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Tuesday, 18 June 2013

End of the 100 day spending ban!

My 100 day spending ban finished on 10th April, and what did that little exercise teach me? Simple really, I spend far too much money on far too many (mostly) unnecessary 'things'.

I had seen the 100 day spending ban challenge all over twitter and blogs at the end of 2012 and although I didn't 'officially' join any spending ban lists going, I had already decided that we (read that as I) can be a bit too frivolous with the cash and had decided come 1st January 2013 I would really cut back.

My 'rules' were simple:
  • Don't buy any new clothing/shoes, make-up, beauty and hair products, have takeaways, meals out, nights out, buy books/DVDs/CDs/magazines. Basically don't buy anything!
My exceptions were:
  • I could get my hair cut and coloured, I could keep my Glossybox subscription (although I did use my Glossydots for two of the boxes - result!), I could accept gifts and I could buy gifts for others (as I had a number of birthdays which fell during the 100 day period). I could also replace like for like. So if I ran out of say a face powder and didn't have a spare to fall back on, I could replace with one to the same (or lesser) value.
So how did I get on? Not too bad I think, this is what I spent:
  • Essie polish £3 (a discontinued colour from The Original Factory Shop)
  • Candle £1.50
  • Dress £46.05 (I got this for an interview - I rejected the job, but kept the dress!)
  • Necklace from Primark £2.50 (my excuse was it was half price in the sale AND it was a necklace I had been after but it had been out of stock in my local Primark so I just had to buy it!)
  • Candles £21.99 (Went a bit downhill at this point and splurged on a medium jar and 4 tarts from Yankee)
  • Hot Choc £1.50 (got this when we were walking around a National Trust property, but I did share it with Mr B.P.!)
  • Takeout £18.95
  • Another takeout £18.20 (got both takeaways in the same week - lets just say it was a bad week hey!)
  • Marie Claire £3.80 (my excuse was it came with a full sized free Bee Lovely hand cream from Neal's Yard Remedies worth £10, so in my book was money well spent. In fact I saved myself money as I had run out of hand cream and I would have spent more than £3.80 buying some more)
  • Essie polishes £15.98 (but they were on 3 for 2 in Boots!)
Grand total - £133.47

I am pretty impressed with myself, and to be honest £75.12 of that was spent in the last 3 weeks of the ban. So I give myself a pat on the back!

Aside from learning that I spend too much, the other important points that I gleaned from this little exercise is, that although it is great to get that buzz from picking up a new polish, or eyeliner or those must have boots; I really don't need that buzz to make me happy and complete. I have also loved using up my stash of samples rather than rushing out and buying a new product. I've been teaming different pieces from my wardrobe together to make new outfits, rather than buying something new to stuff in my already bulging wardrobe. I've started wearing jewellery languishing at the bottom of my jewellery box which I had forgotten I had. I downloaded loads of free books onto my Kindle and I found some great new blogs to read.

So in all honestly this spending ban came at just the right time.

And now a little over 2 months since my spending ban ended, and how am I fairing? Pretty darn good actually. OK I'm not as good as during the ban, but I have really really thought about whether I really need something before I purchase it or whether I just want it and I am amazed at how many times I have left a shop empty handed. Plus I am also still using up all the dregs from the ends of my beauty/makeup products where normally I would have ditched them as soon as they appeared empty. But by cutting off the end of the tubes you would be amazed how much product is actually still left in the tube. (Popping a snipped tube in a freezer/sandwich bag, keeps that opened product lovely and fresh so you can use every last drop!).

Would I recommend doing the spending ban? Absolutely. If you think you would struggle with 100 days, why don't you start small and gradually build up. Promise yourself a week to begin with, then a fortnight or a month and move on up from there. Also if you find you fall down on spending say during your lunch break, instead of a wander round the shops, how about reading a book, a few blogs, or going on pinterest and setting yourself up a board with all the things you'd like to buy when the ban ends. Also if you grab lunch from a shop or your favourite latte on the way to work. How about making a packed lunch the night before and at the same time putting the pennies you would have spent in a jar. Not only will you feel virtuous but at the end of your spending ban you will have some money saved to buy yourself something you really want AND need.

GO ON GIVE IT A GO!!!

22 comments:

  1. You did really well you should be proud, I set myself a monthly budget and try not to go over it that way I don't feel deprived but I tend to do a month long spending ban when I have over spent and that works well for me. x

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    1. I think that's a great idea - to set a monthly budget. I might give it a go! x

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  2. You did really well! I can't cope with a ban but I think I need to do a beauty budget instead x

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    1. I did surprise myself, even if it did go abit pear shaped in the last couple of weeks! A beauty budget sounds great x

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  3. Well done Kay! You're so right - it is satisfying to use stuff up you already have (can I say that after my recent haul?). I think I need to go on another ban -I'm so bad at resisting special offers - although I don't have many takeaways and always take all my food to work (I eat so much whilst I'm there I'd be permanently skint if I didn't!) xx

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    1. Ha ha, we're all allowed a blow-out from time to time Jenny! You do well taking all your food to work, it's amazing how quickly you get through your money if you buy your lunch out. I try to do the same, although we do have a lovely refectory at work... x

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  4. Well done Kay, sounds like you've done fantastically! I'm terrible for seeking out that 'buzz', and it's even easier to do when shopping with 'invisible' money online.
    I must admit though, I was quite pleased with myself when I went into Mac the other day, fully intending to buy 'stuff' just to make myself happy, but once I was in there I couldn'tbring myself to buy anything as I really, genuinely didn't need anything. That might be because I had got lots of birthday goodies fairly recently, but either way!
    Good to see you back!
    Mel xx

    melswallofmirrors.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Oh I know that 'invisible' money well Mel, but it's always a slap in the face when you get that bank statement or credit card bill isn't it and I'm trying to remind myself of that! Well done you on being so restrained in Mac, don't know if I could have done the same! x

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  5. Congrats! That was pretty darn good considering how long you did a spending ban for. I think it's such a good idea to really make yourself think about how and why you spend money. I find you can get just as much enjoyment when you spend a lot less and just focus on what gives you the most pleasure. Most of us have too much stuff anyway! xx

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    1. Thank you! You are right I think finding out the psychology of why you spend is half the battle. And you're right most of us do have too much stuff anyway and that is definitely something this spending ban has taught me. x

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  6. Hi a big massive congratulation <3
    Well done - you done better then i could ever do!


    http://www.annanuttall.com/

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  7. You defiantly have good will power. Think of it as only like 1.30 each day, and you did amazing! It is really good you have carried on the mentality on too. I'm not sure I could do it, I didn't do lent because I just new I would fail :/ Oh dear. Good luck for your interviews btw, I take it your on the job hunt then, if you had one? You will find an amazing employer I'm sure xx

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    1. When you put it like that 1.30 a day doesn't seem too bad does it! I did get myself a job thanks, trouble is I am surrounded by gorgeous organic skincare all day long so it's very tempting to buy! x

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  8. Well done! I could do with trying this too - I think the thing that motivates me is when you add up all the little spends together and find how much it actually comes to!!! Scary. X

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    1. That definitely is the motivation. A pound here and a pound there doesn't sound much does it? but it all adds up to quite a bit! You have done amazingly well though saving for your house renovations! x

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  9. i usually only do this a couple of months a year, like a month at a time. kudos to you for making it 100 days!

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    1. Thank you! At least you do it a couple of months a year, every little helps! x

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  10. Well done lovely!

    You did pretty well. You've got good will power!

    Would love to do this but maaaaan, I'm a weakling. However, when I think about it, I've not bought clothes for a while (which is extremely rare for me). Go me!

    xx

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    1. Thank you! You can do it! You've already started with not buying so many clothes! x

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  11. You did so well, I'm very tempted to give it a go myself!

    Jennie xo | sailorjennie.com

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    1. Go on Jennie, you can do it! x

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Thanks for commenting!