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30 day no spending challenge

So, I’m entering week two of my self-inflicted month of financial flagellation, and to be honest, I’m no longer about this broke life.

Two unique events occurred in the last seven days which have delivered me to this conclusion, but first, a little background.

I am embarking on the 30 Day No Spending Challenge (you can see how I prepared for it here), and now that I’m fully in the throes of un-profitable passion it’s not exactly going to plan.

For those who don’t know, the 30 Day No Spending Challenge focuses on benefiting your bank balance through a tight budget for four weeks.  I have a student loan to pay for and rent and bills to manage, so splurging on the finer things should be a rare treat rather than the norm.

However, in any case, that happens, and there is an absolute emergency. I that case, I am likely to take the help of a small loan for personal needs with affordable rates. So, I can stay focus on my plan and repay them.

I have zero savings and no fall-back plan, and I have the attitude that when I earn more, I’ll save more, which is probably the same as most of my fellow 23-year-olds.

Most adventurers into this monetary management challenge stick to a budget of about €50.00 a week, to spend on groceries, transport and socialising.

The challenge omits things like rent and utilities, as it is all about making the most of your disposable income rather than getting you evicted.

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So, the first of the two big events was the grocery shop.

As my transport to work costs me about €30.00 per week, I am left with a paltry €20.00 to survive in this cruel, capitalist society.

This twenty quid has to cover all of my food shopping and socialising, but as I’d rather stick my head in a bag of Doritos and watch Netflix than hit the town this week, I made groceries my big investment.

Luckily, I already have a few bits and bobs in the pantry such as pasta and rice, but I needed to acquire the fresher ingredients for my meals.

Being a vegetarian, my grocery shop is already a fair bit cheaper than that of a carnivore, and for approximately €12.57 I managed to get all my veggie burgers, Koka noodles, sauces, cereal and a very ugly sweet potato. But hey, it’s not all about looks.

However, it was pretty difficult not being able to give in to my random cravings for honey roasted peanuts or Corner yoghurts. At one point I had a very dramatic “it’s not you, it’s me” moment at the bakery counter with a pain au chocolate that was calling my name.

But, armed with my list and utilising the built-in calculator on my phone, I managed to resist (after whispering that I would come back for it next month).

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The pain au chocolat moment was tough, but I wasn’t prepared for what was yet to come.

During the week, ASOS decided the time was right to have a sale without consulting me first, which was a blow to say the least.

The fact that I actually probably could afford a few of the sale bits while remaining in-budget, but worrying about potentially having to sacrifice something later in the week was complete torture, and much worse than simply not being able to afford it at all.

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I mean, I can’t afford a Birkin any day of the week and that doesn’t bother me, but if I could then it might be a different story.

I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the divine black jumper I spotted will still be both available and on sale come the end of the month, but I won’t hold onto hope.

Until next week, me and my remaining €7.43 will be continuing to coast by on my pocket of loose change.

On learning things from this challenge, it’s definitely making me appreciate the actual value of the money I earn.

I’m sure there are plenty of people who can’t even entertain the idea of a pack of pastries or a quick online shop, so learning to live a lot more frugally is definitely making me entirely grateful for the things that I have.

Despite the fact that we all complain about the rent in Dublin, the cost of wifi, and get a shock when we see our bottomless brunch bill, there are plenty of people in this country who are far, far worse off, with much bigger money issues than not getting that ASOS jumper.

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The future can seem a long way off, so saving your hard earned cash for this mysterious far-off time can seem pretty pointless.

Millennials have a notorious reputation for throwing their wages down the (Starbucks cup-littered) drain, but it’s never to early too start thinking about your impending financial forays.

Personally, my bank statement reflects a life of Lidl grocery shopping, pricey gin & tonics, ASOS orders and Netflix subscriptions, and a rather intimate relationship with Just Eat, which is probably reflective of the statements of quite a few young women in this country.

Money makes the world go round, and in a career landscape of year-long unpaid internships and zero-hour contracts, I think I should probably be a bit more mindful when it comes to my spending.

I have a student loan to pay for and rent and bills to manage, so splurging on the finer things should be a rare treat rather than the norm.  However, in any case, that happens, and there is an absolute emergency. I that case, I am likely to take the help of a small loan for personal needs with affordable rates. So, I can stay focus on my plan and repay them.

I have zero savings and no fall-back plan, and I have the attitude that when I earn more, I’ll save more, which is probably the same as most of my fellow 23-year-olds.

Reassessing the value of what I earn has been on my mind lately, and that’s where the 30 Day No Spending Challenge comes in.

The 30 Day No Spending Challenge focuses on benefiting your bank balance through by sticking to a tight budget for four weeks.

Most adventurers into this monetary management challenge stick to a budget of about €50.00 a week, to spend on groceries, transport and socialising.

The challenge omits things like rent and utilities, as it is all about making the most of your disposable income.

Things to cut out include eating out at restaurants, buying coffee, clothing shopping, and entertainment that isn’t free.

After living oh-so frugally as a student for three years, I figured I’d be up for the challenge.

And so, April has become my tragically titled No Spend Month, and I’m taking the steps to keep it that way.

It costs me €30.00 per week to get to work on my Leap Card, so that leaves me with a lean twenty quid to get by for the next seven days.

Luckily, there are more than a few bloggers who have doled out their best tips on how to manage on the fiscal fast, and one involves giving up the take-out apps.

As someone who rarely has the time (or culinary prowess) to cook a meal from scratch, the thought of deleting my precious take away apps had me in cold sweats.

I was also rather concerned that my local Deliveroo man might become genuinely worried for my wellbeing and come to investigate whether or not I was still alive and well.

But I knew that if I was going to stick to the masochistic monetary constraints, they had to go.

The next step was meal prep, planning exactly what I was going to eat for the next week and adjusting my shopping list accordingly.

While the struggle is not yet real, I’m sure the self-inflicted trial and tribulation I’m about to put myself through will be well worth it, financially speaking.

The thought of possibly getting up to six months ahead in my student loans or splurging on something I’ve wanted for a long time is keeping me on the straight and narrow so far, but hey, it’s only week one.

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