This October I decided to join in with other bloggers and their Stoptober challenge to try to stop any unnecessary spending for the month. For those of you who don't already know, I am trying to pay off a couple of credit cards by the end of the year and the year is definitely fast coming to an end. Following on from a Spend Less September I tried to keep the minimal spending theme going.
I was lucky that some purchases on one of my credit cards had not actually gone on my account when I got my bill, which enabled me to pay more off the balance of another card this month. I realise that this all sounds a bit taking from Peter to pay Paul, but hopefully it will all work out in the end and I will end up with nil balances on both cards by the end of the year.
Anyhow, I paid off the balance on one card and paid a good amount off the other. I did, however, lapse a few of times and put a few things back on both of my cards. Mainly a few Christmas presents that I went ahead and bought and if I pay them off my cards next month they won't cost me any money in interest payments. I did also treat myself to a couple of inexpensive items of clothing at very good prices through the month, which was incredibly naughty, but very nice.
Other than the above I've been pretty careful with spending this month and have more or less religiously followed my menu plan, buying food each week rather than doing a big shop at the beginning of the month to see if it had any effect on the amount I spent. I must admit I did already have some food from last month left in the freezer which did help the food situation and we were given some lovely cooking and eating apples and tomatoes by relatives we visited this month. In addition, with it being my birthday and with us going away for a weekend here and there, there were a few meals away from home that weren't included in the food budget so I did get off a bit lightly this month. In spite of this however, I've managed to spend more on food this month with the bill coming in at £320. I do, however, once again have a freezer full of food at the start of the month which is very useful. Shopping weekly didn't seem to make much difference, but I think I will give it another go this month as hopefully things will be a lot less chaotic.
All in all Stoptober has been pretty good, if a bit all over the place due to us going away a couple of times, I do know that I can do better though. I did manage another 4 no spend days, taking the total for the year to 70, so hopefully I will meet the 75 I'm hoping to reach by the end of the year, despite the spendfest that is Christmas meaning less and less no spend days.
I'm looking forward to November being a simple, straightforward month. No weekends away or holidays planned and no birthdays. Just a straight forward month in the run up to Christmas. As a consequence, I'm having a third month with as little non-essential spending as possible. I'm calling it No Nonsense November. I hope I can spend even less to help get on top of all the shopping for Christmas. I must admit that I have bought most of the presents I need already, but do still have a few to buy, so this month I'm focussing on this and getting ahead before the Christmas chaos in the shops. Is anyone else trying to cut out the extas in the lead up to Christmas?