How I did it: I stocked up on groceries, filled up my car with gas and told myself for a week I had to make do with the groceries I already had and make that tank of gas last me all week.
I ended up spending some money:
- Monday I worked a double shift I wasn't planning on and had to buy myself some food. $7.80. Lesson learned: never go anywhere without some food. It's the largest controllable expense for most people and it's just not that hard to throw an apple or a granola bar in your purse.
- Tuesday and Wednesday: No money! :)
- Thursday, I realized that I had groceries but it was all frozen pizzas, hot dogs, and cereal. I decided I had to go get some fresh fruit. I think I spent $20 at the store.
- Friday: My boyfriend realized that my car has been out of inspection since 3/11! D: It is my first car and I was honestly oblivious. I can't believe I haven't gotten a ticket driving around for the last seven months out of inspection. Maybe I'm just lucky. Anyways, I obviously went and got my car inspected. $27.50.
- Saturday - Another $20 on groceries.
- Sunday - I just realized that I have a prescription medication I have to buy every month that I haven't refilled yet. $25.
So my grand total for a week of "no money" has been $100. The prescription and the car inspection, I obviously HAD to pay for. The $50-ish on food isn't that outrageous considering that before, I was spending $15-$20 a DAY on Wendy's, Taco Bell, Jack In The Box. It's made me more aware of how much money I spend on food and has also made me aware that it's actually a lot cheaper to eat healthy than I thought.
I figured buying fruits and veggies would be more expensive, but it's astonished me just how much produce you can buy for $20. Bananas are $0.44 a POUND. Jalapenos are $.50 for TWO pounds. It's a little more work to prepare produce than to pop something in the microwave or go to a fast food restaurant but the savings is totally worth it. :)
Another thing I've noticed is that I used to walk through the store and pick up literally whatever I wanted and not even look at the price, then swipe that magic debit card and not realize how much I was spending. Now, I take cash. It's been really hard for me to walk into a store with a $20 bill and have to realize that the nickels and dimes that used to not matter really add up. The $1 candy bar I used to throw in at the register is now 5% of my budget! I've made it a personal challenge to only take $20-$25 to the store every time and see how long I can make that amount of food last until the next time I go. Read how I did it… 3 years ago
Yeah, frozen pizza and cereal are great but the boyfriend and I have both been feeling a little under the weather, so I had to cave and go buy some fresh oranges, lemons, and bananas.
Still.. my grand total for a week of spending “no money” has been somewhere in the ball park of $30. The past six months or so I would say I’ve been spending about $200-$250 a week unnecessarily so I’m still doing pretty good. :) This goal has made me question everything and for example, today, at the store I really wanted to buy some raw organic honey to put in my hot tea. I even picked it up and put it in my cart. Then I realized that I could live until Sunday without a $6 bottle of honey, and I put it back. It’s been a huge exercise in self-restraint and I think I needed to prove to myself I can do this. 3 years ago
Mostly because I slept all day, but that’s okay! :)
Tomorrow is payday and it’s going to feel really nice to just put that money in the bank instead of feeling the urge to go out and spend it. 3 years ago
Went into work expecting to only work lunch, but I only made $14 during my first lunch shift. :( So I picked up a dinner shift to make some extra money, but then realized I was starving and there was no way I could make it from 11 AM to 10 PM without eating so I bought myself a meal.
I’m going to plan for contingencies like this for the rest of the week by bringing a protein bar/piece of fruit so that just in case I do end up working a double again, I don’t have to buy a $6-7 plate of Mexican food.
Better for me. Better for my money. :) 3 years ago
Starting tomorrow, Sunday, October 2 and ending Sunday, October 9 I want to spend zero unnecessary money.
Obviously I’ll pay my phone bill that’s due on the sixth and I think I’ve got to buy cat litter and food, but I’ve got plenty of groceries and a full tank of gas in my car so other than that, I want to spend ZERO money.
This is going to be a tough goal for me but if I can prove to myself I can do it just for a week, I think it’ll put me closer to where I want to be financially. 3 years ago
But not sure, it may be longer. I am broke right now so it’s not like I have money to spend, but I could borrow money, etc.. which I haven’t done. It sure makes you realize how even “small” purchases like a can of pepsi or junk food or newspapers starts to really add up. If I get good at this I might be able to go a week every month without spending money (for the people who are wondering about bills, groceries, etc- of course you still buy those- you buy your groceries and pay off your bills before your week- the idea is not to spend any money on stuff you don’t need and to use up the food you have instead of splurging on restaurants, etc…) It’s a good practice and imagine how much money we could all save if we went just one DAY a week without spending money and saved that money away? 3 years ago