I hate No Spend Days. Like most things, when I try to resist then I just end up buying more stuff because I can't. I'm sure a psychologist will pick that apart, but the moment I try to put a self-imposed ban on myself, I struggle. That's why I am challenging myself to spend as little money as possible in May by having a No Spend May.
Of course there are some expenses that just have to happen – we need to pay our bills, buy groceries and fuel…and then to make it even harder, we are moving into our new offices! I am also going to Manchester to see Karen and Georgia from My Favourite Murder (any murderinos reading my blog?) which involves travel, a hotel stay and food out.
We also have a very long shopping list for our home and garden!
Maybe I should call it ‘Low Spend May‘ instead of No Spend May.
These are the things I have already committed to spending my own, personal money on in May:
- Hair cut and dye (I cannot wait to show you this!)
- Travel to and from Manchester
- Meals out in Manchester (although I did forgo adding on the pricey £16 hotel breakfast in favour of McDonalds)
- Audible subscription (oh my goodness I am LOVING Audible. I got myself a free Audible trial and haven't looked back since).
Then there are joint expenses that we have during May:
- Gym memberships.
- Cineworld Unlimited cards.
- Groceries, toiletries and household items.
- Gardening items – this list is so long: hanging baskets, pressure washer, tomato grow bags, tomato plants,
THEN (yep…there are a lot of expenses in May) we need things for our new offices. Thankfully these will come out of the business bank account:
- Furniture (desks, office chairs etc)
- Bins (kitchen, bathroom & waste paper)
- Storage boxes
- Kitchen items – everything from a fridge and kettle to cups and plates
And probably about a million other things I've forgotten.
Our wedding anniversary
Let's throw another expense into the mix – May marks our 3rd wedding anniversary. We love going away for our anniversary, even if it is just for one night. I am on the lookout for a budget luxury trip, but our anniversary falls on a bank holiday Monday, the week of half term. Or as I like to call it, the ‘let's charge silly money' season.
How do you have a low spend month when there are lots of expenses?
The very first thing I do when we want to have a low spend month is to shop our kitchen.
Groceries are easily one of our biggest regular spends apart from bills, meaning that this is where we can see immediate results. We simply head to our kitchen and see what we already have, basing our meal plan on that.
The second thing we do it to utilise memberships we already have. For example, we pay monthly for the gym and our Cineworld Unlimited cards, so we make sure that we use those a lot more for entertainment.
The third thing we do is look to spend any vouchers or loyalty points we have. Earlier this year I ordered some vouchers for Prezzo using our Tesco Clubcard points, meaning we can have a free date night, and we also have some loyalty points we can spend.