Every time I do a Tenner Week challenge and live on £10 for a week I notice that my attitude shifts, and other things change too. Much of it is unexpected, and sometimes even counterintuitive.
Here are a few examples of useful things that I’ve learned, plus one or two weird and wonderful observations.
You look forward to your meals more than usual
The simple act of planning a menu seems to make food more interesting, especially if you plan for some thrifty household favourites. I was genuinely surprised when this started to happen because I thought that less spontaneity would mean less flavour and less fun. Wrong!
Perhaps it simply makes you value your food more, when it technically becomes more scarce. Who knows?
You eat healthier food and drink more water
Going on a Tenner Week makes me try extra hard to eat good, healthy food. Sometimes it’s all too easy to tell yourself that you’ll get around to eating more healthily at some point…but a strict budget makes you sit up and take notice right away.
There’s also the added health bonus of having less ready-made or restaurant food, and perhaps also having less alcohol and/or coffee.
Window shopping is a very bad idea
It’s very important NOT to torture yourself with things you can’t afford. You can break your own will and end up going shopping and blowing your £10 budget there and then, or you can go into fantasy shopping mode and start creating a gigantic purchase list for later.
One way around this is to say you’re going to spend £2 or £3 today on a treat, and then go to a pound shop or somewhere similar with very cheap prices such as a sweet shop, stationers or a high street chemist. That sometimes takes away the urge to splurge, but if not then your budget won’t be wrecked.
Never go shopping the day after Tenner Week ends
As with the point above, you can end up doing a binge spend, especially if you’ve been planning on doing some seriously big shopping all though the week and making too many promises to yourself.
The TV Diet makes you do ALL the things you’ve been putting off
The TV Diet is completely optional, but whenever I follow the rules of one I take more exercise, get more administrative/organising things done, look for more general enjoyment in life, have better conversations with people, and make all kinds of plans for the future.
I’m not saying all TV is bad for you, but an excessive amount of it makes me feel lethargic and irritable and it might be doing that to you too. This time around I got stuck into some serious decluttering and spring cleaning, and now genuinely feel lighter and more comfortable in my home surroundings.
Have you noticed anything else unexpected happening when you’ve switched to living on a very tight budget? Any tips for newbies who are thinking about trying their first Tenner Week?