Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Spend-Free Days

Yes, it has been a long long time since I posted last. I have no excuses for being so slack (again) and I am not sure 'losing my blogging mojo' is the reason either. I have been very busy though, working on the house and garden.

Which brings me to the topic of today's post. I have dipped into our savings a bit too much lately and I need to rein in my spending. As you can imagine after buying the house, moving in, making repairs, laying turf, making the back garden and the odd furniture purchase, our savings are at a bare minimum. This makes me nervous. Christmas is just around the corner, the car needs servicing and there is bound to be something else around the house that needs repairing.

Some reasons for my spending lately - vintage school chairs picked up at Cobbitty Markets.

Ideally, I would like six months of essential living expenses in savings and we will slowly work back up to this. At a minimum, I feel comfortable with three months - as this is the waiting period for our income protection.

So, to get me in the spirit of reducing my spending, I am going to have two spend free days per week.

Another equally valid reason - My new toy shelf. Hopefully my lounge room will remain tidy for a bit longer.

Why spend free days?

I first heard of this idea from Frugal Trenches and I find it an excellent way to reinforce healthy finance habits.

  • Firstly, you have to plan your spending. You have to anticipate when you will run out of milk and plan to buy some on a spend day.

  • It also minimises impulse buys. If you want something and it is a spend free day you have to wait at least til the next day to buy it. Often you realise you don't really want/need the item and don't buy it.

  • I seem to spend a lot less over the week with a couple of spend free days. When ever I go to the supermarket I always end up spending $30-$50 on a handful of items. By reducing the amount of times I go to the supermarket, I am buying less products and therefore spending less.

  • It also helps you to remember your goals. I find that doing when I do the budget for the month it takes about 3-4 days after that for the motivation to wane and I forget about the budget and begin to increase my spending. By spacing out spend-free days, I am continually reminded to stay on budget and I remain motivated.

So, if you are trying to keep to your budget but are finding it hard, why not have a go at one spend free day a week?


Fiona said...

Good Luck with it - I often spend a few weeks writing down every cent I spend so I can see where the problem areas are. I think I need to do that again soon. I am trying to make most of my christmas gifts this year too....

Kelly said...

My husband's company closed back in August, and we are definitely doing "spend free" days. We have a family of 6, and spend only 125.00 per week on groceries, find a lot of free things to do, etc. When he is able to find another job I think we will continue to live this way for quite awhile - it hasn't been painful, and we haven't used credit cards.... nice to know we can live on my much lesser income.

The house looks great.

Emma @ the Berry Patch said...


Fiona, it's amazing how much you can spend on little things. I only realised this after I spent a couple of weeks writing everything down too.

Kelly, $125 a week on groceries for a family of 6 - wow. You should be realy proud of such an achievement. I can imagine that would take a lot of organising and pre planning.


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