spending challenge 2015

I guess I’m the one on the right? 🙁


Hi folks 🙂

Well I dare say it’s the result of the year so far you’ve been waiting for?! 😉

For those that are not in the know, we’ve been running a little spending challenge between myself and Mrs T for about 16 months now, and therefore 2015 is the first full year where we can really tally up who was the spend-fiend and who was the most fabulously frugal.

Before we set up this challenge, there was no real incentive for either of us to track what we were spending as it all just went into the same “spend pot” and so we could (and rather often did) just blame each other for what was deemed as overspending. Now we are fully accountable for what each of us spend, there is no hiding from the cold hard facts! This is definitely one reason why our spending has decreased on average this year compared to last 1.


the rules

The first rule of spending challenge club is… Oh god that one’s been done to death hasn’t it!? I wrote briefly about the challenge here way back in February, but didn’t go into too much depth on the rules. Here they are in their full glory:

  1. This is for elective spend only, in other words “wants”. Therefore in theory we could get by each month with a zero in this category, if really needed (which is a real eye opener!)
  2. Examples of things included are: Meals and nights out, clothes, hair cuts, golf, charity donations, gifts (christmas, birthday and any others), holiday money.
  3. Examples of things not included are: Bills, Mortgage payments, groceries, car repairs, transport to and from work etc…
  4. Any money randomly coming into these accounts must be accounted for. For example, if I won any money gambling or sold any items on eBay then this positive uplift must be taken off at the end of the month. We are tracking total spend here; there is no cheating by selling your old gear to buy new stuff, not on my watch sonny Jim(/Kim)!
  5. There may have been a small amnesty on one of our holidays (for paying off the flights/accommodation, not the spending money) but it was agreed to be fair by both parties 🙂 . The overwhelming majority of our breaks away this year were paid for out of these “fun money” accounts, as they should have been.

That’s pretty much it.

To make things easy to work out we set up two TSB current accounts which pay 5% interest on up to £2,000 and stuck, you guessed it, £2,000 in each. So £2,000 is our starting balance at the start of the month, and all we have to do is subtract whatever is left at the end of the month and that is how much we spent (bearing in mind any adjustments due to rule #4 above). These figures get dumped into a spreadsheet at the end of each month and at the end of the year we can see who is victorious!


and the winner is…

You must be gagging to find out who won by now so I’ll get straight to it. The final results were:

TFS total spend: £6282.59

***Mrs T total spend: £6176.36***

Mrs T wins, repeat Mrs T wins the 2015 death battle spending challenge (the crowd go wild… yeaaaa!!!!)

As I sit here licking my wounds, the wounds of a bitter and twisted loser, I can console myself that it was pretty close, and that without this *fun* game in place we would have no doubt spent a lot more.

Here is a screen shot of the final spreadsheet for the year. Click on the image to view it in full size, and you can see that the winner (with colour coding) for each month and then the full year in the bottom row is shown clearly, along with a breakdown for spend vs save each month.

Spending Challenge Grudge Match

2015 results

Some other interesting points of note:

  • You probably already noticed but yes we did both overspend the budget (oops!). £500 per year should be £6000 so yes, we both went slightly over
  • Mrs T unsurprisingly won more months than I did, with a 7-5 win ratio
  • Mrs T was a much more consistent spender than I was, with a range of £390-£823 (£433) compared to my £168-£707 (£539)
  • I won the “lowest monthly spend” award in January with £168 (why can’t they all be like that?! 🙁 )
  • Mrs T won the “highest monthly spend” booby prize in April with £823
  • I won’t publish the figures but I comfortably won the previous 4 months of 2014 so overall since the challenge started, I am still winning 😉


looking ahead to the 2016 spending challenge

It worked fairly well this year but there is no denying that we could have done better. And I think we will! It took us both a while to get into it but now we actually find it kinda fun totting it up at the end of the month and there is definitely a competitive edge to it now, which is great. If you are having trouble inspiring your significant other into budgeting and saving why not give something similar a go? Make sure to let me know how it goes!

So for next year, to make things a bit more exciting and because we will no doubt have some extra baby related expenses this year, we have decided to up the ante and reduce the monthly spending “limit” to £400.

I guess that leaves only one thing left to say…

“Mrs T: I pity the fool who beats me 2 years runnin’ – You goin’ dowwwwwwn this time!!!”  🙂


Does anybody else do little games like this to spice up the rather dry subject of saving money?

Let me know your thoughts and if we could improve our game somehow?




  1. The full 2015 expenses report will be my next post by the way!)