Day 1 – Money-free Monday


“The day, water, sun, moon, night – I do not have to purchase these things with money.” ~ Titus Maccius Plautus

That may be true, but a girl’s gotta eat.

It is Monday, June 27th, the first day of what I’m calling the “No Spend 7.” I’ve been challenged by my friend Tanya Rivera of WFMY News 2 to not spend any money for 7 days. I didn’t hesitate when she first asked me to do the assignment. “Piece of cake!” I thought. If the three basic needs are food, shelter, and clothing then all I have to worry about is food for the 7 days since I already own a house & have plenty of clothing.

Of course, since I will have to actually pay for the food, shelter, and clothing going forward, I still have to work. Since I don’t live at my office, gas is also a necessity. I’m not walking 5.5 each way to work every day. I’m active, but I’m not crazy…

Ok, the jury may still be out on that last statement.

To prepare for the “No Spend 7”, I tracked my gas for a week to figure out exactly how far a tank would take me, and how many of those miles will have to go towards work. I also took stock of what groceries I had & what I would need to last me 7 days. Yesterday I bought $40.00 worth of groceries and filled my tank up with gas…or so I thought. I’d just gotten back from Raleigh so I had to top off (I’d refilled already in Mebane.) The gas cut off after adding 1.5 gallons, which is about what my wee tank needs to get to Mebane (small car, highway miles.) However, I noticed this morning that the little needle didn’t go all the way to full…so I may be a gallon shy of a full tank. Dangit. I just lost 24 miles. At least.

A round trip to work & back is 11 miles. I also go 3 miles round trip to workout at the freakishly early time of 5:30 a.m. every day at my friend’s house. Usually if I don’t eat out at lunch I come home…so that’s another 11 miles. Basically just doing that every day equates to needing a gallon a day. In theory my tank should last me all week if I do nothing else.

But who can just work & come home every day? I need activities! I need socialization! & this week I need FREE activities. So I factored in  trips to the K-Vegas YMCA. It’s 5.6 miles from my house (each way.) Technically I do have a membership so it’s not free…but it is paid for, so for the sake of this exercise I consider it free. That’s another 11 miles per visit. No problem. & then there’s church, where I will be volunteering on Saturday and Sunday this week. That’s also 5 miles each way.

Living 5 miles from everything is convenient.

But then I failed to factor in one thing: trips to the theatre. I didn’t expect to have to go to Twin City Stage (where I volunteer to help w/ lighting) this week because I usually take the summers off from doing theatre work. It’s pretty outside & theatres have no windows. Better to do theatre in the winter…at least for me. However, my friend Danny asked me to help w/ a hang/focus this week. I help him, he helps me. I’ll need his help on a show I’m doing in the fall so I  gotta factor in at least one trip for him, which will cost me 22 miles round trip.  So…I ended up using 55 miles worth of gas today. That’s a bit more than I planned for.

Time to adjust my plans for the week.

Also, since I went straight from work to the gym, and straight from the gym to the theatre, I had to pack a dinner. I didn’t plan for needing “travelling” dinners. I have no bread to make a sandwich. All my meals require prep & refrigeration (or heat)…Normally I would go to Bojangles on the way to the theatre if I didn’t have time to eat at home…why Bojangles? Cuz it’s convenient to the theatre and their fries are super delicious. The work at the theatre is very physical so the calories get burned off quickly. Since this was not an option, I had to grab a granola bar. It was the only non-perishable “grab & go” item I had that would provide me enough nutrients to do the labor…and it was NOT enough.

Needless to say, Danny only gets me as a volunteer one day this week. I don’t think I have the gas, & I know I can’t do the physical work on Tuesday (after a day at the office & a prearranged racquetball game) on just a granola bar. Sorry Danny. 😦 I could cancel the racquetball game & go to the theatre, but I’d rather play than work. Selfish? maybe a bit…but racquetball guy asked before Danny. Again, sorry Danny. 😦

Granted, if Danny dangled a gallon of gas & a chicken sandwich in front of me…I’d be there. I can be bought.

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