I decided that on the 1st of April 2015 I would start keeping a thorough spending diary. I said that this was because it was the start of a new tax year but really it was because I hadn’t had the idea in January.
I never expected to keep it up, but I did. And since that date not a single purchase has gone unnoticed.
I decided for sh**s and giggles to do a spending review at the end of September 2015, which sounds like I had given it a lot of thought but really it was because I hadn’t actually kept track of the spending in any formalised way, I had just shoved the receipts in a folder.
And then I decided to divide the spending into categories as by that point I had fallen in love with spreadsheets (they still remain one of the loves of my life).
I won’t bore you with gory details, but let’s look at some stats concerning my disposable income and food/household spending.
APRIL 2015 – SEPTEMBER 2015 TOTAL SPENDS = £3105.35
APRIL 2016 – SEPTEMBER 2016 TOTAL SPENDS = £3670.45
APRIL 2017 – SEPTEMBER 2017 TOTAL SPENDS = £2856.16
So this means…
Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2015 – September 2015 = £517.55
Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2016 – September 2016 = £611.74
Average spend per month (on food and fun times) in April 2017 – September 2017 = £476.02
So compare this year, the ‘no spend year’ to the first year I started keeping records and my spending has decreased by £41.53 a month (or just over 8%). This is a saving of £249.18 during that time period.
Compare this year to last year, when I went off the rails during my four months of unemployment, and my spending has decreased by £135.72 a month (just over 22%). This is a saving of £814.32 during the same time period.
So for all my struggles with money, for all my cheeky contraband purchases now and again, for all my blog posts that begin ‘I have 72p to last me until payday’ this is clear, hard evidence that my sacrifices have been worth it, that I am making great strides towards paying off my debts, that I am doing well.
Can I get a pat on the back now?