September has been another disaster of a month financially really. Although I was supposed to be taking part in No Spend/Low Spend September, it didn't really work out to be a low spending month as I had some uniform to buy for Little Bird, a school locker and school lunches to pay for , an expense that I never had before, as she took packed lunches.
I was also a bit behind on paying off my overdraft this month, so I needed to put aside a bit extra for that and pay off balances on my credit cards which had taken a little bit of a battering over the summer months. I'm gradually getting back on track though, but it isn't a quick process. I just have to take it month by month and try to stick to my goals.
So, it's been a long month of trying not to spend money, which incidentally I didn't have. I did put a few things on the credit card, but some were things that OH later gave me the money for, such as the shoes for my birthday present and the vacuum cleaner.
I do have an admission though. I have decided to relinquish one of this year's goals, namely the 100 no spend days. I had a break from recording my daily expenditure for a couple of months over the summer, the first proper break in ten years, and it was quite enjoyable. Although I've tried to get back into it this month and record my spending again, I've found that I haven't been sticking to it. I think in all honesty, that I just don't enjoy doing it anymore, so I've decided that I'm going to stop altogether. A by product of this, is that I won't be recording the days I don't spend any money and hence why I'm relinquishing this challenge.
I think that now I've almost cleared my debts (i.e. credit cards and overdraft), the pressure to watch every single penny is not quite so great and the motivation just isn't there to the same extent. I will, however, still be trying to make the most of any money I have, trying not to overspend and keeping a daily running balance of what money I have in my account, so I know exactly what I've got to spend at any point in the month. When I've finally paid off my overdraft, I'm hoping to stay in the black permanently and spend completely within my means, all of the time. This will be a big departure for me and a first in more than 10 years. It is still a few months away though, so I still need to be careful for the remainder of this year as with Christmas just around the corner, it won't be plain sailing.
So, this October, I'm joining in with the Stoptober challenge, (not the stop smoking challenge which I found when I googled 'Stoptober', as I did that over 10 years ago now thankfully), but a blogging challenge whereby participants stop any unnecessary expenditure for the month of October. In reality, I don't have hardly any spare money to spend other than for food before I start, so it's more a question of necessity really. There will be one small exception though, which I'm excusing on the grounds that I had already planned it, namely a visit to the Knitting and Stitching Show at Alexandra Palace this month with a friend. I will probably give myself a small budget to spend there (i.e. £20 max.). It is also my birthday this month, so hopefully there might be a few nice surprises as a result, which should also help see me through.
I'm hoping that by November I should be in a much better financial position and then it's just Christmas to think of and the remaining overdraft balance. I'm looking forward to the New Year this year, as hopefully it will finally be a debt free one and I can enjoy a fresh financial start, whereby I can start to think about saving money instead of spending it.