My sister, Kelly, has her Spending Fast update for us below. I can’t believe how much she’s been able to save in only 4 months. NUTS. Follow all the Spending Fasters stories here.
This month the Spending “Fast” has looked a lot more like a Spending “Diet”. With 3 children I knew there would have to be some level of flexibility in there, and this month proved that. Between all the little things that have come up with regular life I’ve been tempted to forget about this entire Spending Fast thing. But thankfully(? ;) Anna is only a text away and she “gently” reminds me I haven’t submitted a post in a while.
Saving, Making, and Earning More Money with Little to No Effort…
I’ve been looking for ways to increase my income with little to no effort — seriously — I’m busy enough as is! Though if it ever came down to it, I always thought Starbucks would be a good place for a part time job. The change of pace is appealing, there are free drinks (I’m assuming?), a free pound of coffee to take home per week, and I hear they’ve got a great college loan payment program for employees as long as you work a certain amount of hours.
A couple things I’ve done besides getting a part time job: I signed up for a weight loss competition at my gym for $50, top prize is $6500. It was an extra expense to do the challenge but the money on the line is very motivating, and working out is not only mentally healthy for me but it’s also a pretty cheap hobby. It’s a 12 week challenge and I’m in the middle of the 5th week right now. I’ve lost 10lbs and 8.5″ so far. I’m determined to make that prize money mine. IT WILL BE MINE!!! Read More »
The ONLY dress you’ll ever need? Um. Tall order, right? But, trust me on this. It’s completely true.
I’ve heard of convertible dresses before, and was even able to convince my little sister to consider one for us (her bridesmaids) for her wedding. We ordered the dresses (from a different company), and tried them on for her to review and analyze so she could decide if they would work for us for her wedding. Let’s just say there were boobs flopping and flying all over the place. The dress wasn’t supportive on its own, you couldn’t wear a regular bra with it, and, needless to say, it showed faaaarrr too much of the personal bitness (if you’re picking up what I’m putting down). The dresses got returned, and we ultimately went with a more conventional option for her wedding.
That was my last experience with convertible dresses so when Henkaa contacted me about doing a post about their convertible dresses I was curious but also very skeptical because of my previous experience.
I looked over their site, picked out a dress (the Iris 3/4 sleeve, midi, convertible dress in teal), it arrived in record time, and before I knew it I was tearing the package open to see how (and if) this dress was different than the last one. You shoulda heard me as I was checking it out. I was telling Aaron: Read More »
Guys!! I am happy to report I have finally made some progress! This update is combining the last two months. For month 3, I was able to pay $200 on my debt, which wasn’t a wow amount, but it was something nonetheless. Month 4 I was able to pay $1,000 on my debt, taking the balance of one of my two cards down to $425! I am so close to getting this one card paid off that it feels like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. The 1,000 consisted of a $500 tax refund and $500 saved from my paycheck.
There have been some changes in my household also. My roommate and friend Tina, was offered a new job as a traveling nurse to Washington DC for three months! I am excited and happy for her as she starts this new journey. Also, my boyfriend and I have decided to move in together. He has been here a month already but officially moves his stuff in this week. I am excited for the changes in my life. I will miss Tina and can’t wait till my friend comes home to tell me all about her adventures.
My total credit card debt left is 3,358.04. I plan to pay off the $425 by the end of March. And then my goal is $500 a month to my last card until it’s gone, which should last six months. That puts me at the end of September to be finished with my credit card debt. Then I will move onto my car loan.
It feels good to have this plan in place and to know that I will be done with this before 2016 hits us. It makes me feel like I can hold off on my Wants for now because I can see the pay off at the end. I can picture myself being able to actually save money, and also being able to finally travel if I so choose. I can see myself being able to purchase something that I actually want — something that will add value in my life, and I will be able to do so guilt free. I am looking forward to freedom more than anything.
Here are my Spending Fast Stats:
Spending Fast Start Date: October 9, 2014
Month One: November 2014 – Derailment in SF: $0 saved
Month Two: December 2014 – $400 saved into savings account
Months Three and Four: January/February: $1,200 towards credit card Total Saved Since Starting the Spending Fast: $1,600
What about you? What would you do if your debt wasn’t holding you back?
I’m over halfway through my Spending Diet! At this point, I’d love to tell you all how wonderful it feels to have saved $7,600, but January had me in a slump. I managed to save my goal of $1,000, but I got paid early in December and I kept thinking I had more money than I actually did.
For some reason I also schedule all my doctor, dentist and my dog’s vet appointments for the beginning of the year. I don’t know why I do that, they all seem to just fall on the same month. I’m so lucky to have insurance, but a $30 dollar doctor’s appointment, a $50 dentist appointment for my husband and myself and a $235 vet appointment adds up quickly. And although I was bummed to spend over $300 on preventative care, I know that preventative care is just that–preventative and may help me save on medical care in the long run.
This month I also went back to having just one full-time gig. I had taken on teaching a course in the fall at the community college where I work and I had earned a bit of extra money each month for it. I really enjoyed empowering my class with my infinite wisdom (ha!), but the stipend was very low and I am currently planning a conference at my full time gig. I just didn’t feel I had the time or sanity to take on both. With the stress that comes with planning a large-scale event, I’m also preemptively worried that when things get too stressful, I’ll spend, spend, spend. I’m hoping these past 7 months have taught me that the thrill of seeing a bigger number in my bank account is better than the thrill of any stressed-out sushi lunch. Read More »
“I’m trying to help solve the personal debt crisis that’s going on in the world. If we can integrate budgeting into people’s everyday lives, in a natural way, they’ll be more likely to do it. It’s like exercise: If you want to get in better physical shape, you exercise regularly and watch what you eat. If you want to get in better financial shape, you watch your budget regularly and watch what you spend. That’s where the name FitFin came from (Fit Finances).”
FitFin is a website and app that is three tools in one: a budget, an expense tracker, and a shopping list—and they all work in sync. You set up your budget(s) in seconds. You can create budgets for things like groceries, dining out, etc. You can also set temporary budgets for vacations and the holidays. Both individual budgets and an aggregated budget are summarized on the Budgets Overview page. You get to know where you stand in seconds. It’s all about building money-consciousness, and it’s about seamlessly (and easily) integrating money management into our lives.
A few of my fave features:
– Historical Charts: To help monitor spending over time. Use this tool to find problem areas, and monitor them.
– Expense Tracker: This is great because you can add anexpense quickly, take a picture of your receipt, and attach it to the expense (no more receipt piles!).
– Shopping Lists: According to Reader’s Digest, eighty percent of what webuy at the grocery store is purchased every week. Rather than write milk on a piece of paper 52 times a year, store it permanently (and never leave it on the counter!). You can also save an item’s price andquantity. Then when you activate items on your list,FitFin will give you an estimated spend total for the entire list. To get the most out of the shopping list feature, you’ll enter the item, its cost, and thequantity of the item that you normally buy. You can even createseparate lists for each store.
– Something else that’s nice: the Check Budget feature that’s right within the Shopping List section. Use this to see what you’re going to spend ahead of time and how it the purchase will affect your budget. If you don’t like what you see with how your budget will be affected you get to make the decision before the purchase so you don’t get yourself into a mess by overspending.
Q&A with FitFin Creator, Rick Portillo… (Enter to win the $100 gift card at the end of this post)
The other day in this post: Real Talk: If Only Perfection Could be Bought on Amazon (Part 1), I talked about how I’m always on the hunt for something to make my life easier and better. I want it to be something I can buy on Amazon and have mailed right to me. Easy, right? With just a couple clicks, and after a zillion dollars spent, I’d be totally perfect!
I came to the conclusion that I needed to be easier on myself, and I realized that I’ve been waaaaay over-committing. The past few days I’ve been going through every part of my life. It seems the technology part has really gotten out of control so I’ve been unsubscribing and cancelling things. It’s so easy to forget about the mental clutter that “little”, seemingly insignificant things take up. Physical clutter is easier to spot. I worked really, really hard to get out of debt, and the whole reason I wanted to get out of debt was to have be able to have freedom and some choices, not to be even more stressed out!
In addition to adopting a Minimalist Mind I’m taking action (in the corniest way possible. I’ll be the first to admit this whole “affirmation” thing feels corny as all hell). You may have noticed a LONNNNNNNNG delay from Part 1 of this post to today’s Part 2. I knew that if I put this post up I’d have to start doing these affirmations. I’ve been avoiding this but, today’s the day.
Instead of buying to zone out and make myself feel better I’m going to do some work, internally. Below are a whole bunch of affirmations. Most are ones I’ve completely made up. Those represent my ideal life or situation. With others, they’re true but I find myself forgetting about them. Others are more of a wishful thinking situation… almost like, if I believe it to be true, it will be, type of thing.
From the research I’ve done, the key with affirmations is to try to truly believe what you are telling yourself. Act as if it’s true. Feel what it would feel like if it were true. Let your face and body experience what you’re saying as if, “Of course, there could be nothing more true in the world!”. Fake it till you make it, right? It’s not about simply repeating a list super quick, and breezing through it just to check it off your To Do list. Also, saying some of the confirmation’s there’s a tendency to want to tell yourself things like, “Uh, yeah right!”, “Pshaw!, hardly…”, or, “That’ll never happen!” Apparently, you’ve got to just go with it. Believe it.
The key, so I hear, is to look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself these things. I’ve also heard that if you want to “super-charge” your self-esteem, confidence, and really change your internal thoughts about yourself you should say these to yourself as often as 3x a day. Or, in the alternative, you can take what is called the “lazy-man’s” method for changing your life. This approach is when you record the affirmations, put the recording on a loop, and place the speaker under your pillow so all the positiveness seeps into your sub-conscious while you sleep.
Pick a few from the list that truly resonate with you. Pick ones that represent your ideal life. Or, use the below examples as a guide to create affirmations that truly mean something to you.
I’m going to pick 5 of the most vital ones to start with and see how that goes. Also, I hear it can take up to 6 months to feel different so hang in there if you don’t notice massive changes right away.
I’ve included a printable PDF of both of these lists. The link to that is at the bottom of this post.
For the month of February we all saved a total of $58,182.48!! That is a hell of a lot of debt to pay off! The amounts you all are saving, this is concrete evidence that the Spending Fast and Spending Diet work!
We have now collectively saved a total of $379, 597.37!!!!
To add to the Collective Savings total be sure to include your savings on this page so your savings can be included for March!
You all are doing so amazing knocking that debt out. With every penny that gets paid off it gets you that much closer to a new life. You can do this! If you want to get out of debt too take The Get Out of Debt Pledge and get started today. Might as well change your life on this fine Thursday, right?
(If you’ve sent me an email your savings have been included in the savings total, by the way.)
How has it been going for you so far this month? What successes, obstacles and challenges have you encountered?
Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!
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