100 day challenge

For a total of 100 days I challenged myself to do at least one thing a day from the following list:

  • Making the most of what I already have: Making over something that no longer provides a function but could do with a bit of work, organising my things better so I can find the things I need and make full use of them, reading books I own but haven’t read yet and just generally using the things I already own.
  • Planning: The key to it all! For me, living on less, saving more and getting use out of things is impossible without serious planning (and list writing of course :)
  • Home Improvements: We have a little bit left in savings from last year specifically for some redecoration and maintenance which we really need to get on with.
  • Decluttering: of any kind!
  • Doing things for free: Getting out and about a bit more in the gorgeous area where I live, keeping up with my library visits and any other things I might discover/dream up along the way.
  • Financial management: keeping on top of my finances in general, making sure I am putting back money for my different ‘funds’, trying to make a bit extra through selling things I don’t need anymore and so on. 
  • The Gift box: I think this needs a whole seperate category of its own! This will cover buying gifts, recording what the stash includes so I don’t over-buy, getting good deals, maintaining my supplies of cards and wrapping paper. The purpose of the gift box is ultimately a) to spread the cost of birthdays and Christmas and b) to cut down on last minute panic buying/stress.
  • Considered spending: I’m giving myself a budget to buy two books each month and will also buy something new (and brilliant, obviously) for my wardobe if I have funds available after completing my savings for the month. In addition I have my general spending budget of £20 a week which can include anything I fancy. Frankly if I can squeeze something ‘prohibited’ out of such a small budget I reckon I deserve it! There are bound to be extra things along the way which I will have if I feel there is a very good reason for it and I have saved a sizeable chunk of my monthly income. This will also include taking advantage of any special offers or discounts.
  • Nifty Thriftiness: This is a bit non-specific but basically covers anything that doesn’t fit into the above!
  • You can read about my trials and tribulations over the 100 days on entries from 27th March to 5th July, though here is a summary of what I managed to get done:

    Doing things for free/very thriftily:

    • Lots and lots of walks
    • Picnic
    • BBQs
    • Band practice
    • Two nights out in return for gigs
    • Playing the bass
    • Taking photographs
    • Blogging
    • Many visits to the library
    • Using recipe books from the library to come up with new meal ideas
    • Signing up for a free internet course
    • Cross-stitch

    Decluttering:

    • Rooms completed: Main bedroom, under stair cupboard, living room, bathroom and kitchen
    • Taking countless bags to the chairty shop
    • Giving lots of clothes and beauty products to friends
    • Throwing out DVD cases and putting discs in a zip-up wallet thing to save space
    • Clearing out all of my old nail varnishes and make-up I’m never going to use
    • Clearing out and cleaning my car
    • Re-homing an unwanted TV

    Home Improvements:

    • Making a complete plan of work to be carried out & a budget
    • Replacing three windows
    • Painting main bedroom
    • Painting one wall in Living Room
    • Having TV put on wall to gain space
    • Replacing aerial lead

    Financial management:

    • Saving
    • Planning my spending – when, where and on what
    • Looking into pensions
    • Adjusting the way I spend (converting to cash and then back to my debit card) to prevent complacency
    • Regularly checking my online banking
    • Keeping on top of my household paperwork and filing it regularly
    • Updating my energy provider with our gas and electric meter readings so we don’t run up a big bill

    Nifty thrifty:

    • Getting a better deal on my mobile top-up package
    • Cancelling my monthly contact lense package
    • Getting my mobile top-up at Boots to collect points on my advantage card
    • Free stuff: Shampoo, conditioner and nail varnish donated by Mum and a new top given to me by a colleague
    • Signing up to a website that gives away free samples of everything from shampoo to tea bags
    • Buying lots of gifts for my gift box (for both birthdays and Christmas)
    • Finding out about what food is in season (it is cheaper!)
    • Using No 7 vouchers to get my toner for £2 (instead of £7) and eye make-up remover for £1.30 (usually £6.30)
    • Switching to Vodafone Freedom pack and getting much, much more for my money

    Making use of what I already have:

    • Using a cross stitch set I had for years and making a present for Gran out of it
    • Collecting together books about my job to give me new ideas and a bit of motivation
    • Re-using scrapbook for collecting home improvement/decoration ideas
    • Putting some of my unread books on to a shelf so I finally get around to reading them
    • Using the buttons from an old cardigan to update an unworn jacket
    • Polishing up all of my shoes and boots (and finding an old comfy pair that just needed a clean!)
    • Finally using a bag I bought years ago – it is literally as good as new
    • Collecting together all of my notepads and realising I don’t need to buy anymore for about 30 years
    • Creating a ‘Home Spa’ kit out of my nicest bathroom products
    • Taking an unused make-up bag and putting together a manicure kit out of things I already had
    • Collecting party poppers, candles, fairy lights and pretty napkins together to create a party pack
    • Sewn beads back on a top (that I never wore because the beads were missing)
    • Mending two strings of beads

    Planning

    • Making more frozen meals than I could keep track of!
    • Buying reduced food items and freezing them
    • Making a weekly meal plan so I only bought what was necessary
    • Creating an exercise plan that won’t cost me anything
    • Creating a diet plan that won’t cost me anymore than my regular food shop
    • Reorganising my time so I could get most of my housework out of the way quicker

    Shoestring Holidays:

    • Finding Husband and I a deal on a holiday abroad for less than £250 each
    • Hiring a car for 3 days instead of a week
    • Researching in advance our own free or cheap excursions rather than paying someone else to take us places
    • Making breakfasts and lunches at the apartment and only going out for a meal in the evening
    • Reading, swimming and walking
    • Using price comparison site to get the cheapest deal on holiday insurance
    • Borrowing a guide book from the library rather than buying one
    • Borrowing holiday reading from the library and friends rather than buying new books
    • Getting our currency changed at the Post Office for free
    • Booking a very cheap UK holiday for later in the year

    Considered spending:

    • I’ve bought a few books almost all of them have been second hand from either charity shops or Amazon
    • Clothes: summer dress £12.99, 2 vests on offer at £9 for two and a necklace £4 in sale – Total spent £25.99
    1 Comment

    One thought on “100 day challenge

    1. doh, I could have sent you my No.7 voucher if I’d found your blog last week! As a fellow bookworm I know how aborhent the idea of getting rid of books is but…. I’ve made a couple of hundred pounds from selling books on Amazon and have found some of my wishlist titles on Read it swap it (books for free by swapping one of your own so you get to declutter at the same time, brilllllliant)

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