Well, thank you Blogger for messing up all my schedules posts and making me uber late... thank you. Ranting aside, here goes my Scrimping update and conclusion of earlier on this week. As some of you may have read, I have been (attempting) to survive on just £95 for one week, just like the people out there who may have had to if you had the misfortune of ever being ill or off work for a number of weeks.
£95 is err, shall we say, a pretty measly amount to live off. I don't have a hectic social life, and neither do I live on the 'finer' things in life - I live in a 2 bedroom house and have the same kinds of bills and expectations to fulfil as the next person. I truly thought that this week would be a breeze - it really hasn't.
Day One - Monday.
First day of the £95 a week challenge, and I was buzzing to get started, sad I know, But I love proving a point. First port of call is my usual Costa coffee and pastry breakfast - granted, this could be considered as a luxury, but with my eye bags?? it is seen as a necessity for me... and lots of. I made a point of bringing in my lunch today, no buying out for me it would seem, and who can go wrong with a cheese and salad sandwich!? Spending the entire day at work is a real decent money saver and therefore I didn't spend anything else throughout the whole day. After work, it was a gym visit where the only expenditure needed, was the gym car park - simples non? Here's the breakdown for today:
Feeling good about today already, especially judging from yesterday's performance! Today was another long day at work, that once again started with Costa for brekkie (not sure I could break this habit!) I once again took my lunch with me, for no added cost, although it has to be said, I felt very anxious knowing I had to be strict with myself and not nip to the shops for any other nibbles - every penny helps an' all that. After work came the gym and car park costs, then afterwards came a sneaky meal out with drinks at my local Harvester. Not something I was planning to do, but I really wanted to see if I could test myself and my budget out - instead of just saying no to something I would normally go to. I enjoyed the meal out and it was good to be part of something social, however, I did pick my menu choices carefully and feel guilty after. Not a nice feeling.
+ Coffee £2.45
+ Car Park £1.80
Well, today, I had to turn down 2 Blogger/press events. I didn't really have to, but I knew I should. It was going to cost me £26.00 in train fares alone, without food or anything that remotely looks like fun. So after feeling deciding glum, knowing I cant afford to go to London, I also had to think twice about getting my barnet chopped. It's currently been 3months since I had a trim, and well, lets face it, the 'mop' could use it. But once again, I knew I couldn't really afford the £30+ price bracket - another cancellation loomed. After the morning's coffee, I popped into town for a new party dress needed. I was (over) due a night out and promised myself a new (but cheap) party frock to dance the night away in. After a somewhat, shall we say depressing journey into town, I couldn't find anything I liked in my price range - which, errrr, wasn't big. I resorted to H&M and got myself a little ditty for £35. Fetching I'd say! Tonight I was asked out for a Noodle Bar, of which I felt I had to decline. What with only Sixty odd quid left, I felt I should make today as cheap as chips.
+ Coffee & Pastry £4.14
Well, Day four already, and I only have twenty smackeroonies left.... This is hard. So much harder than I ever imagined it would be to be honest. Today is Thursday and I have my very important Team Bangs event to go to - not a huge expense, but it is travelling into London. Train fare was bought and a brilliant day was had by all, more will feature later, and I splurged a little on lunch. I knew I shouldnt have, but I was with my new team mates, so felt I had to and well I wanted to! This Thursday has pretty much cleaned me out. I have no money left over for the extra day AND going to see my parents in Devon as planned - lets face it, a full tank of petrol, is in excess of £50. I feel utterly low, and feel like I am constantly checking my purse and coins - everything I have is important.
Errr.... I have no money left. Not a penny. I literally cannot believe how quickly that money just disappears, I mean did I really just flounce it around??I'm puzzled by half of it, but also know now, that my quality of life, one that I'm familiar with, is not suited to just £95. I had plans to go to my parents for this weekend, in the West country. But on this money, there is no way I could have. I have, however, gone to see them as I do have money, but I just know, that there are many people out there who just don't and couldn't.
It makes me value pretty much everything I have in my life right now as I know that I am horribly spoilt. People on sickness pay are getting overlooked, no responsible adult can survive on such money - there is no way. Whether Unum are or are not the best way to go about protecting your income and possibly your future, I dont know, but it does beg the question as to how can these people survive and who is going to look after these people - Unum seem to be one company wiling to try.
I was asked to evaluate what I missed out on through lack of money - it was a lot. Not one thing in particular I might add, and no one thing more than the other. But what it has made me realise, is that my demands are so much more selfish than others - some people are pretty much just screaming out for a chance to survive the day/week on the little food they can pay for after other costs. It seems unfair of me to judge what I missed out on, just because my needs are selfish.
For those of you who are out there and struggling, please go seek help and check out Unum's website: www.unum.co.uk
Produced for Sarah Scribbles by Sarah to a brief agreed with Unum. Payment made by Unum restricted to ESA allowance only. All editorial overseen and controlled by Sarah Scribbles