Friday, February 6, 2009

Bella Lives On $4.39 A Day - Updated Bella Quit!

The challenge is simple - Bella has to live on $4.39 a day for the next fourteen days. She has a total of $61.58 to last until February 14th. The money is a combination of the following:

  • CVS Extra Bucks $9.58
  • Cash $51

It has to buy:

  • Gasoline;
  • Groceries (Milk; Meat; Assorted Pantry Items; Fresh Fruit)
  • Lunch for a work function (compulsory)

Bella has a full tank of gas, and the pantry is well stocked with ingredients to form most recipes, meat will need to be purchased. All the bills have been paid and the car tire has been replaced. If she does not spend the whole $4.39 she can roll-it over. Necessary baby items can be purchased from a $25 gift card for Babies "R" Us, and Bella also has $6.98 to spend at IKEA (this can be used for household items, batteries, light bulbs, etc). She will be using coupons as much as possible, with the use of Hotcouponworld and Katy Couponers. In addition, Bella will use Free-cycle, if she find herself 'needing' an item. There will be absolutely no use of credit cards, store cards or debit cards - just cash, coupons, gift cards and store rewards.


Days Remaining: Quit On Day 7

Spent $55.79 -- Remaining $5.79 (in CVS EBs)

After seven very long days, Bella quit. With just the CVS rewards, she knew there was no way that enough groceries could be purchased. Her and her husband decided to use the one credit card that remained. How families do this seems impossible. But they do. As Bella queued in Krogers, a woman behind her, lined up milk, juice, cheese, cereal and food stamps. It seemed poignant at the time. With Bella's husband already working three jobs, she wondered how people in their income bracket truly coped. In a time, when wages remain stagnant and living costs increasing, how does the average Joe, bridge the gap? For the time being, Bella will rely on the credit card, at least until payday arrives. Then for her, it's back to square one.


40 minutes later, Bella was panicking her husband had just informed her he used all the remaining cash for gas. It only bought half a tank. She, retreated under the duvet! At least there she could spend no money.


There are eight days to go, and Bella broke one of the rules - gasp! She insisted her husband use the 'emergency' credit card to buy cheese and lettuce. Bella could not stand the thought of ungarnished taco's for dinner. Tsk! Tsk! To make matters worse, her sitter job she had planned, fell through. Just goes to show Bella, you shouldn't count chicken's before they hatch, make do with the eggs!!


Three days in and Bella had to put some dollars back into the bank account, to avoid an overdraft fee. She missed a receipt which meant, that her H. O. A. check would have caused an overdraft fee of $35.00. Bella has to be realistic and think about finding funds from elsewhere. She proposed a yard sale, her husband's response, "What do you have to sell, Bella?" She'd auction him off, but is not sure she'd make more than a buck - ha!! Bella thinks he does not want to get up early and clear out the garage (she'll do it.). Her husband does work three jobs after all (and one of them is as a full time educator!) Bella is planning to take care of children this Friday (this is where her Early Years Degree comes in handy, whilst being a S. A. H. M.), so that will bring an extra $25. She is thinking that it is impossible to live on as little as $4.39 a day, but feels blessed that she is only having to do this for fourteen days. Bella and her husband, still cannot begin to imagine how people/families, do this day after day, month after month.


If Bella made a loud raspy noise would you be offended? That's how she feels- she wants to make a loud raspy noise at the figure above. Bella has already managed to spend half - yes half- of the allowance and there is still 12 days to go. Which beggars belief, how do people survive on less? Because there are people that do, and they still have unpaid bills. She looked at the receipts today to see if there was any excessive spending, but everything was needed (2lbs Ground Turkey, Chicken Breast, Onion, Bell Pepper, Rice). They have to eat. Their toddler has to be fed - she will complain very noisily if not. That would not help. Hey-ho, on to day 3, perhaps it will get better as it comes to an end? Chin-up Bella.


There are 13 days to go and this is already proving to be very, very hard! The temptation to spend is overwhelming!! Surprisingly, Bella's husband is doing better than her. But, then he always has been competitive. Bella is just so thankful that the pantry is well-stocked and for her "Cook with Four Ingredients" Book. They will definitely have to buy more meat this week so will be watching the fliers for "buy 1 get one free' offers. Sigh -- Bella never imagined she'd be blogged about doing this, let alone blogged! Bella is viewing this as character building and something to tell her future Grand kids "When I was your age we lived on less than $5 a day ... blah, blah, blah".

No comments: