Say Hello to our first guestblogger, Tanya. Our sporty team-member gladly accepted the challenge, and is about to walk you through her world of shopping, receipt-tracking and money-counting.... So, what feels better? Saving or spending money? Find out below!
Week one: Tanya lives completely normal. However, she keeps track of every penny. Meal-prepping, snacks, coffees, transport.....you name it, she will report it.
Week two: Tanya is not allowed to use any money after her one trip to the grocery store. She needs to plan ahead, and live solely off this one shopping-trip.
How much did she save the second week? Did she feel good, or did she miss her small luxury goods? Was it hard to plan? Find out below !
I am the keeper of the budget in our household. I divide and share our expenses in such a way that, regardless of who earns what, both Daniel and I arrive after savings and payments with the same amount of disposable income to enjoy. Emphasis on enjoy.
I’ve always been a firm believer in responsible saving, but I don’t believe that you should deprive yourself of the small things that make you happy simply because they ‘add up’. In the same breath, I know that I throw caution to the wind on too many purchases and I’m easily distracted by the ease of grabbing a coffee on the way out instead of making it at home.
That’s why this 2-week challenge was an interesting experiment, I went about the first week spending as usual and keeping the receipts, and in the second week I was not allowed to buy any unnecessary things that could have been had/made at home.
I won’t lie, I struggled a little. Here’s how it went:
The first week was more about getting a baseline of my spending on an average week. Nothing particularly scary or revolutionary happening here because I didn’t have to change anything except hang onto all the receipts. It was quite daunting to see that pile of receipts growing on a daily basis. I have to be honest that I didn’t realise how quickly my weekly spending added up until I saw it in physical form.
To help me along this challenge I put all the receipts on the fridge, separating groceries from luxuries, so that I was reminded everyday of every coffee, lunch, snack or impulse-buy that I’d frivolously swiped my card for. The results were around what I expected:
Amount spent on groceries: 1354kr
Amount spend on luxuries: 1225kr
This was the not so fun part, but a good exercise in self control. Majority of my mornings start with grabbing a coffee with Daniel on the way to the tube (even after having had a coffee at home) and sometimes we go out for a drink in the evenings to chat and relax.
The simple act of reminding myself of what I shouldn’t be buying was enough to drive the point home that I probably don’t need to be making these sorts of purchases as often as I do. I think it’s about finding a happy medium between cost and frequency, just because a coffee only costs 35kr doesn’t mean that you get to have one every day of the week. Apologies for the repeated coffee metaphor, it’s a whole lot less metaphorical in my life...it’s my one vice.
I did find that the grocery shopping at the start of this week was much more “I need x amount of this and x amount of that to prepare lunch every day this week,” and less “Oooh, let’s but this fancy spice that we will probably forget to use”. Surprisingly, our grocery spend didn’t change much, but the contents of our shopping basket did. We cooked slightly bigger dinners during the week so that there would be leftovers for lunch, and steered clear of the dark chocolate aisle completely.
Amount spent on groceries: 1254kr
Amount spend on luxuries: 300kr (I had to buy a scarf, it’s cold!)
My final thoughts
All-in-all, a worthy exercise if you want to get visual breakdown of your weekly spend, I find that looking at my transactions list isn’t nearly as effective as seeing the physical paper reminders of money leaving my account.
Is it a sustainable way to save money? I’m not 100% sold on it. Let’s call it, “deprivational saving” because I feel that it’s more of a punishment than a way to change behavior. I would recommend using this as a wake-up call to see where your money is sneaking off to every month and then decide on a healthy way to save that money up front before the spending even begins :)
Are you ready to try this at home? Let us know how it goes by tagging us @GetSpiff and #Getspiff
Thanks for reading!