$50-Weekend Challenge

$50-Weekend Challenge

Me and a bunch of friends were challenging ourselves to limit our expenses starting from after work on Friday last week until Sunday night last night to $50. That means we had to be able to survive through 7 meals and any entertainment during the weekend to $50. This has to include a dinner in Mabrown, Balwyn on Saturday night, because we have promised Ginny (and her VIP guests) that we’ll join them for dinner.

Having spent $100 plus on average during weekends for the past few weeks, it wasn’t an easy challenge to take. And rightly so. I blew my budget by 33%.

Here’s how:

  • On-street evening parking in the city for half an hour: two dollars. My sis chipped in one dollar, so I spent $1. Bloody greedy council, wanting citizen to pay parking up until 8.30pm on weeknights.
  • Friday night dinner: Dessert House Eatery on Swanston St. Seafood omelette on rice, plus a glass of ice lemon tea, $12. Shouldn’t have ordered the drink, because I could have make do with a glass of water and saved $1.50, since Anne asked for water jug.
  • Was nearly gonna watched Rise of the Planet of the Apes at night. Suddenly things came up, so I pulled out last minute, while the rest of the group went on to spend another $10 on movie in Hoyts Chadstone.
  • Woke up late on Saturday, so I managed to skip breakfast.
  • For the sake of saving money, I should have eat instant noodles at home for lunch. SOML suggested Minang for lunch. $6.50 for a combination of rice and three dishes. But instead, some of us were drooling on the thoughts of a bowl of Indosari’s yummy Lontong Sayur. So we drove all the way to Glenhuntly just for lunch. And there goes another $10 down my tummy. But it was filling. The Auntie owner even gave us a bag of fried chicken bits as complimentary.

Indosari’s Lontong Sayur with Beef Rendang

  • After that filling lunch, we’ve got nothing to do. All we needed to do was to kill time until dinner (sounds sad, isn’t it?), while spending as least as we could. A cafe popped into mind. Seven Seeds to be exact. A cup of good coffee costs $3.50. It’s quite late in the afternoon, and I didn’t want to ruin my night time sleep, and I heard the chocolate is equally good, so I ordered a cup of hot chocolate. Right afterwards, Billie pointed out that a cup of hot chocolate actually costs $4.50. Damn, there goes another unnecessary $1 spending. But there was no regret. This was one of the best hot chocolate I’ve ever tasted so far. Rich, sweet (but not too sweet), and balanced between chocolate, milk, and froth.

Seven Seeds’ Hot Chocolate

  • Come 7.45pm, and we arrived at Mabrown, ready to fill our tummy with more food. I consumed four pieces of the famous deep fried spicy quails (which costs $14.00, according to the menu), nearly two bowls of rice, few other dishes, as well as a lot of cups of chinese tea. Somehow the meal in Mabrown always made me thirsty afterwards. They must have had put a lot of flavour enhancer in the dishes they cooked. That particular meal set me back $24 (nearly half of my budgeted $50 expenditure for the weekend).
  • It was only 9pm plus when we finished dinner, and I wasn’t in hurry at all to go back home. I mean, come on, I am way too young to go back home at 9pm on a Saturday night. I knew I already spent $52 so far, but at this point on a Saturday night, I couldn’t be bothered to stop myself from enjoying life. So we headed back to Appetizer, a Thai bar/pub/restaurant on the CBD corner for a quick drink. We ordered Shrek Lao Phan (Thai style green apple alcoholic slurpee), which costed another $5.

Green Apple Lao Phan

  • Woke up late again on Sunday, so I managed to skipped two breakfasts in a row.
  • And lucky for us, little Lucy (daughter of proud parents Yanti and Peter) is having month-old celebration at her home in Eltham. That means FREE LUNCH for us! I couldn’t be more excited than this. So we stuffed ourselves silly with fried noodles, pork leg stew, home-made pork balls, stir-fry vegies, and Javanese beef soto complete with emping crackers.
  • From Eltham, we drove back to city, and found ourselves seated in Monga, a Taiwanese dessert place on Russell St. I had to dig another $5 from my (already-minus-in-balance) wallet for a bowl of mango sago, a bowl of black glutinuous rice, and a serve of green tea icecream and red bean paste on waffle.
  • Already so full at this point, we still stuffed ourselves with dinner in A1. I shared a plate of BBQ pork spare ribs egg chiffon on rice with Emily. It costed us $5 each.
In total, I spent $67 during the two-and-a-half day challenge. And apart from food, I didn’t get any other form of entertainment such as movies, bowling game, etc.). That also did not include other living cost, such as electricity, fuel, water, etc. I gotta say, it is so damn hard to kill time without spending any more if you’re not at home. Only one of us who took up the challenge managed to spend below the $50 limit. As for the rest, some were far worse than me.

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