I said I’d come back on Monday with a few modifications for my spending strike. Granted, it’s 10 PM on Monday night, but it still counts, right?
When I came back from San Diego, I realized I had to re-evaluate a few things. I want 2014 to be a good, fun year, but also want to be successful at paying off my debts.
Here are a few things I will try to do differently:
1. Allot $20 a paycheck to my “fun” money budget. This will be used for movies, dinner, etc. It doesn’t seem like much, but I’d try to refrain from using it. Just because I have $40 in my “fun” money doesn’t mean I have to use it. It doesn’t seem fair for Matt to buy me movie tickets all the time and pay for my dinner.
2. Try to save $10 a paycheck for my trip to San Diego in July. If possible, I’d like to put a bit more away. If I save $10 a check right now, I’ll have about $100 to take with me. Not bad, but a little extra would be a nice cushion. And I’ll definitely be bringing my spending money in cash form because it’s too easy to shop and swipe (my debit card).
3. Try couponing? I’m not sure this will work for me, but I’ll have to look into it. Grocery shopping is already such a chore, but I know it’s where we need a lot of work. Typically, we meal plan by figuring out what we want to eat that week but maybe I’ll try seeing what’s on sale at the grocery stores and work around that. This part may take some time.
4. Take it day by day. I get too anxious thinking about money and I shouldn’t. I always think that if I just had more of it, things would be okay. I need to accept what I have and take responsibility for the position I’m in.
I feel like I had more to add, but I’ve been at work for nearly 14 hours and I am beat. I’ll be back again with a post about my trip to San Diego (even though it seems like old news). G’nite!
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DAY 1: SO FAR SO GOOD.
It’s almost 4:30 PM on the east coast and so far I have not spent one single penny! It also helps a bunch that I haven’t stepped foot outside of my apartment and that I don’t have any money to spend. The real test will be when I get paid next week.
Matt & I had a very low-key new year. We went to see The Hobbit movie and crashed on the couch afterwards. Party animals.
My spending fast success might be a slow start. I’m predicting that I won’t save as much as I anticipate, but at least I do believe there will be some success in the end. I have approximately $10,000 in credit card debt (nearly $100k in student loans…which I hope to tackle before I die). This spending fast is set to conclude at the end of 2014 and if I want to achieve my goal, I’d have to save an average of $850 a month. I can already tell you that is not realistic, BUT, I’ll still try my darn best!
This month I will be flying to San Diego to visit my baby nephew for the first time. I don’t plan to spend money shopping, but I’m going to allow myself money for food only. Food is definitely on my needs list. I’ll be buying my own groceries while I’m there (can’t really mooch off the parents since I’m vegan and they’re not) and will probably go out to eat a couple of times.
Hope everyone had a safe and happy new year!
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My spending fast begins in 4 hours!!
As a celebratory kick-off, Matt is treating me to movies (with popcorn and a freeze frame)!
Here goes everything!
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wants and needs…and exceptions
My spending fast begins in two days! I should probably start meditating or something to put myself in the right mindset. My goal is to pay off my credit card debt, but I hope this experience forces me to be creative with the time I would normally spend spending money. It will be very interesting since I already gripe about how my city is so boring and there isn’t anything to do.
You can’t start a spending fast without a wants and needs list. I’m including mine here today, but I’ve added some exceptions.
what I HAVE to spend money on in 2014 (my needs):
- utilities (keeping lights off and keeping heat under 63…hopefully lower…I’m a wimp)
- cell phone (I know I’d save a chunk of change if I tossed my iPhone, but I don’t want to talk about it)
- food (strictly sticking to a grocery list, not tossing in junk foods at the last minute, trying to use as much food we already have before getting more)
- gas (I’ve considered taking the bus to work but it doesn’t run at the appropriate times)
- school books and monthly tuition payments
- car stuff (loan payment, insurance, yearly inspection, registration, possibly new tires—ugh)
- Hulu (we don’t have cable, it’s a source of entertainment and inexpensive)
- animal stuff (food, cat litter, vet bills—luckily I work at an animal clinic and get a discount, but 2 of my 3 animals have had surgery in 2013)
- best friend’s July wedding in San Diego (plane ticket, bridesmaid’s dress/shoes—I’ll be as frugal and cheap as I can)
what I EXPECT to spend money on in 2014:
- seeing The Book of Mormon when it comes to town
- the 4th and 5th Game of Thrones books on Kindle (I’m almost finished with the 3rd and can’t stop now!)
- haircuts (I don’t go too often, maybe 3-4 times a year—I may consider seeking out a haircutting student)
- marathon registration fees (gotta keep training if I want to run a full marathon by the time I’m 30)
- ONE new pair of scrubs for work
- new hiking boots or running shoes (but only if I’ve saved the money and have the cash in hand)
- food money for my trip to San Diego in January (I wasn’t expecting to go but Matt’s parents generously paid for my plane ticket—I’ll be staying with family and solely visiting to meet my baby nephew and meet up with my bride-to-be best friend, so I expect to occasionally eat out and get groceries)
what I’m not NOT going to spend money on in 2014 (my wants):
- clothes (I probably won’t ever set foot inside a Target in 2014)
- gifts (sorry friends and family…I’m pretty crafty, so we’ll see how far that takes me)
- take-out (no more pizza or sushi or Chinese food or Five Guys?!)
- going out to the movies (maybe I’ll watch everything on my Netflix queue!)
- home decor (again…buh-bye Target)
So, there it is…my guidelines for my 2014 spending fast. My wants list doesn’t seem too over the top, but according to my budget, in a matter of 6 months I spent over $2,000 on take-out, snacks, “spending money”—basically frivolous shopping, and on my line of credit (overdraft). Yes, I frequently borrowed money from my line of credit and currently owe it money!
here I go.
I have decided to commit myself to a spending fast during 2014.
I was inspired by Anna over at andthenwesaved. I heard about her a while back and thought, “Hm…sounds interesting. I should probably give it a shot…nah, that chick is crazy.”
But, here I am, actually committing to it this time.
During 2014, I will be spending money on necessities only to try and pay down my debt. I’ll focus on my credit card debt for the time being since my student loans are deferred while I’m still in school.
If you’re interested in learning more about the spending fast, check out Anna’s site.
I wouldn’t say I have an out-of-control spending habit, but when I look back through my budget (I use YNAB) and realize I spent $1,000+ in my “spending money” category in 6 months, it definitely makes me put on the brakes.
Maybe I’m crazy for wanting to do this. I haven’t really thought about my consequences but that is only because the reward is so worth it! Being debt free? Who doesn’t want that?!
I decided to document my spending fast journey to keep myself accountable. I am totally aware that this will suck and possibly be embarrassing, but I’m really looking forward to the ride!