My frugal month: less is more

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Having withdrawn the cash and holding a lump of notes I’m going to break it down into four envelopes.

Week 1: £30 – per day this is roughly £4.28 which could essentially be a coffee saver.
Week 2: £30
Week 3: £20 – per day this roughly £2.85
Week 4: £20

It’s a four week month so no need for five envelopes. Counting the days already. Although these envelopes are classified as “spending” the aim is not to spend. We’ve got everything we need. Weekly food, bills, mortgage and so on.

The plan being if there is less in each envelope it should prevent spending.Therefore giving us more at the end of the month to save or put towards an experience. Not forgetting this is all from one salary. The second salary is being saved! Frugal. That’s the name of the game.

This is my frugal month…

My frugal month: Day 1

Making use of the envelope method with our “spending” money. So all outgoings that are needed are covered. Some minor savings for me personally are covered too. Really nice to keep the emergency fund growing for the 3 to 6 months. Anything that falls outside of the budget will have to come from the cash in the envelope. Budgeting  £25 per week for 4 weeks.

Why, because we’re trying to live off one salary in preparation for potential baby number 2. No news yet. Hopefully the minimalist journey I’m on will aid my frugal month.

This is my frugal month…

This is my frugal month

I have been listening and watching a lot of Dave Ramsey (for years) and following theminimalist podcasts. So we’re on baby step 2 with just the better half’s student loan (SL) to repay. It’s not too large but it’s debt. Personally I’m on baby step 3 but I am putting that on hold to clear the SL.

From stumbling upon the minimalists documentary many months ago, it makes saving money, clearing debt and becoming cash rich all the more real. Stem the bleeding. Living a more meaningful life through a more considered consumption, we’ll be able to reach this goal with ease; of course there’ll be issues.

This month (April) is our first Frugal Month. One salary. Living way below our means all in the direction of becoming debt free. To date I have cancelled one social activity. This is a great start just hours into Day 1.

This is my frugal month…

Validating a donation 

Ever deliberated over the plastic give-away you get for giving a donation? As in I just don’t want more plastic worthless stuff. Why not just give the money and take nothing?

Something for nothing? It’s funny we just don’t seem willing to give a penny unless we get a bit of worthless plastic in return. 

Imagine the money charities would make if we gave a donation, but expected nothing in return. It would save the charities money and us from gaining worthless stuff. Surely it’s then saving marketing costs too? More money in the charities funding pot.

Try it the next time there’s a donation bucket with a free book mark or squashy ball. Just give the money and leave the stuff. It feels great.

Old trainers

I realised today, after buying some new trainers that this is the first pair I’ve purchased in years. I’m talking 5, 6 maybe 7 years. The last pair were freebies through my wife’s work. This means the new ones on my feet (now) and the ones where the soles came off over two weeks ago were £16 each. That, right there is an awesome saving.

I have just consumed, but the shoe box was instantly recycled rather than the standard “I’ll keep the box to put (worthless) stuff in”. The old soleless trainers have gone in the rag donation bag ready for the recycling centre. And the new trainers do add worthwhile meaning to me as u walk about six and a half miles each weekday when at work. Healthy body, healthy mind. Plus it means I’m less stressed before, during and after work. Clear mind.

Saving withdrawal symptoms

Making preparations this month for living off one salary next month. Due to the adjustments I have been making in preparation, it feels like I have saving withdrawal. I have saved a bit, but not the 15-20% level I had wanted this month. 

In preparation for having another child (no big news yet) we’re looking to see what our month would be like on one salary. With the other salary not used, that’ll be saved for the maternity leave. Hopefully giving a more comfortable time with the next child.

Living a more minimalist lifestyle and not consuming worthless stuff. Living off one salary should be achievable. We’re not high earners, we make do. We have seen an improvement in our spending and reduction of worthless stuff coming into our home sInce January. 

If we manage next month on one salary, we’ll try the following month and so on. Essentially practicing this way of life whilst we’re lucky enough to have two incomes. With the cushion, if things were to go bad, we can right ourselves and become balanced again. 

Shopping for less

WOW. Watched a program and £6k just on the guys wardrobe and £400+ for the ladies clothes with labels price tags still on. 

Stop and hand them a note with bemorewithless.com or theminimalists.com on. That would save these people so much time, money and stress. Being brand loyal is one thing, but spending money for the sake of spending money just because of the appearance via “social media” is crazy. Then there’s the car… £12k more than a lesser branded vehicle. It’s nuts. If you don’t have the money don’t do it. The pain is worthless. Don’t buy worthless products, they don’t make you happy. It might feel like they do; they don’t.

It did spur me on to try a new saving technique though. Save instead of worthless spending.