Thursday 28 February 2019
I’ve always considered myself a frugal gal. I live off home brand products, shop from the clearance rack and I like to haggle wherever I can.
So when the office call for volunteers for Febfast came around, I respectfully declined.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ll take any opportunity to raise money for a good cause, but I’ve never had any trouble with overindulging in any specific area. In fact, at first I couldn’t even think of anything I’d like to give up to reliably save.
Or so I thought.
This month, I decided to put my frugality to the ultimate test by attempting to live off $100 every week. And yes, I put money aside to cover bills, groceries and rent first.
And with a little help from the Money Smart app, TrackMySPEND, I also set out to track my spending for the month, just to keep an eye on things.
Kind of like Big Brother, except, I am Big Brother.
And with me being the money savvy superstar that I am, you’d think a task such as this would be a walk in the park.
It was more like a walk across hot sand. Where every step I took stung the bottom of my foot.
It made me realise I’m a frugality fraud.
There’s no doubt that tracking my spending gave me a clearer picture as to where exactly my money was going, but it also showed me that I wasn’t as frugal as I thought.
Because once I started going through my spend history, it exposed a frivolous habit I didn’t even know I had.
I like to spend my money on snacks. Delicious, sugary snacks.
In the past, I used to spring for an afternoon chocolate bar which usually set me back a minor $2.
But since I’ve been on this health kick my eating habits have changed.
I since switched to low sugar protein balls, setting me back $5 everyday and by Friday afternoon, I’d spent $25 just on protein balls in a week - a quarter of my weekly limit!
On the bright side, having such an intense eye on my money tricked me into spending less. If I hadn’t of put a stop to the protein ball epidemic, I could’ve ended up spending $100 for the month.
Getting closer to my limit also forced myself to walk away from the things I thought I needed in the moment, like a new pair of shoes or a dress for an event that’s not for another month.
I had more control over my money than ever.
Oh and I got to add $241 to my stash.