Monday, 4 February 2013

The Tenner Challenge: day four - annnnd relax

Today was just one of those Mondays where there was no time spare to do anything of any note except work and remember to breathe every now and then. A late meeting, a project I've been working on for ages finally going live and a hundred or so emails made for an exceptionally busy start of the week. Luckily I'd packed lunch as there was no time for a break and under normal circumstances I probably would have either gone without or ran to the Tesco down the road to spend a good couple of quid to keep my stomach from rumbling. Prior preparation and sticking to budget 1 : Giant, ethically-rubbish corporation 0.

Anyway, by the time I eventually got home and stumbled through the door, my head was pounding and all I wanted to do was order a dirty takeaway, have a glass of wine and watch whatever rubbish was on the telly box. However, having £5.50 left of my £10 budget to last me until midnight on Thursday means that there is no room for such luxuries (which my waist line is probably thankful for). Instead of kicking off my shoes and watching Come Dine With Me repeats, I decided to treat myself to a bit of a pamper session.

I popped a bit of Ben Howard on the stereo and ran myself a bath. I'm not usually one for baths. You'll be pleased to know that I'm quite good at washing and I have a thing for showering every day (apart from a fateful time when I was mid-dissertation stress at Uni and realised that I hadn't brushed my teeth for five days. Please don't judge me). Baths, on the other hand, are time-consuming and, well, a bit boring. When you're in the bath it's difficult to check Twitter, shop online, browse for holidays and do all those other things that I spend my evenings doing and my money spending.

However, no good pamper session is complete without a bath. And with a load of Christmas Cath Kidston and Sanctuary bath goodies that I was yet to try, the time was ripe to take the plunge.

And take the plunge I did. It was completely blissful. The water was beautifully hot and having time away from a screen did my headache more good than a glass of wine could ever do. Accompanied by a recent copy of Oh Comely magazine, I stayed in until my skin looked decidedly pruney. Lovely.

Have you ever come across Oh Comely magazine? If you've not, I'd suggest you check it out right away. It's probably my most favourite publication on the planet - sort of like a combination of the best bits of G2 and the weekend supplements. The tag line of the magazine is keep your curiosity sacred, and that's exactly what it does. To give you a picture of the sort of stuff it covers, in the bath I read about a Lego grand prix, three stories about food, an amusing recollection of a 1996 school newspaper coup, an interview with a man who's created a game about punching bears in the mouth and a biog of a CBBC puppeteer. Covering art, fashion, people and a whole load of other stuff, it's pure joy and never fails to make me smile from cover to cover.

My lovely mum kindly got me a subscription to Oh Comely for my birthday last year, but embarrassingly - as much as I really do love it - they quite often get left unread on our coffee table. 3/4 of my life is spent looking at a screen rather than paper pages, which is quite sad really considering how much I love reading. Today was the first time that I'd picked a copy of Oh Comely in ages and I absolutely fell in love all over again. Living on a budget makes you appreciate what you already have.

Talking of what I already have, the next step in my pamper evening will be to clamber into bed with a cup of tea and a copy of The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson. I need to crack on with reading this book - I'm massively enjoying it, but I keep getting distracted by new titles. When you only have £5.50 to your name, buying another book isn't on the cards.

I need to make time for more evenings spent like this. Switch the telly off. Shut down the laptop. It's a shame that it's living on a tenner which has forced me to do it.

Night all x

The Tenner Challenge day four
Total spent: £4.50

p.s My daffodils reminded me that it's almost spring today. Hurrah!


  1. Really enjoying these posts - I'm trying to cut down spending as well due to a hideous gas bill that's about to come our way but nowhere near as drastically as this. I could definitely do with being a bit more organised when it comes to lunches and breakfast - the Starbucks at the bottom of the office is a real killer!

  2. Thanks Amy! Cake and coffee is extremely tempting!
    I don't think I'll live off £10 a week forever, but it's certainly helped in putting my spending into perspective. I'd definitely recommend it as a kind of spending cold turkey - gas bills are a killer!

  3. Really enjoying reading your updates Rebecca - 'in between jobs' I too have put my spending habits under the spotlight. It is really interesting (read: horrifying) seeing where money is wasted. Thanks for the tip about Oh Comely - looks great.

    No judgement on the lack of teeth-brushing mid-diss. When I was finishing my thesis last year I am pretty sure I didn't wash for a week ... ;)

  4. Thanks Lauren! Any top saving tips you've discovered?

    Thanks for not judging me re the teeth brushing thing too. It got so bad mid-diss that my friends made me count how many days I'd been 'clean' to get me back on the straight and narrow. Put me off further study for a bit!