THE PLAN...(Part 1)


In order to break three of our three biggest family issues Alcohol, Debt and Overeating (I keep changing the name of the last one but basically I mean 'stop being so fat') we need to have a plan. Alcohol is by far going to be the hardest part for my husband. Although I wouldn't call him an alcoholic in the stereotypical sense, he doesn't drink in the day and he doesn't drink bottles of white lightning on a park bench. but he is most definitely dependant on alcohol and after loads of long chats we have come to realise it is the only coping mechanism he knows. For me it is going to be eating, I eat compulsively, I buy take away sandwiches and coffee's on my way to and from work without even realising I am doing it. 
All of this doesn't help the third trap - Debt.

So I thought a good way to make us both more conscious of what we were putting in out bodies would be to focus on the finance before anything else. I am hoping that the psychology of not restricting the food or alcohol intake but restricting the budget might make it easier that saying 'stop drinking' and 'stop eating'

So the plan is essentially a Spending Ban

I am not going to pretend I came up with this idea all by myself, I got the inspiration from listening to an audio version of 'The year of less' by Cait Flanders, you can find her blog here: I bought it on a whim as with most things I buy, and her life had so many parallels to our family life, especially our three traps Alcohol, Eating and Debt.  I feel like Cait had a bigger mountain to climb in some aspects (all these problems were hers alone) but on the other hand trying to get the husband and child on board with our plan is going to be tough!

So my initial rules for the spending ban are:

Things I am not allowed to spend money on

  1. Take-away coffee - I reckon I spend around £1500 a year on take-away coffee. £3.30 a cup twice a day 5 days a week x 47 working weeks in the year = £1551. That doesn't even include the weekends :O 
  2. Clothing - I am not even that into clothes but I hate my shape and am constantly  buying new stuff hoping that will help and never wearing it. Exceptions to this rule are clothes for my son when he grows out of his (he is 5 they grow quick) underwear and socks, school uniforms and things to replace broken items once I have completed the Purge element of this challenge. 
  3. Household items and bric-a-brac 
  4. Electronics not on the approved shopping list
  5. Shoes
  6. Books - Unless we have read all the books in our collections
  7. Stationery, unless I actually run out of something - which won't happen
  8. Lipstick - I have enough to last forever
  9. Jewellery, accessories etc 
  10. Food in work, or on my commute except for fruit. 
Things I am allowed to spend money on
  1. Food shopping 
  2. Basic cosmetics when I run out (Eyeliner, Foundation and Mascara) 
  3. Toiletries when I run out 
  4. Cleaning products when I run out
  5. Trips out as a family but they need to be done frugally (packed lunches etc)
  6. School related expenses (Trips etc)
Things we are limiting the amount of money we spend on
  1. Board games - £300 per year 
  2. Video Games - £240 per year (£24.50 game bought plus £27 PSN subscription (Oct-Dec) £51.50)
  3. Alcohol - Figure to be determined soon :/ 
  4. Toys for Vinnie on a one in one out basis.
In addition to these rules we will be able to replace things when they break as long as the original item is discarded, buy a gift for each other on birthdays and Christmas - £50 limit for birthdays £100 limit for Christmas. And purchase items from the approved shopping list.

I will post the approved shopping list tomorrow, some come back and hold my accountable!