Saving $1,400 a Month With a Spending Diet – An Update From Melanie

how to save 1,400 a month with a spending diet

Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us, and she’s got her October update for us below. I’ve got to say, I am SO incredibly proud of her! I love that she’s chosen to change her life, and whoa. Just whoa. It’s so awesome how much she’s been able to save in such a short amount of time. This is what the Spending Fast and Spending Diet is all about. Getting the hell out of debt ASAP. – Anna

After the roller coaster of money emotions that was September, I was hoping for more stability in my savings for October. And the good news is that with my second job’s back pay, I was able to save $1,400 in October! So good, right? Well, yes and no. I managed to save $1,400 which is $400 over my savings goal, but I still went over my $100 Spending Diet limit. (Insert sad trombone.)

In some ways I’m super proud of myself. I saved $1,400 in one month. ONE MONTH! Let’s go ahead and get personal, that’s over half of my paycheck (after taxes and insurance is taken out). But I’m ever the perfectionist and as much as I try, try, try to stay positive, I always seem to be a glass half empty type of gal. Why didn’t I save more?!?!

Well, there’s a few reasons:

1. I managed to get some great deals on pants at the thrift store, but I have a wedding to attend and I didn’t feel that I had an appropriate dress to wear. Could I have borrowed something? Maybe. Could I have found something cheaper? Maybe. I did use a coupon and I felt like I got a good deal, but I still spent money that I didn’t allocate to spend.

When I added that dress to my online shopping cart, I also added a skirt and a top. I justified that I could wear them to work and it was “Buy two, get one free!” It was a moment of weakness.

2. I forgot my lunch a few days this month and I had to go to the grocery store at lunch to pick something up. That was kind of unavoidable, but the nitpicker inside of me wants to say “But you should have backup snacks in your desk at work for this situation!”

Nitpicker be damned! I’m proud that I’ve managed to save over my savings goal this month. I know this holiday season is going to be difficult though. My $100 Spending Diet includes gifts. I’m currently formulating a plan for holiday spending that includes coupons, starting my shopping early and handmaking what I can. And as always, I’m trying to stay positive.

 

How will you, my budget-friendly friends attack your holiday spending? I’d love to hear about it in the comments! -Melanie

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in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters !!NEW!!
Let’s Talk About Layaway!

let's talk about layaway andthenwesaved.com

let's talk about layaway andthenwesaved.com

let's talk about layaway andthenwesaved.com

I’m teaming up with Kmart on some upcoming posts. This is a good match because I always find myself at Kmart if I need (of all things) inexpensive planters and potting soil. And, if I get a craving for my favorite childhood food, Little Cesar’s, I know can get some pizza pizza there.

Kmart is also a place that we used to go to ALL THE TIME when I was I kid. I distinctly remember being in line one time, and thinking about how I could be a millionaire when I grew up if only I could save every single penny from that moment on. That didn’t happen (obviously), and instead, I went ahead and bought my mini gumball machine with my birthday money. I even wrote a post about that experience a long time ago (here it is if you’re interested: Switching Over). Needless to say, I’ve got a whole bunch of Kmart memories. Another day I’ll have to tell you the story about the baby bird.

But today, I want to talk about a topic that I, surprisingly, have never covered on the blog before: Layaway.

So, when I started thinking about this topic I started asking everyone I know if they’ve ever used Layaway, and if so, what did they buy, and why did they use that method to make the purchase. Aaron told me that he bought his parents a ping-pong table for Christmas and used Layaway to buy it for them. That was 15 years ago and that thing is still going strong in my in-laws ice-cold basement.

On Facebook, a whole bunch of readers told me how they’ve used Layaway, and not surprisingly, it seems that it is primarily used to buy Christmas presents.

I know it feels a little early to start thinking about the holidays but I’ve found that the earlier I make my gift shopping list and get the “errands” part of the holidays taken care of the more I can actually enjoy what the holidays are all about: eating until you’re so stuffed you can’t move. Nah, seriously though, it’s about spending time with your loved ones, and I would much rather do that than be stressing out about what I’m going to get everyone.

Morale of the story: if you start early you can spread the cost of the holidays out and also avoid a ton of last-minute stress.

Alright, so let’s talk about details of Layaway in case you’re not familiar with how it works.

  • As mentioned above, you can spread the payments out over a period of time.
  • You can set aside purchases so you don’t have to worry about things being out of stock when everyone else starts their holiday shopping. (Frozen dolls anyone?)
  • If you miss a payment it won’t impact your credit score.
  • The 8 week contract at Kmart, has a service fee of only $5 which is awesome (They’re offering no-money down layaway until 11/15/15 as a special promo). Especially when you compare that to what it would cost to put the purchase on a credit card. (The average credit card APR from 13.02% to 15.59%. That’s completely outrageous.)
  • Since there is a little bit of a process involved with getting set up with Layaway you’ll be able to think through your purchases more and, hopefully, avoid impulse shopping.
  • You can take advantage of sales even if you normally wouldn’t be able to make the purchase when the sale is happening.
  • Kmart offers Layaway year-round so if there is a special occasion, like a wedding, or other big event you can plan ahead rather than taking a hit on your wallet all at once.
  • Oh! And now, you can even do layaway online so you don’t even have to leave your house if you don’t want to. (I reaaalllly like that.)

 

Enter to win 75 Bucks! -GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED

So, get this… Kmart is giving away a $75 gift card to one reader to help you get a start on your holiday shopping! All you have to do is tweet about some of the items you’ve put on layaway. Be sure to use the hashtags: #KmartLayaway and #ATWS so your tweet can be found, and so you can be entered to win. The giveaway will end on Monday, November 10th at 6pm MST. Good luck!

 

This is a sponsored post, and I am a Kmart K-Club blogger. But, as always, my opinions are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to make this site possible! xo, Anna

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in Sponsored
28 Stupid-Easy Costume Ideas to Make with What You Already Own

28 stupid easy halloween costumes

If you’re anything like me you’re probably half-way freaking out right about now, thinking, “OHHH, this Friday is Halloween? Uhhhh… What am I going to be?!” (Baby Henry is going to either be the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man or a Mischievous Monkey. I’ve been thinking about his costume for faaaarrr too long.) Let me tell ya, there are SO many costumes that you can create in 2 minutes flat from what you already have in your closets. OR, if you must buy something to create a costume make sure it can pull double-duty so you can wear the items from the costume in real life after Halloween.

Maximize the money. That’s what it’s all about.

My twin sister, Kelly, owns a buy-sell-trade store in Omaha, Nebraska, and it’s called Scout: Dry Goods & Trade. She recently posted some shots to her Instagram of all these costumes that can be created using clothing items from her store. They’re all easy to find items, and have that versatility thing going on for post-Halloween wear.

Easy and inexpensive = hell yeah.

 

28 Stupid-Easy Costume Ideas…

1. Girl Scout

With a tan collared shirt and skirt, a strip of paper sack for your sash, a “flight attendant” paper cap (here are some origami instructions on how to make your own girl scout cap), a low bun, and your 3 fingers in pledge position, you’re set.

Inexpensive, DIY, Last-minute Costume Ideas andthenwesaved.com

2. Cruella de Vil

With a furry collared coat, light jeans DIY-ed with splotches of black paint, red lipstick, a sassy expression, and a long, DIY cigarette holder (how to make your own cigarette holder) you’re instantly transformed.

Inexpensive, DIY, Last-minute Costume Ideas andthenwesaved.com

3. Wednesday Addams

Center-parted hair into pigtails, long-sleeve short black dress, black shoes, red lips, vacant stare.

Inexpensive, DIY, Last-minute Costume Ideas andthenwesaved.com

4. The Dancing Emoji Lady

Red dress, red heels, and stiff dancing pose.

 

Let’s keep the party going with even more Super-Easy Costumes Ideas…

Read More »

11 comments

in DIY, Practical Solutions, Seasonal, Social, Things To Do
  • Anna

    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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