As you read here, I’m trying to get mostly debt-free (not counting car / student loan). It’s going better than okay – I HAVE paid off 2(!) credit cards, which makes me very proud. But then I must remember I have a few more to go and then the country of New Zealand to pay back for their strict ass parking-ticket rules. YOU KIWIS SET ME UP TO FAIL, I SAY.
Paying off debt aggressively has left me each month with very little dough at the end of the pay period. Even watching my online bank acct like a hawk, tracking all my costs (from haircuts to oil changes to groceries), I STILL somehow get to the 14th and my ass is poor again, and feel like I’m back in NYC, living off cheap gyros, ramen and granola bars (it’s not that bad, but still). I’m not in college – I have a full-time job! – and yet somehow I’m living paycheck to paycheck. It is so frustrating.
My point is that I really gotta watch my spending if I’m going to start getting ahead and be a little more financially stable. My boyfriend of 2+ years has stood by and watched me struggle and scream and cry over money and how I just never seem to have ANY OF IT. Ever. I can never spend any big amounts of money – like over $40 – without planning first and saving for it. It’d be nice to have some more financial cushion.
I mentioned NYC, and for the short time I lived there, I was on a budget of $100 a week, sometimes longer. THAT kind of budget, esp. in NYC, will teach you about being frugal. And I made it work. There was very little going out to eat, no bars (I was 18) and doing a lot of walking / people watching / exploring, I still had a very fun time.
So I think I’ll try it again: I am putting myself on a weekly budget of $100. That includes gas and groceries, if you’re curious (but not things like phone bill, etc). So that leaves me w/ roughly $30 a week to spend on myself – and trust me, you consider your expenditures a LOT more when you only have $30. And yes, this definitely means I’m putting myself on a fast from most clothes shopping and things for my place.
Hopefully by doing so, I can stop spending frivolously and starting padding my accts, and help me meet some goals. I’m actually pretty excited about it – like if I just set my mind to it, I’m sure I can get to my goal amount in no time.
What do you think – could you successfully live on $100 a week? What could you give up to do so? What could you not?