Tenner Week: A look back

Quite a few of us took part in Tenner Week last week, and I was very impressed by everything you all got up to. Vivana from The Lean Times has already summed up her experiences rather nicely if you’d like to go and have a look.

If you haven’t heard of Tenner Week before, here are the rules:

Rule 1: You work in cash, allowing £10 for the week. (excludes travelcard, mortgage, rent, utility bills, gift vouchers or storecard points)

Rule 2 : You must not sit at home watching television all night, every night (you can pick 2 films, or 3 hours of TV shows to watch at home during the week)

At the final count I’d spent £9.62 and watched 2 hours and 59 minutes of television, so the week went OK. The money went on apples, an avocado, some food at Wagamama, tips for waiters, some courgette seeds and a cup of tea. The trip to Lidl was essential, but in all honesty I could have done without everything else – although that would have meant I’d have needed to pay £5.95 for my fish and chips on Friday, so it’s all swings and roundabouts.

Money-wise, it’s the perfect excuse to use up things in your fridge, freezer and cupboards, and it also cuts down on food waste. Strangely, it also made us eat more healthily as I fretted about not getting my five fruit and veg per day, and more tastily as I feared monotonous stodge. It’s also the first time I’ve been out foraging in the neighbourhood, and, er, ditto for scrumping. Still, it was nice to have some fresh blackberries.

On the TV front, I hadn’t realised how much my hours of telly viewing had crept up over the past year. In the cold light of day I think it had become borderline excessive for me, and it all comes at the cost of doing other things that I mainly enjoy more. It was good to get shaken up out of the rut, even if it made The Beau uncomfortable on occasion. My other half works in television so he has to keep up with lots of shows, but that’s not something I have to constantly join in with.

I loved filling the time with things that made me happier, such as reading novels and articles, listening to music, listening to the news on the radio, looking for interesting events, and writing.

On to the bonus points:

  • Using things up that you already have – yes (food, books, beauty goodies)
  • Mending or altering something – no
  • Keeping fit – yes (700 sit ups, a workout and lots of walking)
  • Doing something relaxing – yes (pampering)
  • Keeping in touch with friends – yes (emails and meals out)
  • Finding a freebie – yes (lovely necklace bought with gift voucher)
  • Learning something new – no (unless you count scrumping, but have been inspired to find evening classes)
  • Being creative – yes (but only in the kitchen if I’m going to be honest)
  • Having 1 or 2 days where you spend nothing – yes (two days)

I didn’t finish sorting out my home office, and I never quite got round to altering those clothes. Strangely, altering clothes is something I usually do while I’m watching films…

For me Tenner Week wasn’t really so much about the budgeting side of things, although it was quite nice to have a little extra left in the bank at the end of the month. It’s more about shaking yourself up, getting out of your everyday patterns of working, shopping and spending free time. It’s also a chance to recycle things and draw upon resources and skills that might otherwise be under-used.

When you shake up your routine it can be difficult for other people, but hey, it’s only for a week. They’ll cope. Most of all it’s given me an opportunity to look at the everyday way I live my life, a timely reminder of what I really love, plus some time to reflect upon the next few things that I’d like to do.

Are you tempted to give it a go, if you haven’t tried having a Tenner Week already?

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  1. I enjoyed it and it made me realise how little I do spend on stuff like ready made coffee. I am organised and fill the freezer when I have dosh for when I haven’t so feels like a bit of a cheat really. As for the telly side of it, I am home so late in the evenings, it is usually meal and bed after catching up on Emmerdale. Most of the stuff I watch is recorded for a cold winter day LOL (like Downton Abbey). My frugality is starting to rub off though as my daughter is now baking pies with left over meats!
    A handy tip. If your balsamic vinegar tastes bitter, add some sweetener too it. It works wonders and saves having to buy the real expensive stuff

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