Thursday, January 31, 2013

Day 31: Level ONE Complete!

I did it! This has probably been the longest month of my life, but seriously, who's excited!? I'M excited!
I definitely had some minor slip ups this month...but I'm very happy to report my results.

For the month of January, I have saved
::drum roll please::

What the what!

It's more than I would have ever imagined...mostly because I wasn't expecting to make it into the second week, let alone all month long!

This money is being used to make an additional $409.88 payment towards a student loan. 
Also, I'll make a $100 payment to my aunt who loaned me money for a car (so long ago. it's embarrassing.)

I'm making a $300 payment towards my credit card this month, however that money will not be coming out of these savings. 
I've been throwing ALL of my change into a big plastic jar for the past year and calling it my "Vegas Fund." We're taking a trip to Las Vegas in March for my brother's 21st birthday and since vacations don't fit into the Fast, I intend of using just the collected money to pay my way.
I had to put my plane ticket on my credit card (MAN it's expensive to try to be a jetsetter..) Now that the jar is full, I'll cash it in, pay off the tickets, and put the rest into savings until March!

Let's go ahead and address some things that need to be worked on in February (also known as the never ending birthday month.)

-I feel like I can spend probably half the amount I spent on groceries this month. So I'm going to take an envelope and stick 45 dollars in it tomorrow and that's what I have for February's food budget.

-I don't have cable, so I'm going to just cancel my internet connection. I can use the internet at work or use my phone if I need to. That'll save me $52.55/month.

-I spent a total of $5.41 on Starbucks this month. Next month it will be zero. (We all have moments of weakness, people!)

-Somehow, my miscellaneous column is a whopping $161.43! Not.good. That includes a Zipcar rental, a new pair of glasses, postage costs, my photography website, and BEER. Did I really need to buy 2 six-packs of fancy beer for my man's birthday?! It felt necessary in the moment... SIGH.

Anyway! I'm really looking forward to this next month. Hopefully it'll suck a little bit less than January!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Day 30

Today is this little lady's birthday!
Happy birthday, mamabear!

(stay tuned folks! tomorrow is the end of Month 1! i'm so excited to share my results!)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Day 28: Run, Forest, run!

Leaving work Friday night, my boss very sweetly asked me if I was interested in training with her and the other nanny that works for them.
For what, you ask? For the Chicago Marathon, of course.

And being the charming person that I am, I promptly responded by laughing in her face. 

Listen, lady. I don't even like running for the bus (ask my guy, he loves to tell anyone who will listen about my lack of hustle.) I don't know what would give her the idea that I have the ability to run 26.2 miles! 

Yes, I wear a lot of yoga the ILLUSION of a person that works out.
Yes, I did run ( two 5k's this summer. 
And, yes, I do have the basic knowledge of how to get in shape. 

However, I have absolutely no self discipline. I don't enjoy running. And I really like eating. Especially cheese. Ok, MOSTLY cheese.

SO, that being said, I'm going to try to train for a HALF marathon this summer. 

1. Running is freefreefree. 
2. My boss gave me custom NikeID running shoes for Christmas. (seriously, are they awesome or what?)
3. My sister pointed out that as I'm training, I'd be RUNNING past stores rather than strolling aka window shopping.
4. Why not?! I'm young, I have no physical reasons holding me back, and, frankly, it'd just be cool to say I DID IT!

(Laurel and I after my first 5k. I'm probably in that super hero stance because I'm so proud to have lived through the experience!)

Now that I've made my SECOND public declaration this month, who is going to be the person waking my butt up in the morning and strapping my new shoes on for me?? Anyone...? ;)

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Day 26: Make art, not war.

Art is not free to make but I'll certainly take advantage of an art show with no cover! My sister's boyfriend had a exhibit thrown by his tattoo shop at the Beat Kitchen last night. They're a seriously talented bunch.

There's always free events in the city, if you take the time to look!
And if you pregame at your apartment like an underage college kid, the evening will cost approximately zero dollars!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Day 24: Unsubscribe!

If you're anything like me, your inbox is just chock full of temptation. Each subject line more enticing than the next!

24 hour clearances...
12 hour flash sales...
30 minute value customer-closeout-basement bargains...
I'm a sucker for a sale.

This month I've spent an incredible amount of time UNSUBSCRIBING.
I clearly have no self control when it comes to my spending habits (uh...duh...the blog..)
I figure, hey, I can at least avoid dangling the gazelle in front of the puma (that's a saying, right? sounds right!) by not having the allure of dozens of daily emails calling me!

So! Goodbyyyyye... 
Gap. Urban. Nordstrom. Justfab. Stylemint. Victoria's Secret. Amazon. Ebay. Levi's. Nike. Groupon. Gilt. Rent the Runway. Travelocity. Pink Nation (Why do I need Victoria's Secret AND Pink Nation?!). Shutterfly. Sunglass Hut. Topshop. Snapfish. (Why?) and (Mostly because I'm not even engaged...) 

You've all been a great comfort to me after a few too many glasses of wine on a Tuesday night...and Friday often times feels like -surprise- Christmas! But I've turned over a new leaf. And mindlessly clicking on your brightly colored and flashy banners is just not on the agenda!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Oh, baby!

This Monday, my old friend, Tom, and his lovely wife, Kaitie, welcomed their first child into the world! YAY!

Back in November I had big plans to make them a sweet "gender neutral" crib blanket as well as a few lovie blankies. Little did I know, this blanket was going to take me roughly 100 hours to make(!) the lovie idea kindaaa fell to the wayside.

As far as cost is concerned, this project was very inexpensive. In addition to hoarding cupcake liners, I also (luckily) collect skeins of yarn!
So total I spent $10.73 (for shipping) on this gift. Plus all the time and love put into it! Which, of course, is priceless! :)

Here are a few DIY (cost effective) baby gifts for the baby boomers in your life!

Crochet/knit baby blanket/lovies/wash cloths There are so many cute (and free) patterns online these days! And if this is a skill you haven't picked up yet, check out Youtube. There are hundreds of great tutorial videos for beginners!

No-Sew fleece blankies

Custom made onsies Buy a few packages of inexpensive white onsies in different sizes and dye them bright colors (which are difficult to find!) Or use Monthly Iron-on numbers and make a cute "Watch me Grow" set!

Baby Leggings I love little chubby baby legs in leggings! Boy, girl...I don't care! They are adorable. Here's a super easy tutorial, you can buy scrap fabric or use anything you have laying around the house. You'll want to make dozens, I swear!

Nursery Decor I love homemade art that doesn't LOOK homemade. Here's an Alphabet Art tutorial (total savings about $290! EEP!) and a tutorial for the sweetest baby room garland.

The CUTEST Growth Chart tutorial. It will cost you less than 10 bucks and be used for their whole childhood!

Make freezer meals When making your own meals for the week, just double the recipe! Put it in labeled tupperware with cooking directions taped to the lid.

Offer to take baby for a evening (or weekend!) Don't underestimate the value of your time! The new Mom and Dad will absolutely appreciate having an evening to themselves. Even if it's 3 months down the road...and even if they use it just to sleep!

Sure, many of these items can easily be bought at the store. But they're much less expensive and more personal if you make them yourself!

What do you think? Are homemade baby gifts just being cheap? Or are they thoughtful?

((Welcome, baby Emery! We are so happy that you are here!))

Monday, January 21, 2013

Day 21: DIY Coffee Sweetener

We are 3 weeks in today and I've surprisingly not run out of food or coffee yet!
I've been making a real effort to make meals out of whatever I already have in the house. They're usually missing a side dish and are mostly veggies thrown into a stirfry, but are still filling!

I also seem to waste a lot of coffee. I'm sure most of you who live solo can relate. I make a pot, have a cup or 2, then the rest goes down the drain. I started putting the excess in a pitcher and sticking it in the fridge to have iced coffee in the morning, but the result was kind of weak.

Solution: Double brewing my leftover java! Pour the extra coffee back into the machine, grab another filter and fresh scoop of coffee , and voila! A cup'a Joe that'll put hair on your chest.
Here's a quick recipe for a DIY sweetener that'll make your at home coffee taste a little fancier. On a dime :)

Almond Coffee Syrup (recipe adapted from
2 cups water
2 cups sugar
1/2 tsp almond extract
Splash of vanilla extract

Heat water and sugar until completely dissolved. Add extract(s). Use a funnel to pour into whatever bottle you choose (I used a leftover wine bottle!) Your syrup can be kept in the fridge or left out on the counter.

Next time I'm going to omit the vanilla and add a small tsp of Nutella to make an Almond Roca syrup. After I collect a few more empty bottles, of course ;)

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Day 19

Ok, this Spending Fast (AKA "the unintentional diet") kind of sucks. I didn't consider the fact that chocolate/cookies/delicious snacks wouldn't be on my grocery list, ever. As I walk through the aisles with blinders on, I have to remind myself, "I don't NEED this, I don't NEED that.." My sweet tooth did overtake my senses once last week when a box of Milk Duds ended up in my basket.

Add .99 to my idiotic spending list.

I may have had a minor Carrie-moment at my guy this past week.
-the conversation went something like this-

Me: ((blahblah complaining about something blah))
Him: Why don't you just go buy it? (gosh, he's just so innocent..)
Me: -my head spins around spastically as i spit out- You.KNOW.I.can'!
-blank stare-
-after I regain my composure-
Him: I'm sorry. You just got SO upset.

Poor guy..
I think it's safe to say that was the moment he realized how difficult not shopping has been for me.

Anyway, here's a few things that I really wanted to buy this month, but didn't. Because I can't.

clockwise from top left:
This cute Jane Austen print.
Pretty sweets and junk food. All junk food.

Friday, January 18, 2013

Day 18- BISTM!

There are two "simple" formulas to saving cash. You can Cut Back or Make More Money

I've already Cut Back significantly (and I've almost completely stopped having cold sweats every time I pass by that dang Urban Outfitters SALE sign. baby steps.) 

So that leaves me scheming up ways to Make More Money. 
Okk, realistically, I could take on more hours at the bar I work at one night a week at, but frankly, that job makes me dislike people. Reallyreally dislike people. I think it's more important to save my sanity and be a more pleasant person than to be grouchy and rich. I'm sure we can all agree on that. Especially my poor manfriend who puts up with my ridiculousness.

You know that saying, "He's a jack of all trades, master of none."? 
Well, I'm Jack. Nice to meetcha.

Here's my brainstorm sesh:

-I could apply to photograph every wedding listed on Craigslist in the Chicago-land area. But apparently the going rate for a craft I paid many thousands of dollars to develop is...well, it's under appreciated, at best.

-I looked into selling my eggs (yes, really.) Apparently, I'm not that marketable. Maybe I'd do better at a face-to-face interview?

-I did some research on selling old electronics. I have so many old phones/cameras and it seems weird to just toss them. I'm not sure auction sites like Ebay will really be worth the work of posting them, but there are sites like Gazelle that will purchase my old pink Razr for a few bucks (and no shipping charge.)

-I've considered setting up an Etsy shop to sell some of the items I've been making/crocheting. 

would you buy any of these for yourself or as gifts?

-I thought about selling some old clothes to Plato's Closet or another resale shop. Until I came across Because I Shop Too Much. It's essentially an online Plato's Closet run by two local Chicago girls. 

It's so easy! 
I go through my own closet and dresser every season and donate things I haven't worn in a while. That means at LEAST 4 times a year I'm getting rid of clothes/shoes/old jewelry. Some things still have tags on them (for shame.) 

You start by setting up your own closet. Take a quick snapshot of the (gently used) items and post them with the prices that you've set. (Please just donate anything that has been a little tooo "loved".) You can order free boxes from the post office. (Did you know that?!) Package up the purchased items with a friendly thank you note and send them off! Done and done.

Check out my BISTM closet today!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Day 17

Look who got herself a library card! Free books/dvds/knowledge, heck yea.

Finding new ways to save dough has become kind of a game for me! How many different ways can I mix my lipsticks to create new colors so I don't need to buy more? Or could I water down my conditioner just ONCE more to stretch it's life..?

What kind of tricks do you have to make your money do more for you?

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Day 16: Waste not, want not.

When I first decided to commit to my Spending Fast and then to write this blog, I immediately went to my very sweet friend Emily because 1. She's one of the most supportive people in the UNIVERSE... Seriously, you should all be so lucky to have an Emily. and 2. She also has less than great spending habits (Sorry to call you out, dude...but the weekly manicure/polish change has

((during the "good old days" when I mindlessly spent. plus she's cute and I'm vain.))

She was super excited and encouraging, as I expected her to be. Then almost immediately she asked if I could post about how to not waste so much food. (See what I mean? She's a great idea giver and sounding board too!)

So here we are! 3 weeks in and, after doing some Google research, I've discovered some seriously horrifying stats. According to Business Insider, the average American family of four throws away $2,275 worth of food yearly! 

Could I really be throwing away over five hundred bucks a year?!
Alright, let's relax. As HUGE as that number is, in order to make big changes, we've got to take the first step.

Here's a small list of ways to cut back on wasting food (to be added to as I learn what works for me, of course!)

1. Meal Planning 
We've talked about it before, but it really is an easy way to organize in multiple ways. It helps you keep an inventory of your pantry/fridge, it forces you to make shopping lists for that week's meals, and you can plan for leftovers. If you plan ahead, you'll only buy what you need!

2. Don't buy in bulk
I know, I know. Those savings seem like a great reason to buy the gallon jar of mayo or 10 cans of soup in August! Or even a slightly more reasonable route, like the 3-pack of green peppers. But if you live alone like me, the peppers (or bag of apples or family-sized hummus) are most likely not going to get eaten before they go bad. Then you've actually paid MORE than you would have if you had just gone ahead and bought the smaller package! 

3. Utilize your freezer
Cut up fruit that's getting soft, put it in the freezer, and use it in smoothies! I like to put brown and squishy bananas in there to keep on hand for a quick sweet treat or to whip up banana bread (Ok, so I haven't actuallyyy baked that bread yet, but I have a half a dozen naners in there waiting...) Make big batches of chili, separate into single servings, and freeze!

4. Ignore expiration dates 
This was news to me! Who hasn't done the smell check on week old deli meat? Apparently, expiration dates are more like "Best if Used by" dates rather than "You're Going to Die if you Consume this" dates. I've started looking up questionable items such as milk and eggs. But I've found most items are still perfectly safe a number of days past their prime.

5. Rearrange the fridge every week
Bring the oldest items to the front. Put all the newest items towards the back and you'll run less of a risk of finding a head of lettuce growing a new species in there.

6. Remix leftovers

This is pretty self explanatory, but certainly deserves a mention. Just last week I made a crock pot of shredded chicken and had 3 different dinners. Also, brown rice and black bean leftovers are a staple in my house. Those can be tossed into anything! Also see: Rice&Beans Ideas from Andthenwesaved !

7. Sometimes you have to eat things you just don't want to
I almost never want to open the cans of tuna that I keep buying and sticking to the back of the cabinet. Same goes for the canister of oatmeal I don't remember buying. You have just suck it up, cut the bad parts off the onion, throw those wrinkly cherry tomatoes into a stir-fry, and call it dinner. 

That was certainly long winded! But necessary! 

2 Week Check-in!

It's really easy to save money! ...Er....if you're ok with being anti-social, never leaving the house, and you wear all your clothes until they're rags.

I have to admit, I did slip a bit this week! I purchased a coffee from a coffee shop so I could use their internet and I rented a zipcar instead of taking the train. Somehow 20 degree Chicago weather is so much colder when you have to take public transportation!

Here's a few things I did this week to cut costs:

1. Cancelled my Netflix subscription.

2. Cancelled Weight Watchers online (There are so many free apps to utilize!)

3. Dyed my black pants blacker (So they look new without BEING new.)

4. Brought laundry to my parent's house (Thanks mom!)

5. Walked a mile and a half home when the bus stopped running last night instead of hailing a cab.

7. Returned a pair of boots (and didn't even look around the store.)

8. Wore a shirt from the back of my closet that I hate. (Laundry day is never ending.)

9. I may have taken advantage of the Manfriend and his brother's generosity.

10. AND last but not least! Listened to this. On repeat!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Today is this fellas birthday! Yay!

But quite frankly, I've been dreading this weekend since I've taken the Spending Fast oath (you know, "I solemnly swear not to spend a dime...") Sigh.

I love birthdays! Mine AND others! I love picking out the perfect gifts or buying people dinner (or...getting them shmammered.)  So I've been scratching my head all week as to how I could make him feel special without buying him anything.

I started by handmaking him a card. That was a no-brainer. I dug around in my craft box to find some blank accordion style card stock left over from a book binding class. With some markers and sincere words, I came up with something (generic) Hallmark would be proud of :)

I also baked cupcakes for 2. Most recipes make 18+ treats! And seeing as he doesn't have much of a sweet tooth, what a waste that would be. I found this Very Vanilla recipe that was perfect (because what's a birthday without cake?!)

Then I found my favorite book on my bookshelf. After some serious consideration as to the level of tackiness, I found a roll of leopard wrapping paper in the closet, and stuck a bow on it.

I think he was actually kind of annoyed when I pulled his gifts out of my bag, as he knows I'm not supposed to be spending money AND he mayyy have said he didn't want anything.

Until he realized what a clever, cheeky little girlfriend he has! Because as much as I want to share this book with him, he grinned when I mentioned that I would like it back when he's finished with it.

(The book is Just Kids by Patti Smith, by the way! :) )

Friday, January 11, 2013

Smoother than a babies bottom.

This week I was given a very sweet compliment about my "great complexion" from a customer AND I was also mistaken for 22 years old. Unlike my sister, those mistakes are greatly appreciated.

Little do they know, my secret is...I rarely wash my face! A bottle of face wash could sit in my shower for close to a year. I'm lazy, it's probably gross, but it's worked in my favor for (close to ;) ) 27 years so far!

For those of you that have better hygiene than I do, I went ahead and tried a DIY face cleanser with just 2 ingredients and that costs only pennies!

3 tablespoons baking soda
1 tablespoon water

Mix until it forms a thick paste. Rub into your skin for 2-3 minutes. Rinse well with warm water.
(I went ahead and rinsed twice. I also used the extra paste to clean the bathroom sink! :) )

I certainly felt clean! My face felt kind of taut afterwards and it was a little red. I'd probably use this cleanser just once or twice a week.

Oh and my moisturizer? Very expensive mini samples that I've collected during my years of working at Nordstrom. Thrifty!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

These boots are made for...

One of the few things I NEEDED to buy before beginning this fast was new winter boots. However, I couldn't find the perfect ones. So now I'm left a bunch of old scrappy pairs!

Mine are all (but 1 pair) falling apart at the seams! And not in a subtle kind of way either.
More like two pairs could be having a conversation with each other in my closet..

I could be a supersuper money saver and just wrap my feet in in ziplock bags and cross my fingers they won't leak.
Or I could just have all the soles done up at a shoe repair (which would still cost less than a new pair.)

I guess in the meantime I'll just deal with my boot envy and do some serious online -window- shopping.


I'm a size 8 in boots for anyone feeling generous this month :)))

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


me&my siblings :)

I have nothing to give, but time. And volunteering your time costs ZERO dollars!!
Tomorrow I have my first interview with the Big Brother/Big Sister program in Chicago.
I can't think of anything less expensive and more fulfilling. Wish me luck!

Day 8: Can't buy love.

It doesn't take money to have a good time with these goofs. (These 3 are my nanny family, by the way!) We can read, or make crafts, or visit free parks or zoos. We can just hang out! They have plenty to say!

In the past, I've felt like we'd have more fun or, as silly as it sounds, they'd like me more if I bought them things or activities (including those butterfly wings...)

I'm not quite sure where I've come up with this theory considering my parents certainly didn't shower us with STUFF. I grew up in the era of "Go play outside!" if you were bored. And having an active imagination was encouraged!

They'll like me, with or without the crap.

Monday, January 7, 2013

One Week in...

And here I am sitting at a STARBUCKS. I'm WEAK!

Here was my internal dialogue after noticing my Internet is down at home today.

Frustrated Tiffany: Gah :curses Internet company: where can I use WIFI for free?
Illogical Tiffany: Just walk over to Starbucks, it'll cost you 3 bucks TOPS.
Responsible Tiffany: That's $3 more than I want to spend. Let's take the bus down to Nordstrom to use theirs.
Irresponsible Tiffany: It's so far and COLD. Plus Day 7 is way too soon to be window shopping. We could visit with Ashley at the bar and use their Internet.
Smarty pants Tiffany: You know you'll end up ordering food, then drinks, then before you know it, you'll be 20 dollars in the hole.
Bad Tiffany: Save yourself the frustration. Just go to Starbucks.

Bad Tiffany is quite convincing.

BUT somehow the universe got together and wanted to help me out! After I ordered my black blonde roast, the barista very apologetically informed me that they had to brew a new batch and this cup was on the house. (I did tip her, of course. I'd rather be poor than cheap.)

Thanks, Universe. I owe you one.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Things are getting tough.

Without a doubt, socializing without spending money is the most difficult part of this Spending Fast. 
((I may or may not have faked a stomachache and gone home early this weekend to avoid the temptation to spend money at the bar ::womp womp:: ))

I don't want to go into hibernation mode because I'm being a cheapskate, but I don't want to spend money either.


Friday, January 4, 2013


After a quick trip to pick up some food for the weekend, I'm feeling quite proud of myself.

Picture this:
I'm pushing a crabby toddler in a stroller while dragging two 3 year olds through a crowded grocery store at lightning speed saying, "Please stop touching. Please stop touching. Boys, I won't tell you again, PLEASE stop touching."

I've got exactly $23 dollars in my wallet and that's all I have to spend on meal food, not treats or snacks. (The old Tiffany would have just taken out her debit card without a care in the world.)

After gathering all my necessities and making my calculations, I see a 12 pack of toliet paper for $4 bucks (over half off!) Plus a 12 pack could last me almost 3 months! Seeing as with all my sale items and my store loyalty card, I thought we might just make it under par.

Unfortunately, that wasn't the case. It was about a buck fifty over. And with jussst a glimmer of hesitation, I grab a box of frozen pasta and

We have to celebrate the small wins, people.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Day 3. Meal Planning. (or so many leftovers.)

I'm not much of a planner at all, to be honest. I'm always the one on vacation who forgets to pack something essential and I often get soaked on rainy days because clouds are not enough of a warning for me to grab my umbrella.
That being said, I'm giving meal planning a try.

Monday afternoon, I grabbed my pretty new notebook and scribbled my work schedule for the month in it. Then, after taking inventory of my freezer and pantry, noted recipes for each night. And when I say recipes, I mean vague lists of food items that probably would taste alright when tossed together in a pan or crockpot.

Monday: NYE
Tuesday: Dinner at work- hummus
Wednesday: Crockpot chicken+onions+black beans+rice
Thursday: Leftovers (tacos)
Friday: Dinner with Laurel (Canceled. Leftovers.)
Saturday: Pork tenderloin, mashed potatoes, frozen veggies

Luckily, I was able to eat my leftover chicken 3 different ways. But there's got to be another way to go about this. Something with a little more variety.

And then I came across its a muegge life ! Ahh! The heavens opened up and said duh. There's a billion better ways than randomly jotting down a protein and two veggies!

Here's the long and short of it:
Take 90 notecards and write a recipe on each card, including cooking times, serving size, and grocery lists.
Put them in a recipe box.
On Sunday night choose 3-5 notecards for the week. (I figure that'll allow for leftovers and for nights my lovely Manfriend wants to treat me ;) )
Make a grocery list for the week and do my shopping Monday afternoon.

3 months worth of recipes seems like good amount to rotate through without getting bored.
Or I can always just continue eating my famous rice and beans with Sriracha.
Cost effective AND delicious.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Day 2. (free) Laundry day!

Hanging out with these munchkins is free! In fact, I get paid for it. I also got smart and brought a load of laundry to do at work. An easy 2 bucks saved! ;)

I'd like to say that it's usual for me to walk to work and head straight home without opening my wallet, but that's just a lie. Let me tell you how difficult it was having to walk by my favorite coffee shop when I noticed there was NO LINE!

I just put my head down and marched on.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

DAY 1!

Happy 2013, everyone! I love new beginnings. Everything seems fresh, like a do-over of all the mistakes you may have made in the past year (or years.) They've been wiped clean. And now you can do things differently!

Except that old habits die hard.
Today is Day 1...and what I should have done is STAY HOME. There's no temptation in my cozy bed.

Instead I found myself at a bar with my man, cheering on his Wildcats. (Ok, so in addition to my bad shopping habit, as a couple, we spend far more time and money in bars than we should. Even when we've been "hooked up" by our friends and co-workers we still spend over $40 a night without a second thought.)

SO here's the run down of how I did on this first day!

I brought my own mug of coffee that I made at home (1 point for Tiffany) AND I walked the 20 minute walk there instead of taking a cab (2 points...what? Are we not keeping score here?) I ate before I left so I wouldn't be tempted to order food, but the smell of fried deliciousness overtook my senses and the man bought me an order of chicken fingers. (Ok, I lose a point here.)
I didn't order any drinks (because I shouldn't drink before work and because drinks cost money.) But I did accept drinks that were given to me (Is that cheating?)

Then I walked home and made an early dinner before I had to be at work. Even though I was running late, I still managed to take public transportation to my job and be on time.
After work, I waited the extra hour and a half for my manager to get off so I could bum a ride home instead of taking a cab!
Then I patted myself on the back for being so resourceful :)

The running tally for January so far:
$700.36 (Rent/Utilities)
$0 Cash

If today is any indication of how the next month will pan out, I think I'll probably be saving countless money not taking cabs or ordering coffee out.