Keeping An Eye On My Money – £5,000 Challenge

Money has always been an issue for me. Not earning it, but spending it wisely! It’s now a little over 2 months since I started this blog and began my journey on the way to gaining financial freedom so here is my two month update.

It started with the realisation that I really wasn’t making enough of life.

I often found myself complaining about not having any money whilst at the same time I was blowing money left and centre on weekend long parties, take-aways and crap I basically had no need for until my money ran out. I’d then start the merry-go-round all over again the next month.

I have said before, I am not on a bad wage, I don’t earn a fortune either – just an average earner.

But, compared to those who have children to budget for I really had no right sitting there complaining about it.

I have always been sensible enough not to overstretch myself in terms of borrowing money through loans or credit cards and I have always made sure my bills are paid on time, I’ve always had my granddad’s wise words at the back of my mind saying NO CHANCE!

Not that taking credit is a bad thing as long as you’re sensible with it.

However, I never had anything for a rainy day, I never had anything in case of emergency and I was certainly nowhere near even contemplating the thought of owning my own home and the dream of one day being a financially free, freelance digital nomad!

Keeping An Eye On My Money - £5,000 Challenge

Money Revelations

How things have changed! I literally think long and hard about where every penny goes. The partying has been reduced to nothing more than a few drinks with friends and take-aways are a thing of the past.

Today I deposited another £400 into my Help To Buy ISA taking me to £800 saved in the first month.

I’m not going to lie it could have been more with hindsight but I know what I’m like, too much too soon and I’d have ended up getting itchy feet and the £800 would have ended up being significantly less.

All in all not too bad for somebody who blew every penny each and every month beforehand so I can live with that!

The Next Test

From next month I am only able to deposit a maximum of £200 a month into my Help To Buy ISA due to the deposit limit on the deposits you are allowed to make, and here comes the real test as I now have to decide where the other £200 a month goes.

With the interest rates on savings accounts these days being so poor I’m considering opening another current account as their interest rates are much higher (around 3-4%) and transferring money back and forth to comply with the monthly deposit restrictions they usually have, I’ll keep you updated on that.

I am also going to look into investments. It is something I have never done before and let’s face it there is always a risk involved, but I have always wanted to explore them but never had the money to do so. If it can get help me reach my goal quicker than I’m all for learning more!

Selling rubbish update

My better half, acting on the side of caution, has restricted me to saving and selling nothing more than empty loo rolls and ring pulls. There is a belief in our house that I am a hoarder and preventive measures have been put in place to stop us ending up living in a rubbish tip.

All of a sudden anything I saw had value to it. Maybe he has a point?


Nothing to stop me here! I am definitely off out wombling for receipts around the local supermarkets this weekend.

I have joined a Facebook group and I have been dumbstruck at how much money people can get discounted off their shopping by picking up discarded receipts.

Asda’s Price Guarantee scheme seems to be the best one to look out for, especially as they have embraced it as a company and as long as you only pick them up off the floor or out of shopping trolleys they are happy for anybody to cash in, regardless of if the person claiming actually bought the shopping.

So a big thumbs up to Asda!

I’m lead to believe Tesco are not so on board so-to-speak. However, if you don’t take them straight into the store after you find them, you can still get the Clubcard points added at customer service on another day or later the same day.

There is nothing to say in the terms and conditions that it can’t go on so until they add something to that effect you’re free to womble away! Needless to say my Clubcard has been ordered and is in the post.

One lovely gent I was talking to on there this week has earned £100 off his Asda shopping in his first month alone, that would provide shopping for us here at Thrifty Towers for a whole month so wombling is not to be sniffed at!

And it’s all money in the bank at the end of the day.

Looking Forward

On the whole it’s been a really positive start. I’ve surprised myself at what can be achieved if I put my mind to it. For the first time in a long time I have something tangible to aim for and I have the determination to get there. Let’s hope this good start continues.

Have you made any financial goals this year?

Related £5,000 Challenge Articles:

Why I made A £5,000 Saving Challenge

Changing Habits: £5,000 Saving Challenge

Progress: £5,000 Saving Challenge Week One

How I Turned Three Current Accounts Into A Savings Machine

Epiphanies, Habits And Rituals: Q1 £5,000 Challenge Results

April: The Turd Sandwich Of 2016

May: The Blog Force Was With Me

Halfway Point: Q2 Results

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David Naylor is the editor of the Thinking Thrifty blog. After a striking realisation about the direction his life was heading he set himself a 15 year plan to achieve total financial freedom. Join the journey!

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4 thoughts on “Keeping An Eye On My Money – £5,000 Challenge

  1. That certainly does sound like a good start. I see you have kept some “fun money” which I think is a good move. Too many budgets fail because people try to cut out too much of the fun.
    I see your comment that you can do better. That is good sign. Too many budgets fail because people try to do too much too soon. It takes time to adjust to the development of new habits.
    I recall making my first investment in some shares. The first investment is a bit scary but it is a small amount so the real risk is not large. And then one learns more as one goes along.
    Good luck.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement Peter. Yes I agree, there is little point in pushing things too much too soon. It’s important to remember to try and live a bit as well. So far, so good!

  2. Best of luck on your financial journey. It’s nice we get the light bulb moment and think to ourselves, “I can’t continue living my life this way”.

    1. It came with not a second to spare. 5 months in and I cannot believe how much money I was throwing down the drain! My eyes are definitely open now. Thanks for taking the time to visit the blog, it’s great to hear from other bloggers!

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