… I know I made some.
It’s one of the iconic Carrie Bradshaw’s lines and also one that I mutter to myself quite often.
I had a realisation today – I have not made any major purchases this month, I thought I had a vague idea of how much I spent during the month and when I checked my bank balance, my spend was double of my vague idea.
Being the investigative kind, I reviewed by current account and credit card statements and I had some revelations:
- 2 coffees a day do not add up to “£2 here and there”, it’s close to £100 per month.
- Buying your lunch is a major drain. I usually pick up a sandwich and then realise I am yet to have any fruit/veg that day so pick up a fruit pot as well and before I know it, I am spending £8 per day which adds up to a lovely £200 or so during the month.
- Not doing a weekly shop means the following:
- I have to spend time after work going to the super market;
- I am more likely to pick up more stuff than I need for the evening, less likely to plan my meals and end up throwing away more;
- When it comes to the weekend, there is no food in the fridge and it is not unheard of for me and my fiance to go out for our meals 3 or 4 times during the weekend.
I won’t even try to quantify the financial impact of not doing a weekly food shop – it will make me weep, I could probably do a monthly weekend in Paris.
Anyhoo, with my wedding coming up and all, and just generally not wanting to waste my cash, I am making some changes.
- Instant coffee instead of my beloved Pret flat whites. However, I am getting one of the lovely Kate Spade thermal mugs to make my instant coffee taste better.While I can already see some of you rolling your eyes about yet another purchase, hear me out – currently my coffee obsession is about a ritual. I associate having a coffee with my morning commute, that time of the day when everything is still quiet and I am able to enjoy some caffeine without any distractions. My afternoon coffee is again, about switching off and having a break. So actually, if I am having an instant coffee, that’s OK, because my coffee splurges are never about the coffee itself. However, even the worst coffee tastes better in a pretty mug so Kate Spade, here I come.
2. The second change is an easy one – start making own lunch to bring to work. Of course, in this busy world, it is easier said than done. My tip for making lunch for the following day is a) make it in big batches so it lasts a good few days and b) make it whilst you are making dinner. Some exceptional multitasking will be required, but I am sure we can manage it!
3. Do planned weekly food shops. Not much more to say on that one.
I will report on my progress – also will try to be creative with my lunches so I can do a blog post about it.
Truth is, I love a nice big purchase and going to a lovely restaurant so these changes are not about suddenly becoming incredibly frugal, that will simply never be me. It’s about knowing where my hard earned money is going and not wasting it on mindless purchases. At the end of the day, I would much rather spend the month drinking instant coffee and pick up a stunning Self Portrait dress, book that weekend trip or splurge on the bar cart I have been stalking in one of the shops on Columbia Road in East London.
To me, it’s about making sure that, what I am spending money on, gives me joy.
What are you main money drains? How have you tried to change that?