A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.

How to Survive on $111 For 45 Days

Sat Jan 15 18:43:49 2011

How far can you stretch when it comes to limited resources and survival?

We all make different sums of money, all live in different countries and areas, and of course, have different expenditures. Perhaps, a more appropriate title for this article would have been "How I Survived...", or even, at this point of time, "My Log of Survival..." Of course, if you're rasing a family of six, or in need of expensive medication, you won't last on $111 for 45 days. The purpose of this article, more or less, is to give me incentive not to give up on my goal, and to show wondering minds what is or isn't possible, and what can possibly be done.

Here's the story: I have $220 (Canadian) in my pocket right now. I have (luckily) an option to borrow some money, however, in doing so I'll be wasting more money, and this is something I wish to avoid. Some of that $220 already has appointed ways to be spent, thus according to my calculations, if I survive for the next 45 days while spending only $111, I will greatly improve my future financial situation.

Henceforth, for the next 45 days, I intend to append my progress to this article, in hopes to inspire others, and most importantly myself, to press on during hard times. Enjoy!

As one of the commenters mentioned, I completely forgot about including bills and rent in my "survival" budget. All the bills are paid off (thankfully). The bills include all the creditor bills, rent and untilities. The $111 are for day-to-day survival stuff, such as food, transportation, clothing, and various household expenses such as laundry, haircuts, cleaning supplies, etc. :)

Day 0

As today comes to a close, I take a gander onto my feeble provisions for the upcoming financial drought. I have a full tank of gas, limited, but complete set of clothing (freshly washed). The fridge could use some milk and eggs, however, my cooking skills shall come in handy, as I have decent supply of flour, grains, potatoes, pasta, and frozen seafoods.

The on-welfare guy next door often brags about nearby church hosting luncheons, thus I can assume I shan't die of starvation :)

Day 1

Although, usually I eat a heavy breakfast, today I decided to delay it by three hours until my bread is baked - this way the soup that I'll have will fill me up better, and there's nothing quite like fresh bread in the morning :)

Depending on your avocation, you might be a slave to boredom during times like these, not me though. The fact that I can't go out to most places is a fortune to me, as I have 50(!) books that I've bought in the past but never had any free time to read. Well, now I can take care of that.

Good news today: I found quite a bit of milk powder, so I can have tea with milk and what not. Bad news: if I to see more baked bread, I'll need to stock up on flour, yeast, sugar (just found molasses and a jar of glucose), and pancake mix (this is just for slightly better flavour, screw it).

For dinner, I am having fried potatoes with mushroom gravy; mmmm yum :)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $0.00)

Day 2 and 3

Well, not much to say. Just living the dream :)

Today spent some money on flour, sugar, and... um... something for my sweet tooth :)

Spent today: $13.02 (Total spent: $13.02)

Day 4

Hard to believe day 4 came around so quick :) So far, so good.

Today got a dozen of eggs.

Spent today: $2.99 (Total spent: $16.01)

Day 5

Day 5 is at the close, and I am starting to see the true light of my plan; how it's all working out, and all that.

I will soon need Tylenol (damn headaches!), onions, potatoes, and some meat or fish, but I really need to think this through a bit. Right now we are at 11% mark in time, and already 14% of finances are spent. Even though, disregarding my sweet tooth mistake I would have spent only 9% of money, I am wary that all the meat and fish I ate so far were not bought using my $111 budget.

I think I'll get the Tylenol and onions tomorrow, but the rest will have to wait a bit :)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $16.01; 14.4% of total) Time progress: 11.1%.

Day 6

Happy Friday, All!

Well, today I have hit onto an onion jackpot: I got NINE pounds of onions for just $3!

Got some Tylenol as well - 80 "rapid act" capsules - so I've made a dent in my budget that will take several days to rectify :). Made absolutely delicious cutlets last night, and still have some of them raw left for tonight's dinner. I guess knowing how to cook well helps when living on a budget :)

Spent today: $11.01 (Total spent: $27.02; 24.3% of total) Time progress: 13.3%.

Day 7

A week in the books; feels like it has been much longer, though :)

Almost went out to buy some of condensed milk for I could make the BlinZZ, but I changed my mind after ruminating my current progress of 24.3% through the budget. Instead, I'm making so-called "Soft Pretzels" (yum yum) right now, courtesy of my bread maker recipes book.

My food provisions are dwindling at an alarming rate. I finished off the cutlets and the mashed potatoes + cooked cabbage. Was planning to make squid strips with pasta for dinner, but I think I'll just fill up on the pretzels, and leave the squid marinating until tomorrow.

If I can avoid spending money for the next 4 days (unlikely), I will match up my money spending progress with the time one. Well, time will show how that will have gone.

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $27.02; 24.3% of total) Time progress: 15.5%.

Day 8

First day of the second week of my journey. Watched The Sorcerer's Apprentice, and highly recommend it. No dollars were harmed today. Made great squid strips and paste in the morning, and then filled up on freshly baked bread later in the afternoon. Living the dream :)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $27.02; 24.3% of total) Time progress: 17.7%.

Day 9

Day 9 is ending. Although, I am rather impressed with my achievement thusfar, it's starting to occur to me that much trouble lies ahead. For the past 9 days, I have been living virtually exclusively on the supplies I have saved up during the earlier days. While it might not be obvious from the title of the article, this challenge in my mind has always been "Survive this period of time on $111", without any implications that one can continuously live on $111 spent over the course of every 45 day period. It's not so. Even considering buying food alone for a single person, $111 is not enough, even for a month.

As my last batch of beef is cooking on the stove, I am getting somewhat depressed. Not a good thing, but hopefully this is only due to my slimming last night's sleep.

The bonus of the day: free laundry (long story short: there's a free machine in my house; except it's busy 99% of the time, so I usually wash in a paid laundramat)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $27.02; 24.3% of total) Time progress: 20.0%.

Day 10

I've been bad today :) However, it wasn't silly sweet tooth, and I am actually quite happy about the result, as I've hit on the gold mine (of meat). How much do you think six pounds of ground pork, plus four pounds of ground beef, plus three pounds of lean beef cut would cost? In regular grocery stores, (my memory is fuzzy, though) ground beef is about 2-4 bucks a pound. I've paid for the aforementioned load only $18.31! This was obtained at an Asian grocery store (it's in Shoppers Worls Mall in Brampton, ON)

I also got a bag of potatoes today as well. Despite the fact that I've made another deep dent in the planned budget, I forsee having meat for much of my remaining road to victory, and needless to say, I no longer feel depressed :)

Spent today: $21.45 (Total spent: $48.47; 43.7% of total) Time progress: 22.2%.

Day 11

Just a dull day. Didn't spend any money; ate my cutlets with pasta. End of story :)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $48.47; 43.7% of total) Time progress: 24.4%.

Day 12

Nothing spent. Finished my cutlets (finally). Well... not much else to say :)

Spent today: $0.00 (Total spent: $48.47; 43.7% of total) Time progress: 26.6%.