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How I challenged myself and saved £6000

Updated: May 10, 2022

Wow, the last week has seen so much rain here in the Southwest. It’s been a bit gloomy, but I’ve really enjoyed getting back into a routine since the girls have gone back to school. Also, since decorating our Master bedroom, I have such a light and airy space, it’s been a dream to work from and I feel more in control, which is great for my busy brain.

at home workspace

working from home

I hope you found last week’s blog on

“How to focus” encouraging. I am finding that taking everything back to the bare minimum, although alien, is actually quite empowering. The act of setting time to make a plan and putting everything else aside, is not something (especially as women) that we get a chance to do often.


Over the last few months I have felt such a pressure to perform that life had become too noisy. To keep working, without a plan, blindly, is basically counterproductive. I feel that I regularly need to reset and come back to an even keel. Which I guess is why New Years is always full of so much promise. Naturally as the year goes on, we may have peaks and troughs but for now I am taking that 2022 motivation and rolling with it.



Now on to my main message-

Are you a bit weird? No? Just me then...


I don’t know about you but sometimes I honestly have little to no drive to do anything. I can feel very lazy, though generally I wouldn’t consider myself a lazy person. In order to fulfil menial tasks, I will often set a timer on my phone and pretend I’m on a game show to beat the clock, or I will set myself challenges that I know I may struggle with, to see if I can succeed.


I guess the latter is a pretty good trait to have. That saying “Be afraid and do it anyway” is a great motto to live by. I remember taking a job in London where I had to drive regularly through Central and feeling terrified everyday, but it built massive resilience in me and ended up being the best job because I am not fearful of London driving anymore.


Although not necessarily character building, my latest challenge became a great catalyst for the start of Mayajoy Design.


In October 2020 with all of the uncertainty of job security during the height of the Pandemic, I had started reading “Clever girl finance” by Bola Sokunbi as well as listening to the Frugal Friends podcast and other Saving accounts on Instagram such as The budget mom. I have two good friends who aren’t afraid to talk money and have been a massive inspiration in getting my family finances in order.


When I was working part time, financially as a family we were doing ok. We could pay the bills, but we didn’t have any disposable income. We couldn’t afford to go on holiday or renovate the house and I couldn’t really understand why.


On further inspection, we were living within or above our means. I didn’t think twice about grabbing a coffee or buying an ice-cream for the girls every time we went on a day trip. None of these things are wrong of course and absolutely I want to be able to do nice things for my children but actually they aren’t that important and you know- there’s food at home.


One thing which I felt convicted by in all of this is that as a woman, who likes shopping- I had a wardrobe full of clothes and nothing to wear. I will often shop the sales and pick items I like without thinking if it will go with anything I already own and that in itself is wasteful.


I decided there and then to do a “No spend year” of non-essentials. We chose to go back to cheaper supermarkets; I challenged myself to shop my wardrobe for 12 months, which not only would save money but also would help me to decipher my clothing style and we also gave up takeaways, which during lockdown felt monumental because what else was there to do other than eat?


I found it strangely easy if I’m honest. Yes, some clothing started to fall apart and When I was down to one pair of stretched out and faded jeans, I received an anonymous package with a brand-new pair, which I am so grateful for. It has challenged my consumerism massively.


Laying this wrap jumper over a shirt- shirts have become my favourite item of clothing.
A summer Skirt has become part of my winter wardrobe by adding a turtle neck, tights & boots.

Making the most of my husbands wardrobe and wearing his fitted white shirt. I actually prefer the longer length and it is fast becoming a staple.

There are so many wonderful small businesses in the UK and now developing one myself, I see more than ever the importance of shopping small. I have met some wonderfully talented people online who without a doubt I would buy from over the Highstreet. I will forever favour buying for others as opposed to myself but what this challenge has really taught me is that we can live below our means.


During our 12 month challenge we were able to save £6000. I couldn’t believe it. I never used to spend a huge amount on clothing but what the challenge did was focus our minds to other areas of unnecessary spending. This money allowed us to fully renovate our Master bedroom with built in wardrobes and created a small workspace for me.


As we were at home a lot more and weren’t spending in the same way, it also allowed me to invest a small amount of money in to my first launch of Positive Affirmation sweatshirts. I invested £400 and set myself the simple goal of not losing money. I am pleased to report that I hit this target and more, reinvesting and developing even more products as well as my latest range of Sweatshirts.


Photo by Louise Eleanor Photography

I can’t say that I won’t spend again- I am desperate for a holiday but for now we are in a season of sacrifice. Challenging myself paved the way for me choosing not to look for other paid employment after I was made redundant. It helped me to believe that we would be OK. We may not be able to save in the same way, but it has highlighted that we are fine living with less.


Have you ever challenged yourself? What was the outcome?



I would love to chat and hear a little about your own journey. You can follow and chat with me at:







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