My No Spend Week - Em

We’ve challenged a selection of bloggers, content creators and the public to only spend their money on the essentials for one week. Check out the My No Spend Week hub for some inspiration on saving. Maybe a ‘no spend’ week could change how you view your spending habits?

We’ve quizzed our diarists all about how they feel about their spending habits before their challenge week and then after, how they might approach saving and spending in the future. Today we’re hearing from Emily. 


My name is Emily and I have a blog called Love, Em. I support a lot of small businesses on my blog while also talking about sustainability, travel, lifestyle and more! I like to have a whole mix of topics, so there is something for everyone. I have just finished sixth form, I'm currently a waitress on furlough and am heading into an accounting apprenticeship once lockdown is over!

Are you a saver?

When I get paid, I put in half of my wages into a savings account. The remaining money is what I'll have to spend next month. Anything I don’t spend goes into the savings account and I also have a Help to Buy: ISA, which I put money into every month.

My worst spending habit is probably buying a lot of snacks that I don’t need. I’d opt to eat out or get a takeaway rather than cooking in. Whilst in lockdown, I haven’t spent nearly the same amount I would have done. Over the last 4 months, I’ve only had one takeaway! I’m not commuting to my job as a waitress at the moment, so I haven’t been purchasing unnecessary snacks either. Being on furlough has affected my saving habits as well as the snack spending – although I now put most of my furlough money into savings or my ISA, it isn’t what it was before.
I am putting money aside to buy a house and a car. I have saved up all the money I need for a new car, which is really good and I’m now using the money left in my savings and my Help to Buy: ISA, to build up my house fund. I am excited to one day move out!

I would love to save more money, especially if I had more to save. If I cut down on my food-buying habits, I am sure that I would have a lot more money left over at the end of the month to put into my savings account. I am quite good at saving money, but anything extra to help my house fund would be amazing!

Take the No Spend challenge


Today, I stopped myself from purchasing a few props for my blog photos which would have looked lovely when I take pictures. I decided that this wasn’t a necessary purchase, so instead, I got creative. Instead of a trinket dish, I found a tray that I had lying around,  instead of fake flowers, I used ribbon and fake petals that I already had. I tried outside amongst real flowers, on my patterned table and used different duvet covers for different effects. This worked out quite well, and saved me £18.73! I was quite proud that I managed to use what was around my house.


Today, I didn’t spend anything. Instead, I had a day of baking, rather than purchasing the treats in a store. Not only did this distract me from thinking about purchasing things, but it also meant I didn’t go out to buy baked treats! This was a fun way to keep me occupied and made me realise that cooking from home is fun and rewarding. I will remember to do this in the future, especially when it comes to making dinner rather than getting a takeaway. Baking my own treats saved me around £3, as I baked the cinnamon buns myself.


It was a relaxing day today where I didn’t spend or think about money. I was quite busy with my blog and working, that I didn’t have time to consider purchasing anything!


One of my streaming subscriptions was coming up for renewal soon. I decided that instead of paying another £5.99, I would cancel the subscription. I didn’t watch the movies and shows as much as I would have liked. I was also too busy at the moment, and it became a distraction on days I wasn’t feeling motivated. Although it is only £5.99, it wasn’t something I was utilising enough to warrant that much. It would also save me around £72 a year!


I nearly caved today, because I almost purchased some clothing from an online store. I don’t have many pairs of shorts to wear around the house during the heatwave, so I was going to purchase some new summer clothes and shoes. I decided to stop myself because I wouldn’t really be going anywhere to use the shoes, and I decided to reuse what I already had for clothes. I cut up a ripped pair of jeans to make shorts and dug about my wardrobe to find clothes that I haven’t used in a while. It meant that I got a whole new outfit, and saved over £25 on clothing I didn’t really need.


Today I went out for a walk with my boyfriend. He decided that he wanted to get an iced coffee, but I declined. This saved me £2.65. I decided to make one when we got home, as I had iced coffee sachets there. I also saved around £16 on a takeaway as we decided to cook dinner at home. We made a fakeaway to replace what we would have had, and it was delicious!


It is the last day of My No Spend Week and I have done quite well! Today, I wanted to purchase some new stationery as I wanted some new washi tape and highlighters. I stopped myself because I knew I had both of those things, I was just wanting something new. The washi tape and highlighters I wanted would have cost nearly £10, which is a lot for something I already had. This made me realise that a lot of purchases are wants, and not because I need them.

The verdict

I didn’t miss spending money, but I did find the week’s challenge difficult sometimes. There are lots of things I wanted to buy and it was hard to determine whether it was a need or a want. I have realised that I can survive if I don’t make purchases or give in to my wants. It was eye-opening to see how many times I have considered purchase and to see how much I would have spent. It was a week of learning, negotiating and saving for the future!

This week I have saved £81.37 by not spending anything! That is enough for a whole years TV subscription that I would have spent in a week. That is quite shocking, so I am glad I didn’t spend that much. I considered purchases a lot more than before and will be thinking more in the future which is a new habit I've learnt. I have saved a reasonable amount just by thinking about whether I truly need the item. I think that I have kicked my food habit and impulse buying. I used to want something, hop onto Amazon and buy it with next day delivery. 

I think the challenge has encouraged me to save more because I realise that there are so many things that I don’t need. I haven’t really missed the things I haven’t bought and liked that I had more money at the end of the week, then I would have. It is crazy how much I would have willingly spent on things I don’t need.

Your No Spend Week?

So, what do you think? Could you go a whole week and only spend on essentials? No treats or coffees or new clothes? Let us know on Twitter and Facebook and if you’d like to write your own ‘My No Spend Week’ diary – send us an email telling us all about yourself to Check out our range of savings accounts and our Essential Savings Guides too for some more tips and tricks for saving money.

*The featured content creators have been paid to take part in and keep a diary of their ‘My No Spend Week challenge’. However the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed belong solely to the content creator and the opportunity is open to members of the public too if they also wished to take part in the challenge. There is no commercial relationship between The Nottingham or content creator and any products or brand mentioned in their diary.


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