The Rules of The Fiver Project

Acknowledging that there will be times when I will rail against this project, the reality is that it’s the only way I can get myself out of crippling debt and work towards a better future. To help me through the hard bits, these rules should always be followed.  These are rules for me, they may be different for you.  Do share yours below.

  1. Have an attitude of humility and gratitude. Instead of focussing with jealousy and envy on those who have more than you and who never have to scrimp and save, remember that there are people in far worse situations than you, and that you care deeply that people’s situations should be improved.  You are a compassionate person who wants the world to be a better place for those in need, and you do what small things you can to help.  So be grateful for what you do have, and don’t be bitter about what you don’t yet have.
  2. Give when you can.  Be it donations of clothes to charity, gift aid, supporting local charities when making purchases, try to be generous even in frugality.  This will help you feel you are contributing and that being frugal helps you to do so.
  3. Save where you can.  No saving is too silly. Don’t turn the heating on unless the jumper and socks and blankets are just not cutting it.  Have showers at work or at the gym.  Make lunches at home and take to work. Batch cook dinners.   Make overnight oats or porridge for breakfast. Don’t waste food. Figure out how to grow herbs and veg. Keep the lights off in empty rooms.  I know this stuff, but I have not been doing it religiously.  Now’s the time!  To be able to accumulate the daily allowance and find savings for a brighter future, I need to be committed to frugality for the long run.
  4. You cannot pay for today with tomorrow’s allowance.  You can only spend what there is in the ‘kitty’.  There should always be at least £5.57 in there, and hopefully more accrued.  If you don’t have the money in your allowance, don’t spend it!  This is the biggest rule and the surest way to fail if ignored.
  5. Purposefully accrue money each day.  You will need it.  Think ahead at what’s coming.  If you don’t spend it, it rolls over to the next day.  If you want, you can spend all the rollover money you have accrued in one day.  Sometimes you will need to, such as for bigger purchases like a haircut (indeed, you will be thinking of this in advance and accruing purposefully) but mostly you should try not to spend the whole accrued balance.  Keep hold of it.  You will need it for something more important later.  Plan ahead.
  6. Start every day with the conscious acknowledgement of your daily balance.  Be clear every day that you are doing the Fiver Project and you do not intend to fail.  Consult the balance sheet every day so that you are fully cognisant of the current accrued balance.  Think ahead to what dangers there might be that you may overspend, and then seek to avoid this.
  7. Keep an intentional purchases list.  Write down the things you really want but absolutely can’t afford yet. Set an intention that you will work for these things.  You can have them in the future.  But immediate gratification with the credit card is simply no longer an option, missy!  Write them down and keep them in a prominent place (a list on the fridge) and on this blog.  This serves two purposes.  I will start to see what things I really want and what were passing fancies.  This will help to manage my impetuous spending.  It will show me what I know I will love, value and appreciate, and what I merely thought I wanted in that moment.
  8. Before any purchase, ask yourself – Do I really need this? Will I love, value and appreciate it?  Even if you think you can afford it, take a rain check and sleep on it.  Amazon ‘buy it now’ has been my downfall!  Not any more.  Put it in the basket and leave it there.  Is it really that important when you look back again tomorrow?
  9. Send all those ‘newsletter’ emails with tantalising offers to the spam box!  You really don’t need it.  None of it.  Things will not enhance your life so much as achievements.  While I think that these are great bargains and savings, they are just things I would not otherwise have bought had I not received the email!  If I really need it, I will find it again.
  10. Don’t fritter it, grow it!  If you make unexpected monies, like gifts, windfalls, refunds etc – these all go in savings.  They are not to be spent or added to the accrued daily allowance.  There is a danger you will spend them because you think it’s ‘free money’ and not only that you will probably ignore rule  8 and just buy something unnecessary on a whim, rather than put it by for something on the rule 7 list.  So just put it straight in savings.  The exciting things you can do with savings include putting them towards investments, to grow wealth!
  11. Use what you already have.  Don’t buy something new when something you already have will do.  Streamline possessions so you know what you do have, and make use of these things.  Just because you want a bluetooth keyboard, doesn’t mean you need one.  Put it on the intentions list and see if you still want it when you have some funds available.  Until then, you have a perfectly good wired keyboard which does the job.  Remember Rule one.  Some people don’t have access to a computer at all.  Use up old makeup and skincare first.  Make do with the clothes you have.  USE YOUR GYM MEMBERSHIP!  It’s an awesome lifestyle benefit.  Use it.