No Spend 2019
Further to yesterday’s post about starting a no spend in April I’ve still only got to Chapter 2 of the book and am filled with ideas about making positive changes. I spent a fair bit of time yesterday writing out my notes and lists of what is approved spending and what isn’t. At the very least my budget will look a bit better.
I gave some thought to not only cutting out meaningless spends but reducing utilities and bills. I’m quite good at checking for the best deals and I’m not loyal to any company so if there is a better or cheaper deal out there I’ll try it but I am guilty of waste. I’ve definitely had some home truth thoughts this week.
Growing up my mum was very strict about spending. We were only allowed the heating on at certain times, the hot water on for a certain number of minutes per day (if I remember correctly it was about half an hour so the bath water would be warm). We were even monitored on our toilet paper usage. There were various reasons as to why, some of them do not make her a nice person but some can probably be linked to HER mother. My gran had a lot of debt. I did use to think she had a lot of cover for her old age based on the amount of insurance men that stopped at the house. What I didn’t know until I was a teenager was that they were all debt collectors. So one person’s issue with money became a damaging one to someone else became a damaging one for me. I do not know where my gran’s money troubles came from.
I left home at 18 and for the last 28 years I have made sure I have constant hot water, unlimited toilet paper and heating. You always know who’s at home in my house. If my son is on his own just his light is on. If I’m at home then ALL the lights are on. My form of rebellion that I’ve not grown out of.
So thinking about changes. I refuse point blank to limit my loo roll. It’s just not happening. I will probably leave the hot water simply because I’ve no idea how to set the timer anymore and my boiler is so old and rickety that once turned off I’m terrified that it won’t start again. This is the boiler that was part of my debt issues in the first place and last month the insurance man said that there are very few parts available to buy now if it breaks. It’s practically obsolete and the first thing on my to buy list when my debts are cleared.
What I can influence is lights and heating. The weather is warming up a bit so I will allow turning the heat on to warm the house and then it’s get the blankets out a bit. I put lots of hours into making beautiful blankets I should use them but also I can leave the heating on longer if the weather isn’t good enough to dry washing as I don’t have a tumble dryer.
I don’t know if it’s a Northern saying or a whole England saying (think it’s Northern) along the lines of ‘What do you think it is? Blackpool Illuminations?’ regarding too many lights or ‘Were you born in a barn?’ about leaving the doors open and letting the heat out. I am only going to turn on the lights in the room I’m using. This might take some getting used to because I really am that bad.
I’m also guilty of using too much water. I may have mentioned it in previous blogs about having a water meter fitted and my bill trebling! When I discussed this with the water board I was told I was too clean because I shower or bath 6 times a week. The average person apparently only does this 2-3 times a week. Again I’m not limiting this because it makes my skin crawl not having a shower daily. What I can do is limit my water usage. I can happily spend 20 minutes stood in the shower letting the water flow over me. Pretty wasteful. So I’m going to set time limits.
While these things aren’t necessarily no-spends they will by the end of the year have reduced my outgoings
I’m also going to have a look at my mobile phone. What I can’t influence: the length of the contract and the monthly cost of the phone that’s included. What I can influence: the internet data is flexible. I can move it up and down as needed each month and set a buffer for if I go over to as high as I like (or no limit) so that the data continues but at cost. Under my old community job I learnt where all the free wi-fi is. I know which shops to stand outside to get some free internet. So many places use the Cloud for free wi-fi now. My phone is set to auto join these things. I love the local Costa because if you stand outside it I can get 20 minutes free from the Easy Hotel. Same for the Red Hot Buffet restaurant – the free wi-fi works outside.
I’m going to set the data usage to its lowest setting & therefor lowest cost, make sure the buffer is switched off so no extra charges and when it’s gone then it’s making sure I use the places I know it’s free. Also using these through the month should make the data last longer too. Plus turning it off at certain times. This should also have the added benefit of less time on my phone and more time in the real work noticing my surroundings.
It’s so interesting looking at these things. I feel so much lighter just doing the research. The hard part will be not folding when my anxiety rises but I feel ready for the challenge