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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:

My necessities:

  • 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.

Amazon: This was a comfort item because I was stressing out. I got headphones, a case, and toothpaste. I have no regrets because I use them almost daily.

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.

Take Aways

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.

Read more: 2020 Mid-year Review | 11/30/2020

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Until next time!

– Olguine Brutus

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