The Magic Number

Could you survive on $100 a week?

Maybe you already do. If so, congratulations.

If not, come sit by me.

1-0-0. The Magic Number. The $100 will cover needs and wants (are those still allowed?) after fixed expenses, debt repayment and gas.

So, $100 per week is incredibly ambitious for a girl who can easily toss $100 in a single “casual” trip to the grocery store.

Following is a list of things I tend to buy on a weekly or monthly basis:

– Wine
– Food
– Pet-Related Items
– Cleaning Supplies/Household Items
– Toiletry Items
– Meals Out
– Entertainment (DVDs, Theater, Etc.)
– Gifts
– Stamps
– Books/Magazines
– Prescriptions

Let’s start with the items I absolutely must buy. The essentials, if you will.

1. Prescriptions. Right now, I pay for two a month. Birth control and an SSRI. They are $10 apiece. No getting around this one.

2. Food. This is a tough one, as our tastes can swing from decidedly basic to a bit more “foodie.” Also, we oscillate between paying for groceries. The things I absolutely know we cannot give up are the following:
– Fresh Produce. We eat a ton of it.
– Water. Flat and sparkling.
– Meat/Fish. We aren’t vegetarians.
– Non-Perishables. Pasta, rice, beans, olive oil, etc etc.

3. Pet-related items. Dog/cat food, cat litter, dog treats.

4. Toiletries. Basics obviously include TP, tampons, Ibuprofen, toothpaste, etc. Non-essentials include things like nail polish and expensive conditioner.

5. Household. Cleaning supplies and materials, mostly.

6. Wine. And beer.

7. Stamps.

Everything else is for the most part gravy. I suppose what I should plan on doing is putting aside the money I don’t spend every 2 weeks and using it for an occasional meal out.

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3 Responses to “The Magic Number”

  1. Stephanie Says:

    First, lets get the awkwardness out of the way–I’m new to Jezebel and my name is quiptonite. I thought full disclosure would be best so you don’t think I’m a weirdo.

    Anyway, thats how I found your blog. If it’s any help I’m in the debt department too, but I thought I’d give you a tip about prescriptions.

    For years I paid for birth control every month, until as a fluke I asked my doctor to write it out so I get 3 at a time (because I was really paranoid about not getting them since I live in a hurricane state). She did and to my surprise I was able to get 3 a month for the price of 1. So, to save a little extra maybe you could request the same.

    Sorry if I over stepped my bounds with advice giving, but I figured thats my good deed for the day. :) Good luck with everything.

  2. Amanda Says:

    Hi, this is delicatetbone from Jezebel…found my way over here from there.

    I’m also on a $100/week budget with very similar expenses. As I am single, I feel I have a difficult time with the social aspect of spending….like going out to eat or for booze or coffee is part of how I feel like I’m getting public face-time and not being a lonely girl in her apartment.

    I’m wondering where you budget in haircuts and drycleaning — those seem to be the two things that really sneak up on me.

  3. pennyplastic Says:

    I’ve just started this budget so I can’t give too much insight yet. I agree that the social awkwardness can be the worst when it comes to money – especially when you are in your 20’s.

    As for hair and dry cleaning….I can’t quite say. I have a huge bag of clothing that needs to go to the dry cleaners (I can only sneak so much into my boyfriend’s pile) and I don’t plan on getting my hair done anytime soon. It sucks, but I’ve had success cutting and coloring my own hair in the past.

    Keep posted, I am SURE I will be writing about keeping up with health and beauty needs in the future.

    And of course, always feel free to share what has worked for you :-)

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