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Spending in no spend week: week 2

Posted by on Monday 27 December 2010 in anti-consumerism, frugal | 6 comments

I’m having an extended no spend week – starting a fortnight ago, lasting until the end of the year. It was a bit of an impromptu decision to start but I’ve found it very interesting, and these weekly summaries very useful. I’m going to continue tracking spending like this in the new year, but probably off line rather than on here all the time.

Lily-dog has been the cause of most of my expenses one way or another this week – she had a spot of food poisoning. Pets are expensive, there is no doubt about that, but for me, they’re worth it. If I could only have one luxury in life, it would be them.

This week’s spending:

  • £6.20 at the laundrette washing and drying our duvet after Lily threw up a lake of vomit onto it one night – hurrah for machine washable duvets! It wouldn’t fit into our washing machine though – and even if it had fitted inside, the water inlet was frozen shut so I had to take all the bedding to the laundrette. It would have £11 for a service wash (which would have had it ready within 48hrs) but it only took an hour so wasn’t worth the extra cash. Like the boiler last week, this one was a not-quite-an-emergency but something that would have to be looked at sooner or later, would be more difficult next week and would make our lives a little more difficult (colder!) in the meantime.
  • £56.55 at the vets with Lily. By Tuesday, she was into day four of the poops – much brighter in herself and running around more but still poopy – so we decide it would be best to get her checked for obstructions etc before it got into the Christmas period – when vets would be harder and more expensive to visit. While clearly improving, she was still running a temperature so the vet advised to go for some antibiotics & a sensitive-belly diet. Both helped a lot and she’s fine and dandy again now.
  • £12 on a meal out with friends on Friday night. Curry + naan + rice + tarka daal = mmm. Like last week’s spending in the pub, it was a socialising expense – a group of us who usually have curries together including a few people we hadn’t seen in a while.
  • I also had fish & chips last Monday lunchtime but John & Strowger bought that for me. ;)

From my exceptions:

  • £64.86 on two bags of 15kg dog food (a special type of food, her normal stuff not sensitive stuff though and it’ll last 3 months) – again, if I’d planned to have a no spend period, I’d probably have bought this in advance but I didn’t so didn’t.
  • Fresh food top up at the supermarket – mostly meats & cheese to cook with over the long weekend, more than normal as we had guests for two days.

I thought I’d spend money on bus fares but was feeling ill so didn’t go to a rehearsal.

My biggest temptation this week has been all the starting early January sales – lots of “save up to 50%!!!” emails dropping into my inbox. I’m using them as a reminder to unsubscribe from their mailing lists.

I also finished reading a wonderfully delightful book (Good evening Mrs Craven and other war time stories by Mollie Panter-Downes) and wanted to read more of her work – but instead of just buying it, I started a list of books to look out for – to buy new, find used or borrow at some later time.

Just a few days left of my no spend “week” now. I’m trying to decide how to incorporate conscious no spending periods into my life… What do you do? A no spend day each week? Regularly no spend days? Limited budget? Limited transactions?


Join the conversation and post a comment.

  1. Jan

    Amazed that anyone can manage a no spend week at this time of year! I have cut down on Xmas spending on family members to an absolute minimum;surprisingly everyone agreed to the suggestion without any need for persuasion.Cards are limited to people I don’t see often and are purchased in the sales or home made.Xmas paper is recycled if possible, brown paper with potato printed designs was popular one year.Xmas wreaths and decorations are home made and we use the same tree each year.Mince pies, cake, pudding all home made and incorporating garden apples. Meat is always bought when on special offer or reduced and kept in the freezer. Home made sloe gin enriches lots of things and i always grow parsnips, potatoes, celeriac and cabbage(but no sprouts) for the Xmas table.But we like wine, fizz, spirits and cheese in abundance at this time of year, so save our Tesco reward vouchers for the xmas shop.Then there’s the sales on now, so any Xmas gifts of money get used to buy shoes and bed-linen at big reductions, but no-spend is definitely not an option!

    • louisa

      Hi Jan,

      Aside from the temptations of the Boxing Day/early January sales, I’m doing ok.

      We don’t celebrate Christmas so haven’t had to spend any more money than normal – and I’ve had food-to-cook-at-home as an allowed exception (I’ll do a “live from the pantry/garden” month in the spring/summer).

      If we did do Xmas, I’d hope it could be frugal and homegrown like yours – good work :)

  2. Su

    I’m lucky in that I don’t have a computer at home so I don’t receive have the same temptations via email.
    In the new year, I am planning on having a no spend day every week, unfortunately this can’t be the same day every week, because I don’t work set days/shifts, so I will have to decide the week before when it’s going to be. I’m also planning on using my local library more. It’s about 5 minutes walk from my house, the computers are barely used, the staff brilliant and if I can borrow a book instead of buying it…
    Attempting to keep my bus fare spending within strict limits is an ongoing undertaking.
    I’m also thinking of restricting myself to a similar sort of system as clothing rationing/ coupons during the war. If I am severely restricted as to the amount of clothing I can buy, even in charity shops, hopefully, I will choose better quality.
    The only way though, for me to cut down on my spending in the long run is plan, plan and plan some more. Impulse buying just does not work.

    • louisa

      Hi Su,

      I’ve got a clothes rationing plan in mind for 2011 – I’ll post about it next week. A complete ban just isn’t realistic for me – but a severe rationing rule will hopefully do a similar job.

      I want to start using our library more too – there is two libraries about 2 miles away from me, but neither that easy to get to (up BIG hills!) – but I could get stuff ordered to pick up from the mobile library at the end of our road, or from another library near where I teach/herd children. I need to plan, plan and plan some more to do that!

      2011 shall be a year of planning and organisation, yes? :)

  3. jan

    Good to hear about other peoples plans. I have a weakness for charity shops, but is it a means of justifying my spending or do i need those bargains? trying to restrict myself to going just once a month and using the dedicated charity bookshop(even though Amazon has cheaper second hand books). I’m a dedicated library user too, but our nearest is under threat of closure following recent budget cuts-the level of footfall is being used as a measure of usefulness to the community, so make sure you visit yours if you want it to stay open, we lost our mobile service years ago even though we live in a small village.

    • louisa

      That’s a very good point about libraries – we should all make the most of them while we can and to ensure that we can still keep using them.

      I have a weakness for charity shops too – it’s not just shopping, it’s like hunting for treasure at the same time, many pleasures in one! I worry I get blinded by finding a few-and-far-between great item that I don’t ask the question about whether or not I need it. Definitely something to watch more closely…


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