By Cody Tieu
My 7-day challenge was to not spend money for a week, including eating out. When hanging out with my friends, I’m most likely to eat out and spend money. This results in me saying that I’m broke whenever I go out and making unhealthy food choices. I chose to do this challenge so that I can buy myself a Fujifilm Instax Mini 8 Instant Film Camera. I’ve wanted this camera because of the aesthetics. It prints out a physical copy of the picture, which means I won’t need to go to Walgreens to print my pictures out. I needed to save $60 in order to purchase the camera and the film. On average, I spend $40 a week on food which comes from the tip jar I make at work.
I took on this challenge to build the habit of saving money as practice for college. Going into the challenge I felt really confident with myself, I told myself to avoid buying food while I’m out since I’ll have food at home.
While I was confident to start the challenge, the first few days were very difficult. I was asked to go to the corner store with my friend Vanessa, and had to watch her buy a bag of my favorite chips and eat it in front of my face. I kept myself from buying it by reminding myself that I packed lunch for that day. Although it was only a few dollars, I didn’t want to spend a single penny, knowing I will end up buying a soft drink with whatever snack I bought.
Another day, I was invited to go to Teaspoon with my friends Jackie and Vincent. I insisted on going, but explained to them that I was taking on this 7-day challenge. They both offered to split and pay for my boba because they knew that I would not last long, but I rejected and told them that part of my challenge was to not eat out. It was very tempting since I was not going to spend my money, but I also might feel bad later for having them pay.
On a different day, I went to Japantown with my friend and we happen to stop by a stationary stop. I felt so tortured because I really wanted to buy a new pen for AP Stats. When I was there a couple weeks before, I wanted to buy that pen but I didn’t have any money so I decided to wait for another time when I did. This was such bad timing. I stayed strong though and talked myself out of buying it. I didn’t really need it since I still have highlighters, so buying a new pen for stats would only make the highlighters useless and making me carry more in my pencil case.
Towards the end of the week, it became easier to make decisions and fight off my cravings. I was able to discover the difference between my needs versus my wants. The hardest part of this challenge was avoiding boba because it was part of what I was really craving. At the end of this challenge, I learned that I am capable of saving money for something big. With the money I saved, I bought the camera. But, I will not be able to do this challenge again knowing that next time I will probably give in to my urges.