We’re about to start a new Tenner Week budgeting challenge, and the theme for March is Leak Week. The overarching aim for the week is to look for places where money might be leaking out of your bank account, and find ways to remedy it so that you can keep more of your hard-earned cash.
The main aim of each Tenner Week is simple: you try to live on a budget of £10 (pocket money) or £25 (all in, with your personal share of household groceries) over the next seven days for your personal spending, plus you get a new activity to try each day that fits with the general theme. You’re also encouraged to generally make the most of what you own, and try to recycle, mend, upcycle, improvise, use up groceries you already have, and avoid waste wherever you can.
[In case anyone needs a reminder, your budget doesn’t include: rent, mortgage, utility bills, prescriptions and medicines, travel to and from work, anything you need to buy for work, tickets or subscriptions you’ve already purchased, or money you need to spend on your kids / pets / partner.]
The Leak Week schedule
As always, we have a new activity to try out each day, including at least one completely free option.
Here’s the schedule for all the money-saving activities and ideas through the week, where we’ll be cutting waste, shopping smarter, getting a better deal, and chucking out some bad influences:
- Monday: Food waste can get in the bin
- Tuesday: I feel so… unused
- Wednesday: Spring renewal
- Thursday: Communication breakdown
- Friday: #Deinfluence yourself
- Saturday: Borrow, don’t buy
- Sunday: On the mend
Some of these activities only take five minutes or so, especially at the start of the week and on Fridays when things can be hectic. As always, don’t worry if you have to miss a day’s activity, you can just catch up later at the weekend.
The Sunday stocktake (optional)
This one’s completely optional, but it only takes a few minutes to complete the speedy stocktake and it can really help your budget. Look around your home to see what’s already available to you right now, because it never hurts to have a little reminder.
Start with your food and drink, making a note of everything including the contents of:
- Cupboards, especially dried and longlife foods
- Bread bin, cake tin, biscuit box
- Tea or coffee tin
- Fruit bowl
- Herbs & spices, sauces
- Drinks cabinet / wine rack / soft drinks store
- Kitchen garden or allotment
- Secret chocolate stash, snack box or sweetie jar
I also like to plan ahead and freeze one or two things like milk or bread so there’ll be some left to use towards the end of the week.
Since it’s Leak Week, you might also like to gather your bank and credit card statements together or tidy them up today, whether they’re in app, online or paper form. It’s not essential, but it could definitely save you a little time during the week.
It’s good to keep busy during this sort of challenge so you don’t feel the urge to spend, spend spend. You might like to take stock of these too:
- Fitness stuff: sportswear, bike, gym membership or home equipment.
- Entertainment: anything so you aren’t scrolling on social media.
- Creative outlets: art and craft materials, design software, musical instruments, decorating materials, notebooks, sewing kit, etc.
Are you ready for a low-spend challenge that will also hopefully put a few quid back into your pocket? I’m raring to go on this one – who’s with me?