At the moment, for one reason or another, I am poor.
(pause for dramatic effect)
You may now imagine me elegantly sitting on a windowsill in a scruffy, almost empty apartment, wearing white and looking like a waify, pale English model. You can probably imagine the little makeshift table made out of a cardboard box, with a pretty old scarf as a tablecloth. My only possessions atop the table- a battered copy of The Secret Garden next to a glass of water.
Well it’s not quite like that… But I’m not going to correct you because I like the image. And I’m sure as you read my blog you will build up a more accurate image of me and my room.
So this new found poverty then. Well as I have implied I’m not living on the streets. But I am cutting down a lot on spending. I’ve never really had to do this before so it’s kind of exciting. I’m making a game of it. It’s like a challenge- What do I spend most money on? And how can I spend as little as possible? Screw budgeting. I made an elaborate colour coded excel spreadsheet and I never update it. Instead I’ve become more creative and started putting my crafting/painting/making skills to use.
Here are some of the ways I’ve cut down on spending. Feel free to steal the ideas or comment with your own. Or alternatively read them and think things like ‘Whaatt? I wouldn’t cut down on that, you can’t substitute that!’ Whilst this may entertain you I can assure you that I have done all of these things (yes, I’m THAT poor), and it didn’t kill me. Also, I found it gave me a weird sense of pride that I had made these things and thought of these creative solutions. However I do also have to mention that the weird sense of pride was then followed by a wave of shame for feeling proud about it. Anyway, enough about my complex emotions (I don’t need any more excuses to over analyse them). On to the list. Hope you’re impressed:
Downgrade to Sainsbury’s ownbrand teabags (oh shut up, they taste exactly the same and I’m a big tea fan)
Use powdered milk. You can get a big tub of it, dilute a few teaspoons in a jug of water and keep it in the fridge. It’s way cheaper and you can make as much as you need so it doesn’t go off.
Make your own bread. My boyfriend’s Mum bought us a bread maker and after the initial cost of the machine, it’s cheaper in the long run. No more weekly shopping for bread and milk. Maybe ask for a bread maker for your Birthday? It’s got loads of recipes (also makes scones, fruit loaf, cakes and even jam). Plus it’s pretty exciting to use (it does all the hard work but you can look through the little window and comment on what it’s doing)- and it makes the room smell all yummy and bready. Warning: May cause delusions that you could (and would like to) own a bakery.
I made a table for my Art stuff out of the remains of an old broken coffee table. I took the pieces of wood apart and turned them round the other way so that it was taller. I then painted it bright pink, purple and yellow and put a coat of subtle glitter on top.
I found an old rusty metal adjustable stool when I was hanging out near some skips at the back of some warehouses. I painted the legs blue and the seat green, with little white and yellow daisies. Together with the table I had a free Art zone in my room. Nice and bright and fun.
On another occassion when I was hanging out near the bin storage area outside, I found loads of bits of long thin wood and metal poles that someone had thrown out- think they were once part of various broken pieces of furniture. I used the wood and the metal poles to fashion a clothes rail to the wall (think towel rail but longer). Now there’s enough space for all the clothes to be hung up on hangers. It makes choosing outfits easier as you can see what you have.
My flatmates cut and dye my hair for me- and I do the same for them. We put on some kind of edgy, old indie movie like Ghost World while we’re waiting for the dye. I found a Savers shop nearby that sells hair dye for £1! As long as you’re not annoyingly uptight and you chill out and see it as something to do, you can get a free haircut whenever you want it. And none of us are even slightly trained- we just have common sense and like playing hairdressers.
Hmm I’m sure there’s more but I can’t think of any at the moment. I’ll add more as I find myself implementing slightly eccentric ways to save money.
x Catch you later x