Friday, June 3, 2011

10 days, no spending test for survivalists

A few days ago Yahoo had a posting: 10 days, no spending.  I think it’s a good exercise but the article itself was extremely flawed.  The article pretends that everything you buy is wasted money.

The bills that were supposed to come due during the 10 day period were paid ahead of time.  I’m not sure where the savings is there. The writer also said she had enough gas in her gas tank.  She had ½ a tank.  Am I to assume that if she had a full tank she would have driven around town more often just to use the gas?  I do suppose that if you only had ½ a tank that you may combine a couple of trips together and not run to the store as often, but with the price of gas as it is, I don’t think people are doing much pleasure driving anyway.  She said she worked at home so her gas was for running around doing other things. I guess if you needed more than one tank of gas in a week then you'd have to miss work.

 You are supposed to go through your cabinets and make sure you have enough food and supplies for 10 days.  If you don’t have enough stuff then run to the store and get your 10 days plus worth of stuff.  Then during the 10 days you use this stuff up.  After the time is up you do have to replace your food so there isn’t any savings unless you end up eating food that you would have thrown away. 

She said that removed all money sources from her purse: debit card, credit cards, and checkbook. She actually locked them up in a safe for the 10 days so she wouldn’t be tempted to spend.  She said at the end of her experiment she had so much more money in her bank account since she is normally an over-spender.  She wants to repeat this each money to increase her savings. 

Doing what she did, and actually saving money, can only be done if you do one thing.  Stop going to the store.  Don’t make shopping a sport or a hobby.  Don’t buy what you don’t need.  Don’t buy convenience.  She would save lots of money by making her own food rather than going out to eat, but this wasn’t brought up in the article at all.  I thought the article was stupid. 

But, and there’s always a but in my world, what if you looked at this as an exercise in survivalism or preparations?  Then this would make sense.  Try it to see if you are prepared for 10 days.  Don’t do like the author suggested of checking your preps to make sure you have everything in advance.  Just start tomorrow and try to see how long you can make it without shopping.  Or maybe tomorrow isn’t a good day to start since it’s a weekend and you probably have some fun plans to do something which will cost you money.

My first downfall would be fuel.  Not my personal vehicle.  It is full of gas and now that religious school is over for the summer for the grandkids I should only be filling up the tank once a month plus any out of town trips we take.  My work truck needs fuel.  Yesterday I almost went through a full tank.  On the other hand, I’m not the one paying for that fuel (yes I am, I pay taxes too!) so perhaps the work truck shouldn’t count in the experiment. 

I’m starting this today.  I may lose next week anyway.  My sister wants us all to go to Disneyland.  We already bought tickets so that wouldn’t be present money being spent.  I could convince the grandkids that we should bring peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and go out to the car to eat.  They’ll go for that.  They won’t go for not buying cotton candy.  I don’t think I would either!  If during the next ten days all I spend money on is three bags of cotton candy I think it will be a successful experiment.  Are you game?


  1. My impulse spending comes from stopping by McDonalds or other fast food when we are a little hungry. We can't wait an extra 30 minutes to drive home anymore and just eat there. If all the fast food places were closed we'd have to completely readjust.

  2. I found your site by clicking on next blog. Not sure why I would need to prepare unless we knew a hurricane was coming. Seems like a waste of time. If you believe that 2012 is the end why are you not out partying?

  3. Our group recently completed a small "1week" test. The rules stated
    it was 2 months post shtf. You must cook all meals using only the
    foods you have stored, you must cook over coals or open fire. If
    you have it in the larder "stored food" you can buy it at a store.
    This is so you don't need to open a 5 gal bucket of beans for one meal.
    The test was educational and the food was great..

  4. Seems like a good premise for a test. First to see how you spend money and secondly to truly see if you are prepared. This makes me want to try it also. Maybe later this summer.

    I'm also looking forward to a review for your thoughts.

  5. I think the value in these excercises is what we discover. To diminish them because they aren't perfect or realistic might miss the point. Especially if the person who tries one of these then decides to do it again with better limits and controls. It's a learning experience and typical of learning experiences the early steps are baby steps. I think everyone should be thinking about these things. Not necessarily trying them if they can learn form others efforts. Keep sharing your ideas and learn from others.

  6. I've been through a hard winter where the local store was closed for a couple weeks because there wasn't electricity. We didn't need to shop because we had enough at home. We didn't go anywhere during that time since we are retired and didn't have to get to a job. After a week you start wondering if you have enough to get you through. This is a good exercise.

  7. That's a good idea to be able to buy from the store if you do have it, just so you don't have to open buckets - at least for a dry run. On the other hand, (there's always an other hand with me...) at what point do you open your buckets? If the stores are temporarily closed for a week, two weeks, a month? Or do you open your buckets only if society has completely collapsed and you know that you can't even travel for an hour or so to find an open and stocked store?

  8. I think I will do this one with my family, too... gonna let them know ahead what's coming, though (maybe), as I'm not sure how they'd do if I just sprung it on them... although they would probably just assume I'm out of money so we're making due until payday comes and all bills are caught up... sounds fun to me!!! hmmmmm.... when to start? I'd love to buy another gallon of milk and a bottle of fabric softener first....... he,he...