Today I found out about this lady Save Karyn. First, I was like “Oh, hmm”. You know, basic curiosty. Then I started to read her site and find out more about what she did to get her 20k-ish credit card debt paid off and well, she asked for donations to get it paid off. Suddenly, I realized that I was getting pretty mad. Agitated. Upset. PISSED!
She set up a site asking for money, asking strangers to pay off her debt for her. I had to think about this. The more I looked at her site and read it the more upset I got. I could not believe that in 5 months (5 MONTHS! ARRRRRGGGGGHHHH!!!) she suddenly had her debt paid off primarily because people sent her money! Why, would I get mad about her doing what she did to get her debt paid off? I’m happy that worked out for her (good for her really!) but I can’t help but be a little bummed. I just spent a year struggling and figuring out ways to pay off my debt and some of it still remains and, ugh, I don’t know, it just sounds like it was so easy for her. Really crazy easy. I’m sick of being in debt. It seems like a magic wand was swiped and there it was- her debt was magically gone. Okay. I’m whining now. I know.
Maybe. Most likely. Okay.
I wish I had thought of that! This past year has been amazing and horrible and tough and very rewarding and satisfying and I know that the suckiness of The Spending Fast and all of it was (and is) totally worth it and continues to be worth it but, I don’t know. I’m bummed. I don’t wanna have any freaking debt anymore. I’m so over it already. ahh.
Erm. Er. Uh. I just realized that I miscalculated the remaining amount of debt that I have left. I was thinking about today and just confirmed that it is less then I thought! Say what!? Yeah, I know huh.
So, I realized when I reported my totals to ya’ll that I did: starting balance minus the total saving from the year equals the remainder. Yeah. Makes sense. But what I didn’t calculate, what I somehow forgot is that my pops matched what I gave him for that old college loan that I had when them. So, anyway, that’s all to tell you that the remainder of debt that I have at this point is more or less (actual payoff will vary based on interest rates) really: $2,364.44 and the 5k-ish that I thought it was.
This last weekend was something else. This last weekend I was without the restraints of the Spending Fast and without the Spending Diet.
I spent money. And well, it made me nervous.
A LOT NERVOUS.
Shopping was not nearly as great as I remember it to be. In a way I had it on a pedestal this last year. Dreaming of things I would buy… if only it wasn’t for the Spending Fast. The truth is that I guess I went and changed this past year.
GASP. I know huh.
At 1:30am on January 1st I bought those boots I had been thinking about. These ones:
There was a lot of deep breathing and anxiety happening. But. I bought them.
Saturday, I made a list and decided I would do my best to stick to it. On that list was: THE Boots, black skinny jeans, work pants, tan and black v-neck camisoles, scalloped circle paper puncher (I’ve got big plans for that thing), socks and undergarments, workout clothes, printer cartridge and I wanted to try out some MAC lipstick.
This past weekend it feels like I spent more than I did in all of 2010. (I might have too actually). At one point on Saturday I was telling the hub about how much anxiety I was having about spending money and he said, “You don’t have to spend any money.” It’s true I didn’t have to. I proceeded to explain to him how I needed to get past the feeling of deprivation that I had been having. I needed to get to an okay livable place. Not a sufferable place. I bought most of the things that were on my list and a few things that weren’t. I’m happy to report that spending money made me uncomfortable. It made me uneasy. It made me want to barf. I don’t like my house and tables to be littered with receipts like they were this past weekend. I don’t like having to constantly try to keep up with all the deductions and minus symbols in my checkbook. I prefer the plus signs and the non-barfiness that comes from not spending money.
It’s hard for me to believe what I am about to tell you. My year-long Spending Fast Savings Totals are IN!! (see the break-down of the Savings here) And! The Spending Fast WILL BE OVER AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT!!!! WHOO!! HOO!! (things will keep going on in a modified way… so keep on reading)
When the Spending Fast started, when I decided I was FINALLY done with my overwhelming, debilitating, horrible, icky, bah, nasty, eek, meh debt I (kind of ironically) didn’t want to mention how much debt I ACTUALLY had. I was embarrassed.
REALLY TOO EMBARRASSED to talk about it.
I mean, how in the world could I have gotten into this mess!? I like to think of myself as a smart, mildly funny person that trys to live with integrity. Just like everyone else, I have some good traits as well as a few bad ones but generally, I think I’m a good, average person. To realize that my financial life had spun so far out of control, to realize that I couldn’t reel it in by normal methods like: budgeting, or you know, saying “No” to myself and waking up to the fact that I was going on job interviews to try to get a part-time job JUST to pay off my debt but continuing to get further and further into my financial despair and CONTINUING TO SPEND- DESPITE- knowing I couldn’t afford to do it (but not caring enough to stop when I would be in line getting ready to purchase something) got me to the point of major demoralization.
(whoa. long sentence there.)
image via moonbrains
Being on this end of the Spending Fast- the end part- makes me feel quite a bit better about talking about how much debt I had in December 2009 right before my year-long Spending Fast started. I know that it’s not as much debt as some people have and it’s not as little as others.
The point is, it was BAD enough for me.
When the Spending Fast started I had $23,605.10 in debt. A chunk of that was credit card debt, a chunk was from an overdraft account (which was acquired by transferring money from one account to another since I never had enough money), another part of the debt was money I owed my parents for college and then finally, a chunk was my college loans.
2010 was a year of spending money on “needs” only, a year of finding additional ways to generate income, and a year of oh, gosh, so many other things…
SO… with that… I am OVERJOYED, THRILLED, AMAZED, EXCITED to share with you that I have managed to save $17,911.89! All of the money that has been saved has been used to pay down my debt.
When this whole thing started I just wanted to pay off my credit cards. At that time I thought the credit card debt was weighing on me the most. I soon realized that it was not really the hardest debt to have. That honor would go to the debt that I owed my parents. The almost constant feelings of keeping them from accomplishing their goals because of the money they were dishing out on my behalf every month was the worst. Especially when I was only sending them $25 a month. I felt pretty crappy about that but wanted the things I wanted more than I wanted to pay them off.
It was a choice I made.
You know, I know why people don’t pay off debt. I know why it’s easier to pretend it’s not there. I know what it feels like to be completely convinced that the debt will never EVER EVER get paid off and that if it did it’d ONLY be because I won some random game show or some Mega Lottery Jackpot that I don’t even play.
Debt is overwhelming. When the number gets to a certain point it’s kind of like “Ah, F*CK IT! I might as well enjoy myself because I’ll always have this debt.” I have been there. I WAS there just ONE YEAR AGO! The majority of my savings from this year was from my “day-job” as a clerk for the State. Nothing glamorous. To save the money, to get the debt paid off, for me, meant becoming conscious with my money. I had to re-think money. Re-think saving. Re-think spending. I had to see it in a different way. Also, I had to “simply” STOP SPENDING money that I didn’t have and I had to STOP SPENDING money that I did have. Luckily, I had hit my “bottom” I guess and was ready to be done with my debt. And. I have to tell you there is nothing better than not having that horrible overwhelming, heavy feeling of DEBT. There is nothing better than being able to be rid of it!
There is nothing better than knowing that I not only COULD I do it.
I DID DO IT!
The weight has been lifted.
The Spending Fast has literally changed my life.
This year has been full of so many ups and downs (as cliche as that feels to say) (and as cliche as saying “this feels cliche to say” also sounds – it’s true).
And, this is the point in the story where I should tell you all the things I’ve learned this year but then this post would just be that much longer and really, it’s all here in the blog well, most of it. So, I’d hate to bore you with just re-writing everything. It’s all there for you to peruse if you fancy.
So, please do, if you fancy.
The year of the Spending Fast has come to a close but it’s not the end yet! I still have $5,693.21 to get paid off.
So! This is where the Spending Diet begins!
image lucifelle via fuckyeahacidpatterns
Starting January 3rd, 2011 I will start the Spending Diet. I need a weekend break! :)
This will be a less-extreme more livable version of the Spending Fast. I will lay out the plan here as soon as I get all the details sorted out about how it should go down. I will be documenting my progress here throughout the year and I hope you will join me.
Also! (I’ve been so excited to share this with you!) Since writing here on this blog has been such a huge help for my saving progress (it’s kept me accountable where I might have otherwise quit). I have decided to start a Community Section! It will launch on Monday, January 3rd also. If you’re into saving money, getting your debt paid off, or just starting to think about how saving might work in your life you’ll be able to bring it up in the Community page. I hope you’ll share your stories, your ups, downs, the whole deal- just like I did/am doing.
What is your financial future going to look like in 2011? It doesn’t have to be full of debt and horribleness. It can actually be pretty awesome and you can even be debt-free or at least close to it in one year.
It’s hard to believe I did it but I did. Thank you for following along with me this year. I appreciate all of your support and kindness and I hope to see you in 2011!
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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