Friday, 25 February 2011

1. A journey into frugality

Oh yes, it seems that I need to jump into the frugal blogger arena starting today. Long story short, my university changed its tuition payment schedule (don't get me started) so everyone has received letters saying that we need to pay our fees in full by March 7th. Previously we paid in installments throughout the year. This is very inconsiderate, and not to mention very unprofessional, on the part of the university to just change things on us with little to no notice, but here I am. I all but had to drain my British checking account to cover my outstanding fees. When I go home in May I'll be able to transfer over some more money but until then I've got 6 weeks, a trip to Barcelona, £200 and a stash of $135 dollars which I'm hoping will stay intact.

If I was at home, or anywhere in the US for that matter, this would be a piece of cake, but I'm not. I live in one of the most expensive cities in the world and I'm going to get by on just £25 a week. Fortunately I paid all of my rent up front so all I really need to worry about is food and transportation. Getting around London is expensive which is why I usually buy a one month travel card for £80. Obviously that's not an option this time around, so when mine runs out on March 11th I'll be switching over to pay as you go, but mostly I'll be walking. I go into uni 3 days a week so I figure I can get one bus either on the way there or on the way back and then get the free bus for the second part of the journey both ways.

My previous budget that I tried to stick to was £50 a week plus transportation. I always did fine with that until I would forget to take out cash and would start using my card. Plastic isn't good when you're on a budget.

Anyway, I'm looking at spending no more than £3.57 per day. Here it goes.

Groceries for today
bread           .79p
cold cuts    1.00
cheese         .98p
tomato         .55p
pastry          .20p
total            3.52

For dinner I'll be making something that uses up stuff I already have in order to minimize having to buy anything else. All I can say is, I'm glad I listened to my grandma and have always had a good stock of canned soup hidden away. Yum, can't wait. Six weeks to go, I can do this.