Feeling a bit like the Hercules of savings, after completing such daunting tasks as making a gift for my mom’s 60th, making packed lunches for a week and sorting out my banking situation to lower my fees, it was time for my 4th GY$T financial challenge – “Have a no-spend Sunday. Cook from your pantry, read a book, go for a hike… and compare that with what you might have spent on a normal Sunday”.
Luckily, our no-spend Sunday took place the day after the Comics Choice Awards, an annual night in which comedians do one of three things: 1) Get drunk to celebrate winning an award, 2) Get drunk to drown sorrows due to not winning an award, or 3) get drunk with your fellow comedians to commiserate about not having been nominated in the first place (this was my role this year). We drank as much as possible (it was an open bar – so I can’t be accused of cheating on my no-spend Sunday in the wee hours of Sunday morning) and then were careful to get a friend to call us an uber rather than getting our own – “It’s for the good of the GY$T project, “ I explained to my unimpressed sponsor.
We woke up late on Sunday morning, hung over to the point that we weren’t particularly interested in doing anything. Given that we weren’t exactly about to paint Johannesburg red, this no spend Sunday business was bound to be a breeze, right?
Wrong! Throughout the day we had to restrain ourselves from the type of casual spending that you usually wouldn’t even notice you are partaking in. When it comes to a Sunday spent nursing a hangover, this usually means the most evil, carb-heavy, fatty food available to man. I am the kind of person who could happily eat like this every day, but luckily for my cholesterol levels my wife insists on being healthy – until she is hung over that is, and suddenly I have a comrade in unhealthy eating.
The greasy, late breakfast we would have usually ordered somewhere was not an option. Luckily, I can cook a mean fry-up myself, and so I did. It was good, and my wife and I were left feeling like we should do less lazy ordering out and more cooking at home in future.
Other forms of spending on a typical Sunday could include going to see live music or some other kind of show, going to markets, shopping for stuff we don’t necessarily need (my wife’s favourite) or going to a movie.
Instead we walked the dogs, watched stuff on my hard drive, napped (a lot) and Janine did some gardening while I wrote some comedy. Supper involved a combination of various leftovers instead of the usual pizza or similarly how-can-something-so-wrong-feel-so-right takeaways.
It was a good day, apart from the hangovers of course.
In order to work out what we may have saved, may I present to you an estimate of what we could have spent on a typical Sunday:
Greasy hangover-cure breakfast for two including coffee and/or juice: roughly R200
Movie plus popcorn and drink: Roughly R200 – we don’t have a cheap movie card.
Shopping for stuff we don’t necessarily need: R100 – R1000, depending on how many scatter cushions my wife falls in love with.
Pizza for supper: Roughly R200 including Mr. Delivery charges and tip.
We saved an estimated R700 to R1600 depending on the amount of shopping that took place. And we had a great day. Hooray for no-spend Sundays.