I set myself a bit of a challenge for August, I needed to learn to say no.
Since I started dating my boyfriend I’ve constantly been saying yes. Take-away on a Tuesday – Yes, Dinner out on Wednesday – why not, Coffee on Thursday and Brunch on Sunday – of course! Don’t get me wrong it’s great to be spending all this time with him but oh my poor bank balance.
With the Fringe arriving in August, birthdays, dinners and nights out planned every weekend for the whole month, I knew it was going to be tough. I really wanted to make the most of my weekend plans so in order to do that I needed to say no on weekdays. Don’t get me wrong I didn’t turn into a hermit (with the exception of the few days I was ill) and stay home all the time I really just had to prioritise.
My biggest expense has to be food, we haven’t been very good at planning ahead for the week so when 8pm on a Tuesday hits and we haven’t had dinner yet, dominos is way too tempting. Not only is this bad for the bank account but its definitely not a friend to the waistline! So for all of August I tried to make dinners during the week at home, I’d say I probably had an 80% success rate on this, it didn’t go exactly to plan but I definitely gave it a good go.
Knowing I had been good during the week meant I was able to enjoy my dinner at Origano with a few glasses of wine, a lot of eating when my brother came to visit (see here), birthday celebrations and planning trips to London and Leeds. So how did I manage to squeeze all this in….
Budgeting!! I set myself a budget for each of the events I had planned over 3 weekends, all I had to do was stick to it, easier saidthan done especially after a few drinks! Now at the end of the month its safe to say I did a pretty good job of sticking to the amount I set, I only put a couple of things on the credit card for next months Emma to worry about (sorry future me, don’t hate me!).
So what about the rest of the week? I’ve said before I like to have things on During the week or else it seems like the weekend is really far away. So when trying to avoid any unnecessary spending how is this possible? Make use of Memberships. I’m a member at a gym so I forced myself to head there a few times; I’m not spending any extra cash and I was getting back to working on my fitness. I also have a limitless card, so a mid-week trip to the cinema isn’t going to cost me anything extra either. However there is always still that temptation for a drink and popcorn which we all know costs a small fortune. If I’m smart I’ll have dinner right before the trip to the cinema so I wont feel the need for popcorn or nachos.
Throw in a few evening/day off walks along the beach or go visit family for a cuppa and a good catch up and you’ll find the time flies by.
With August pretty much over it’s clear that I can set myself a budget for bigger events and stick to it, but my real Achilles heel is saying No during the week. While August was a massive improvement on the months previous, there is definitely more to be done. I’ve got my eye on a new camera so I’m going to try keep this up through September and see if saying no a little more often lets me save up some extra cash to treat myself. I have a couple of trips planned that will hinder this a little but hey if I stick to a budget I should just about manage.
Anyone else struggle to say No sometimes? Do you have any tips?