February Wallet Watch: Results

Last month I decided to keep a closer eye on my spending than normal, as we’d had a couple of changes in household finance. Our outgoings have risen due to us getting our act together and giving a decent amount to charity, which I’m very happy about, and me starting to take this whole pension thing seriously, which makes me feel old. And slightly concerned about how on earth anyone can ever afford to retire.

Anyway, that’s enough of that, I’m not even 30 yet! (Just). These are the areas I kept an eye on in February.

Walletresults

No new clothes or shoes or stationery in February

Okay…. So I bought no new shoes or stationery for myself (I did buy some as presents and I regret nothing). Having spent just £7 on one top in January, I didn’t think I’d have a problem staying away from the shops altogether. However. Then I got an email from Tallgirls, which funnily enough is a specialist tall clothing retailer, about their pop up sale. Everything under £20! I mean I couldn’t not go? So I went with my sister and we had a lovely day and bought nearly all the same clothes because we’re basically the same.

WhatIbought

I ended up spending £75 which bought me over £150 worth of clothes, which you can see me modelling awkwardly above. I’m awful at having my photo taken so I’m sorry I’m such a weirdo. Anyway, as you can see I bought three dresses, a potato sack like jumper and some jeggings. They were all £20 or under (the second dress from the left was £5!) so in that regard it was pleasing but on the other hand I spend £75 that I maybe shouldn’t have. I’m not sure why I needed three summer dresses when it’s 4 degrees outside. Moving on…

Sell some clothes on eBay

How have I still not done this? I’m going to take the bitesize approach, via Kristen via Gina. I plan to spend 10 minutes at a time listing things. No excuses. This needs to happen.

Watch food spend at home

I feel like we did a good job on this this month. We ate at home for 129 meals out of a possible 174 this month (I’m counting breakfast, lunch and dinner here for both of us because it’s all food that needs buying) which works out at about 3/4 of a month, or three weeks. We spent £108 on food over the course of the month, so that’s the equivalent of under £1 per person per meal. Take that, meal subscription service. We made inroads into the pantry and used up some odds and ends that had been hanging around for a while, and I tried out some new recipes which mostly went well.

Don’t throw any food away

I threw away a minimal amount of food. Not nothing, but minimal. It’s probably an improvement on last month so I’ll chalk this up to a partial win.

Fill in my expenses as I go

No, massive fail on this one. I did it for literally the first day and then slacked off because I didn’t have many expenses. Well, even if I don’t have many I still need to fill them in as I go along! I ended up spending a good chunk of a Sunday afternoon doing them which made me annoyed and S sad. So I won’t be doing that again.

What I learned

I learned that for some things, goals really help me. For example, the food related things and the expenses target (even if I failed at that one…). However, having a goal to spend nothing on clothes actually made me want to shop more! Reverse psychology at it’s worst. So I think I’m going to steer away from clothing and spending oriented goals and go more towards task and value based goals. I’ve never really set proper monthly or seasonal goals before, maybe it’s time to start?

-Rachel

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22 Comments

  1. 4th March 2016 / 19:35

    That first dress though…I adore it. You absolutely had to go to that sale!

    I am better at task and value based goals as well.

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:12

      Thanks! I’m glad you like it! Now I just have to find a nice sunny holiday to wear it on. Ha. Tall clothes are usually stupidly expensive, so I really did have to go. That’s what I keep telling myself!

  2. Kerri Taylor
    4th March 2016 / 19:42

    this is great overall! i am on the same train in that i’ve been trying to eat at home for as much as possible or bring my lunch to work. so key! every little bit helps 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:14

      It really did surprise me just how little I was able to eat for when I put my mind to it. I mean we still ate out a fair bit… But that was a reward for being so good! Or something….

  3. 4th March 2016 / 19:53

    yeah i started to take the pension thing seriously (and then be terrified of actually retiring) but lets not talk about that at all.

    okay one day i am going to visit and we are going to that tallgirls place, k? k.

    yes, seriously. try the bitesize approach with ebay. i list one or two things and then move on. that way i don’t get overwhelmed. the next day i can do more, or i wait a week or so lol.

    i am weird with goals. i am an all or nothing person, so most of the time, if i ‘fail’ i basically make it a mission to fail hard. so i am not good at only failing a little bit, unless i am super strict. that being said, i already ‘failed’ my no shopping for this month because i got some great audiobooks on great sale, but i don’t consider it failing, because i got a great deal. if i had failed and bought them full price, then i would have wanted to keep failing.

    anyway. love the potato sack like jumper. super cute.

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:18

      Nope, no retirement chat at all. Instead, let’s talk about the trip you’re going to take to come over here and go tall clothes shopping yes?! I’m in.

      It’s so interesting how people respond to goals. I’m not great with failing either, if I fail even a little bit I then totally give up. Which is silly. I wouldn’t consider getting a great bargain failing, especially if it’s something you’ll actually use. That’s what I told myself about the dresses/potato sack jumper anyway 🙂

  4. 4th March 2016 / 20:55

    I’m really good at not spending money on things but useless with my food budget! I probably spend 108 just on myself in a week! Something I’ve been really trying to change! I’ve just started using a budgeting app which is really helping!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:19

      That’s really interesting as I’m basically the opposite! (Apart from the dresses, let’s ignore the dresses for a minute). What app have you started using? I’m all about a technological solution to a common problem!

      • 8th March 2016 / 20:40

        I’ve been using spendbook! It’s really quick and easy to use and I’ve been enjoying it!

        • 10th March 2016 / 23:57

          Oh cool thanks! I’m going to look into that…

  5. 4th March 2016 / 22:39

    I think that the reverse psychology would have had the same effect on me! When I’m not planning on it, I tend to not spend money on clothes but when I am planning on spending on clothes I want to buy all the things! Way to make a great effort on not throwing out food!

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:20

      I’m such a sucker for reverse psychology! I’m going back to a ban on bans and I bet I buy nothing this month. It’s like the opposite of that thing where when you have a gift card for a shop, you can never find anything you want. But as soon as you’re not allowed to shop there, you instantly want everything. What’s with that?!

  6. 5th March 2016 / 04:39

    Whenever I decide not to spend on clothes there will always be a sale, haha! I’m better at it now, but unless I’m specifically doing a no-buy month (like I did in Feb) my goal is just to buy less. That way I don’t feel so guilty for spending if I do see something I have to have, but I’m still able to think out what I’m buying. Rather than saying ooh a 70% off sale I need to check it out as it’s too good to miss and then being blinded by the sticker prices and buying more than I need 😉 Otherwise if I just go for a browse knowing I could buy if I wanted I seem to be able to think out my purchases better!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:23

      Sod’s law, isn’t it?! Yes I’d much rather do mindful spending than an out-and-out ban. Apparently those don’t work for me anyway 🙂

      I think you’re totally right about just browsing, that seems a much easier way to spend less. With sales it’s like you’ve already decided you want to purchase, regardless of what it actually is, because the offer is obviously too good to pass up. Funny, isn’t it?

  7. sydneyshopgirl
    5th March 2016 / 08:55

    Well done on your contributions to charity in the midst of reaching your saving goals! Thank you for sharing your experiences through February. I set myself a similar challenge and actually followed through. Like you, sold a heap of stuff as well.

    It’s now March and I’m surprised at the difference February has made to my discretionary spending. All the little things suddenly don’t seem as tempting as they did during the ban.

    Might have to keep going through March as well.

    I’m planning a fashion investment piece purchase during this year and aim to save for it before actually buying it….

    SSG xxx

    • 6th March 2016 / 23:25

      It’s so true that it does retrain your attitude to spending, and I’m now looking at more ways I can cut back. Because apparently going cold turkey doesn’t work out well for me! Was there anything in particular that you spent less on that surprised you?

      A fashion investment piece sounds intriguing, what are you planning? I’m planning on the travel equivalent, so the saving starts now!

  8. 7th March 2016 / 01:34

    I always spend more when I set spending goals, but task and value based goals seem to work much better. It’s so hard to not shop when cute things are on sale, ha ha. I love your new dresses 🙂

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:07

      I think that’s going to be the key. I have learned something at least! I love my new dresses too I just have absolutely no idea when I’m going to wear them as it’s currently freezing degrees and rainy here.

  9. 9th March 2016 / 16:44

    So, those dresses are all adorable. & worth it if you ask me. Though when the challenge is still no clothes spending I guess adorable does not justify.

    For me, I always make a set list of what I need. Sometimes there is nothing on it. Right now I need skinny jeans, a casual black dress, a brown cross-body purse & a vest if I find a good sale. So, I can shop for those things, but everything else is a no. It makes it a little easier since I don’t have to say no to shopping all-together.

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:08

      I think that’s probably the sensible way to do it… It’s just annoying because I’m normally quite good at not spending, so I thought this goal would be a cinch! That’s why I need to not set spending goals. If I just don’t think about the pink elephant, I won’t want to spend money. Right…?

  10. Jen
    9th March 2016 / 17:09

    I love all of the outfits you purchased!!!! 🙂 You look beautiful!

    • 10th March 2016 / 15:09

      Aww thanks! Nothing like a floral dress eh.

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