Tenner Week January 2023: Day 1

Our brand new Tenner Week budgeting challenge starts today! Are you ready to live on a budget of £10 over the next seven days for your personal spending, and maybe even enjoy it?

As a quick reminder, the general theme for the January 2023 challenge is simple daily ideas and activities to help with stress reduction, and we’re going to start today with a five minute exercise I’m calling ‘Aaaaand breathe‘.

Breathing exercises are a quick and usually completely free way to create a sense of calm and to begin to reduce our stress levels. All you have to do this Monday is put five minutes aside where you can have a moment to yourself.

If you don’t know where to start, this free breathing exercise for stress from the NHS will give you an ideal set of easy-to-follow, simple instructions. It can be done standing up, sitting in a chair that supports your back, or lying on a bed or yoga mat on the floor, so even if you have limited mobility or you feel exhausted, you can still join in.

By the way, if your nurse or GP has already given you a set of breathing exercises, such as post-covid ones or to help with anxiety or any other condition, please be sure to follow those instead.

You might also like to try five or more minutes of:

  • Mindfulness breathing exercises
  • One of the many types of yoga breathing
  • Box breathing AKA ‘square breathing’ (no, you don’t have to breathe into a box, don’t worry)
  • Sitting or lying still and counting as you naturally breathe in and out

If you find any breathing techniques to be calming or stress-reducing, you also have the option of doing a few minutes per day throughout the week and beyond that too, if you’d like.


Tenner Week breathing exercises happy fish



What’s happening here

Last January I only had a £2 budget for the whole of my Tenner Week because we’d ordered a veg box delivery as part of a resolution to eat more healthy food. This time around we aren’t having a veg box, but one of my January 2023 resolutions is to take more exercise and I’ve committed to two exercise classes per week, with a get-out clause of being able to skip one.

Yes, just like last year I’m very very close to scuppering my own budgeting challenge right from day one! Maybe I’ll be sensible and take the easy route in 2024, but in the meantime I’ll have to do one £9 class tonight and skip the other one. I mean, I love a good challenge and all that, but this is ridiculous even by last year’s standards.

The plan is to do a free Apple Fitness class later in the week (on a free trial, of course) to at least partly make up for bailing on round two of the usual classes, and to bimble along for the rest of the week with the princely remaining sum of £1 pounds sterling burning a teeny tiny hole in my pocket.

Well, I hope we don’t run out of anything important this week. I did do the Sunday Stocktake yesterday and drew up what I think looks like a good menu, so at least the basics are covered. There was a lot of gubbins lurking at the bottom of the fridge that needed to be got rid of before it learned how to climb out of there on its own, er, hang on, no, I mean ‘cooked into some delicious meals’. Yep, that’s it, delicious meals.

I’ve also frozen some bread to make sure it doesn’t go stale. Tonight’s dinner is going to be a very quick, easy curry and rice, prepped before my exercise class and gratefully tucked into afterwards.


Will you have to spend any of your £10 budget today? Hope you manage to enjoy a quiet five minutes to inhale…aaaand exhale.


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  1. I’m doing this Penny! Got my £10 out the cash machine yesterday.
    Managed to spend nothing today as I was working from home. I did some really nice meditation on the Apple Fitness app too. My husband got a 3 month trial of it from his Barclaycard and it’s great – there are tons of options for those of us who aren’t quite so athletic. ?

    1. Hi Jackie, a no-spend day is such a good idea for Day 1. I’ll be trying Apple Fitness for the first time myself later this week, hopefully, and maybe we can compare notes later.

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