November 17, 2008

7 Days Without Spending A Dime

Something that I feel has been missing from Life of Justin is a life experiments category. What do I mean by life experiments? Well, trying various things that people have always mentioned doing.

For example, Steve Pavlina once did an experiment where he tried the idea of sleeping every 20 minutes to cut back on the amount of time wasted sleeping. He also tried switching to a raw food diet and then shared the entire experiment on his blog.

I have always wanted to try some various things like this and put some rumors to test. Therefore, I have decided to give my first experiment a try.

Living For 7 Days Without Spending A Dime

First let me clarify exactly what this means. I know it is pretty much impossible to not spend any money at all. Therefore this does not include basic monthly expenses such as rent, water, groceries (only allowed to buy them this morning), internet, cell phone, or any other fixed cost. This strictly means no out of the pocket purchases of any kind. No rented movies, eating out, or going to the bar.

What I hope will happen is I realize how much money I spend that I do not need to. I hope after going for 7 days I will remember the things I used to do for fun that didn’t involve wasting money. I think it will be a great way to get back to appreciating the things I have and take for granted.

Day 1 Starts Today

The first day of this experiment will begin today. If all goes as planned, I will go until next Monday without spending any money. Who knows, maybe I can go even longer…

Is It Possible?

Good question. I used to be really frugal in college and it eventually allowed me to save up a good chunk of money. That money ended up being used to move to Honolulu after graduating. Not a bad investment. I think it is going to be tough, especially when the weekend comes. However, I have no worries that I cannot succeed at it.

13 thoughts on “7 Days Without Spending A Dime

  1. Erica

    I did a similar experiement earlier this year, the rules were “no new clothes or shoes for 2 months”. I made it! Not sure how I would cope with no spendings at all though.

    Good luck!

  2. Mr. Money

    Did you read the same article I did last week about another blogger who did the same experiment? His attempt was pretty lame however as he begged his friends to buy him stuff (stupid stuff like cinnamon buns) and promised he’d pay them back after the week was over.

    I’ve got faith that your attempt will be the real deal. No begging it forward allowed!

  3. Justin Post author

    @ Mr. Money: Yeah I actually saw that on CNN last night. It was some guy blogging about how he tried it but it was a very lame attempt. My attempt is going to be way better (lets hope). Who knows, I might even go beyond 7 days if its possible. It never hurts to save up some money…

  4. Mr. Money

    I’ve got a lot of confidence that your attempt is already better. Perhaps this is the start of a trend that saves our economy!

    I’m considering doing something similar, but instead of not spending money I might go with trying to eat on less than $3-4 a day. Though I’m already pretty thrifty with my money and putting an actual limit on myself might hurt more than it helps…I’ll let you know if I end up joining your efforts.

    Good luck.


  5. Justin Post author

    @ Mr Money: Following this experiment, I am thinking about trying a new experiment which involves spending only what I make off my blogging efforts for entertainment. I figured it would be a cool way to not only save money, but also become more motivated to work harder on the blogs. If I make like 3 dollars a day off ads, I could save up all week and go blow 20 at the bar.

    We will see…

  6. Jeremy

    This is a fantastic idea, with I would have thought of it 🙂 You need to add the caveat that you cannot ask people to buy you the stuff you’d normally buy yourself, or even accept if they offer.

    If you go to the bar on the weekend and have your friends buy you 10 beers, then that defeats the purpose of this experiment. It should be as if you don’t even have the money to buy anything, and if that was true, your buddies wouldn’t buy you anything you want all the time (it would get old quick.) Good luck, and I’m looking forward to hearing how this goes, especially as the weekend rolls around.

  7. Terence Chang

    It seems pretty easy to me, if those fixed expense don’t count.

    I have been working from home for over a year. I usually buy groceries on Sunday for the whole week. I stay home for a whole week without going out. I felt like a cave man. I walk to the mailbox, ride bike to my private mailbox. It costs me nothing for the entire week.

    The most difficult part is to spend less and less on foods. I am cutting down to two healthy meals a day.

    At the end, I actually spend the same amount of money! I spend all the money I saved for vacation.

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