Is it easier to resist the temptation of shopping if you are like the Queen and do not carry any cash?

Once a supermarket has you, there is no resisting the temptation to over shop

Once a supermarket has you, there is no resisting the temptation to over shop - Credit: Archant

It seems like decades ago now, but just after Christmas I rather rashly declared I was going to try and go without buying new stuff, apart from food and toiletries, writes Sheena Grant.

I say it was rather rash because, I have to be honest, I’ve failed. I’ve definitely cut back and I now think a bit more about whether I really need what I’m about to buy and if so, is there another way to get it than buying new.

As a result my clothes are almost entirely sourced from charity shops and I’ve often got by with making do and mending. But there are few days when I don’t have to nip to the shops for a pint of milk or a loaf of bread. And once those pesky retailers have you got you through the door, well, we all know what happens......

So I was pleasantly surprised to find that one day last week, completely by chance, I had managed to get through a whole 24 hours without spending any money. Not one penny.

It made me think that maybe having regular ‘no spend days’ might be more attainable than my overly ambitious ‘no new buys’ pledge. But it was New Year when I came up with that one and we all know what usually happens to resolutions made in haste during January.


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I’ve worked out that my best chance of succeeding with the regular ‘no spend day’ is to follow the example of HM The Queen, who reputedly never carries cash with her. Let’s face it, it’s a move than doesn’t seem to have done her bank balance any harm.

It must be a sure-fire winner. If you’re not carrying money, you can’t spend it. It’s a tactic I already employ in certain situations, most often on the school run at the end of the day when I get badgered to stop off somewhere for sweets, crisps or comics. “I haven’t got my purse with me,” I say in my sweetest, most disappointed voice. “Another time.” There’s no arguing with that one.

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I know that in reality the odd no spend day isn’t going to save a fortune but it will make me put off a few purchases. And by the time I have got my purse back with me, I might have decided I don’t really need whatever it was I was hankering after at all.

Email sheena.grant@eadt.co.uk, tweet #Thrifty Living

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