No Buy Year 1 Month Update.

Hey guys, and welcome to back to the Blog! Thanks for reading.

Todays post is going to be my VERY OVERDUE (!!) 1 month update on my No Buy 2019 Challenge. I’m actually on Month 2 now, watch out for that update coming next week.

You can find my rules for this challenge here, and the 1 week update here. Now let’s get into the nitty gritty of this month!

So, the main thing that I have noticed this month, is that the less I buy, the less I actually want to buy. I’m not sure if its because I’m avoiding the shops and malls more, or whether its just a habit that I’m growing out of. They say it takes 28 days to break a habit, and this seems to be the case for me. I’m specifically talking about books, homewares, clothes, makeup and perfume here.

The 1 exception to this, is Costa Coffee. This is still a struggle. A new Costa Drive Thru (my favourite kind of coffee shop!) has just opened up on the route I take to my Boyfriends house.  I’ve had 2 free Costa coffees this month, 1 from my boyfriend and 1 because I had enough loyalty points on my Costa Card. It’s made the urges worse, that’s for sure. After some careful consideration I’ve decided that it’s best just to cut it out altogether, even free ones.

As the month is progressing, I am adding less stuff to my Wishlist. I think this ties into my first point above, that I’m just not feeling the decide to buy as much stuff. The first 2 weeks were full of me adding item after item to my Wishlist, and that has definitely calmed down in the last few weeks.

I’m not running out of anything as fast as I thought I would. I imagined I would be in need of new skincare by now, some new foundation, or a new jumper. Actually, the only things that I have run out of are my Nivea Foaming Facewash and Sanex Shower gel, both of which can be replaced with products that I already own.

In my first post about my No buy 2019, I mentioned that I was considering buying a lightbox for my YouTube Channel. I have decided not to. The days are getting longer, and lighting is reasonable…for England, at least! During the latter part of the year, I may have to add a lightbox to my Birthday or Christmas list.

I’ve already saved over £180! This is not from just avoiding unnecessary shopping, but also on parking in the mall and extra petrol costs getting to the clothes shops. Not to mention the amount of time it’s saved me!

I have also added another caveat to my No Buy Year, which is that meeting up with friends and taking part in activities are not included in the No Buy. Which means that I can still go out with my friends, meet up for a coffee, take the kids to the cinema etc. To be honest, this happens so rarely that I don’t see a problem with it. The No Buy Challenge is about avoiding consumerism, not depriving myself and my kids of having fun. Of course, I’ll suggest free activities such as a picnic in the park, or a game of footie on the beach etc, but I’m not going to worry if we end up at the cinema or bowling instead.

So, that is it for month 1! I expect that it will become harder as the months roll on, but for now all is going smoothly!

You can click on my YouTube video above to watch an extended version of this post, where I also answer questions that I have received about my No Buy Challenge over on Instagram. Speaking of Instagram, if you aren’t already following me there, I’d love it if you did! You can find me here!

Thanks so much for reading, and I’ll be back next week with my 2 month update!

Claire.

Sinking Funds- How to save for large expenses

When sticking to a budget (If you need help writing a budget, you can find that here ) my biggest priority after paying for my fixed expenses, is to contribute to my Sinking Funds (SFs). This is because SFs stop me from acquiring more debt.

In this blog post, I’m going to talk all abut SFs, what they are and how I use them.

What are Sinking Funds?

Essentially, all of the things that you expect will happen at some point, are covered with small amounts of money that you put away into an account every month.

I like to think of Sinking Funds as lifeboats on a sinking ship. All is going well, you are sailing along quite happily on your debt free journey, your budget is running smoothly, you are paying off your debts using your Debt Snowball (or Avalanche), when BAM! All of a sudden, you hit an Iceberg. That Iceberg may be a broken down car, or School Uniform costs, or whatever the case may be.

What Sinking Funds do is take away that panic of hitting the iceberg. So you aren’t left panicking about how you are going to cover that expense. In reality we know these things WILL happen at some point. Its unheard of for you to buy a car and NEVER spend a single penny on it and then sell it 10 years later. All cars need money spent on them, whether its expected or unexpected. The same goes for lots different categories.

Some examples are:

Christmas- It’s on the 25th December every year, plan for it!

Birthdays-Similar to Christmas, birthdays are

School Uniform Costs

Car Maintenance/M.O.T

Pet Expenses

Home Repairs

Clothing.

 

How to start Sinking Funds

The general rule of thumb is to work out what Sinking Funds you need, then work out how much you’ll need for each fund, divide by 12 and save that amount every month.

So, if you’ll need £250 a year for car repairs, you’ll divide that by 12 (approx.£20.80) and save that amount every month throughout the year.

Where that may not work is when you’ve only just started SFs and you have a shorter time to save for expenses. For example, it’s September and you haven’t any SF for Christmas, or is August and you haven’t any SF for School Uniform costs.

In that scenario, I would work out the BARE MINIMUM you can get away with spending for that item, and save for that first. It may mean having to scale back significantly on Christmas for example. In 2017, I only spent £250 on Christmas in total. I never thought that was possible, but I managed it. And I’m sure you could manage on an equally low budget, if push came to shove.

 

At What stage to I set up Sinking Funds?

If you are following Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps (as I do) then you will start SFs once you are in Baby Step 2 (paying off your debt).

This is not something that you ever stop doing either, it will continue to serve you for the rest of your life.

Where do you keep your Sinking Funds?

 

It’s really up to you. I keep mine in a separate bank account, and transfer the money to them every month. I don’t have them in a high interest account, I just have them in a cash ISA that I can withdraw from quickly when I need to.

I know of some people who keep their Sinking Funds in cash in their house. If you are going to do this, I highly recommend checking with your house/contents insurance to see how much would be covered by them in the event of an emergency (fire, robbery etc).

 

I hope that helps!

Claire.