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Lean December 2016 Update – Week 3/5



$1,265 is what I have spent for the month of December so far. This is a post in a series of weekly expense postings, a challenge I call my lean December spending, this is week 3 of 5.

There are 13 days left for the month, meaning I gotta stay vigilant because I’m constantly tempted to buy something to eat, go to the grocery store, spend on something online, start a new service etc.

Find spending for week 1/5 here.
And week 2/5 here.

I actually felt this week went better. I’m getting used to being a bit more frugal when it comes to spending. I mentioned before that I tend to spend for comfort quite readily, something I’m working on with this personal spending challenge.

Between 12/12-12/18 (today), I have had a total of twelve expenses. My sister was in town, we ate out a little, got some groceries and had some travel expenses. Not bad, I only spent $188 this week.

Food Expenses

Very little eating-out expenses. I ate out with my sister and a friend, that’s it. This is a category I always try to improve on, I prefer eating at home because I know the food is better. I reserve a little bit of money to eat with friends, the kind of socializing I really appreciate. I usually enter my food expenses with friends under entertainment. 


Also fairly low, I had about $70 for some things I spent on when my sis was in town, well worth it, I expected it to be higher. My budget averages nearly $10k each year in entertainment expenses, I’ve definitely improved a lot in this category as well.

Knowing that I make enough income to pay for entertainment expenses, it’s harder for me to actually put in the effort to not spend. Work in progress…

Cafe Expenses

Besides hanging out at the gym, my second favorite place is a cafe. There are a few I like to frequent. This lean december challenge isn’t terribly affected by my coffee spending.

My home offers too many distractions. I open the fridge door way too many times and I probably overeat. In this 30-degree weather I’d rather be at a cozy warm cafe than my sub-60 condo.


Looking Ahead

Week 4 shouldn’t be too bad, I don’t even work that much. I’ll be sure to curb any urges to spend on shit I don’t need. I have some grocery expenses, I do okay when it comes to this, being vegan I think is a plus.

Week 5, the final week of lean-December, will be busy, working quite a few shifts. I’m still trying to figure out my work situation so I’m showing face as much as possible until I figure out what I want to do.

My Expense Goals

My goal was to keep my expenses <$2k for the month, though I really don’t need to spend much more than $1,500 in any given month. This is where the line between ideal vs realistic breaks down, rightfully so. Because of working, I have other distractions, making it harder to focus on expenses as much.

I would need about $450k invested to generate a passive income of $1,500/month. I would need around $600k invested in order to support a $2,000/month budget.

So it’s a personal question really, do I want to add another $150k to my net worth to support the higher expense or would I rather be more frugal so that I only need the $500k? I think having more of these lean December challenges should help me decide how I’m willing to live.

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