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Frugality Challenge Update (January)

So, here you go - here's a full summary of everything I've done this month.

1) Bank Stuff - So I can never spend what I potentially haven't got, I've set up a new current account. It's basic. Very basic indeed. It doesn't have an overdraft. It can't honour cheques. It merely allows me to take cash out and pay using Visa Electron. I use this instead of my regular current account and it's worked really well already, because I leave all my other bits of plastic at home. Temptation is removed and combined with my setting up of an automated transfer of a weekly allowance, it's done a very good job of stopping me from overspending. It's impossible to say what hasn't been spent, but the amount is good and quantifiable.

2) Eco Balls - They've been a sound investment and do the job well. As there was an initial outlay with these, it'll be a while until I'm fully recouping the savings - probably around April-ish. Nonetheless, it's pleasantly strange not to have to think about buying laundry detergent when I go shopping, as it was quite an expense.

3) Weekly Shopping - As you'll have seen from my previous post, the job of changing my shopping habits has been quite tough, but has been worth it. Based on my previous weekly spend, I've saved £44.75 over the month, whilst at the same buying more ethically sound products.

So, it might seems like a somewhat lacklustre start, having only saved £44.75 of my proposed £1,500, but I think I've probably saved more. At the end of the dreaded month that the bills turn up after Christmas, I've managed to stay in credit. This is quite a difference from previous form. It's an extremely good indicator that the changes made so far are having a positive effect.

There are some other changes I've made, but as they won't bear fruit for a while, I'll wait until the respective month to report the savings.

Total: £44.75 / £1,500 (3% so far)

Note: As a final point, I will be using a very small proportion of the money saved to offset my carbon emissions, courtesy of Climate Care. This should render me (more or less) carbon neutral. The site tells me it'll cost about £60 for the year to do this. It's an interesting read and allows you to see the result of your car mileage, flights and energy usage in terms of CO2 emissions.
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