Win Champagne with the ‘Scrooge and Splurge Challenge’

champagneA recent book launch revealed how many of us save money by small economies on necessities – ‘Scrooging’ – but then often blow much larger amounts on luxuries – ‘Splurging’.

Audience members were invited to give examples of how they’d done exactly that. Nearly all were happy to accept the challenge and here are just some of the entries.


Share your best money-saving tip … then confess your worst extravagance!

“Shopping at Aldi … but then buying a new BMW.”

“Using a ‘My Waitrose’ loyalty card to claim a free coffee and newspaper if spending more than £10 at the weekend … but then spending far more than that £10 minimum.”

“Going to the M&S bakery after 6pm to stock up on reduced bread and cakes to freeze for later … then staying overnight at the Waldorf Astoria to attend a wedding, when I could have stayed at the Travelodge.”

“Looking for the double-points deals at Tesco … then using a store card (APR over 30%) to buy clothes.”

“Buying at charity shops or getting stuff from Freecycle … then buying a piano when I didn’t have anywhere to put it.”

“Refusing to pay £1 for a bus-fare, even in the rain … but owning several pairs of shoes that cost £150+.”

“Calculating the total cost of credit before buying anything on a card … then buying a new motorbike.”

However, the winning entry on the night combined a Splurge and a Scrooge in one short and elegant phrase: “champagne with out-of-date food.”


The launch event at which this fun idea was kicked around was for the 2015 edition of local author Michael J MacMahon’s Back to the Black. It was held at the Bristol branch of Foyles’ bookshop.


Readers are now invited to submit more ‘Scrooge and Splurge’ examples.

  • Send one example of where you’ve economised on necessities (‘Scrooging’)
  • … and one example of where you’ve spent more on luxuries than you’d saved (‘Splurging’).

The best one will win a bottle of champagne … an appropriate prize, we think; but you’ll have to find the out-of-date food yourself.


Entries by e-mail to Entries close at midnight BST on 31 August 2015. The promoter is Michael MacMahon of 6 Clifton Park Road, Bristol BS8 3HL, whose decision is final.

The prize will be delivered by courier; but UK addresses only, please. (We intend to Scrooge on delivery costs, even when Splurging by sending champagne to the winner).


The book: Back to the Black … how to become debt-free and stay that way. Published by Silverwood Books, Bristol and available to order from all good bookshops.

Kindle and paperback editions available on Amazon:





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