I will be doing a low spend year to sort my life out

2024 is going to be the year where I really start to focus on getting my finances in order, as currently I am not in the right place with them. I am still in the habit of spending money for the sake of it and I am realising now just how much I am wasting and how the money could be saved and put towards something much more worthwhile like getting a room in the house redecorated. 

I am challenging myself to having a low spend year in 2024 and I am determined to really stick to this not just for the financial benefit but also as I am hoping that 2024 is the year that the house has a whole declutter transformation. As it stands all the surfaces & cupboards are over run with unnecessary things and products which just need using up rather than having duplicates taking up even more space. I am really hoping that having a low buy year will help me massively reduce the clutter as I will be bringing in the bare minimum to the house and instead using up everything I already own. 

As I go around decluttering room by room I will be sure to take note of what I do need but I wont rush out to get it straight away. This should help me stick to the low spend year and also get me really thinking about it the purchase is really going to be worth it or not, something I need to learn to do in most areas as I spend just so I don't come home empty handed.

As I have mentioned a fair few times on here already this year, my big focus is on building up those savings and finally getting the house how we want it by redecorating all the rooms we can and if I do manage to do a low spend year I am more likely to get all the jobs I want to do this year done but there is even the possibility of getting more done if them savings really start to take shape.

January is all about taking stock of what I have got to ensure I am well prepared for what sort of things I need to keep an eye out for and allow space for in the budget, it will also help me work out what I really don't need to consider repurchasing again for a long time, if ever again at all. In terms of main focus areas I will be taking stock of what we have food wise in the cupboards as currently I know we have far too many packets of pasta and I can stop buying that for a long time. I will also be taking stock of all the clothing I have, I realised lately that I have 3 pairs of the same jeans which is no needed and lets not get started on how many of the same t-shirts I have. There will also be a focus on bathroom items as there are so many things I could use up before buying more however, I get sucked in by offers in stores and things end up going to waste, again something I am trying to stop doing. 

The big rule for this low spend challenge is that I can not re-buy something until I am completely out of what I already own, so say I see a shower gel I want but I have 4 bottles at home I have to use those 4 up before buying new. As for clothing the same applies, if I want new jeans I will remind myself of what I already have and if those still fit me then I don't need new ones. 

Granted with clothing I may need to re-buy a few bits as I head towards my weight loss goal especially as the seasons change. However, the plan is to limit the shopping trips and clothing purchases to four big shops during the course of the year. I will save up for these shopping trips so I go with a budget in mind and will make a list of things I actually need before heading out so I am not buying things for the sake of it. I will be doing the 4 trips as this should have me covered for every season. This should save me a lot of money in the long run by cutting back and going armed with a list. I will also be saving towards any concert merchandise within this too so again I can't go overboard.

Of course the big plan for the year is to get the jobs around the house done so within the low buy year I will be having to buy a lot of paint, furniture and accessories however, these are all budgeted for already so it will all be within the rules of the low buy plus when it comes to the accessories I won't be going overboard and buy loads of pieces like I have in the past, I will put a limit on them. I will also be budgeting for holidays however, again I will not be being silly and spending every penny whilst away like I usually do.

To keep track of all this I am going to have a notes page and a bullet journal page where I mark down what I am allowed to buy ie. things to help with jobs, odd treats that all fit within my budget, what I really need to pick up as essentials. I am also going to put down what I really wanted to buy but didn't so I can see any repeat offenders and just how much I am saving by sticking to this. It is going to be fun to see how this develops over the year and to see just how my spending habits change.

I am really hoping that this low spend year is going to help our savings massively grow even with us doing the jobs around the house which will eat into the savings a fair bit. Those jobs really are a priority though so any extra money towards getting them finally done is really going to help and will put us in a better place for getting the rest of the house sorted. I am really looking forward to seeing how the year doing this goes and seeing how my spending habits change over the next 12 months...

For now though let's go start the declutter and make January's pay day allowed to buy list.

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