Saturday, June 4, 2011

Why $12 a Day

Thanks again to ALL who comment (and read this blog). It's super encouraging!!! Muchas Gracias : )

This ones from Andy:
I'm delurking to tell you not to give up! You're bound to turn things around. We all go through some low moments, but they won't last forever. You'll get back on track before you know it!
P.S. I've read almost all your posts and your honesty has been really inspiring to me. I'm also trying to get out of debt. My journey is just beginning and I'm really happy to have found your blog. One more thing - could you explain why you choose to spend $12 a day? Why not set a weekly amount?
The $12 a day is strictly a mental thing for me. I'd say it's a lot like baby steps. If I can try and take it one day at a time then for me it's easier then looking at the bigger picture (even if that picture is just for one week). It really is just the way I think. If I were to be a bit more broad and say, "I've got $84 to spend this week," I guarantee I'd spend $84 in the first day or two but then I'd run into little things I want or need all through out the week and I'd go WAY over my budget.

I spent all of last year kicking the shopping habit that's almost inherent in today's culture. It took me at least 6 months to really learn the difference between need and want when it comes to stuff. Ok, I've been to a pretty impoverished country and I knew that I didn't really "need" anything but something inside of me said, "oooh, you sooo need that!" anytime there'd be a really great clearance deal or what have you. Like when your shoes get a little worn and you see a really nice new pair and all of the sudden you "need" new shoes. Yeah, no you don't. So that was last year's battle.

This year I was determined to kick the wasteful spending on food. I went into the new year thinking, "you know, I bet I could spend $10 a day on food pretty easily." It was a very intriguing thought and I started to run with it. Then I realized I'd need toilet paper, soaps, cleaning junk, obviously some new clothing (generally for work), ect; so I said I'll make it $12 a day. $10 for food, $2 for just about everything else.

So far it's been a rough road. I'd really like to have made it to a MUCH much MUCH more disciplined mark by now BUT I'm not going to complain too much. I know that I've saved a tremendous amount of money by embarking upon this challenge. I've paid way more credit card debt this year then in any year prior. I am learning and growing and I know that I will get this thing down as long as I stick to it and keep on trucking.

$12 a day is purely mental for me because I'm horribly undisciplined and unorganized (as much as I like to think I'm awesome with organization) and the little devil me perched upon my left shoulder shouts WAY louder than the little angel me standing on my right.


  1. I'm really liking your blog and I can see your point about wanting to look at your budget on a daily basis, rather than a weekly one. However, I'm wondering if maybe $12 is TOO strict? I mean, if you're going over because of unnecessary purchases, that's one thing. But if you're going over just to meet every day needs, maybe you should consider upping it to $15 a day, which would still only be $105 per week (if it is in your budget, of course).
    It seems as though your $12 per day (and I apologize, because I've just started reading) covers groceries, as well? Have you considered making a separate grocery budget and leaving yourself the $10-$12 per day as an allowance?

    What I'm doing (and seems to work for me) is I have a $100 per week GROCERY budget. I bring all of my meals to work and we cook dinner at home. Our work lunches are almost always leftovers from the night before. THEN, I give myself an additional $100 "allowance" per week. I don't aspire to SPEND it, but if something comes up, I know that I have $100 there as a buffer and it won't set me back. BUT I aspire to go through each day WITHOUT spending money. I try to save that $100 from week to week, so as to build up a sort of savings within that allowance. So that whatever is left over, are my "winnings" for the week and carry over to the next.

    I'm not criticizing your plan... I do think it's a good one. But if you're frustrated with your inability to stick to it, maybe you could re-evaluate and perhaps make some tweaks (if necessary)?

    Anyway, I'd love if you'd check out the blog I've just started! Thanks! :)
    C.M.C @

  2. And I apologize... I see now that you HAVE been checking out my blog :) Sorry... I'm still figuring out all this blogger stuff. Thank you!!