#NoSpend2017: 5 Months of Budgeting (The Reality)
Since January 2017, I've been on a super strict budgeting rule. By refusing to use my debit card and stopping online shopping completely, I've managed to cut back to living on a limited amount of cash each week and have subsequently become far more mindful with my money. By consistently recording everything I buy - it's allowed for a greater depth of consciousness with regards to money.
But of course things haven't always been easy.
Recently I've been struggling far more, especially as it's deadline season. As I've been spending so many days in the library, it's incredibly tempting to buy food at uni (even when I know I've packed lunch and an abundance of snacks). But so far I've been okay. But it's hard - especially when you're with other people who are buying food.
I've also found that a busy schedule has meant it's easy to forget to take cash out and I've found myself with a full basket of shopping at the till and no cash. So I have a confession - I have used my debit card for things like this. But again, I've recorded it and noted that it was payed via debit card. By noting this and regularly checking my bank account (sidenote: download your bank's app onto your phone for easy checking), I can tell exactly where my money is going.
Now, whilst initially I completely cut online shopping - I do occasionally check the prices of things on Amazon or eBay. Such has recently been the case with the purchase of Selsun Dandruff shampoo which was cheaper on ebay than in Boots (glamourous, I know). But as long as I write these things down and factor it into my budget, there hasn't been an issue. Please note that I don't want to get into the habit of this - so will avoid it at all cost, but with something like Selsun which is not a regular buy, I can justify it.
When I started this no spend view in January, I deleted all the shopping apps off my phone. I literally had a shopping folder containing every potential shop ever. But I deleted them all which means that if I want to browse, I have to make the conscious effort to go on my laptop, hence making it far less easy to quickly check out using Touch ID. Don't do it. I still don't have them on my phone and it means that my phone is far more a tool for communication than anything else.
I can also hand on heart say that I haven't been on ASOS since January.
But there you have it. The reality so far. It definitely hasn't been as difficult as I thought and with a new mindset that has meant i don't have the desire to shop, I love knowing I'm able to save money as an undergrad. But in all honesty, without this mindset, I'm not sure if I'd have gotten to this point. So I'd highly recommend seriously thinking about why you want to shop - is it an emotional reflex, is it a 'hobby', or are you trying to transform yourself?
Are you on a tight budget? Do you have any tips how you stick to it? Any advice?