I have failed. I have failed miserably…
Yes, I am aware it’s not even the end of the month. It’s official, I am out of shape in the saving department, and I need to woop my ass back in to gear.
July has been my first month living at home since finishing University (I passed by the way, woop!), and I thought to myself ‘this is it! No food shopping, no more buses and no more deadline haribo binging – saving for my RTW trip starts now!’ and as soon as I got paid I gave myself £100 the month to spend on what I wanted, and £100 for driving lessons. Now 20 days in to July and I have £25 to my name, of which was taking out of my unimpressive savings of £390…. Yes. That’s right. In 20 days I have spent over £200! And on what? I honestly couldn’t tell you.
So here is a list as to what has made me screw up, so that hopefully next month I can learn from my mistakes. Welcome, to Budget Bootcamp.
1. Spending money on clothes
I have a chronic obsession with beauty and fashion bloggers and that combined with the summer sales have turned out to be a slippery, slippery slope. It’s like oil spilt on ice and I’m wearing flip flops. Given the challenge I will justify any piece of clothing as something I NEED for traveling! Which in reality, is complete bull! And I know it when I’m entering my card details…. I ended up spending a grand total of £29 (icl £6 delivery – damn you delivery!) on clothes this month, an for a dress, top and new purse I didn’t think was too shabby. But it was very shabby, very shabby indeed. After I hashed out my budget into a weekly rather than monthly budget, I realized that I blew more than my weekly budget on those clothes.
What I’ve learned
Step away from the sales and online shopping! I think the catalyst here is to remove temptation, so I’m no longer going to dribble over the Asos and Topshops sale – starting now, I’m guilty at looking at Graduation dresses this morning – if I really do ‘need’ some more skirts or shoes, I’ll get them in SEA where it’s going to be super cheap!
2. Being a bit too social
My life has become a lot more social since finishing Universit, and my evenings have recently been filled with going to the pub, eating out, getting takeaways, going for coffee and the cinema. Now here’s the big revelation…it all adds up!! I’m back working at Gapyear.com where I interned last year – Yay, writing about travel! – but the team happen to be a very social bunch! Now, I’m not saying be on your lonesome in the office whilst they all go out for lunch, but I just need be more tactical about it. For instance, eating your lunch and then meeting them afterwards for a drink, ordering the cheapest thing on the menu rather than what you really want to eat, if you’re not starving just get a starter, and always, always order tap water – it’s free!
Cinema wise we have been going on the days where it is buy one get one free, so it usually adds up to about £3.50, which is pretty damn good for the cinema these days. However, it’s when it comes to the popcorn and the tango ice blasts. They’re just so good! I never, ever, ever used to buy food or drink at the cinema, but recently it’s become part of the routine and is hard to resist when everyone else is getting popcorn! So basically, what is a fairly cheap evening out ends up being a £10 – £15 trip!
What I’ve learned
Just be a cheap skate. Swallow your pride and just go with their bare minimum. Going out isn’t about the drinks or the food as much as it is about the social aspect. So for next month I am still going to say ‘Yes’ to going out, but make sure that I’m smart about it. And, if I really am at the end of my budget we can always do free things like bike rides and watching movies at a friend’s houses.
3. FML – Forgetting My lunch
This has got to win the award for the most money sucking thing. Now that I’m working a fair few miles away from home (1 hour and 30 min commute) I can’t just ring my Mumma up if I’ve forgotten my lunch and ask her to drop it round, so it’s so important for me to bring in my own lunch. The only trouble is… I’m pretty sleepy by the time I get in and the thought of making next day’s lunch in the kitchen (my least favourite room in the home) is just the worst. So what happens? I promise to myself that I’ll make lunch in the morning before I have to leave to catch the train, but I end up running late and lunch doesn’t get made and ultimately I end up forking out at for a salad or a sandwich. This month I’ve probably spent £20+ just on lunch. Again, that’s nearly a whole weeks budget!
What I’ve learned
Quit complaining and feeling sorry for yourself and just make your damn lunch as soon as you get in! I doesn’t even have to be anything complicated. I just simply have to make a sandwich and find a yoghurt or fruit to go with it and it’s done. Job’s a’gooden.
4. Forgetting to cancel other direct debits
Okay, I haven’t actually done this yet but I really need to get on it. I’ve only just cancelled my Uni gym membership – that’s £50 of money wasted because it took me so long to do it! Why! I have magazine subscriptions to cancel, sorry Lonely Planet! But basically, by not doing this there is so much unnecessary money going out of my account and I need to see what exactly I’m paying for and what I need to cancel.
What I’ve learned
That I really must do this today! Right after I’ve finished writing this post…
6.Taking money out of my savings
No! No! No! No! No! This is the worst possible thing – and I am guilty as charged! Your savings should be a no touch zone! Once you get in to the habit, as I have done, of sneaking out £30/£50 of money out of your savings then really what is the point. You shouldn’t even look at your savings. Don’t think about them. Just stop it! Leave it alone. Leave it.