5 & out

As the astute readers of my posts will notice i’m not the richest woman in the world, in fact I am generally broke. However due to an amazing and potentially life changing opportunity that i lost out on rawly recently, I have decided I must change my ways. One of the biggest issues I have is linked to my previous post; i like pretty things. Pretty things cost money and those pretty things tend to be what nullifies my bank balance. Oh and I also love books, food and clothes. And travel. Whatever way you look at it the maths leads to minus. So i’ve created myself a little rule and i’m going to trial it this month. I haven’t researched costs, budget or created a magic spreadsheet; essentially I know where I spend money and because I don’t have a lot it’s never on excessive purchases. But it is too much. I could be doing alot more if I was more careful.

401(k) 2012 via flickr

401(k) 2012 via flickr

Apparently saving cash is relatively easy. You have a goal, you make some sacrifices and you stick to them. But when time is limited (because you’re always working to top up your meager salary) and your tired and you get bored easily eating sandwiches every day (ignore the wheat intolerance for a moment) and walking instead of taking the bus isn’t as simple as it is on paper. Also if I followed most of the rules and advice on the internet i’d probably be sad, lonely and bored which is not really living is it?

So, in essence I’ve created the ‘5 & out’ rule. It’s relatively simple, although honestly speaking it may not work but it’s a step in the right direction, right?

So, drum roll, here is is.

I can buy 5 of something and then I have to stop.

Easy right?

But isn’t 5 quite alot?

Well it could be that I don’t need 5 of something so that doesn’t matter… but then to be honest, this isn’t really about need, is it.

I’ll delve deeper.

Like many working busy people it’s so much easier to buy lunch. One of my excuses is that the canteen at work is really cheap. Well it is, in comparison to other places but really? I think i’m telling myself a little white lie. Secondly, I’m a fussy eater who gets bored, tomato soup is just not going to cut it… the canteen can be questionable and when it is I triple my lunch budget and end up in Pret/Leon/Benitos Hat…. you get the picture. One week later and BAM, broad beans and rice for the rest of the month. Literally.

Again with breakfast, especially after late nights at work where I don’t eat dinner and also, again with dinner when I’m exhausted have failed to get to the supermarket (common) and well my neighbourhood is a mecca for easy food.

To get the picture, since I was paid on Tuesday – I’ve bought 4 lunches, 2 dinners and 3 breakfasts. Going by the rules – I am now allowed to buy 1 more lunch, 3 more dinners and 2 breakfasts. And i’d also point out neither of this weeks dinners were social. They were due to time and lack of energy. Obviously I am still going to eat, I’m just going to do more home prep and cooking and actually use one of the cookbooks I own but rarely use.

This rule applies to everything and to give you an idea, after 5 days, this is where I am at:
Toiletries 3/5 – (shampoo, conditioner, foundation)
Clothes 2/5 (navy vest, leopard print cardigan)
Books 2/5 – (After the flood by Sarah Perry, Rough guide to Morocco)
Social activities 0/5 – (I’ve been at work almost constantly, i’m tired)
Health & medicine 2/5 (contact lenses, hayfever tablets)
‘Other’ 2/5 (I bought a cafetiere mostly so I can take the big one to work and save money on coffee and lunch boxes)

Can you now see why I’m doing this?

Whilst part of you and indeed part of me can see this failing very quickly, it might not… one of the things I’ve done today, apart from googling recipes, forcing myself to go to the supermarket and faffing, is go through all the stuff I have, mostly so i don’t buy stuff I don’t need…. and so I actually use the stuff I have. It may mean some alterations to routines and regimes but essentially i don’t *need* to spend more money. I have everything. My biggest worry is the supermarket. Alot of the time I rarely get there but with the need to buy ingredients to make food I had no choice. Thus chunks of cash slip out… anyway it’s a work in progress and i’ll provide weekly updates so you can see how I’m doing failing. WOOP

One thought on “5 & out

  1. Pingback: good for the soul – 1 month later | Le Lapin Lilas.

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