December Challenge’s Report (Week 1-2)

As I’ve promised, to keep me accountable, I will “report” how my December challenge goes…. For those who’ve missed my post… that, in December I will try to keep my weekly spending on fresh produce only for IDR 100 thousands.

Yep, I’ve supposed to write the “report” by the beginning of the week. But I’ve been a little bit busy with work: two articles for the paper and preparation of an event in Kalimantan. Both of them took most of my time.

So, here I am… on Sunday afternoon writing this post to you.

How was my first week of the challenge? Well, on my first week of this month, I was out of town the whole week (from December 1st to December 7th) and visited two cities: Pontianak and Jakarta. As the rule, the expenses during the trip would not be excluded or won’t be counted as “doing groceries” because it was under a special occasion. Because, during business trip, my office covers for the expenses. And, there’s no way for me to cook the whole time because I mostly eating out. The only time I made something was in Jakarta but it was not “a meal” though. Just boiled eggs and potatoes at Jemb’s place.

I finally made it to Tugu Equator in Pontianak

I finally made it to Tugu Equator in Pontianak

Anyway, I still tracked the spending down. And the result was really surprised me.. I COULD CUT DOWN my expenses into a half! Yay! Well done!!! :)). I only spent IDR 610 thousands for the whole week! For a week trip, I usually spend more and more. Those expenses have included meal and getting tea bag, dark chocolate (twice) at the airport. Other than that, just a small stuff I spent. I could spend very low because some people have fed me.. :)). Errrrr.. and I did do online shop this week for some dried ingredients: hot chocolate powder, two packs of dark chocolate, and curry powder. They cost me IDR 259 thousands – still on my limit.

delicious food named "pengkang". My high school 's friend, Dian treated me :)

delicious food named “pengkang”. My high school ‘s friend, Dian treated me 🙂

So, my challenge has actually worked in the week second (8th to 14th December). During this period, I spent more than the limit… :(((. IDR 140.500,- Well, I’ve been over budget, but not that bad.. I had enough fruits and veggies and tofu & tempeh… If I added buying 20 organic free range (chicken) eggs and 8 duck eggs. With those numbers, I will use it for more than a month (especially if I’m traveling). Those eggs cost me IDR 74 thousands. Well, I hope I’d be better for the rest of the month. And, it looks I will (again) skip this week because I need to be on business trip. Yippie 🙂

my regular meal

my regular meal

So, here are what I’ve been learning from doing the challenge:

  • Eating out is still the most costly expenses. If we want to really cut down expenses, just cut down eating out. But, it’s okay to have it once a while – like once a month. We need to meet people and chat with our good buddies. The happiness of meeting them is money can’t buy (but money can buy us a cup of a really good hot chocolate and a piece of cake). :)). I don’t really mind spending it then… And, sometimes, the taste of our homemade is much much much much better than buying outside. It just reminded me of aglio olio pasta with shrimp I ordered from a restaurant in a mall a while ago… The pasta came with only five shrimps, and it cost me more than IDR 70 thousands. Ah, the price really does not make any sense. But if I make it at home, with IDR 70 thousand, I can feed the whole family of 4 people. :). See the difference? there you go!
  • We can’t really per se set “a weekly” budget, because we usually spend more in a week then spend less in other week. I spent more this week because I need to store one or two kind of veggies so when I’m back from a travel, I can make some food without rushing to go to market to get some ingredients.
  • I buy what I really need. And, I don’t store as much as fresh ingredients like I use to till my aunt asked me why I did not have much food like usual. :)).
  • “Others” group is still the highest expenses… :))

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