Since I’m saving for my MA whilst on little more than minimum wage, and, I’m pretty sure this recession stuff is still rolling, I thought it would be useful to think of little ways to save money. One tool I should point out is the Drink Aware website, as it promotes healthier drinking habits too. Out of interest, this month I kept track of how I’ve spent my fivers. Although I have at times given into the urge to splurge on sale items I can’t afford, it is often the little things that add up and make all the difference between a a healthy balance and, well, overdrawn. As my mum always says, ‘look after the pennies and the pounds will look after themselves.’
So I looked at ways that I have been frittering my fivers! This way I can see what my spending habits are and whether I am spending it on necessities or luxuries. It went a little something like this…
- 04/01/12: £1.50 – Basmati Rice from Iceland.
- 07/01/12: £3.26 – Chocolate Crêpes, Terry’s Chocolate Orange, and 5 Aero Xmas Trees, from Sainsbury’s.
- Chocolates and a present: £4.50, from Sainsbury’s.
- 10/01/12: £1.52 for postage of poetry submissions.
- 21/01/12: Dessert at Nando’s.
- 26/01/12: More chocolate.
- Various: £2.60 to get to work in Epsom.
So, looking over my spending, I spend a lot on chocolate, which tends to be when I’m visiting my boyfriend. I had a feeling I was doing this and told him maybe we should try not to do it so much. The only necessities were the rice and travel for work. The postage was also a wise spend. And the present could be argued as unnecessary but I think it was worthwhile!
Okay, I’m partial to a bit of chocolate in the evening but I think I can go for a couple of days without (as I write, there’s a strip of chocolate in the cupboard which I am foregoing to get some things ticked off my to-do list. So, if I stopped buying as much chocolate, I could save approximately £10-15 a month. That’s £120-180 a year! That could practically get me a festival ticket or a cheap holiday! That could buy me more poetry books – even though I have around 10 to read, my Gran got me a membership for the Poetry Society which I want to use. And I think supporting poetry is probably more important than chocolate (although that arguably helps with serotonin levels and increases happiness – yay!)
So, if you fancy not frittering your fiver, you could use it to buy some poetry… perhaps even help me out and get a copy of my book/eBook, as I could do with the feedback (and the chocolate money – okay, what if I promise I won’t fritter?) So, I’m not doing anything silly like giving up chocolate, but I am thinking more wisely about spending so much on it, so maybe I’ll only get some if it’s like a really good deal!
I’ll end this post with a new poem that Matt and I are going to use for a project we’re working on.
New year, same you; but with added shine,
a slicker rhyme, I’m feeling fine,
each day is mine – and I’m on fire.
I am climbing, I am always getting higher,
as I shoot and grow,
my roots, I know, are firmly on the ground.
I am free to feel, myself, so real,
I am finally unbound.