Day Eleven – Zero Spend & Extreme Measures

No spend today. I’m really starting to notice those moments when I would just have gone into Amazon and ordered something as soon as I thought of it.

Tonight I made vegan cookies in the microwave for me and a friend. I used Hodmedods yellow split pea flour and coconut oil and coconut sugar. Coconut sugar burns easily so I suggested to Kate that I buy an alternative unrefined sugar for next time. Then I stopped myself. I have plenty of food to use up. I don’t need more unrefined plant sugar. Use what you’ve got.

On the way home from work earlier I fancied a decent coffee and nearly parked up by a lovely café before again realising this would eat well into my fiver.

So a successful zero spend day. Unfortunately though I am aware that I shopped at Aldi yesterday and forgot so didn’t record it. It was a sensible and necessary shop. None of that “Oh a thing I never knew I wanted” malarkey. But it was well over my daily balance. The learning from this is that I had lost sight of my daily balance through fear and avoidance. I need to be really clear what my balance is and I need to keep hold of receipts so I can record spends straight away.

Anyway this means that I have a phantom balance of £3.53 but sadly it is more likely to be -£15. If possible then I really must not spend for the next few days to get this back into at least a zero balance.

Lots of learning in this early stage of my journey. Lots of flops! Definitely harder than I was expecting. But I am still massively motivated and supercharged to keep going.

I am excited about getting possible airbnb tenants in my bedroom and moving into my sitting room. This will help loads. Tonight, after reading Financial Panther’s blog post about extreme measures I even mooted the idea of renting out my whole flat, moving into my car and living off microwave rice cooked at work each evening, showering at work and ultimately saving 90% of my ‘disposable’ income. I’m not really even joking! My plan is to use any funds from airbnbing my bedroom towards a van so I can live in that (well up for that! My fiancé leaving me has given me permission to follow a long held dream to be itinerant). My car though is a tiny citigo and I suspect in December this would be a death wish. Not to mention the cost in massage when my back goes from being folded up on the back seat!

Can you think of any other extreme ways (beside my burgeoning side hustle plans) I can save and pay my debt more quickly?

Thanks for reading.


Nope, let’s make it £5 per day and throw another £17pcm at debt

I’m addicted to reading all the finance/frugal/saving/debt pay off etc blogs I can find. So motivating to keep on saving and learning about making money work for you.

When I read this blog about savings tonight

I made a snap decision.

That 57p a day? Let’s cut it. Gasp!

Well, it hardly makes a difference as spending money, and it means the project is 100% The Fiver Project if we cut the 57p. That 57p a day will work far harder as an additional £17 pcm saving or debt repayments.

Currently, with my huge debt repayments from my appalling overspending habit of the last few years from which I am finally cold turkeying, I am only able to put aside £20pcm in savings.

One tenner goes automatically from my salary into my credit union savings at source along with my credit union loan repayments at source (a wopping £360+). Another tenner goes from my monthly income by direct debit into saving.

If I add the new £17 to that tenner, that makes a total of £37pcm which could be saved per month. This doesn’t include my pension contributions from my salary which will go some way to ensuring something of an income after I reach retirement age. But ideally, I will retire from the rat race early and make my own living once I have saved and invested. But first: debt repayments. Those are a long slog in themselves before the real financial independence projects start.

So £37, isn’t quite the 20% of my salary Making Sense talks about in her blog. That would be a nice £433pcm. I will be able to easily afford that once my debts are repaid, since I am currently spending far more than that on debt repayments anyway. It will feel far more rewarding paying it towards freedom but for now I must focus on debt.

I clearly need to pay off debt before starting serious savings anyway. So for now I will tuck away that extra 57p a day with the tenner direct debt and divide it between my two 0% credit cards so they are nearer paid in full by the end of the 0% period.

So, the original amounts were £61 on Baraycard, £25 on MBNA. Since MBNA runs out sooner than Barclaycard I shall go top heavy on MBNA.

That’s 17+10+ 25+61= 113 to put towards debt instead of saving. Put 25pcm on Barclaycard for now, leaves 88 to throw at MBNA until it runs out (then lump sum at end with a new budget).

I will update the budget and spending count tomorrow, change direct debits on credit cards and stop saving for the time being (except obligatory tenner for credit union) until debt is smashed. Then use ALL the money I will be used to using for paying down debt, straight into savings.

I have been recovering from all things funeral this week, so have got a bit behind on updates.

Hurrah for bedtime resolutions.




Day Five – Family in Warwickshire

Day Five 1st Dec 2017

Opening Balance: £19.50

Spend: £3.50 meal contribution! ***Amended on 06/12/2017 – I realised this wasn’t true at all!  On the way back from Warwick we stopped at a Co-op and I bought emergency sandwiches for me and my stepgrandmother as well as soya milk.  = £7.28 meaning total spend = £10.78 (not a cheap day really after all for this newly converted frugarian!)***

Closing Balance: 16.14 £ 8.72

A lovely meal with family at Ryton Organic Gardens, coffee in Warwick, evensong at St Mary’s. Treated to a meal- contributed my change!