travel, hike, eat. repeat.

my adventures are often on a budget… and always clumsy.

how to survive a work week for $10

Is surviving an entire Monday-Friday work week on a budget of $10 possible?


I’m broke, and it is no joke. I budget fastidiously, and somehow I still found myself struggling a full 10 days out from my next paycheck. How is that even possible?!

I know some of you feel my pain. I hope so at least. I hope I’m not the only young professional out here in a big city with an education and a job title that promises more than it delivers, struggling to manage the above national averages rent with overburdening student loans. BREATHE.

I know I’m not alone. And this pay period I decided to make do instead of transferring that small bit of money I had put into savings back into my checking account. I would live off of what was in my fridge and $10 Monday – Friday.

I knew the key would be not. eating. out. That’s tough for me; I love eating out (who doesn’t?!), though it does help that I like to cook.

I ate breakfast at home three out of the five days. I ran late on Monday and Wednesday and grabbed breakfast near the office (eek!). That added up to $6.10.

Monday night I had book club. I stuck to drinking water and excused myself immediately following our discussion to make dinner at home, instead of staying to socialize over cocktails. I left a $2.00 tip.

Tuesday night, Zander and I made dinner together using ingredients we already had: $0.00. On Thursday night, I made a quick dinner and popped open a bottle of wine we had at the house and vegged with my roommate and friend Ellie: $0.00.

I brought my lunch every day, but on Tuesday, I supplemented my salad with french fries (groannn, SERIOUS weakness!). That came to $3.30.

Grand total for the week: $11.40.

I went $1.40 over, but I’m proud of how close I came to my goal!

How I feel after this week?

I’ll be honest: 50/50. I got bored a few times of what I brought for lunch. I felt like a drag at book club meeting. At times, I felt as constrained as I was.

On the plus side, I exercised self-discipline, something I can lack. It also feels good to look at my bank account and know that I’ve stuck to my budget. And, as an added perk, I lost 2 pounds this week from cutting out eating out.

Next pay check, I’ll be even more diligent about my budget, trying to ensure 10 days out, I’m not holding my breath for the next one.

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