A Frugal Fall challenge means limiting spending outside of set bills to $50 a week, including gas and groceries. (Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror)

A Frugal Fall challenge means limiting spending outside of set bills to $50 a week, including gas and groceries. (Photo by Mike Davies/Campbell River Mirror)

Jocelyn’s Jottings: Budget challenge No. 2, Frugal Fall

Starting Sept. 1 and ending Nov. 30, I will spend only $50 a week outside of bills

Last November my friend and I, who both struggle sticking to a budget and don’t make enough money to support that habit, did a “no spend” challenge.

The rules were simple. Pay the bills you need to pay, but otherwise, spend no money. Though it wasn’t a competition, I won. She caved and bought drinks when her parents visited and then bought not-to-be-missed concert tickets. But I succeeded.

I bought my groceries for the month at the end of October, filled up my car with gas and didn’t shop again until Nov. 1.

It was tough, especially when the fresh veggies ran out and I was eating frozen peas, but I did it and my line of credit and savings account thanked me.

This year, because our jobs have been reduced to part-time due to the pandemic, we are tightening the purse strings even more and doing a “frugal fall.”

Instead of “no-spend” we are limiting spending to $50 a week, that includes gas, groceries and fun things. Bills such as rent and hydro are not included.

We started Sept. 1, so the week restarts on Tuesdays. We get $50 cash and once it’s done, it’s done.

If you don’t spend everything one week, the balance rolls over to the next week. The end day is Nov. 30.

For some $50 may seem like a lot, but for me it is difficult. Having lunch at a restaurant can easily be $25, it costs around $40 to fill my gas tank and I have had $150 grocery bills (I don’t have to shop again for two weeks, but still). It costs at least $10 to go to the movie theatre.

A craft beer, including a tip will cost me at least $8.

But, since I am thinking about all of that, it means the plan is already working.

One of the side benefits of these challenges is that it gets me thinking about what I spend my money on and how I can better manage that.

Managing money stresses me out. But I don’t have enough of it to spend irresponsibly and it is about time I figured that out.

So, you will find me price checking my groceries, meal planning and baking my own brownies this fall. Hopefully these new practices stick long- term.

Feel free to join me in my frugal fall challenge! I would love to hear tips and I am always looking for new recipes. Contact me at jocelyn.doll@revelstokereview.com.

Column

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Elvira D’Angelo, 92, waits to receive her COVID-19 vaccination shot at a clinic in Montreal, Sunday, March 7, 2021, as the COVID-19 pandemic continues in Canada and around the world. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
110 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

Provincial health officers announced 1,005 new cases throughout B.C.

Black Crow Cannabis is just one of Vernon's many pot shops now open in town. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
Kelowna has highest cannabis fees in Okanagan

Vernon’s 14 stores pay second highest business licence fees

(Photo: pixabay.com)
Morning Start: More human twins are being born now than ever before

Your morning start for Friday, April 16, 2021

Twin sisters Kyla, left, and Jordyn Bear have accepted scholarships to play at Rochester Institute of Technology in New York for this upcoming fall. The 17-year-olds dream of playing together for Canada in the Olympics one day. (Jesse Johnston/CP photo)
Lake Country twins inspire Indigenous hockey players

Grade 12 George Elliot Secondary students Kyla and Jordyn Bear earn hockey scholarships at NCAA Division 1 school

Interior Health nurses administer Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines to seniors and care aids in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Kelowna Capital News)
69 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The total number of cases in the region is now at 9,840 since the pandemic began

Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a quick roundup of the stories that made headlines across the Okanagan, from April 11 to 16

Penticton bylaw officers tore down a “pretty significantly sized” homeless camp underneath the bridge near Riverside Drive Friday, April 16 morning. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Penticton bylaw tears down ‘significantly sized’ homeless camp under bridge

Many residents had made complaints about the camp before it was torn down

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Vancouver Police Const. Deepak Sood is under review by the Independent Investigations Office of B.C. after making comments to a harm reduction advocate Sunday, April 11. (Screen grab)
VIDEO: Vancouver officer convicted of uttering threats under watchdog review again

Const. Deepak Sood was recorded Sunday saying ‘I’ll smack you’ and ‘go back to selling drugs’ to a harm reduction advocate

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry prepares a daily update on the coronavirus pandemic, April 21, 2020. (B.C. Government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate persists, 1,005 new cases Friday

Hospitalization up to 425, six more virus-related deaths

Premier John Horgan receives a dose of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy in James Bay Thrifty’s Foods in Victoria, B.C., on Friday, April 16, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. Premier John Horgan gets AstraZeneca shot, encourages others

27% of residents in B.C. have now been vaccinated against COVID-19

Ford F-350s have been targeted in the North Okanagan by auto thieves since February 2021, Vernon North Okanagan RCMP data shows. (Gene J. Puskar - The Canadian Press/AP file)
Auto thieves target older Ford F-350s in Vernon: RCMP

Vernon Mounties remind all motorists no vehicle is immune to auto crime

The Nautical Dog Cafe at Skaha marina is getting its patio ready in hopes Mother Nature will provide where provincial restrictions have taken away indoor dining. (Facebook)
‘A lot of instability’: B.C. restaurants in layoff limbo

As COVID-19 cases stay high, restaurants in British Columbia are closed to indoor dining

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau looks on as Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Chrystia Freeland responds to a question during a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Expectations high as Trudeau Liberals get ready to unveil first pandemic budget

The Liberals will look to thread an economic needle with Monday’s budget

Most Read