I’m testing out a new feature here on TDT – I tracked my spending for a whole week to see what kind of damage I did. I thought it would be a good way for me to keep myself on track with my spending, and a nice way for you all to get a peek into my day-to-day life. I love reading day/week in the life posts from other bloggers.

You’ll notice a few themes as you read the details:

  • ZERO money spent buying lunch – I pack my lunch every day. Buying lunch at work could cost you about $1,400 a year – money I think could be better spent on something more exciting than salads.
  • Only two meals eaten out – I’ve grown to love cooking and use it as a powerful money saving tool. One of my tricks is to cook a big meal on the weekend, and enjoy leftovers throughout the week (here’s a roundup of recipes I use).
  • This doesn’t include any monthly costs like my car, gym, cable, etc., so it does understate my spending. I wanted to make this a discretionary spending only list.

Wednesday 10/7:

  • Airplane Ticket – $176.20

I have a graduate school interview in Boston in November, and bought a ticket to fly up for the day to interview and visit campus. Grad school applications have been my biggest expense in the past few months, and that’s been driving me a little nutty. Maybe it’s a trick to get me used to how much it costs if I get in…

  • Hair Product – $27.50

I know, I know; it’s a lot to spend on one hair product. But for me, products to deal with my crazy-curly hair are a very necessary splurge. Luckily, I have plenty of cheap beauty staples to balance it out.

Thursday 10/8:

  • Groceries – $56.02

Stocked up on staples for the next week. I cook almost all of my meals so my grocery costs are a little higher. I keep grocery costs down by making mostly vegetarian meals, sticking to the items that are on sale (particularly produce, which can get pricey too), and buying freezer friendly options.

  • Hangers – $9.51

Literally, I needed clothes hangers.

Friday 10/9:

  • Thai takeout – $20

Eating out can get really expensive, so I try to keep costs down by cooking for myself during the week, and limiting eating out to the weekends. Generally, I get delivery on Friday night and eat out in a restaurant on Saturday night. For those in DC, my Friday night pick is almost always Beau Thai and it is fan-thai-stic!

Saturday 10/10:

  • Starbucks – $2.48

Coffee is another splurge I almost never get – I brew my coffee at home almost every day. But I was out for a long walk and was craving some coffee to walk with. To keep my craving from getting too pricey though, I got a Pumpkin Spice Latte alternative. I ordered a grande coffee with two pumps of pumpkin syrup, and added some milk at the counter. It gets me a hint of PSL taste without all the calories or $4.50 price tag.

I enjoyed it while walking around DC, which is one of my favorite (and free) fall activities. Check out how amazing the scenery was!

Washington Monument Lincoln memorial

  • Dinner out – $52

This was my one and only restaurant meal of the week and I made it count with some delicious Italian food.

  • Uber home from dinner – $6.26

Sunday 10/11:

Spending free day! I went for another long walk, played some tennis, and then ate an assortment of snacks on the couch as my dinner while I watched football.

Monday 10/12:

  • Target run – $32

I needed to pick up some more food for my cat, and as is the Target curse, walked out with quite a bit more than I intended to – including this bag of Halloween amazingness.

Hershey's Candy Corn
Why do you do this to me, Target?


Pro tip: sign up for Target REDcard to get 5% off across the store.


Another spending free day, though less fun than Monday’s. I made a staple – spaghetti squash lasagna – for dinner.

And that’s a week! Grand total: $381.97. A lot more than I normally spend, but that plane ticket threw things off.

What did you all think of my week of spending review? Do you want to see this feature more often?


1 Comment on What a Finance Blogger Spends in a Week

  1. Shannon Ball
    October 19, 2015 at 12:33 pm (2 years ago)

    Really enjoyed this–and like the pro tips and recipes!


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