This is harder than I thought it would be.
After a week of challenging myself to siphon off 100% of my non-essential spending, I must admit I am finding the challenge difficult. Both to keep track of, and cope with.
So far since Monday I have incurred the following costs:
- £2.80 for lunch on Tuesday
- £2.99 for lunch on Wednesday
- £3 from 3 10-minute showers
- £3 for some beers I bought last night
- 60p for a chocolate bar on Monday evening
- £3.50 for a magazine this morning
- £0.90 for a bottle of drink this morning
That’s a total of £16.79 in 4 days, averaging at £4.20 a day. That’s a bit of a shock to the system! I definitely need to cut back on that.
The biggest hitter (unsurprisingly) is food. I’m always buying food. I should learn to be better prepared. It doesn’t take long to make lunch, or remember to pack a snack. The £3.50 magazine was an interesting one – I woke up this morning on the wrong side of bed, so I bought it to cheer myself up. I wonder if there are cheaper and/or better ways to do that (but that’s a whole new blog).
The other thing that surprises me is that a part of me resents the idea of giving the money away.
There are two reasons I can see for that:
- I don’t want to give it away. It’s my money, I earned it and I need it to sustain the lifestyle that I currently have. I live at my means, and I like it.
- I don’t know the people I am giving it to. I have no experience of them, their lives, their plight or their needs. So my heart is not pulled as much as I would like it to be.
I suppose the first of those two is a point of character building. I need to de-construct my selfish approach that focuses on over-consumption (beyond the means of the planet and a fair economy). That’s going to take time and experience to work through. But I will press on with that.
The second is a bit more difficult. I could travel out to Africa to help – but I would just be another westerner coming in for a couple of weeks, and then disappearing again. I wonder how much of a help I would actually be. Then again, if it enables me to care for them in such a way that my heart hurts when I, my culture or society do anything that hurts them – maybe it would be worth it. What do you think?