How to Spend Your Week on a $40 Budget

Tax Planning Series depicting the concept of a small lunch break while still working. A man is having a sandwich and some healthy snacks next to a note pad and a smart phone

With the holidays approaching, it’s a great time to pad our pockets with a little extra cash before gift giving season arrives. So we tried out a little experiment: only spending $40 dollars for the whole week! Even though it was a tough feat, we were able to make it work by cutting a few of our everyday costs.

Think you’re up for the challenge? Here are a few ways to spend your week without spending too much cash.

Walk or bike everywhere. Instead of paying for parking, bus passes, or Uber rides, choose to either walk or bike everywhere you go this week, if possible. Whether it is to work or a friend’s house, this gives you a free mode of transportation, with exercise as an added bonus! Don’t live in a walkable environment? Try asking a friend for a ride or carpooling to work.

Meal-prep on Sunday. On Sunday, we went to the grocery store, and then made enough food to last us for the week. By preparing these meals before the business of the work week started, we didn’t spend $12 on a salad or sandwich when our stomach started rumbling. Websites like BuzzFeed and RealSimple.com offer great make-ahead meal recipes.

Drink the office coffee. I know it’s not your favorite, but those daily lattes can really add up throughout the week! Take advantage of the free offerings from your employers, and get a free caffeine boost in the mornings on the house.

Skip the workout class. Instead of over-paying for spin, Pilates, or yoga, do an at home workout or go for a run outside. The Nike+ Training Club app offers tons of free workouts you can do in your living room while watching a trainer walk you through the process on your phone or iPad. It may take a little more motivation than usual, but the extra spending money will be worth it!

Make free plans with friends. Have a movie night at your place, throw a potluck, or actually go to that block party you neighbors are throwing this week. Making new friends is free!

Are you working on lowering your weekly budget as well? Tell us your favorite ways in the comments.

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