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Karyn’s December Challenge: Saving More, Spending Less

My December Challenge came at a frustrating time in my life. Once again my contract ended and I was out of a job just in time for the holidays. It was disheartening, but I wasn’t going to let it get me down. The only scary thing about this time was that I didn’t have Employment Insurance coming in… YIKES!

So for my challenge I decided that I was going to monitor each week what I spent my money on. Once I had the grand total I would find a way to cut out $10 for the following week (and so on). I wanted to find out if I could at least save myself $30 of unnecessary spending that could go towards something important (like rent or student debt). I also wanted to create a habit of keeping track of everything I spent my money on.

I’m usually pretty good at monitoring my spending, but with the holidays approaching and being jobless I needed to step my game up.

Here is what I found out in my weekly breakdowns.

I spend more at the beginning of the month because of rent and paying bills.

Week 1 + 2

December was the month of movies and Dollarama (tis the season).

Week 3 + 4

I seem to spend a lot of time (and money) in Shoppers Drug Mart.

Week 5

I spent the most in Week 1: $1109.14
I spent the least in Week 4: $101.52
My grand total spent in December was: $2592.12

As you can see there were some unknown variables that you can never account for (like paying 428.90 for my NYC flight, but if I spent more one week, I made up for it later on.

My original challenge was to try to cut down on my spending by $10.00 each week so by the end of the month I had saved $30.00. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to go the way I planned. Sure I saved $941.50 in Week 2, but I ended up spending an extra $416.66 in Week 3. This challenge was a lot more difficult than I expected, but it was enlightening.

Creating the habit of writing down my expenses in the spreadsheet was actually very eye-opening. I definitely can see myself continuing this in the new year, which brings me to my January Challenge.

January Challenge: Eating healthy on a
I am going to continue my spreadsheet habit but laser-focus it on just food by budgeting myself 50.00 a week for healthy noms.

I want to see if I can maintain that budget each week and create healthy meals for myself (no more Pizza Hut for this gal).

Wish me luck and have a magical 2016!

Karyn

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