How much could you save in a week?
We’ve challenged a selection of our team, content creators, our partners 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 how they feel about their spending habits before their challenge week and then after, how they might approach saving and spending in the future.
Hi there, I'm Erika and I am a Creative Artworker at The Nottingham. Although originally from Wisconsin, I now live in Nottingham city centre with my fiancé and chihuahua Lola.
Are you a saver?
I'm definitely a saver, I save money on a monthly basis and have three savings accounts, one for retirement, one for general things and emergencies and one for travel. These get automatically debited two days after my pay cheque is deposited each month, so I am forced to save immediately. I mostly save for household items like new appliances, furniture, and general renovation projects as we bought a house last year that needs some renovations. I also save to make sure I have a lot of money to spend when I do go on holiday, so I try to save for that but it is the account I end up dipping into when I need to. I think it would be nice to save a bit more for the long term rather than the short term, it would be nice to save more for retirement.
My worst spending habit is spontaneously going out without planning. For example when I am walking to work, I often pop in somewhere to get a coffee, and then end up buying breakfast, or if I am walking home I’ll stop out for a drink and end up eating out. I also will go out for lunch often, even if I have brought my own lunch to work! I’m a massive social spender.
I wouldn’t say there has been a major change in the amount of spending or saving during lockdown, if anything I have ended up saving a bit more. I have shifted what I have spent money on. I’ve managed to do a lot of work to the house that I wasn’t able to do before due to frivolous spending habits. I’ve renovated my office, done work to our terrace and garden and had our roof repaired. These are obviously better investments, so lockdown has been financially beneficial and has made me realise more important spending habits.
Take the No Spend Challenge
I walked on my lunch-hour and usually pop in to grab a take-away drink. Instead, I went home and made a healthy smoothie. Saved about £2.50 on the drink I would usually buy.
Tuesdays and Fridays are usually my nights out for dinner or ordering in, but instead I made a MindfulChef, which is a third the price of going out, so I saved about £20. However, I had a post-Covid hair appointment during the day which cost £80. This has made me think of doing something different as it does add up when looked at yearly so I’m hoping to figure out a way I can do it myself or take less trips to the salon.
I didn’t spend any money on Wednesday.
This was a difficult day as I had previous plans to go out for lunch with some colleagues, which we cancelled and decided to do something different in the future, perhaps a walk with the dogs or a coffee, so I probably saved around £15.
Friday night is usually a night to go out-out, but instead had a couple friends over into our garden with the rules at the time and ate in, so I probably saved about £50 on food and drink. Restaurants had only just opened up again for outdoor dining so this was a big temptation.
My normal Saturday usually involves a bit of shopping, especially after it’s been a pay day week. I tend to get something for myself, like a new top or something for the house, like a new plant or mirror. I refrained from doing this and put £100 into my savings instead as I am going on holiday next week so saved it for that. I did go out for lunch today as we normally do and had a hard time not doing it because I wanted to enjoy the weather. I spent about £30.
Again, Sunday was a no spend day like Wednesday.
In general the week was challenging but rewarding at the same time, it was great seeing money that I wouldn’t normally have being put in my holiday savings fund and feel more comfortable spending that when I do go away. Again, I missed going out and found it especially difficult because places have reopened for outdoor seating and the weather was beautiful so I missed spending money on food and drinks. I also got paid this week so I did miss spending a bit of that on something just for me or the house. I think I saved over £100 by not spending on lunches with friends, my weekly shopping trip and grabbing drinks out when I usually would.
I did start to consider my purchases more because I was tracking my spending and said no to things and cancelled things I would have normally spent money on. I actually think I did kick some spending habits such as making a drink at home instead of buying one out, doing something that doesn’t involve spending, such as a packed lunch in the park. Staying in at home but still being social are things I will continue to look at more when I am about to buy something or make plans to do something. I won’t cut everything out but will do things less often.
This week has definitely encouraged me to save more often. I think this made me look more into perhaps having a weekly budget instead of or in addition to having a monthly budget - where I run out of money close to pay day. If I look at items I spend money on more frequently I know I can save more so perhaps will make weekly deposits into savings accounts in addition to my normal monthly savings.
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 via a message on Twitter and Facebook if you’d like to write your own ‘My No Spend Week’ diary. 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 creator has been asked to take part in and keep a diary of their ‘My No Spend Week challenge’ as a team member of The Nottingham. However the views, thoughts, and opinions expressed belong solely to the content creator. There is no commercial relationship between The Nottingham or content creator and any products or brand mentioned in their diary.
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