Frugal February

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


I hadn't planned on being frugal this month but thanks to a post Christmas credit card bill that needs my attention, and a seasonal slump in invoicing, I need to be super careful with my pennies for a while.

I really enjoy being self employed but it means I can't rely on a set monthly wage. I don't want to dip into my savings, and whilst I can always lean on my husband if I'm strapped for cash, I find that my independent streak doesn't allow me to ask for handouts, not even from him. That said, if he offers to take me out to dinner I won't be saying 'no'.

It doesn't hurt to tighten my belt once in a while, and practice being a little frugal.

My monthly bills are covered, it's just the disposable cash that's limited this month. I've pushed my allergy follow up appointment and my next haircut to March, and I plan to spend the rest of the month doing things that cost nothing.

Reading will be my saviour. I've well and truly found my reading groove this year, so a lot of my free time will be spent with my nose in a book.

My to-do list is a mix of things that will cost me money, and things that won't. I have plenty of the latter to keep my occupied. I'll be setting about my mending pile, completing all those little repairs and alterations that I've been meaning to do for ages. And there are some small DIY projects that could fill some time.

Weather depending I might have a car boot sale, if I can't spend money I might as well try and earn a little extra.

Of course there is always the de-cluttering that seems to be never ending, and invariably there is always some housework that can be done. It might not be an exciting way to spend time, but it does feel great to have a really good deep clean.

I could do some needle felting, or crochet. I can wander the in the woods, or drive to the coast and take a walk along the beach. I'm sure I can stretch my budget to a bag of hot salty chips.

One thing I've already done to help my pennies go further this month is to write a meal plan using up everything in my freezer and pantry.

How do you spend time without spending money? What do you do to make your money go a little further?

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15 comments

  1. I'm not getting any wages at the moment, although kindly being supported by family but I've learnt a lot about reigning it in! From not taking a wallet if I go out on a walk (Costa always calls me) to using up odds and ends from the freezer before buying more food, I'm trying to consciously spend less so that in turn I need to rely on others less. It's oddly satisfying! xx

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    1. I hadn't thought of going out purse-less.
      It really does feel oddly satisfying to go another day without spending anything :)

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  2. I've also found that having a meal plan helps us spend less on food, and like Laura, I think the surest way of not spending money is to not take my wallet.

    At the moment, I'm doing a lot of the same things you are - reading, sewing, etc - but I'm also planning my allotment & doing some digging. Not only is it free, but it also makes the time go by very quickly. I also find myself digging through our (ginormous) CD & DVD collection when I don't have any money, revisiting old favorites instead of discovering new ones.

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    1. I don't know why it's never occurred to me to leave my purse at home. I think I'd feel lost without it.
      My DVD collection is taking a beating, but it's nice to watch my favourites.

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  3. What an excellent idea. I am a real spender, always have been, and I haven't yet adjusted to the fact that my salary is half what it was when I was teaching. So frugal February sounds like an excellent idea!

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    1. My income changed when I started working for myself and it took a while to adjust. I do get a rush from seeing how many days I can go without spending anything.

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  4. Although I usually don't spend much money on things, being frugal is an altogether different thing. If needs must, I would spend a lot of time with my nose in a book too. Walking when the weather allows it and taking photographs would also be on my list. Our house would benefit from some decluttering, but I'm currently lacking the time ... xxx

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    1. Decluttering also has the added benefit of leaving you feeling so satisfied when you've finished.

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  5. Our way of life had to change drastically when I stopped working, gone now are the days of spending frivolously. We'd never think about what we spent on days out but now we make sure we take a picnic and drinks with us. It's amazing what drinks can add up to on a day out, especially if you have kids. We can also enjoy our lunch wherever we want to eat it now and we're not fighting for seats in cafes. Being frugal has its benefits and it isn't always about saving money.

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    1. I hadn't thought of it like that before, but I like it.

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  6. I've never had a credit card and deal in cash. If there's not enough in my purse then I can't have it.
    Dressmaking, reading, my Wii Fit, catching up on quality TV, pottering around the garden, going for a walk with my camera, the art gallery, having a sewing day with a couple of girlfriends, making up recipes using what's in the cupboards and blogging - my top choices for free fun. xxx

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    1. to be honest I wish I'd never got a credit card, but it does some in handy. Maybe living without it is my next challenge!

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  7. Sorry, I'm going to be commenting on two posts here as my phone will never let me see the comment box in your latest post unless someone else has commented.
    I enjoyed reading about your 'This week' post. Sometimes, I think simplicity in the Winter is the best thing. Living a simple pattern like you are sounds good. And also nice that you have Andy more to compensate for his long hours in September.

    And this post, well, I think Frugal February is a great idea and something I should try. I seem to be getting through money like nobody's business this month and the last. I was £250 overdrawn and that rarely happens. I'm still putting away the same amount of savings to build up our house deposit more. It has been a pain with the house falling through but actually we've managed to save money for 3more months.

    If I want to save money, I enjoy getting the crafty bits and pieces out to make some cards, I can go for days in a holiday building up a massive stash of cards, which I haven't done in an age, though I did make 3 two weeks ago when I made a birthday card for Anna at Anna's Island Style blog though I've still not posted it!!!

    It would be lovely to meet st some point but let's do it when it is a not warmer and not in a frugal month!!

    Xxx

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    1. I enjoy the simplicity :)

      Sometimes I keep a list of everything I buy and I'm always surprised at how the little things add up. It is a shame that the house feel through but the more savings you have the better, and I'm sure that when you do find a house it will be perfect - much better than the other one.

      A warmer shopping day sounds like a good idea :)

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  8. Ooh I like your plans (and definitely need to follow suit - I have £10 left for the next week and I'm usually really careful with my money, so I'm sure I'll be struggling a bit!) I might tackle the mending pile also, there's so many things in it that only require five minutes of my time to be fixed, but ugh, so boring.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment x

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