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I’m saving $5K with a ‘no-spend’ year — it gives me peace of mind and can help you, too

Spending
Spending

It pays not to spend.

Mia Westrap, 26, says she is saving more than $5,000 a year after vowing to not spend any money on nights out and canceling most streaming services, South West News Service reported.

Westrap, from Southampton, Hampshire, England, decided to change her spending habits after she began a long-distance relationship with a man from Australia. He eventually had to fly back home and, when she realized she couldn’t financially swing seeing him, they stopped all contact — and she then had a life overhaul.

“I knew I wouldn’t be able to afford a long-distance relationship,” she explained.

Mia Westrap changed her spending habits. Mia Westrap / SWNS
Mia Westrap changed her spending habits. Mia Westrap / SWNS

“I was living paycheck to paycheck, and every month I ended up in my overdraft,” she said.

Westrap — who is chronicling her financial journey on TikTok — said she didn’t want to be in the same boat in the future and realized her money habits had to change.

Since Westrap had abdominal surgery in January and would be housebound, she figured it would be a great idea to start her no-spend plan. All the money saved would go into an emergency fund to give her “peace of mind,” she told SWNS.

“I have been finding it quite easy through the winter as I don’t want to go out at the moment anyway,” she explained.

Westrap decided to stop going out following a breakup and abdominal surgery. Mia Westrap / SWNS
Westrap decided to stop going out following a breakup and abdominal surgery. Mia Westrap / SWNS

“I will be interested to see how difficult it gets in the summer when I want to go out for meals and socialize with friends,” she added.

Westrap, who said she “grew up incredibly poor,” added that her purchases are seldom extravagant but consist of small things like getting coffee.

Westrap spent hundreds on going out in the past — and now she spends nothing. Mia Westrap / SWNS
Westrap spent hundreds on going out in the past — and now she spends nothing. Mia Westrap / SWNS

“I was addicted to Pepsi Max. I was spending $3.84 to $5.10 every day, which amounts to $1,815.

“When I took a step back to see where my money was going, I realized that it was these little costs that I couldn’t account for.”

Mia Westrap said staying home has been easy so far but she worries she may be tempted to go out when the weather gets warmer. Mia Westrap / SWNS
Mia Westrap said staying home has been easy so far but she worries she may be tempted to go out when the weather gets warmer. Mia Westrap / SWNS

Here’s how her monthly cost savings broke down:

Prior spending

  • Rent: $1,083

  • Bills: $334

  • Subscriptions: $64

  • Eating out: $255

  • Drinking: $127

Current spending

  • Rent: $1,083

  • Bills: $334

  • Subscriptions: $17

  • Eating out: $0

  • Drinking: $0

Of course, Westrap may get a bit of FOMO down the road.

“I will be interested to see how difficult it gets in the summer when I want to go out for meals and socialize with friends,” she confessed.