Do you keep track of your expenses? Do you know how you compare with other people around the world? If not, here is your chance. Join the Dollar Challenge and post about where you spend your money. It is easy enough to do and will help you compare your spending to other people who have joined the challenge.
What is the Dollar Challenge?
The Dollar Challenge is a fun way for all of us to compare our spending. Everyone who wants to participate will pick a month from their budget to share with the world. They will share how much they spend in the designated categories (see below for details) and then write a post about it, with a link back to this article.
If you feel uncomfortable about sharing how much you make/spend, there is no need to worry. Everything will be in percentages. This not only protects the privacy of everyone, but keeps it in a format that is easy to compare (since everyone earns a different amount). In other words, everyone is sharing where they spend each penny of every dollar that they earn. Hence the name: The Dollar Challenge.
Once everyone publishes their information (sometime between now and the the deadline below), I will read EVERY post, gather the data and conclude the challenge by writing a summary post to be published on Saturday, December 3, 2011. The summary post will link to everyone who participated for others to read and also make observations on the spending habits as a group.
What are the Guidelines?
- Keep everything in percentages or cents on the dollar (for example: 3% or $.03). This will make it easy to compare the data.
- Make sure your data is reflective of an AVERAGE month (For example, if your 6 month insurance premium comes due in Oct, make sure to average it out per month. Or, if you spend a lot for Christmas in December, just don’t use that month for your budget).
- Please use the following big categories (in an effort to keep it comparable)
- Personal Care
- If you want to go more specific, certainly feel free to do so as long as you include totals for the above categories
- Publish your version of the Dollar Challenge on your blog before November 26, 2011. (If you don’t have a blog of your own and would like to participate, contact me and I will publish your post on my website.)
- Be sure to link back to this post.
- To make sure that I know you participated (and can include your information in the summary post), either leave a comment or email me to let me know the URL of your version of the dollar challenge.
- Be as creative as you want!
- Be sure to check back for the summary post on December 3, 2011.
- See Below for an example, including a sample of how you might want to introduce the Dollar Challenge to your readers.
20’s Finances: Where I Spend My Dollar
I have decided to participate in The Dollar Challenge, where I am sharing the details of where I spend ever cent of my dollar for an average month. I am excited to see how I compare to others compare to my numbers.
Forty-five cents of every dollar that I earn goes toward housing. I know this is probably higher than the average person, but I also live in the northeast and earn less than others. My wife and I live in a modest one bedroom apartment and do not feel bad about how much we spend. We certainly don’t have many better options without moving to a different part of the country.
Ten cents of every dollar that I earn goes toward my transportation costs. This includes a train pass for myself and gas for my wife. We keep our costs at a minimum by avoiding any unnecessary driving and only having one car.
Thirteen cents of every dollar goes towards food, including eating out. My wife do pretty well with our food budget. We only eat out once or twice a month and keep our groceries to a minimum for the rest of the time. We also pack lunches during the work week to save money.
We currently only have car insurance and health insurance. We are taking a risk by not having renters insurance and we may end up getting it soon, but for the time being we don’t have it. I get a minimal health insurance plan through my work and my wife is actually still on her parents (Thank you Obama Health Care plan). This is one of the ways that my wife’s parents still help us out. Who would turn this down, right?
Personal Care: $.02
This is one of our lowest categories because we hardly buy any unnecessary items. The 2 cents that is included here is for prescriptions and other minor clothing purchases.
Since only two cents of every dollar goes towards entertainment, I know you are thinking that my wife and I must live boring lives. While this may be partially true, we know how to have fun on a budget. We get movies from the public library or use redbox when we really want a treat (can’t beat a $1 splurge). We will occasionally go out to a movie or purchase used books as well.
We aren’t yet saving a quarter of our earnings, but we are pretty darn close. We are putting a lot of our savings into our ROTH IRA’s since we already have an emergency fund.
One penny is buried in the other category. For a while, we were just making ends meet and weren’t able to give. We weren’t able to contribute to local charities as much as we would have liked. We just heard some great news and will be looking to expand this area in the near future.