spend money! I need to get the balance sorted out, that its ok to go out every so often for food, but to not go overboard with eating out every single night or finding more and more really expensive things to do.
I’m a little disappointed that I haven’t put more into my savings account this month, however I have paid off next years holiday entirely (semi opps) and got all my money for next months holiday. Originally my plan was to put some money towards my holiday fund and the equal amount into my savings account. Well I guess I’ll have to put it all into my savings account next month!