My No Spend Week - Victoria

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 Victoria. 


My name is Victoria Sully, age 34, from Gloucestershire and I'm a full-time blogger.  I live with my husband Ben, 36, and two children Bella, 8, and Reuben, 5.

Are you a saver?

I save money every month religiously - every payday! I’m self-employed, but I save up and pay myself every four weeks. Once I’ve been paid I will transfer set amounts into various savings pots. I see these savings as an outgoing, just like a bill, so they are not missed. I also have a Direct Debit set up into an investment ISA once per month - just for £20, but it’s a ten year ISA so it will be a nice lump sum at the end. Other methods I use for saving include old fashioned money boxes, saving any change less than a fifty pence piece and change it at the bank in a coin machine once the boxes are full. I’m always amazed that my full money box holds around £100!

Right now the largest amount of money is going on doing up our house. We bought a house built in the 60s and it was very dated, it’s been my focus for six years and we still have a few big projects left.  Although it has cost a lot every month, it’s also an investment. We are increasing the value of the house substantially, so I don’t see it as a bad spending habit, just my highest. It leaves me no money to have a bad spending habit on anything else!

The biggest change from lockdown has been not going on days out, eating at restaurants and we’ve had less takeaways. We used to have a takeaway once per week as a family, but we’ve only had four in total during lockdown which has definitely saved us money. I don’t think we’ll return to a weekly takeaway habit. We’ve saved money by having less family days out that require fuel for a journey and sometimes entry fees. Instead we’ve explored a lot of the countryside that’s in walking distance behind our house. I believe we’ll continue to do this more and save on fuel costs going forwards.

My husband and I are both self-employed with no guaranteed income each month which always makes me anxious! It’s really important to me to save for lots of reasons, but mainly so we have an emergency fund for repairs or unexpected spending like our cars or if we have a quiet month. We also save for Christmas, holidays, home improvements and childcare.  These are big expenses and I’d rather save, if possible, to pay for them instead of using credit.
I’d like to save more money, but right now we’d need to make more money before we could save any more. I’d love to save enough money to fund a holiday lodge that could provide us with an additional income stream and an investment for our retirement fund. That’s one idea I have once we have enough money in our retirement fund - we might use it to invest in something instead of leaving it in the bank. I’m always anxious about money, saving and our future, but I think to save more money now would impact the quality of our lives and we still want to have some fun and enjoyment now!

Lastly, we are saving for our future.  We don’t have workplace pensions so we need to save a retirement fund ourselves.  We have a Lifetime ISA each, as well as a cash savings account for our retirement.

The Nottingham says, "Pensions are usually the best way of saving for your retirement, with the Lifetime ISA being a good option to save additional retirement funds. If you’re wanting to explore alternatives to a pension to fund your retirement please speak to a financial adviser first."

Take the No Spend challenge 


Today I didn’t spend anything. We are still in lockdown and I’m home schooling my two children and trying to work from home, so when it’s a busy day like this at home then I can quite easily avoid spending or online shopping!


It was a scorcher of a day today so I bought my two children an ice-lolly each from the local shop for a total of £3. I resisted buying myself one and in hindsight it would have been better value for me to buy a multi-pack.


No spend. A busy day working from home and with both kids. I popped to the shop for some groceries, but didn’t buy anything other than food we needed for dinner.


I spent £11.40 on tea towels. They were meant to be a bit more, but I was able to use £2.50 worth of Nectar points. Not unnecessary spending as we needed some new tea towels after ruining some in some recent home renovations. I’m definitely trying to be mindful of spending nowadays and only buy things we need.


Nothing spent today.  It was a busy day working on the laptop.  Monday to Friday are busy workdays and I often work all day and evening, so there’s a lot less temptation to spend, especially now I’m always based at home to work.


Today I really wanted to buy a kitchen bin! We just have a 12 litre cupboard sized bin for our family of four, so it fills really quickly. We moved it here from the flat we used to live in as a couple and we’ve lived with it for six years in our new house with a growing family! We have our recycling in an open tub next to the bin, so a neater dual bin would look much better and have more capacity. I found a great bin on John Lewis by Brabantia that looks great and fits the space we have perfectly. The only issue is it’s £135 which seems a lot for just a bin! I have shopped around and found the bin elsewhere with a discount code, bringing it down to £110.  I haven’t bought it yet, but I am pretty certain I will buy it after this no spend week to help complete our kitchen interior and for the practicality it offers - 60 whole litres!


Today I didn’t spend a penny. We did some painting at home with paint we already had and went for a country walk close to our home.

The verdict

I honestly didn’t find it difficult to not spend money this week.  It definitely helps having the children at home, being sunny most days and me being very busy with work. This all makes it easier to spend time in the garden, which is free, and for me to be distracted with working instead of spending money to entertain myself! If the weather was poor then we’d be more likely to want to get out of the house and go for a meal or some entertainment so we don’t feel on top of each other in our living room all weekend! Sunny weather and a garden definitely makes spending less money, or no money, easier. Plus, when the kids are at school then I don’t always work at home. This makes it more tempting to spend money whilst I work in a business lounge with café on site.

In other ways though, a no-spend week can sometimes just delay spending.  If there are things we need to replace or buy to make our lives easier, then the spending is just delayed rather than not spent at all. I’m sure I’ll buy the new bin, so for this item it is just delaying the spending and not saving me the money!

Compared to a normal week when I might buy hot drinks at a café, a takeaway, perhaps lunch or a drink with a friend or my husband, I expect I’ve personally saved around £30. Going for a day out with the kids can cost up to £100 with fuel costs, entry fees and food, so by staying at home we’ve definitely saved money as a family. We’d not have an expensive family day out every week, but sometimes once or twice per month, especially in the summer.

When popping to the shop to buy groceries I did stop myself from buying any extra treats that I might usually be tempted by. It’s a great way to save money by only buying the ingredients you need for dinner and other meals and not any extras. I also snacked on more fruit instead of unhealthy snacks I might previously have purchased. We’d usually get a takeaway once per week, sometimes only chippy chips which aren’t very expensive, but we can definitely save money by skipping this weekly takeaway. Pizza is usually our second takeaway option and these are really expensive, even with a deal. It’s much cheaper to make our own or buy an oven pizza instead as a treat.

I’m always looking for ways to save more money and I’ll continue to have no spend weeks on a regular basis. Committing to a no spend week does make you value what you have and makes you realise you don’t always need those extras. It also makes me realise how expensive it is to eat food and drink in cafes and restaurants on a regular basis, as well as buying snacks that I don’t really need.  A no spend week has encouraged me to make more sensible choices with my spending and realise where I am sometimes wasting money. It’s also a good way to think about large and expensive purchases and stop impulse buying.

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.


Last updated on:

Sign up to our newsletter

We regularly send out newsletters with product information, advice on improving your finances and top tips. If you would like to receive this please sign up to our newsletter, which you can unsubscribe from at any point.