Week 3: Sept 22-30, 2010

Budget: RM135 = RM15/day
Actual: RM138.65

I need to point out that this is a 9-day ‘week’ because there’s two days leftover and I originally decided to take a break early in the week but decided that won’t be fair because the total funds allocated include all 30 days.

The photo above was not a purchase but a gift. I’ve never had fresh blueberries before. I didn’t know the inside was pale yellow and it tastes like a tiny plum. It was a yummy treat for a frugal month.

But back to the topic at hand. I exceeded Week 4’s budget and I know exactly where I failed. On Sept 24, I decided to take a break from the project because I needed to get out of the house and do some writing. I knew this wasn’t possible without exceeding the daily budget but I was unable to focus at home and it was urgent that I finish that piece of writing.

I stayed out all day and spent more than twice as much money than I was supposed to. It was a breath of fresh air from being cooped up all day and I’m not sorry.

My friend Joey asked me what I did with the extra money if I didn’t spend all RM15 of it in a day. If I overspend, I take it out from the next day’s budget. If I have left over I keep it. It doesn’t carry forward to the next day or go into the piggy bank. At the end of the month, I’ll still be totalling up the expenses to see how much I saved (or didn’t save).

I did eventually meet friends for lunch or dinner a few times, but at fairly reasonably-priced places. Most of them knew what I was doing and may have accidentally or intentionally left more than their fair share of money when we split the bill. We never really cared about things like an extra couple of bucks, but it mattered to me because I was watching every dime. So thanks, friends. ;-)

So over the month of No Spend September, I spent RM424.10 out of my RM450 budget. I saved nearly triple of what I usually have at the end of an average month. I used the money and paid off nearly a third of my credit card bills. When my salary came in, I bumped that up to half the original sum. I’m halfway to paying them off!

So the project is over. Does this mean I’m about to embark on a spending frenzy? Hell no. I think I’ll keep the RM15/day budget, at least until everything’s paid off. ;-)

When I’m a bit more focused, I’ll blog about other observations of No Spend September.

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