Last week, we embarked on a two-week Money Challenge, tracking all of our expenses in the first week, and then cut our spending by half, based on that the first week’s total. We finished our one week of expense tracking, so now we’re going to check in to let see how we did.
Katherine (our new intern!): So last week, I only spent $7.17. Here is the breakdown of my expenses by the day:
Tues: Hung out at home, $0
Wed: Burger King with a friend, $5.42
Thur: Bagel for lunch, $1.75
Fri: Parents bought ham, made a sandwich at home to bring to work so I spent, $0
Sat: Went to grandma’s house where I also ate lunch, went home after and ate dinner at home, also $0
Sun: Relaxing at home, $0
My parents have trained me not to throw away money on things. I also have a lot of things I really want, like clothes or jewelry, and I’m saving up for plane tickets to visit my boyfriend in California. I also just started to pay a student loan for school this month and am also trying to pay off my credit card debt, which is pretty high at the moment.
So whereas before I would have possibly indulged a little more, my prior indulgences resulted in my credit card debt, which makes me feel way worse than the things I bought made me happy. I usually pack a water bottle before leaving the house, bring an Ensure with me for breakfast, pack a snack and also lunch so I plan for not spending. I also only met up with a friend once this week so that also kept my spending down.
Claire: Last week was rough on my wallet. I spent a total of $320. I usually don’t spend this much on a normal week, so cutting this by 50 percent won’t be very challenging.
I went to dinner and a movie on Friday for almost $100 total (movies in Manhattan are $14!). On Saturday I discovered I had a flat tire (for the second time), so I just decided to get a new one, which cost me almost $100. That’s where the bulk of my money went, but I also splurged on a yummy beet juice drink at the local market near the office, which cost almost $8, and I purchased my morning coffee from Starbucks a few times — I usually make coffee at home.
Next week should be a breeze, as I probably won’t get even close to spending $160! An extra challenge I created for myself is to spend less than $20 on entertainment (no movies!), shopping and eating out.
Amy: Last week was a very spend-y week for me too. I spent a total of $172 on a miscellany of things. For food, I spent $64.61 on groceries, $10 for an end-of-the-week lunch, and had an $18.84 weekend dinner outing. The weather is getting way better, so there have been some coffee/snack runs, which totaled a pricey $21.98.
I was feeling a little under the weather, so there were some runs to the pharmacy this week, totaling at $38.93. I spent an amazing $1.50 on watching G.I. Joe this Easter weekend (don’t go watch it) because I have a stock of discount movie tickets that I paid for earlier. This is basically my favorite expense to have because I always feel like I’m cheating the system every time I go to the movies.
Finally, I spent $16.14 on clothes. This expense is a good example of why you should never just wander into stores to kill time. I would have never made that purchase if I didn’t step into Forever 21 to kill time (not very 21 anymore, and why is everything in there so short?!) but now I bought it and no longer have that $16.14.
I definitely should be able to get my expenses to under $85 this week, as my groceries will probably last the week, and I’m not feeling sick anymore. The coffee runs will probably still be in place for the week, as are the food outings with friends, but otherwise there shouldn’t be any other expenses.
Laura: I spent an absurd amount of money last week — it was a combination of having friends in town for the weekend and the warmer weather. Total amount was $224.04…eek!
My first purchase was a skincare product I had been contemplating; last week I finally caved and bought it (at Duane Reade, where they mark up the MSRP exorbitantly): $40.27
That same day, I had two loads of laundry: $7.25
I actually bought very little in the way of groceries, only grabbing some eggs and milk (note: unsweetened almond milk tastes like wood and REGRET): $7.48
It was a pretty low-key week, but then came the weekend. Some friends of mine were visiting NYC from Toronto, so I went out to eat and karaoke with them: $26.80 and $17, respectively.
My usual prudence really fell apart on Saturday. The beautiful weather just pried my wallet open; I went out to buy a pair of pants and leggings but ended up coming home with the pants, two pairs of shorts, a shirt and a dress: $125.24
Considering how many things I bought, the prices weren’t that bad, but the spending was definitely atypical for me. I have no regrets, though!
I shouldn’t have any problem slashing this week’s expenses by 50%; I usually spend closer to $100 a week anyway.
Simon: Last week was breeze for expense-tracking because I was sick throughout most of it, which also meant that I had a low-spending week (I would have beaten that $25 spending challenge if it was held last week). Since I was eating homemade rice porridge for the majority of the week, I only spent $14.76 in the past 7 days — $4.76 on breakfast and $10 on lunch during the end of the week, when I was feeling better.
P.S. Still not a fan of tracking expenses.
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MyBankTracker readers, how did your expense tracking week go? Let us know in the comments below or leave a comment on our Facebook page. Remember, leave your comments below or on Facebook for a chance to win some cool prizes!