How to control personal spending: month 2 – mid-month update

If you’ve read the last post, you’ll know that my aim for the month of June is to stick to my personal-spending budget of £120 by dividing it into 24 x £5 a day, which means six days not taking the £5 daily allowance. Furthermore, because cash tends to come out of the ATM £10 at a time, I have been withdrawing it roughly three times a week. So how’s it going?

Not very well. Actually, I should qualify that by saying that I am still within budget albeit with less money that I would like to last until the end of the month – £20 to last ten days, which would have been £40 using May’s method. In other words, I have overspent.

So what went wrong? Well, the new method does not regulate (control) spending as effectively as the £4-a-day method, but I think this is largely because I am withdrawing larger sums (£10 a time) which then have to last two to three days. It feels like the bad old days of withdrawing cash as and when I “need” it, without any thought for what I’ve spent so far, or how much I need to last the rest of the month. Hopeless.

What I need is a very clear way to visualise the money available to me today, tomorrow and every day. What I need is this…


…but with an extra row of pockets for days 25 to 30. I could then put £4 in each pocket, or £5 in 24 of the pockets. OK, this may be taking things too far, but this kind of visualisation would make the situation as clear as it could possibly be. So for next month, I think I’ll try something like this and it turns out there are products out there that would be perfect:

pocket calendar

This one even has see-through pockets and spare pockets at the end for any carry-forward amounts. Obviously, spending money on this would be wasteful and so I’ll have to come up with my own version.

I’ll be back in a couple of weeks with a two-month update and hopefully a new plan for July’s spending. In the meantime, feel free to add comments and suggestions.




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