It’s half term break. Schools are closed. I’m a teacher so I’m off babysitting (teaching) duties for one whole week. Parents will have to make their own arrangements for keeping their own children safe and entertained. This is the week I had set aside to work on proofreading my book (book launch date is looming).
As a result, I’m hardly out of the house this week. And you can save money if you don’t go out, can’t you? Well, I plan to!
The No Spend Money Challenge
So I’ve decided to give us (my twin and myself) a challenge and see what extra ways we could save money this week. I kept reminding myself and those around me that I’m a frugal blogger and I wanted to prove it. So no spending money this week if I don’t have to.
Today is Wednesday and I’ll update you on how I’m spending zilch and saving as much as I can. Here’s how the week is going:
Sunday Money Challenge
I have naturally curly black hair (okay there are a few grey hair strands). It was due to be shampooed at the hairdresser on Friday. I get it done every two weeks. Sure I can wash my own hair but between the washing, conditioning, drying, straightening and styling, it would take me all day and not only that, the whole house would be full of hair! Which I’d then have to vacuum.
As a blogger, I’ve come to realise that time is definitely money. In the whole day, it takes for me to do my hair myself, I could have reached out to some businesses, written at least 3 blog posts and updated my 4 social media sites on which I am most active.
The trip to the hairdresser is only one hour if I book in advance and then I’d have to pay £20. I’ve calculated that my day is worth £200 (I’ll share my calculations with you in another post) and so that would be a saving of £180. Isn’t that amazing? To make it even better, I’ve decided that since I’m not really going out this week, I’ll just wear my hair in plaits and put off washing my hair until this Friday.
So my sister did the plaiting for me on Sunday. It was just a 20-minute job and allowed me to carry on pinning my post to Pinterest while she did it. You get away with these things when you are a blogger, lol. Pyjama parties all day is the way to do it!
By Sunday afternoon I had finished all I had planned to do for the blog so I could focus on the weekly newsletter my subscribers (or the 26 percent or so who usually open it within the week) were looking forward to. Here’s the link if you want to sign up for my newsletter. You will get printable of 101 frugal tips that you can save to remind you to save a lot and spend very little.
Monday Money Challenge
Remember how much my day is worth? Well on Monday I focused all day on going over one and a half chapters of my book, as well as composing the preface page. This kind of thing is exciting you know! Knowing that one day soon I will actually be an author is lovely! Sounds good to my ear. On Monday I spent zero. I’m sure if I had gone out on the road I would have spent some money, maybe for something silly too. I ate what I already had in the fridge and cupboards and so could focus my time on what’s pressing. Eating in is a good way to save money, don’t you agree?
Tuesday Money Challenge
I’d been on the waiting list for a physiotherapy appointment for a little while. So when my doctor’s office called on Monday evening to say that an appointment had become available for Tuesday afternoon at 2 pm, I knew I wanted the appointment but that I would sorta have a hair dilemma! I quickly said yes to the appointment and then figured out what I would do with my hair. I reasoned with myself about wearing a head band or head scarf, trying to get an appointment to get my hair washed, or going in with my hair as it was- in plaits. My reasoning didn’t take long.
When I was through with my 20 minute physiotherapy appointment and got back home, I gave myself a wink in the mirror. I had avoided parting with my £20 and focused on the reason for the 20 minute appointment- to get the physiotherapist to look at my feet and suggest ways to deal with the pain caused by plantar fasciitis- not to examine my head or hair. Of course I made sure to look presentable. The head scarf was clean, my eyebrows were on fleek, and I had a little face powder on. The physiotherapist recommended these heel cushions. So I’m watching on Amazon to see if a deal will come up.
I wasted no more time out of my day and got straight back on to proof reading and editing my book.
Wednesday Money Challenge
A former work colleague and friend called me up yesterday. She wanted me to meet up with her for a meal and a chat today at about one or two pm at her favourite restaurant. It’s one of these ALL YOU CAN EAT places. Although I knew she really had a lot going on and must really need someone to talk to, I declined the meetup. I explained that I had earmarked all of this week to get my book ready to be sent off and so didn’t want to leave home. And she thankfully understood.
Instead of meeting up with her today, I called her on the phone during my lunch break (yes I do take a lunch break) and chatted with her for a good 25 to 30 minutes! Phew! She had a lot to say and I was glad I was there to listen and to give advice. It didn’t cost me anything but I saved spending £15.99 for a meal I did’t want. I also saved a few hours of my time getting dressed, getting there, eating and then socialising (worth about £70!). Thank goodness for frugal living.
She had just been laid off work so I suggested that she start her own blog and monetise it as I was doing, to at least make a part-time income. I sent her the link to the blogging course I had done when I started my own blog. All done by email, without leaving home nor spending a dime. Blogging is one of the best things you can do if you are laid off work. You are your own boss and you can decide if you make a full time or part-time income.
In the time I’ve saved, I’ve worked on this post and one other kept up with some online engagements, designed my new business cards and edited some more of my book. Life’s good!
Thursday Money Challenge
Okay, I slipped off the no money spending for a week challenge. Here’s my story: my sister had to run this errand in town and begged me to go with her. After a while, I gave in, telling myself that I will sit in the cafe in St Martin’s church and go on editing on my iPad while I waited for her.
Big mistake… I stopped by the cash machine on the way, telling myself that I would just get £20 to keep with me just in case! Can you imagine that? It went downhill from there. Not too bad, I hasten to add. But I did spend £3.75 getting something for lunch. How could I? And to make matters worse, I didn’t do much editing either. The atmosphere just wasn’t right. I spent so much time just looking at the interactions between the moms and dads and their sometimes noisy kids. Instead of editing, I took the time to check personal emails and to unsubscribe to some of the many things that were filling up my inbox! What a waste of time and also money. So sorry. To make things even worse, my plantar fasciitis flared up and was very painful. I’ve learnt my lesson.
Friday Money Challenge
It was time for my overdue trip to the hairdresser. Well, Sis called to ask if I could get her a packet of Immodium. They cost £4.95. So I was only left with just over £12 from the money I took at the cash machine. I didn’t mind this spending. This was necessary and I would love for someone to get me some sort of relief too if I had painful stomach cramps. It just meant that I had to get more money out to pay for my hair appointment.
Overall, I think I did well this week. On Monday, we go back to work and I will carry on with my frugal living tips like taking lunch to work, switching electrical appliances off at the outlets if they are not being used etc. If you would like to get my 101 frugal/money saving tips, click here.
Please do what you can to ensure that you do your best to save now so you can enjoy it later.