Tenner Week Feb 2020: Day 2: Where does all my money go?

Tenner Week Feb 2020 Day 2

How are you getting on with your budgeting so far this week? Today is Day Two of the Tenner Week Challenge, and our latest activity is called ‘Where does all my money go?‘ – something I’m sure quite a few of us find ourselves saying shortly before payday when there’s less to spare than we hoped.

Yesterday we tidied up our financial paperwork and online accounts, and today we’re looking at our current accounts at the bank, building society or other financial provider, plus our spending on any type of credit.

It’s time to carefully check our spending for the last three months, and perhaps also look for areas where there’s some room for improvement. Here’s an easy way to run through it:

  • If your statements are in a mess, tidy them up.
  • Once your statements are all neat and in one place, start running through them slowly, line by line.
  • Do you remember making all of the outgoing payments? If there’s anything unexpected or suspicious then query it right away with the bank.
  • Are you still paying for something you no longer use? Perhaps you cancelled a mobile contract but the original provider is still billing you, or a free trial has unexpectedly turned into a regular payment. Check, check, check.
  • Cancel those unused, unwanted subscriptions.
  • If you have a gym membership you no longer use, check the small print of your contract very carefully as many of these memberships are actually credit agreements and if you don’t cancel them properly you can end up in trouble. Once you’re certain how to safely proceed, bin that gym.
  • Where is the rest of your money going? What kinds of things are you spending it on? Look at your essential payments (rent, mortgage, insurance, utilities, car payments or travelcard etc) – what proportion of your income does it take up? Is there any way you could cut some of these fees? [You can do this on Saturday if you decide there’s room for improvement, but just decide ‘yes’ or ‘no’ for today.]
  • Look at your other payments (groceries, going out / leisure, gadgets, beauty products, clothes, hairdressing etc). Does the amount you spend in any particular category surprise you? Is it excessive, and if so, how could you cut back?
  • Now look at any payments you make towards getting rid of debts, or putting into savings, investments, pensions and so on. Is it enough? Can you free up some more money for it? Would you like to set a new goal?

Some banks and money apps sort and colour code your spending categories for you so you can see it at a glance, which can make things easier, although it won’t automatically spot a subscription or membership you don’t use or want any more so you’ll still have to check through for those.

I’m always surprised what turns up during an exercise like this, even though I honestly do try to be organised. I regularly find that one or more of my providers is now offering an uncompetitive deal or that it’s time to ditch a service or subscription that’s simply gone past its use-by date – but on the bright side there’s time for a rethink and room to make some savings.


Let me know if you manage to cancel a subscription or two today!


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  1. I’m doing a modified Tenner week, Sunday-Friday, and my Tenner will actually be $15, about the equivalent of 10 pounds UK money, I think. My daughter is home on Saturday from college and we will need groceries/ I hope to be drastically under, but have already spent $4.99 on a road trip snack on the way home from a concert four hours away. $10.01 will be quite tight for the rest of the week.

  2. Hi Sam – glad you’re on board for this one! Don’t forget that money you spend on your kids, such as groceries to feed them, doesn’t come out of your personal Tenner Week budget. Good luck this week.

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