How Does $100 Per Week in Spending Money Sound to You?

I read Smithee’s blog post at Consumerism Commentary about how his first week with only $100 went. I gotta admit, when I first saw the title I thought “What does he mean, only $100? $100 is a lot!”.

Then it dawned on me.

I have absolutely no idea how much I spend in an average week.

I could tell you how much I spend in an average month, on everything including things like the house payment, but…figuring up how much I spend on average on the kinds of things he mentions in his post is another matter.

So I decided to check, and quickly discovered that maybe I ought to make spending “only” $100 a week a goal, because I spent $195.61 over 7 days.


Now I sure hope that wasn’t an average week, but sadly it’s probably not horribly atypical. It seems like something always comes up — so much so that I pretty much plan on it.

For the week described here, I spent just over $100 on a month’s worth of oil painting lessons and a few supplies. The remaining amount was spent on gas, 2 week’s worth of lunch money for my son, eating out twice, a birthday gift, and some snacks.

So while I still think spending $100 in a week is a lot, maybe I ought to work a little harder at curbing my spending in order to get down to that amount or less.


  • A part of me wants to say that I could manage with $100 a week, but once I have money in my hands I can find ways to blow it pretty quickly. If I am only supporting myself, I could prob set aside $50 for groceries, and the other $50 save for monthly expenses. But then I would have little to spend on leisure. Being handed $100 is a lot, but trying to make a living off of it would be difficult.

    • Steven, I don’t believe Smithee included groceries in that $100. I’d be spending even more if groceries were part of the deal…

  • $100 / week sounds fantastic! $70 would be to food, and $30 would be for… I can’t think of anything, b/c there’s so much to do for free in San Francisco. Furthermore, I have too many books, toys, and TIVO to catch up on :)

    • Financial Samurai, I could easily spend $70 per week on food myself. That is soooo my weakness. I think it would be fun to live in a “real” city with lots to do like that. Metro Phoenix is a big city population wise, but amenities-wise, not so much.

  • If this does not include the obvious expenses like home, car/gas and insurance & utilities, then I am well under 100 per week. But that is only because of my recent budgeting, very strict.

    • Ms. Freeman, Smithee did include gas in that $100, as did I, but that seemed to be the only “standard” type expense that was included.

  • I too wanted to jump up and say :$100! That is soo much for one week!” But, then I reviewed that I just wrote down some of my expenses for the past week nd I spent $40 on just eating out. So, $100 now doesn’t appear to be too much!

  • Jane, it was a good wake-up call for me.

  • On payday I usually get between $60-$100 out of the ATM for spending money. I am amazed at how fast it goes during the first week. I am going to have to see if I can keep myself down to a budget of $100 per week. Luckily I only have to fill up my gas tank once every two weeks or so. Bringing my lunch to work has also really helped me to save money (and calories) as well. I will have to check out the original article as well.

  • Kate, it’s amazing how quickly what seems like a lot of money goes…

  • Robbie

    Hahaha, for me the 70 dollars would be on leisure items and the 30 bucks on food. I live on SSI and this idea of breaking it down to 100 bucks a week sounds very good to me, because more times than not I can blow the entire thing in a week! (I live with my parents)

  • Don

    I do live on 100 dollars a week. After I pay my rent, utilities, insurance, car payment and student loan, 100 dollars is all I have left. and out of that 100 dollars, I have to buy food, clothing, gas, pet food. My personal economy is not improving. Now, during the holidays, I’m embarassed that I don’t have the money for gifts. I lie to my parents and tell them I’m simply too busy with work because I cant afford to drive 4 hours to see them. I cant afford medial care. I’m a teacher and one of my students broke my glasses by accident at the halloween party. I cant afford new glasses.

    • Don, maybe there are things that come up that you’re not accounting for in your spending? Otherwise $100 for the things you mention doesn’t sound that bad. If you don’t already track your spending, that may be something to consider.

      I can understand being embarrassed about not having the money for gifts or to drive to see your parents, but lots of people are in that boat and no one will think less of you for it.

      If you can’t afford medical care (it IS darn expensive) you might see if you qualify for an aid program. For the glasses, if you have a prescription already you can get them extremely inexpensively on Since you are a teacher, maybe you could make extra money by tutoring?

  • John

    shoot i spend on average about $60-100 a week after all my bills are paid

  • Old Pal

    I want to get down to a budget of 400.00 a month for groceries, gas, and spending money. I would like to SAVE that amount, also. If I spend 100.00 a week and put 100.00 a week in savings, i would have a little “cushion” of only about $250.00-300.00. Money budgeting is stressful. My best advice and I’m serious as can be about this is : Leave the debit/credit card HOME. Pack a lunch, prepare in advance and carry a small amount of cash. Because the debit/credit card is what gets me!!!!!!!!!!! God Bless.

  • nessa

    Can’t spend it if u don’t have it with u true but I would just go home or to the bank and get the money and go back and get what I saw LOL.