Tuesday, 5 May 2020

How Starting A Low Spend Year Has Helped Me During The Lockdown

Hope everyone is staying safe. I was a little reluctant to do this post as it seems quite trivial to talk about money at this time. Yet on the other hand personal finance appears even more highlighted in a time of uncertainty which has accompanied the pandemic. I was thinking the other day how much starting a low spend year has helped me during the lockdown and I thought I would share that with you.

A lady putting money into a piggy bank in a post about a low spend year has helped me during the lockdown

Now this time last year, if you'd have told me that my hoarding tendencies may have come in useful is crazy. Would I have kept on hoarding "just in case'? Probably. Yet, I am so glad I decluttered and stopped buying unnecessary backups of things. I now have a much cleaner and more unobstructed space (although potentially I may, of course, regret saying that).

Here's how starting a low spend year has helped me during lockdown: 

We can actually see what we have and need.

All that excess clutter I used to surround myself with actually meant I could never see what we actually had. You would open cupboards, and there would just be stuff. Obviously, that said that we would usually end up buying something we already had because we just simply couldn't see if we had an item or not.

Knowing exactly what we own has helped us immensely when it comes to shopping only for what we actually need. We have been to the supermarket three times since the lockdown only for essentials we didn't have, or to use with the food we have to make it go further. 

Being more frugal and purposeful with what I have

I think one of the quotes for 2020 is possibly going to be about how long you can make a bog roll last for. 

We have food. For which we are so grateful. Batch cooking is a fantastic way to preserve food. Just freeze and reheat when you're ready. How much am I glad that I bought a freezer in February! Granted, some of the food we create is a weird mishmash, but thinking outside the box when it comes to food prep has been a godsend. 

A lady blowing a dandelion seed head in a post about a low spend year has helped me during the lockdown

I appreciate what I have.

Getting rid of all of the clutter and then starting the year being purposeful with my money got me into the mindset of really scrutinising what I was buying and letting come into our home.

A goal for 2020 was that I want to live a more simple and intentional life and even more so now. I realise over the last few months, and especially weeks, I don't need to spend that much money. I just need the essentials.

Happiness doesn't come from the stuff I buy. It comes from pausing and actually noticing what is around me. Experiences can cost you absolutely nothing. We walk around the woods seeing things I've never had time to notice before. The sense of stopping and noticing the butterflies floating past, the sun on my face as I take a walk, The contact we have with family and friends is priceless. Ok, so you need to pay for broadband, but you get me.

Realising the need to save going forward 

Hands up during most of my adult life, I was naughty and spent virtually everything I earnt. Yes, I paid into a pension, but I now realise that the last time I actually did that was probably a good while ago.

I don't think I really cared about money. Perhaps because I didn't really care about myself if I'm honest. Over the past year or so, I have shifted my focus to self-care and wellbeing. Perhaps that shift in mentality has helped me view my life and values differently.

Then all of our savings went into getting a pub. It's now time to be much more money savvy and start building back up the nest egg for the future.

Have you been doing a low buy year? 
I would love to know how you're getting on.

Lots of love, 
Helen x

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  1. Great perspective. I think lockdown has driven me the other way - purchasing things partly because I want to help out small retailers but, let's be honest, also to brighten up my own day with post. Working from home, with no Starbucks in sight, should really be giving me the opportunity to get a handle on my debts but it hasn't really worked out that way.

    Still, there's time!


  2. Oh no, but if there's ever been such a time to just to treat yourself. I honestly had so much (still have), that it's it would just merge into the pile :)
    Helen x


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