It’s been a few days since I completed the challenge and I’ve had some time to reflect and think about what I learnt and what I have taken away from this challenge in a new light.
Although I’d definitely think twice about doing something this extreme in terms of budgeting again, unless I absolutely had to, it was an eye opening experience and I don’t regret doing it for a second, not at all. In fact, I’d highly recommend doing it at least once in your lifetime, and the severity of how extreme you go is completely up to you, but honestly, I urge anyone to try it.
It was an eye-opening experience as it really showed me how far I could stretch my budget (not comfortably, but still) and showed me that perhaps I choose convenience and ‘FOMO’ as excuses for spending more money on a daily basis than I probably should. Instead, I could easily sacrifice a few luxuries that aren’t cost-efficient and save a lot of money for myself.
As well as this, it also forced me to take a look at aspects of my life which I was probably spending too much money in, especially in regards to food. Regardless of the fact that I was eating a lot less than I should have been for someone who was cycling too and from work, I did manage to eat on my budget, showing me that I can eat for a lot less than I think I could. I believe that if my budget was stretched just a little further to cover £5 a day, then I probably would have been able to eat my daily recommended allowance of calories and might have been able to opt for some different modes of transportation to work maybe once or twice a week.
I have definitely cut down my daily budget quite a bit since the challenge, although I do prefer getting the Tube to work rather than cycling; but that’s just a personal preference seeing as it’s currently Winter. And I won’t neglect my occasional treat in eating out with work colleagues or getting lunch, but there is a significant increase in Tesco’s meal deals being bought rather than expensive lunches.
I didn’t particularly believe that I had that much of a budgeting problem, as I can make it to the end of the calendar month without finding myself too close to getting into my overdraft at the end. However, by doing this challenge, I am able to see how much better off and how much money I would be able to save if I just curbed some of my ‘bad habits’ just slightly.