In July I'll be taking part in Uber Frugal Month.
This is a month long money saving challenge. You can read more about it HERE, and I'm starting today.
We aren't an extravagant family, we rarely splash out on material things, but recently we have had a lot of payments going out and no improvements on money coming in.
There are several reasons I am participating in this challenge:
- To recharge my commitment to non-consumerism/ materialism,
- To learn new ways to save money,
- To make steps towards paying off overdrafts,
- To make steps towards putting aside money for things we need (new living room floor, kitchen units) and things we want (holiday).
- To be able to put more money aside to donate to charity,
- To focus on the important things in life that money can't buy, family, fun and friendships.
By the end of this month I don't expect to suddenly have a bank account overflowing with money, but I do hope that we are able to see a future where we have money to spend on things our family needs and some money left over for the things that make life enjoyable (like more camping trips), unlike our current situation where we seem to be working every month to pay off the overdraft. As well as avoiding waste and needless purchasing. I hope we will have re-focused our minds to non-consumerism, so that we need and want less, this is good for us as well as the environment.
Where I would like to see us in 10 years time is for my husband and I to both work part time. I would like to be able to make a living from my art so that my husband can work half as much. This way we can share the massive burden of childcare and home education and there is less of a burden on my husband to be the "bread winner".
As I have mentioned in previous blog posts HERE we are living in a very small house in a very pricey area, so another part of my ultimate goal would be to be able to move into a larger house (specifically three bedrooms with a second toilet and utility room, (easily pleased)). I don't dream of mansions and fast cars and loads of clothes and jewellery (too much responsibility) but on a purely practical note, our house is getting too small for our needs and a little bit more space would make life less stressful. A lot of boxes would have to be ticked for us to be able to achieve this goal, so in the mean time I would like for us to have enough disposable income to be able to pay someone to look after the children perhaps a couple of days a month so I can work on my art and business.
In the longer term, I would like to see us being able to take our children travelling, to see the world a bit and to be able to live mortgage free, moving towards self-sufficiency.
So this month is just the start of a much bigger plan and I know it won't be easy. Children are demanding and the nag factor is hard to resist. Buying things is just so easy these days I do it without thinking sometimes, I'll buy a book from Amazon that I could have borrowed from the library, or I'll buy something brand new that I could probably have got second hand somewhere, but that takes more effort. So effort is something I am going to need in bucket loads, but I'm making that commitment to the challenge. (I'm going to miss our takeaways on a Friday evening).
So what am I going to be doing to save money in an extreme way?
- I'll be eliminating all non essential spending, (I'll be calling this a "no-spend month") so we'll be cutting our things like monthly payments to online subscriptions,
- Reducing gas and electricity bills by being more careful with gas and electricity use (easier in summer!)
- Reducing expenditure on food, by eating what we have already got in the cupboards, buying at the market, and having a fast from all processed foods, planning ahead, and by price comparing and buying from the cheapest place,
- Seriously think about our need for a third car.
These are the steps I have already taken on the first day:
- Cutting up an old dressing gown to use as reusable cloths,
- Putting my one year old in a cloth nappy at night to reduce our use of disposables (he wears cloth during the day but disposables at night),
- Putting my three year old in pants at night with an absorbent sheet to eliminate use of disposables (we already have a pack of the sheets so no extra cost there),
- Setting up a monthly direct debit for my car tax so I can account for monthly out goings more easily and we can work on getting out of the overdraft,
- Cancelling subscription to Ancestry.com and Netflix,
In conclusion I want to make it clear that we aren't about being miserly or having an attitude of lacking, I want our family to have an attitude of abundance throughout this challenge and that may well be one of the hardest parts about it, the frugality should be our first step towards wealth accumulation.
Wish me luck, and let me know if you decide to join in with the Uber Frugal Challenge too.
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