Two weeks ago I wrote about a video I came across on Youtube which documented one woman’s attempt to get by with 50 dollars for 5 days. I thought it was an interesting idea and was motivated to take on the challenge. Well friends, I am sad to report that I did not successfully complete the challenge as I spent WELL over $50 dollars. So, let’s break down the 5 days and find out where it all went wrong…
I went grocery shopping on the weekend so I didn’t have to worry about using part of my allowance at the supermarket but I was lazy last night and failed to make my lunch for today so I ended up grabbing a meal at the McDonald’s near my office. On the upside, I had a coupon for the meal so it only cost me $5.47. It’s still too cold to walk home after work and I ran out of tokens so I buy five more which cost me $14.50.
Total amount spent: $ 19.97 (Yikes! I don’t think i’m off to the best start)
I learned my lesson and brought lunch today which makes me feel a lot better. Unfortunately, I didn’t think about the fact that I have my continuing education class tonight and probably won’t get home until well after 9 pm so I grab a grilled cheese panini sandwich, a bottle of juice and a donut from Tim Horton’s after work to avoid a rumbling stomach during class. This costs me $7 and the worst part is the sandwich isn’t very good. Since it’s the last class we all end up going to a nearby bar for some drinks afterwards. I try to be good and just grab one pint which sets me back $7.80.
Total amount spent: $14.80
I bring my leftover panini for lunch today. It’s still not that great but at least I didn’t spend any money today.
Total amount spent: $0
Sigh. I bought my lunch again. What is wrong with me?!? I am realizing that food is my weakness. I am also not treating my body very well as I devour a slice from Pizza Pizza. I spend $6.26 but my food craving is satisfied. I also have to buy 5 more tokens which cost $14.50 and I pick up a card for a friend’s upcoming bridal shower at Hallmark, which adds up to $4.50 after taxes.
Total amount spent: $25.26 (umm… i’m pretty certain I’ve flown by the $50 dollar mark with today’s total)
I brought a salad for lunch but know that I won’t be full from that so I pick up a croissant at a grocery store nearby during lunch, which is $1.89. I also come to the conclusion that 80% of my salary most likely goes to food related expenses.
Total amount spent: $1.89
Wow. There are many things to take away from this challenge.
a) Toronto is pricey!
b) I spend A LOT on food
c) It is not easy to get by on $50 over 5 days especially if you have to commute.
Although I wound up spending $61.92 ($11.92 over my budget) I think I could have been successful if I planned out my days better and walked or biked to work instead of taking the TTC. Food was definitely one of the things where I went crazy with my spending but I’m glad I was able to restrain myself in other areas like shopping.
Let me know if you have any tips when it comes to saving!