Life seemed to be super busy over the last few months, with the added complication of having a car accident that left us trying to find the funds to not only replace our second car, but improve it too. There was no point investing money into a car that was 10+ years old.
Last week, we finally got our new car. As a family, we reviewed expenditure on our car a year ago, and agreed that we wanted something more economical to run. With no road tax and improved fuel economy, this new car is great for us. It will pay its own way over time.
However, to fund it we were having to invest all our savings, and an additional bit of help too. So, with money-saving at the forefront of our minds, we were challenged by Scottish Friendly to see if we could have a ‘No Spend Weekend’, and keep some much-needed pennies in the bank, rather than spending without thought (which has become the norm for us).
There were lots of ways to take this challenge. So, with the purse and wallet away, how did we get on?
Firstly, eating on a no spend weekend meant no takeaways. Although this is something we have tried to cut down on, we are more tempted on a weekend. This time we avoided the takeaway pizza, and made our own with things already in the fridge. We got Joshua involved in the process, allowing him to work on his Beaver’s cooking badge.
We also opted for making treats from things we already had too, and using up the batch of cooked food from the freezer instead of blowing £60 on our weekly shop. We often find that we waste money on food and snacks that we don’t really need.
For activities, we have been super wise in investing in a National Trust family membership, so we no longer have to pay for visits to any National Trust place, which worked well for this weekend!
I kind of took this challenge and ran with it – I really wanted to push myself. I decided that earning money while on a no spend weekend might make this far more challenging. So, I decided to list some items on eBay, using the feature on the marketplace where I don’t pay any fees until they sell, deductible from the sale price. And jackpot … some old half-barrel planters flew out a few hours in after listing, giving me the incentive to keep going.
While the kids were occupied, the final day involved Ollie and I heading to a car boot to sell yet more of our belongings.
After a morning of selling everything we no longer wanted, and then delivering the unsold items to a charity shop, we made £108. And we have more space in the house too!
For our ‘no spend’ weekend I guess I cheated a little bit – having paid out the pitch fee for the car boot sale. I did however make around £139.50 from the boot sale and eBay selling. And we saved money on not ordering the cheeky takeaway and buying goodies at the supermarket just for kicks.
So what other things did we do to also cost us nothing. The boys got to spend some time on their bikes and playing in the garden without us having to rush off out. Family time certainly seemed like a far calmer affair than our standard run around and spend weekends.
I am a little bit ashamed to say that I should have taken on ‘no spend’ weekends before. I enjoyed the challenge and it’s saved us a fortune too. Next time we will have some further ideas on what we are going to do, as there will certainly be a next time for us.
Thank you Scottish Friendly for challenging us and showing us the error of our wasteful ways and thank you for sharing some money saving tips.
Have you ever done a ‘no spend’ weekend?
Disclaimer: This collaboration is with Scottish Friendly, a UK financial mutual. Its mantra is to make investments more accessible to everyone.