September Spending Ban

Money, money, money, must be funny in a rich man's world. According to Abba!

Let's start at the very beginning and fill you in with my money back story. I have never been the very best with money and a long time ago got myself into a bit of bother. 

When I was 19, I bought my first house with my now very ex-boyfriend. He was controlling and I handed over my hard earned pay check at the end of each month, leaving myself with around £50 to live on until the next pay day rolled round. 

At the time I thought things were rosy, although now very much wiser and older realise I was desperately unhappy and somehow under the spell of this boy-band look-a-likey. At the time he was everything.

Of course, I should have contributed to the mortgage and food cupboard staples, yet leaving myself with so little money to live on in hindsight made me feel trapped and sad. 

After our relationship turned sour and things clearly were not working we went our separate ways, this is when things really did take a turn for the worst.

Money wise, I was free. I had been paid a lump sum from the house which he continued to live in, had moved back home to live with Mum and Dad and had no bills. I should have set up a savings account immediately.

For the first time in what felt like years, I felt rich. Millionaire rich. I had a total disregard for money and started to spend recklessly. My closet was fit to bursting with designer labels and unworn heels. I bought a different outfit for every weekend out. In fact the circle of friends I was in all bought something different to wear each weekend. I hadn't been out with my friends in years, I wasn't allowed. So I was making up for lost time.

We couldn't possibly be seen in the same outfit twice. Especially as we saw the same drunk faces weekly. The outfit planning was the main part of the weekend, as well as getting freshly painted nails and picking out a new bag and pair of sky-high shoes. Flats back then were a no-go. Now it's all I wear.

Moet was a regular on a Saturday night. We hired taxis, stayed in motels, ate out the next day, scoffed popcorn and watched the latest blockbuster at the cinema whilst nursing the hangover from hell fuelled by shots and a mixture of vodka. 

I had not 1 but 2 credit cards for the first time in my life. It was free money. The proceeds I had from the house were long gone. I was now flashing the plastic and felt like a Hollywood starlet with my designer threads and champagne fuelled nights. I was living well beyond my means and the sad thing looking back all those years ago, I didn't even realise it, until it was too late.

The savings were long gone, credit cards maxed. I was broke and struggling. Too proud to say anything until I finally admitted to Mum and Dad just what a mess I got myself in.

No level of heartbreak or feelings of anxiety was worth this. 

I set up a payment plan to pay back the debt I had accumulated, calmed down somewhat with money and the socialite lifestyle I was trying to live, grew up and got serious. I paid off my debts and met Tony. I was the happiest I had been in years and debt-free.

The years of dancing the night away, wearing Ted Baker suede wedges and drinking until the early hours seem a lifetime ago. Tony and I have now been together over 15 years and have the most wonderful cottage in Norfolk and a loving cat family. 

September Spending Ban

I have everything I could ever want and need. We all have non-essential items on our wishlist. Which are just that, lovely but in no way life enhancing. 

I picked up a book months ago which I haven't even read, yet it still inspired me; the premise of striving towards a no-spend year. 

With Covid still prevalent, social functions, travelling and holidays on the decline and having spent more than I usually would on home items including a new desk, there's no need to spend more money on items which are just not needed. 

I've already added new jeans to my wardrobe, a nude leather bag from the Joules sale and numerous skincare products from Cult Beauty, there's nothing else I need. My beauty stash is solid. 

Recently I've read more than ever and have a stack of books to work my way through. No need to visit Waterstones at the moment! Online or in person.

I could just do with a flat, shallow basket for the kitchen worktop. That is likely to be my only purchase in September, along with fruit and fuel. Fuel for both me and the car. 

September Spending Ban

September Spending Ban

The September Proposal:
  • £30 in cash to be kept in my purse, for odds and sods.
  • Fill my car up with fuel at the start of the month.
  • Pay my bills by direct debit as usual. 
  • Invest a minimum of £250.00 into savings. 
  • Keep a list of everything I buy in September, from the £30 I have allowed myself.

September Spending Ban

Isn't it amazing how both life and attitudes change? These days I'm more of a home-body than ever, even though I cannot wait to start our travels again. I love sitting in the garden, admiring our latest new plant addition and drinking tea. I only have a tipple of wine now and then and certainly cannot think of anything worse than being in a club and drinking shots. My stomach churns just from the thought of it!

So September, it's a spend-free month. No wasting money and accounting for everything I buy. I'm already cringing at what will be on the list at the end of the month! September I'm coming for you!

Feel like giving this a go with me? Need to save some money? Have you had a rough time with money in the past? Are you a thrifty or flashy? 

I would love to know your struggles and triumphs and hope I can help someone else reading this article by saying you'll get through it and things will work out. 

Here's to a healthy bank balance and financial freedom. Expect updates on IG soon.