Matilda Relefors has managed to save a staggering £1,550 in just one month and now, she’s sharing her secret.
The 28-year-old managed to go an entire month without spending any money – well, sort of.
After noticing the rising cost in living, as well as wanting to avoid food waste, Matilda began challenging herself to no spend months, and says she feels much more financially secure and ‘calm’.
Of course, there are some outgoings she can’t avoid – namely food and bills – but the rest of her money stayed firmly in her account, with no spending on transport, socialising or clothes shopping.
She explained: ‘When I do a “No Spend Month” I’m only allowed one food shop in the whole month, I plan my meals and get it delivered on the 1st of the month. My budget for that is £100.
‘My rules are I only spend money on bills, and if my dog needs something urgently.’
Matilda completed her last no spend month in November, and it was a huge success.
‘It honestly wasn’t that hard because it was November, the most boring month, and I didn’t want to go out anyway,’ said Matilda.
‘It would be a lot harder if I still lived in London or it was summer time because then I want to go out and do stuff all the time.
‘If I have to pick one hardest thing it would be that I only did one food shop at the start of the month that had to last me for the whole month.
‘I had to be thrifty and figure out what I needed to eat first and what I could save for later on in the month, utilising my freezer a lot.’
But it paid off because Matilda – who usually spends £1,800 per month on rent, bills, food, clothes and going out – saved £1,550 in just 30 days.
The food Matilda ate in November:
- Apple crumble baked oats
- Basque cheesecake
- Butter sage chicken pasta
- Sausage carbonara
- Pasta al norcina
- Green curry
- Rice paper noodle rolls
- Fried Rice paper salmon poke bites
- Breakfast McMuffins
- Ginger lemon honey shots
- Chicken stir fry with green pepper, edamame noodles and teriyaki sauce
- Peanut butter date salted caramel smoothie
- salted caramel truffles
- Vanilla chai pancakes
- Salted caramel cookie bars
- Gingerbread blondies
- Orzo meatballs with whipped feta
- One pot chicken rice with red pepper
- Ham & cheese baguettes
- Pot noodles
- Frozen bolognese sauce
- Veggies and hummus
She said: ‘I was inspired to do this challenge by similar videos I’ve seen on TikTok, and the rising cost of living which feels overwhelming sometimes.
‘I realised I had large amounts of food sitting in my cupboards and freezer and yet I was still buying new food continuously. I thought surely I can just eat this food and stay in for a month without socialising and I could save so much money.’
Matilda also recognises that a ‘no spend month’ isn’t something you’d want to do long term, but that it is a great way to save.
She added: ‘It’s not a sustainable lifestyle but it’s great to do every once in a while for a financial reset, especially if you want to save quickly.
‘It’s caused me to be incredibly mindful about what I spend, and it’s been a real eye opener in terms of how long some food actually lasts and how long I can go without spending a penny.
‘I feel very calm and happy about my achievement, it’s made me more mindful about spending, which are habits I’ll take with me forever, and it’s made me want to hold on to my money more.
‘Not in a lack mindset kind of way, but more that I will think harder about a purchase decision and ask myself: “do I really need this?”‘
For those wanting to do the same, Matilda has a Facebook group for like minded people who want to do the challenge in January – the perfect time since we’re all going to be pretty low on funds after Christmas anyway.
Matilda’s top tips for a no spend month:
(If possible) Work from home! I’ve only been leaving the house to go on walks with my dog.
Make your own rules on what works best for you.
Shop your wardrobe and your cupboards first – don’t buy any new clothes or food. You have enough.
Documenting her no spend challenge on TikTok, Matilda also gained 35,000 new followers who were keen to take her advice.
She said: ‘I blew up on Tiktok and gained thousands of new followers from doing it, and 99% of the feedback has been positive. People have so many questions and are so curious about it.
‘My friends and family have been super supportive – all my friends are in London or my hometown of Stockholm so we’re used to a long distance friendship by now.
‘I am extra social when I’m not doing a no spend month and I’ve always got lots of social plans after it’s over.
‘My parents are especially proud that I’m taking charge of my finances.’
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