Zero* spending challenge

Photo by Ibrahim Rifath on Unsplash

Yeah, and we’re not spending 50% more the month before and after. And we’re not going to starve! *Zero meaning anything more than the usual household expenses in our budget.

The objective is to put my spending into perspective as well as know what I’m able to reduce my expenditures to in case of lost income.

I’ve chosen the month of may to challenge myself on my spending habits. After reviewing my spending in april and march I evaluated whether or not the spending were necessary. See my comments below the table.

ExpenseNecessary?Price [Dkk]
UFC Fight passNo119
Legoland (food/drinks)No190
Eating/drinking on the goNo270
Eating/drinking away from homeNo846
HaircutYes, but…585
Baby motor skillsNo, but…287
Clay handprintsNo, but…375
GiftsNo, but…489
Total6240 dkk or about $930

Entertain me!

I like watching a show on Netflix, but the free (and still legal) alternatives are plentiful. In almost half the times I’m looking for something to watch I end up on YouTube to watch a new or old episode of one of my subscriptions like Joe Rogan Experience, Geography Now or The Ben Shapiro Show: Sunday Special.

Spotify keeps the silence at bay. Music makes up the soundtrack and sets the mood for when I’m working out, cleaning the house or driving. It’s usually the same 6 playlists I cycle through. I would be able to listen to a radio station or a YouTube playlist.

Gambling and UFC Fight pass go hand-in-hand. Gambling is my way of adding an extra element of excitement, but neither are really necessary.

Food and drinks

For Christmas the whole family gave each other season passes to Legoland. It comes as a surprise at every visit that we get hungry and thirsty. The oldest has for the past year or so gotten really hooked on a lunchbox and water bottle. So we might as well exploit this frugal mindset. The adults could also bring food and beverages from home.

Takeaway food is never a necessity. We have a freezer full of food and at least one of us are home before 4 PM, which means throwing together a salad and firing up the grill is always an option. The common reason for us to get takeaway is the cravings for sushi or Mexican food.

The oldest has already shown attention to routines (that she likes). When the two or four of us got shopping we often park in the same lot which leads us past a bakery, where she has had her fair share of rolls and chocolate milk. It’s very easy to just buy the usual for her (especially when her dad already has his mind zoomed in on an espresso macchiato).

Eating and drinking away from home stems from both out with friends (drinking tips the scale) and out with the family. I have a couple of friends without kids and I do my best to make time to have an after-work beer with them. However both of them live near my work, so I could swing by and mooch a beer or invite them over. Eating at a restaurant with a 3 year old sporadic diva and a 5 month old baby is almost like gambling except the odds are worse and the payoff is heartburn and burping from inhaling the food in record time.

Parking is free if you’re willing to walk a bit. That’s no real sacrifice and only a minor inconvenience.

Keeping up appearances

Haircuts at a barber are not necessary. BUT! I’m not shaving my head or trimming my own hair for a challenge with myself. I buy clothes for work and leisure about every other month, so a dry month is not a problem.

Gifts that keep on given

We got our youngest daughters handprints in clay which would be a no-brainer if it was a choice between that and milk or vegetables. I would go to great lengths to make sure that our daughters got the same treatment and since the oldest got clay handprints so will the youngest. I would cut my own hair to set aside money for something like that. The same for baby motor skills. These girls deserve the best.

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