Monday, April 6, 2015

The results of Living on $2/day for a month

We did it. We survived an entire month on $2/day for food and drinks. What this really means is we didn’t go  out at all in the month of March. 

Our friends didn’t particularly love this idea and were skeptical if we could keep it up. We found creative ways to interact with them without having to go out. This included art walk, morning runs, running the Gate River Run, potluck dinners and movie nights. Many were worried about us starving but the reality is we actually ate really well. We enjoyed cooking at home and figuring out recipes together. Asghar has mastered bread making and stir fry and even gained a few pounds because of his love of fresh bread. I have figured out how to buy groceries in a smart way. I actually lost a few pounds and feel a lot less tired because everything has been fresh and homemade. We now use everything we buy in that week and nothing gets lost in the bottom drawer.

Asghar would say the whole thing was hokey but a lot of fun. It wasn't a real challenge for him. He doesn't think we did anything difficult because we didn't follow the guidelines strictly. For example, we used our pantry items in addition to the groceries we bought. We had three dinners on the calendar at the homes of friends and family and we didn't cancel them even though purists would say they should have been cancelled or their cost should have been deducted from the budget. He holds himself to such high standards and would only say we accomplished a great deal if we did this project strictly on $2/day.

I’m sure many of you are wondering if it was all worth it. My answer is a resounding yes, so much so that I am going to keep it up. For starters, we collectively saved a whopping $1500. We only spent $112 out of our allotted $124 on food. This was an eye opening experiment because we just didn’t realize how much we spent going out. Now that we know, we have decided to set our monthly total to $500. Once we reach that limit, we are going to stay in for the remainder of the month. This is obviously a work in progress and we are eager to make it work but we are going to take it a month at a time.

The time indoors resulted in Asghar and I spending a lot more time together and completing a lot of time consuming projects including our taxes. We were able to build a new raised bed, plant some new flowers and clear out some weeds. When I say we, I’ll be honest it was mostly him. My time was spent on cleaning the house, working on TEDxJacksonville, fighting with Comcast. The remaining time was spent reading books and the stack of magazines that used to pile up every month. 

I would highly recommend this project to anyone wondering if they have the discipline to meet their long term goals. Financial goals  both short term and long term are something we discuss and plan for all the time and this really helped us put it into perspective. I have been saying this forever but I really believe that goals are so much more accessible and realistic when you write them down and come up with a plan. You start to believe the rest is attainable because you have a plan. That alone gets you a third of the way there. 

1 comment:

  1. We'll be sure to book our dates with the Syed's at the beginning of the month. ;) xoxo

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