Car troubles, French Consin, and the Grand Canyon. Find out how I decided to not let all these things set me back but instead helped me partake in a fun challenge instead!
So last month I did the no spend challenge in January. Why? Why not? I wanted to see if I could do it. Plus I had quite a bit of car trouble in December and my cousin came over from France. We toured around LA and went to the Grand Canyon which was 7 hours away. I ended up renting a car because mine was down and out. I also took unpaid days off to go on these adventures which caused my paycheck was a bit thin.
Here’s a little background information. I don’t currently have a side hustle. I only have one full time job, little savings and made a financial mistake at the start of the month. Also I use the Every Dollar for all my personal budgeting needs.
What is it?
The No Spend Challenge is when you don’t spend any money except on what you need; bills, rent, groceries, etc.
Okay let’s start number crunching:
- Rent and utilities: $886.13
- Giving: $150
- Transportation (Gas and Buses): $157.70
- Food (Groceries only): 73.56
- Phone: $30
- Apple Music: 9.99
What put me in the red:
- Car Starter: $298.45
- Mistake: $275.76
- Amazon: $54.82
- Kindle: $9.99
Okay now let’s talk about it.
Rent: is a necessity l so there’s no need to explain that.
Giving: I always give because it blesses me more than anything.
Transportation: My car was giving me issues so I had to take a bus to get around. In LA whenever you get on a bus or train the fee is $1.75. Of course you can get a day pass with unlimited rides for $7 but I found that to be a waste since it was only good for a day. Just putting money on the tap card works better for me because then I can use it whenever I feel like it rather than having it expire when the day is over.
Food: This is just from shopping at Trader Joe’s. It’s a great place to shop. I’ve never spent more than $50 on each trip and I usually shop biweekly but it’s only for me. I should also mention that I had a roommate diner, brunch, leftovers from a party, and pizza from my manager. So I didn’t live off of my own groceries but I did have to shop the cupboards. I found pasta, chilli, soup, and waffles. It wasn’t as rough as it sounds. It was actually quite fun like a changelle. One of my goals was to not spend any money eating out. That was only annoying when I was craving something. Other than that it was pretty easy 🙂
Phone Bill: I have Boost Mobile. It comes with unlimited talk and text and 3GB of data. At home and work I have wifi so I never go over my data. I don’t notice much of a difference since I switched to this pla from my $100+ plan a couple years ago. I currently have the iPhone 8 with this carrier.
Apple Music: I tried to get rid of this once and realized that I’m too accustomed to always having it available. I’m using it as I type this post. Music makes me more productive.
Car Starter: Had to do it. I don’t work in my neighborhood. The commute is an hour and thirty minutes by bus and only twenty minutes by car, enough said.
Mistake: It was what I had to pay to undo what I did.
Kindle: They were having a deal for kindle unlimited last month. Only .99 cent to join, that’s how they get ya. I forgot to cancel, it this month but I do use it. I’ll probably cancel it in February. That means I’m gonna have to read all the books I got in a hurry, lol.
You CAN have fun on a budget
This challenge does not mean you have to stay home and have no fun. In January, I went to 3 parties, 2 get togethers, and attended 2 events. I didn’t have to send any money. I just showed up and spent time with others and helped clean up or set up.
In conclusion, I ended up saving $232.27. I’m only about $126 in the red which I can dig myself out of in February. It was a fun and totally doable challenge. Now I just have to work on building up my savings. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been in the red so here is a post I wrote about staying focused and level headed. Also check out this Budgeting for beginners post by Ciera.