Budgeting 101.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Budgeting & Surviving on next to no money.

This isn't a post I ever thought I would write but here we are. If there's one thing I've learnt over this last year and a half, it's been learning how to survive on next to no money. I've had to because until recently, the job front was a very unstable one and I had to wake up to the harsh reality that was an empty bank account. I'm not sure how many of you have had to do the same but for me it's been a hard lesson but one I am grateful to have finally learnt.

Me being me I have to spend every last penny in my account and every penny in my purse and then wonder why I have no money left when something exciting comes up. I used to think that I had to have everything that everybody else had and being on twitter doesn't help either because inevitably there are things on there that I just have to have because everyone else does. Sound familiar? Yeah.....being a blogger and suffering from FOMO does not a good combination make! Now with an empty bank account and having to wait a month for my first payday it has been a harsh lesson in reality as well as finally teaching me what exactly it is that I really need...or don't as the case may be.

A few things that I actually really do need/have to spend money on.

Phone – Since the end of August I have had no money on my phone, I'm with giffgaff and buy a monthly goodybag which gives me texts, calls and a bit of data to use as I like. Luckily for me I don't NEED to be able to contact my friends and family all the time like most people. Thanks to Facebook I can keep in contact easily, but in today's modern society and needing to be contactable for work, I will be re-purchasing my £5 goodybag. I am hoping that I will not use up all my data in the first week as I've done previously! £5 may not seem like much for a month, but it's enough for me. (Giffgaff are good because they analyse your useage and tell you the best goodybag to be on. For me, it's been the £5 one which suits me perfectly.)

Rent – Thankfully and luckily for me I have been able to live at home in between jobs and therefore haven't really had to pay much, if any, rent. This is the main reason why I have been able to survive on such little money. I know I am very lucky but now that I'm earning I will have to start paying my way. At the moment, I do not yet know the exact amount as it depends on what my payslip says but I will feel good once I am paying my way and being a 'normal' member of society.

Food – Through my job I get fed so this isn't such a big one which leaves me more money to spend on other things but it would be good to contribute to the overall food budget/allowance since I am living in my parent's new flat in Harrogate. On my days off I will still need to eat and I think it's only right that I buy myself the food that I need instead of my Mum! Plus it means that I can buy myself whatever I like.

Trainers – I need these for work. The shoes I have at the moment just don't cut it on the slippery floor and my poor old feet are hurting after being on my feet for up to 7 hours a day! Thankfully Primarni has come to the rescue and I can pick up a pair for under £10 which means that I can buy two pairs and still have money left over.

Exercise – Sadly all that pasta and pizza has to go somewhere! I need to sign up to an exercise class/bootcamp to keep myself fit and lose a few lbs! I count this as an essential because otherwise I'll not do anything about it when I absolutely need to! It'll give me the kick up the bum needed and you never know, I might make new friends!

Now for a few things I would like to treat myself to!

Beauty Blogger Box – I've had this box a few times and I really love it. Put together by the beautiful Vix you can guarantee it's going to be full of beauty items you will love! I have already paid for the July/August box (back when I was spending every single penny in my account!) and I might treat myself to the September or November box as well. It's nice to treat yourself occasionally. Plus it's only £10 including postage!

#BoxOfLame – A stationery box put together by Chloe and Charlie from thatlamecompany. They have now released 3 boxes – Small, Big and Blogger with prices starting at just £15 including delivery and having been lovingly put together you know you are getting something special. I really want the Blogger box (£25) but in reality I'll probably end up with the big (£21) or small box (£15). I love stationery and this company as much as the next blogger but sometimes I need a reality check and to ask myself 'Do I really need all those prints/notebooks!?'

(I like to support small businesses as you may know, hence why I choose to treat myself to the above items. )

I don't want this list to be a long one because then I'll get back into thinking I can spend money on anything I want and I do not want that to happen again as it's good to have some money in my bank and purse. Plus you never know what other things might come up that I'll decide I would like to treat myself to.

This isn't meant to be a post about how to budget or my tips on what to or what not to spend your money on. It's more for me so I can hold myself accountable in the future. I want this to be a new start for me, to have money in my bank account and to be able to buy things as and when I want to. I want others to learn from my experience and to know that you can survive on next to no money. I know my experience is different because I have not had bills/rent to pay and therefore have been able to survive without money. I've actually amazed myself because I've always been a spendthrift but I have an amazing friend who would pick me up and together we'd go for a coffee at our local Oldrids or Tescos. We'd share payment and would collect the stamps for a free coffee which we would get often! It wasn't a big thing really, but it would get me out of the house. Sometimes it's just being together which means the most. You don't need to spend a lot (or anything in fact) to enjoy being with friends. If you're honest about your situation you will more than likely find that they will understand and most probably be thankful on not having to spend a small fortune when you meet up. It's the little things that can often mean the most. Money doesn't have to and shouldn't ever come between friendships or relationships but it so often does. Please don't be put off by the amount of money in your bank account. Your friends and family will still love you and could be full of useful ideas to make your pennies stretch!

I am hoping that this is the turning of a new leaf. I hope you enjoyed reading this post and have maybe learnt something yourself. They say that money makes the world go round and that it is the root of all evil but it needn't be. So long as you're paying your bills/rent each month and aren't being reckless then you should be able to enjoy yourself. If I can do it, I'm sure you can too. Of course if you have any ideas/thoughts about how to save money and still enjoy life then please leave them below! I'm all ears!

Love, Sarah 

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