My Fiscal Fast!

Jeff Yeager – the ultimate cheapskate

A fiscal fast – the concept of not spending any money for seven entire day’s really appeals to me. No stock-ups apart from fuel for the car and milk allowed, it’s a get by on what you’ve got sort of thing.

I was spend free this week until Thursday, when we ran out of milk, fire lighters and Mr’s cereal bars. All of which I didn’t find out until last thing at night and while I could have stayed up and made him flapjacks as an easy snack to keep his sugar levels right at work, yeah, didn’t happen. I also needed to get his birthday card. So I did spend this week but judging by my totals below, I still should be proud for what I did achieve!

Comparable week in February (day after payday for seven days) spend: £58.56

Fiscal fast week (day after payday March, seven days) spend: £8.23

Holy crap.

Also, bear in mind that the comparable week, that money came out of my account mainly in amounts smaller than five pounds. I hadn’t pulled the plug on the bath but a fast dribble will empty it surprisingly quickly, wouldn’t you say!

So my fiscal fast wasn’t perfect, but it did make me feel good. It made me feel in control; usually by the end of week one post payday I have next to no money left. Part of that was the huge chunk of my wage going to debt repayment but the other part of that was that I convinced myself I ‘deserved’ these ‘little treats’ on a daily basis. Multiple times a day.

I do want to attempt this again, and I’ve learned from this past week’s mistakes. Buy a bigger bottle of milk, and pre buy birthday cards, don’t get them at the last minute! Mr’s eating habits vary wildly depending on how he feels, and what work he’s doing but I will go back to buying one extra box of cereal bars a week, and if those stores run out, homemade flapjacks. Any hints on if these would be freezable? If they are I might just run a batch up, wrap and bung in freezer for emergencies!

Thank you for reading, as always!

It’s Done..

I’m at the end of one long road and at the start of another!

As of the 20th March 2015, 00:01, I am debt free.

The last £265 went whizzing over to my mother and I got a text saying ‘thank you for the money, that’s it now then isn’t it?’ No fireworks, just a simple acknowledgement and a sigh of relief.

I’ve learned so much from being in debt. I’ve yo-yo’d in and out of debt for all of my adult life, mostly being rescued by my darling mother when everything went wrong. But in a way that was worse, it never taught me the lesson.

I can say to a certain extent that I don’t wholly regret getting in to debt.

I know that sounds crazy to say but a large portion of it was spent making sure my dear Roger got the care he needed, and I don’t regret that.

What I do regret though…

Car finance over five years. Oh. My. God. That was like a huge millstone around my neck and I’m so glad to finally be rid of it. I’m now looking into selling my car and buying something more sensible, because Fiat 500 and two big dogs? Not gonna happen.

Frittering. Using my credit card for impulse purchases. At FAST FOOD PLACES of all things. Seriously, I used my credit card at McDonalds more than once. I have remedied this by completely and utterly forgetting my PIN number so I can’t fritter with money that’s not even mine.

I’ve decided to embark on a Fiscal Fast for the next seven days, so let’s see how I get on with that!

Thank you for sticking with me dear readers :)

It seems strange to think…

That in five days, I will be personal debt free (mortgage I’m counting outside that). So, yay, that obviously means life is sorted out, right? Ummm… Not so much. I’m still running out of money before I’ve run out of month. But the fact that I don’t spend in that time, rather than ramp my credit card or overdraft up, says that I’m making progress. I did sign up for an Ancestry membership in a moment of ‘sod it, I’ll pay for it next month’ but… I cancelled it. The thought of putting money onto that squeaky clean credit card made me feel queasy. I’ll save up for it instead. I paid for the insurance excess on my car from the savings I put aside every month for car bills so there was no struggle there. Definite progress. Millie was so lonely without Roger and we knew that whatever we vowed, we would end up with another dog. An opportunity came up to be a long term foster for a beautiful old man greyhound and we knew we couldn’t say no. So we’ve done something good but at minimal cost to us as his bills are covered, and he’s bought so much joy into our lives and Millie’s life. The wedding on an *extreme* budget is one of the ways we’re making the money situation work. So far, we have spent £199. That’s suit, venue and licenses. Just my dress (about £40 ish) and his ring to go. The honeymoon is weighing in at…erm… Quite a lot. The Motorhome we’ve hired is costing us £1000 for ten days. But I can justify that! Kennelling fees for ten days would be about £200+, plus buying food out (even in self catering we would only be able to take so much food with us), would soon mount up. The Motorhome hire place is near us, so it’ll be picked up, brought back here, loaded up with food and all the goodies we need (no suitcases required!) and then at the end, brought back here, unloaded, cleaned and taken back. So I’d like to show you a big way I’ve been getting through a very lean time…

IMG_0294 I had a strange few days where all of a sudden I became terrified at the thought of not having anything in to get through if there was a flood, or a zombie apocalypse (I have OCD and my brain tends to latch on to thoughts like that and terrify me). Don’t worry; I didn’t take out a second mortgage to build a nuclear bunker or buy 6 years worth of dehydrated food packs. What I did do was hunt down bargains on shelf stable foods and household necessities. This past few weeks having these stores has meant that I can keep the shopping bill under £25 a week which has been incredibly helpful, although it does mean it needs to be built back up again!