Zero Day Challenge Week #3 Results

Week #3 Results

Week #3 of the Zero Day Challenge is over! If you haven’t read about it, check it out before reading this update. 

This week was an extremely good one! My fiance came back from New York, I’m on the cusp of being of being offered a new job, I went to the Women’s March in Washington DC, I’ve kept up with my workouts, and I only spent $31 this week! Unfortunately, I didn’t make any new posts this week; however, I do have 2 currently in the works!

Spending only $31 this week is a new milestone, especially given what I spent the money on. As usual, I cooked all of my meals the night before so I’m not tempted to go out and buy lunch. Remember, the little things add up and have the capacity to completely derail your savings goals. I ended up not buying groceries or gasoline this week because I budgeted what I had very well. My spending in these areas will be higher next week but that I’m expecting that.

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Zero Day Challenge Week #2 Results

zero day challenge week #2

Week #2 Results

Week #2 of the Zero Day Challenge is over! If you haven’t read about it, check it out before reading this update. I’m going to make these posts shorter and cut right to the chase.

This week was mostly uneventful. I spent a lot of time at the office preparing for a Demo that went extremely well. I knew that some late nights at the office were in store for me, so I made sure to cook all my meals beforehand so I didn’t succumb to my desires and spend money on food that wouldn’t make me happy. My expenses went down by $150 this week! In fact, they would have been lower if my Verizon bill hadn’t hit. My grocery bill is still fairly high at $87; however, its still below my target of about $100 a week maximum. I filled up my car a few days early because Washington, DC was supposed to get this terrible ice storm but that never came. In addition, I went on a job interview and had to pay $4 for parking. I was considering asking them to validate my ticket. In the end, I decided against it because I knew that it wouldn’t be too expensive. In total, I had 4 zero days bringing my total for the year to 7!

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Save More by Living Paycheck to Paycheck

Save More by Living Paycheck-to-PaycheckAccording to a survey released by, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. These people are struggling just to make ends meet. Often, a flat tire or cavity brings them into the red; they probably have maxed out credit cards and are paying high interest rates on their debt. This is a terrible financial situation to be in. Unfortunately, it’s hard to escape for the average person.

According to dqydj, the average income for Americans is a little under $38,000, which is close to $2,300 a month after taxes. While that sounds like a lot of money, expenses add up very quickly. Rent is expensive and it keeps going up. We have no idea what will happen to healthcare costs in the next few years. Additionally, wages have done a terrible job at keeping up with inflation.

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The Little Things Add Up

For the past few years, I never worried about little expenses. If I was too lazy to make lunch the night before, I could always go to the Deli and get a sandwich for $7. If I went to McDonalds, I could supersize my meal for only an extra $1. That chocolate bar at the grocery store is only $2.50, of course I should buy five of them. Unfortunately, these little expenses add up quite quickly and can have a dramatic effect on your savings rate. Over the course of a few years, these expenses can sabotage your plans to retire early.

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Zero Day Challenge Week #1 Results

Week #1 of the Zero Day Challenge is over! If you haven’t read about it, check it out before reading this update. It was actually much easier for me to complete the challenge. To make tracking my spending easier, I am only using a single credit card that texts me every time it is used, even if I have cash on hand. Not everyone is able to do this, but I would recommend it if you can. I focused less on efficiently spending this week than I should have, but I think it provides a great baseline and will definitely help me improve throughout the year. I’m actually very happy with the results.

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