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Small Change Challenge: Nancy Wins!

Ylan Mui

Nancy successfully spent less money than I did yesterday. What does she win? Not much, but she has more money in her pocket, and that's saying something!

Nancy spent $23.17 yesterday on taxi rides and food, though $10 of that will be reimbursed as a business expense. Excluding that cost, she spent $13.17.

I spent $39.26, felled by a last-minute cab ride home when I got stuck at work late and had to rush to meet an appraiser at my house across town. (We are trying to refinance our mortgage.) Excluding business expenses for which I will be reimbursed, I spent $16.66.

We both readily admit that we did things wrong. I shouldn't have succumbed to my afternoon craving for chicken tenders and made do with the snacks that I brought from home and keep at my desk. Nancy should carry around a water bottle instead of buying one. Both of us succumbed to taxis at some point during the dreary, drizzly day.

But there are also positives: Pre-recession, I sometimes spent $16.66 on lunch alone. Yesterday, I brownbagged. My husband and I used to get take-out several times a week. Last night, we made pasta at home and opted against going out for late-night drinks.

Becoming frugal doesn't happen instantaneously. We're glad you guys are here to help and support us along the way -- and we promise to do the same for you! But the contest did help remind us of the importance and impact of even small changes.

Next time, Nancy, you're going down!

By Ylan Mui  |  April 30, 2009; 1:39 PM ET
Categories:  Ylan Q. Mui  
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