Beyond Metros, Featured, Lifestyle

Life without spending a penny for a year

Michelle McGagh, from London, outdid the dream of every traveler. And turned it into her real life. Michelle has been living for one whole year without spending on anything but the bare necessities.

McGagh, a finance journalist by profession lived through 2016 without including any extra expense in her budget. This means she spent a year without going shopping, watching movies at the theatres, without drinking or eating out at fancy places, or even availing public transport! This means, no new clothes for a year, no salon haircut, no fancy cosmetics, or even a pint of store-bought beer.

No, teleportation was not the means of transport. She cycled her way through the entire year!

The only money that came out of her pocket was for her mortgage, life insurance, charity donations, broadband bills, phone bills, basic toiletries, and weekly grocery. Around 22,493 pounds, approximately Rs 18,56,853.

McGagh began with her life experiment on November 26, 2015.

And as we know, for the first few months it was not just another cup of tea. She had to tame that notorious urge in us that drags us to the junk food corners, the pubs, and the malls. But once McGagh set reigns on her sense of self control, she found happiness in picnics, homemade meals, and cycling.

After 365 days of thriftiness, on the eve of November 26, 2016, she bought her first beer of the year.

As she expressed her views in The Daily Telegraph, McGagh explained how this hectic and difficult experiment taught something very important. A thing about money which we often skip.

“Although I had no debt, my bank statements (when I bothered to look at them) were littered with unnecessary spending. When I did brace myself and look at my statements I was aghast at how much of my wages I frittered away mindlessly,” her piece reads.

As McGagh chose to go that extra mile and see what things would be like if she simply stopped spending money for a year, she inspired people to believe that money is not the problem to all our solutions. There are ways of life, however much tedious, can potentially change your perspective for a lifetime. The integral power of self-control and self-sufficiency is what she preached.

“It sounds extreme, but I’d set myself budgets and spending plans in the past and they’d always fallen by the wayside on my next night out,” as per her interview. “A full year of no spending seemed the only way of resetting my relationship with money completely.”

She was so amazed at her own powers of self-control that it made her super happy. So happy that McGagh wrote a whole darn book on how you too can ‘spend less and live more’.

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