Today marked an important day for my finances.
I said at the start of 2017 that I would be allowed to buy clothes if I bought them with vouchers and spent nothing in terms of cash on them.
Today I got my Tesco club card statement and vouchers through. In the last three months I have collected enough points to be rewarded with £10 in vouchers.
Add this to my faithful £6.50 in vouchers collected across the previous 6 months and I have a nice little pot of possibilities.
My boyfriend kindly agreed that the Tesco Club Card vouchers can all be mine this year, and I know that I can do a club card boost and exchange them for up to 4 times their value on meals out and things, but having looked through the options I don’t think my boyfriend and I would actually enjoy the places on offer.
Today was also notable because I earned 500 points for uploading pictures of my shopping receipts on the great consumer market research scheme ‘Shop and Scan’ which means I now have enough points to exchange for up to £20 in Vouchers, for places like New Look or Amazon.
The old me, if I suddenly had vouchers that were mine to spend, spend, spend would have used them in about 30 minutes.
I am not in a hurry to use them, which feels great, like I am in control, because part of the No Spend Year idea is also to produce less waste, to revamp, reduce, reuse and recycle. So do I need anything?
So they will sit proudly underneath the Hello Kitty magnet on the fridge until I have a real need to use them.
I have also come to realise something just about everyone else on the planet had already taken as an established truth which is that it really pays to buy quality first time round.
For instance, I have always been more cheap and cheerful then quality, because even when I was spending other peoples money (I mean on my credit cards, not that I was going through people’s wallets, honestly guys I’m not a thief!) I had a sense of spending as little money as possible.
As a result of this I buy a £4 bra that lasts about 5 months before the underwire pokes out and it is all stretched and baggy. When if I had bought a nice Marks and Spencer’s bra (is it just me or does it seem that you can do no wrong if you go to Marks and Spencer’s?) for about £25 I would probably still have it 5 years later.
I have realised it pays to buy good quality the first time round through two ways.
One, My Doc Martens. I spent £90 on them two years ago and they are only now beginning to be ever so slightly worn out. They still have, I reckon, another 2 years in them at least. They are certainly the most expensive item of clothing I have ever bought, and I know it’s shallow to say this but they make me very happy.
Also before the No Spend Year began, in late 2016 I bought a pair of jeans to see me through 2017. They cost £30 which given the most I had ever spent on a pair of jeans before was £14 seemed like a fortune to me.
Well, I can happily say they are the nicest jeans I have ever worn. They are beautiful and the quality of them feels great compared to the very flimsy £9.99 jeans I had spent the majority of 2016 in.
So I will save my money from now on and buy higher quality items when I need to instead of trying to buy as much tat for as little money as possible.