Has it really been five days? Because it feels like a MILLION
It’s fair to say that this week’s challenge has been fairly difficult, for several reasons which I will discuss below…
For any newbies out there, I’ll give you a quick summary. This week I decided to live below my means and would only allow myself £5 for the entire 5 days to spend on food, drink, petrol, activities etc.
So how did it work?
Well this confused people a little. I didn’t go to the shop on Monday with £5 and buy my food for the week. For anyone who has done that, hats off to you, but I couldn’t do that because:
a) I’m too lazy to be a bargain hunter.
b) It’s surely impossible.
I bought my food (from Aldi) and made big batches of meals, then divided the cost of how much each item would cost.
For example, a bag of 10 carrots cost £39p, so for every carrot I ate, it cost me 4p.
So how did it go?
Well, I started the week off cocky af. I made the same meals as I normally would, just smaller portion sizes.
This is what a typical meal looked like:
I rode to work on my bike, and decided that I wasn’t going to have my normal two cups of coffee as this would eat into my budget.
It was probably about 11am when the caffeine withdrawal headache kicked in. We worked out that a cup of coffee costs about 4p, so I gave in and had my fix.
Tuesday sprung upon me, and in case you’ve forgotten, it was the HOTTEST.DAY.EVERRRR, meaning we were bought ice-creams in work. But alas, I had to turn mine down as it would have cost me 80p.
Freebies were specifically off limits.
I was still happy with the challenge though, and by Tuesday evening I was convinced that bar a few smaller portion sizes, I do live below my means in my normal life and need to start treating myself a little bit more!
Wednesday rolled around, and it was pissing it down. And by pissing it down I mean, giant-golf-ball-sized hail stones.
I spent a good half an hour fannying about wondering whether or not it would stop, and it didn’t. So I jumped in my car and drove to work.
(FYI, in the ‘official’ challenge it only includes food&drink, I added petrol because I like to make things difficult for myself)
I got to work and my challenge cheerleader Dan worked out that it cost me 36p there and back. So I added that to the budget.
Fortunately, I’d banked up 40p already so it didn’t harm the allowance, but it was slightly annoying.
Anyway, I was tucking into my delightful 4p carrot snack….
When it hit me. I suddenly felt like shit. I was weak, tired and struggling to concentrate.
I did consider giving up then, but once I got home and had a carby meal, I felt a little better.
***If you’re a guy then you may want to skip the next two paragraphs***
It turns out I came on my period, so that explains the weirdness. But I wasn’t due my period for another 1.5 weeks. And it wasn’t a normal period, it was what can only be described as a ‘bitty’ period that doesn’t really exist.
Now I’ve had this before when I’ve done excessive exercise and restricted calories. But surely after 3 days this can’t have had much of an affect on my body?? Well I guess it did because that’s what happened.
*** Guys can continue reading from here***
So anyway, Thursday came and I felt good again! Walked to work, ate my food, did my exercise – boom.
Now Friday is where it gets interesting…
It was Josh’s birthday at work, and the rules of our work is that if it is your birthday, then you must provide the office with treats.
Yep, we’re a little bit weird like that.
So Josh being the thoughtful human that he is, bought a load of biscuits, and specifically got me a pack of 25 custard creams costing 20p.
Now that’s less than 1p per biscuit. Which when you compare it to a 25p apple, is ridiculous. I could have literally eaten the whole pack, and still had enough budget for plenty more food.
I had two. Terrible.
Anyway, I’ll spare you the boring details but we’d had a pretty bad week in work, and the consensus was that we all deserved a beer. I said that I couldn’t take part as surely my challenge doesn’t end till midnight??
But, I was greeted to a chorus of reassurance that my challenge was over. I technically started at 10pm Sunday, and I’d made it to 5pm Friday.
So taking everything into account including: Josh’s birthday, a bad week, peer pressure, and various technicalities, I decided to treat myself to a beer.
Some of my friends disagreed that this was not okay, and I’d failed my challenged, which I’m happy to accept. If you want to start calling me 4.5 days, then that’s fine with me.
But whether i’d failed or not is irrelevant, because on this challenge I’ve learnt the biggest lessons so far:
- Trying to be healthy when you don’t have a lot of money is almost impossible.
- People are kind and will always offer handouts, even when they know I’m not technically poor!
- The amount of food you can eat on £5 is literally nothing.
- Water costs more than I thought.
- Maintaining the same daily exercise whist eating less is not easy.
- I am definitely addicted to caffeine.
- Money holds all the power.
So this challenge has certainly been the most testing one so far! It’s taken over my life for the week (4.5 days), and it’s definitely been an eye-opener. I’ll be donating the money I saved to Live Below the Line.
Got any fun ideas for challenges? Then please send me some suggestions here!
Ciao for now.