Total Spending Fast & Spending Diet Savings

TOTAL SPENDING FAST and SPENDING DIET SAVINGS

Started A Spending Fast®. Ended My Debt. You Can Too.

I paid-off $23,605.10 in debt in 15 months on my $33,000 yearly salary as a clerk for the state. If I can do it, so can you!

 

The Spending Fast and Spending Diet Summary

Total Debt at the Beginning: $23,605.10

Year-long Spending Fast Savings: 18,175.45

Year-long Spending Diet Savings: $6,532.61

$24,708.06 Total Spending Fast and Spending Diet Savings (after 2 years)

$27,183.82 This is the amount saved if you include the matched payments of $2,475.77  from my parents. (I don’t really count the matched payments as debt I paid off since I didn’t have to work for that but it needs to be included here since it’s mentioned in the month-to-month breakdown and contributed to my Spending Fast.)

 

The Spending Fast Month-to-Month Savings Breakdown:

Month 1 of the Spending Fast (January 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $580.58

$430.58 paid towards credit card debt

$75.00 paid to my parents for the student loan they took out for me years ago (read more about this in this here post).

$75.00 my parents matched my payment to them

 

Month 2 of the Spending Fast (February 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $1,009.95

$75.00 paid to my parents for the college loan

$75.00 my parents matched my payment to them

$373.37 paid to the final payment of the highest interest rate credit card. (And, now it’s paid off!)

$486.58 paid to the next credit card debt

 

Month 3 of the Spending Fast (March 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $360.95

$360.95 paid to credit card debt

 

Month 4 of the Spending Fast (April 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $1,203.27

$30.93 paid to credit card (better than nothing I guess)

$1,172.34 (tax refund) paid toy credit card debt (without that this month would be a bust!)

 

Month 5 of the Spending Fast (May 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $1,123.70

$50.00 paid to my parents for that old student loan

$50.00 my parents matched my payment to them

$1,023.70 (!!!) paid to credit card debt (I think one more biggie payment, and it should be paid off soon!)

 

Month 6 of the Spending Fast (June 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $782.08

$782.08 paid to the last credit card and now it’s paid off! (THANK GOD!! Never thought it would happen!)

 

Month 7 of the Spending Fast (July 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $1,317.82

$263.57 paid to my parents for the student loan they took out for me

$263.57 my parents matched my payment to them

$263.56 paid to my student loan (maybe someday I’ll get that paid off)

$263.56 to savings account!

… change of plans…

After thinking about it a bit more I decided that could actually get my parents paid off during this year of the Spending Fast which would be a huge accomplishment and a relief for them. So, the money I put it my savings account is now going to my parents.

$263.56 paid to my parents for the student loan they took out for me

$263.56 my parents matched my payment to them

 

Month 8 of the Spending Fast (August 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $249.32

$124.66 paid to my parents for the student loan

$124.66 my parents matched my payment to them

 

Month 9 of the Spending Fast (September 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $519.86

$259.93 paid to my parents for the student loan

$259.93 my parents matched my payment to them

 

Month 10 of the Spending Fast (October 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $3,750.09

$1,364.05 paid to my parents for that old student loan! They are FINALLY, finally paid off!!! (I never thought that would ACTUALLY happen!!!)

$1,364.05 my parents, generously, matched my payment to them

$1,021.99 paid towards my student loan debt (it’s nice to start making a big dent in that debt)

 

Month 11 of the Spending Fast (November 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $1,726.11

$1,726.11 paid towards my student loan debt! Whoo hoo!!

 

Month 12 of the Spending Fast (December 2010) Debt Paid-Off: $8,027.49

Okay, this month was VERY different –

$6,727.49 paid towards my school loan debt!! (Here’s why this is such a large amount: I applied for a public art commission and my photography proposal was — thankfully— accepted. It should be noted that I only applied for this public art commission because I was trying to think of new ways to make additional income to get my debt paid off faster. This is something that I don’t think I would’ve considered trying before the Spending Fast. Related post: Make More Money.)

$1,300.00 put into savings and this will be used for taxes

 

**After the year-long Spending Fast- 

$18,175.45 Actual Spending Fast Savings

$2,475.77 in matched payments

for a TOTAL of $20,651.22 IN DEBT PAID-OFF!** Hooollllly crappppp!

 

The Spending Diet Month-to-Month Savings Breakdown:

Month 1 of the Spending Diet (January 2011) Debt Paid-Off: $258.92 

$258.92 paid towards my student loan debt

 

Month 2 of the Spending Diet (February 2011) Debt Paid-Off: $1,105.47 

$1,105.47 paid towards my student loan debt

 

Month 3 of the Spending Diet (March 2011) Debt Paid-Off: $1,070.93 

$1,018.58 paid towards my student loan debt

Remaining debt balance- $0.00!– WHATTTT?!! I never thought that would actually happen!

$52.35 put into a savings account (I have never had been able to keep money in a savings account  without spending it so I’m curious to see how this goes…)

 

Month 4 of the Spending Diet (April 2011) Debt Paid-Off $1,243.37 

$512.87 put into savings $730.50 (tax refund) put right into savings

 

Month 5 of the Spending Diet (May 2011) Debt Paid-Off $0.00 

$0.00 a big ol’ zero (so depressing)

 

Month 6 of the Spending Diet (June 2011) Debt Paid-Off $147.61 

$147.61 put into savings account

 

Month 7 of the Spending Diet (July 2011) Debt Paid-Off $547.78 

$547.78 put into savings account

 

Month 8 of the Spending Diet (August 2011) Debt Paid-Off $387.35 

$387.35 put into savings account

 

Month 9 of the Spending Diet (September 2011) Debt Paid-Off $412.22 

$412.22 put into savings account

 

Month 10 of the Spending Diet (October 2011) Debt Paid-Off $211.03 

$211.03 put into savings account

 

Month 11 of the Spending Diet (November 2011) Debt Paid-Off $823.44 

$823.44 paid to the hospital for outstanding debt (See this related post)

 

Month 12 of the Spending Diet (December 2011) Debt Paid-Off $324.49 

$324.49 put into savings account

 

Year-long Spending Diet Savings: $6,532.61

 

 

The Spending Fast and Spending Diet Summary (this is a duplicate of the summary from the start of the list)

Total Debt at the Beginning: $23,605.10

Year-long Spending Fast Savings: 18,175.45

Year-long Spending Diet Savings: $6,532.61

$24,708.06 Total Spending Fast and Spending Diet Savings (after 2 years)

$27,183.82 This is the amount saved if you include the matched payments of $2,475.77  from my parents. (I don’t really count the matched payments as debt I paid off since I didn’t have to work for that but it needs to be included here since it’s mentioned in the month-to-month breakdown and contributed to my Spending Fast.)

 

 

Ready to start your own Spending Fast or Spending Diet? Start here. You’ve got this!

61 thoughts on “Total Spending Fast & Spending Diet Savings

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  1. Heartfix

    Your husband is a lucky man, and I have no doubt your parents will be very proud of you! I did the Dave Ramsey thing, and can tell you it’s a great feeling to be debt free, and you will be there before you know it. I have friends at work who continue to dig into debt, but assure you it will be amazing to put over $1000 to savings every month when you reach the goal of being debt free. Enjoyed reading about you on Yahoo!

    Reply
    1. Wilhelmina

      Very inspiring , good work, I am in debt up to my neck, but from your hard work, I think I got some good ideas from this ,but at one time I didnt think it was possible but you have show us the way I have set a goal from this I will keep up with your inspiring story so that I can stay focus and on top of this goal I think this the best one I have read so far I will be keeping up with your story thanks for sharing

      Reply
  2. Chris

    Although this is to be admired, there is no mention of what you spend money on. I don’t see expenses like food and shelter. I can’t imagine that those are free. Unfortunately, this is something that cannot be done in NYC…I’m still looking for ways to save and still have some dignity at the end of the day.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hi Chris, Check out my About The Spending Fast and My Guidelines. (here's the link). I do spend money on food and shelter and other needs and have managed to still have my dignity at the end of the day. It can be done. I can see NYC being tricky though. Best of luck!

      Reply
  3. New Saver

    I think I can do this! You are an inspiration. It is January so it’s the perfect time to start. I renamed my savings account at my bank “The Future” today after reading your blog and will think of it when I make deposits each month after not spending. I’m up for the challenge!

    Reply
  4. Tanya

    Congratulations to you, but I can’t help but think that you need to establish more ways to generate income each month. It seems that your savings are incredibly low or maybe your other fixed expenses are too high? And it makes total sense that you would go into debt. I mean, if you can only save $30 one month when you are on a spending freeze, what does that look like when you are not on a freeze? Seems upside down.

    Reply
  5. The Kid

    Lady, this blog is incredible, and you are amazing. I’m actually shocked anyone is questioning (a) the amount you saved each month and (b) your transparency. Well, the anonymity of the internet strikes again.

    Life throws you unplanned expenses and only saving $30 in one month is unfortunate, but it does happen and doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong.

    My curiosity is piqued though – I know it’s none of my business, but I wish I could know how much student debt you’ve got left. Every time you list having finished paying something off above, it makes me so happy!

    Good luck!
    the kid

    Reply
  6. High Heeled Traders

    Super Cooool, girl! Super Coooooooollll !!! Congratulations! I can feel your great joy and along with your many readers, I feel so inspired! So now what are you going to do with all that “discretionary income”? I share my experience in investing and trading as a woman in http://www.highheeledtraders.com — See you there!

    Reply
  7. Nick

    I agree with NY, not from NY but you never do say how much you spend on necessities??? My total housing along without utilities is about 1700 a month, 500 car payment, insurance, utilities, no public transportation in my city, etc… This is not out of line with what others spend in my area… ust doens’t seem realistic unless you live in a very low cost of living place that has high paying jobs.

    Reply
  8. Relative in PA

    Hi Anna,
    Just heard about your savings success from our mutual family. My daughter will need your expert advice on paying off college loans when she finishes her Master’s Degree next June. Keep up the great work and hope to see you guys on the east coast soon.

    Reply
  9. Terru

    Your figures don’t make any sense. If you pay money toward debt, it isn’t “savings”; you just spent it on things you bought earlier rather than on new things. It’s only “savings” if you still have it at the end of the period (i.e., it is still in your hands or bank account); you actually broke even (i.e., didn’t save anything and didn’t go into further debt) in the months you were paying your debt down. I think you’re deluding yourself when you say you “saved” money during this time, and further, if your parents “matched” your payments you shouldn’t count that against your debt reduction calculation/”savings” since either that was a “gift” or you need to factor in that “debt forgiveness” is subject to federal income tax. Your parents can’t “match” money you owe them; they can only “match” money you send to a creditor by sending that creditor the same amount. You either still owe them the money or you had debt forgiveness, and the IRS might have somethign to say aboutt that. In any event, you are applying some very sketchy accounting, for sure!

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hi Terru, It’s “Total Savings” from the Spending Fast and Spending Diet as a whole. Also, you might be missing part of the story. My parents were able to “match” the amount I sent them for the debt that I owed them because it was owed to them and not to a creditor. Then I paid off the loans I had out for my college education.

      Reply
  10. Deborah

    Hi, I saw you on the Nate show today. Wow, what an inspiration you are. I can see that you learned so much more than just saving money and disciplining yourself. best of luck to you and your family.

    Reply
  11. Kate

    Anna, you are so inspiring. I loved reading your blog in 2011 and wanted to follow in your footsteps of not spending on anything but needs. My “wants” are many, and usually involve clothes, shoes, housewares, and books. I have two young kids so I have to factor their unexpected expenses in too, but I’ve been using that as an excuse (along with other reasons) for too long now. I have about $8K in credit card debt (gulp) and just learned that I have a $1400 car repair that must be done, and I feel despondent and demoralized. Your kind and encouraging words are so meaningful…thank you for making this effort and sharing what you’ve learned. I am so grateful and am committed, now, to really, really, getting rid of this debt that is like an anchor around my neck. I will read parts of your blog and Facebook posts several times each week, I am sure. And I can’t wait to know what it feels like to make the final payment on my credit card debt. Thank you again.

    Reply
  12. champagne

    This is not only motivational but inspirational. My plan is to pay off as much of my school loan before I start school in September. Sadly, I only started to pay my loans when they threatened to report it to the credit companies. Plus I’ve heard in some cases they’ll garnish wages and take the tax return.
    As of the beginning of this month, I have been consistently paying my school loan and tomorrow I’m calling my cellphone provider to find the cheapest plan so I can save an extra 40.
    (Don’t mind my blabbing, I’m just happy to see other folks like myself trying to save some money)

    Reply
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  14. Stacie S.

    Wow, what amazing results! I’ve been on my debt free journey for a little over 3 years and was cruising the web looking for some motivation to keep fighting the fight. Blogs like yours really help keep me going! Thanks for posting.

    Reply
  15. HollyK

    Loved reading through this. I was wondering, when on a spending freeze, what did you actually pay for? Like gas, groceries, housing? What did you eliminate? My husband and I are digging our way out and have been doing ok, but we could do better.

    Reply
  16. jacqueline

    Anna this is so great!!! My husband and I have been on a spending diet/fast for a few months. I have to say to all those nay-sayers out there, your excuses are just that. Until you are ready to commit to change, you will muter up every outside reason as to why it is not possibleW e focus on communication, positive reinforcement and good ‘ol pen and paper planning to knock out our debt. You cannot control emergencies (we learned) but most everything else is a choice. And once you realize this and start making real decisions on where your money is going, it is incredibly liberating!!!! I found in my experiences, when someone is judging you, they are running from their own demons. Keep being awesome, Anna!!!!!!!!

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      So well said!! And I could not agree more! You have to REALLY want to be debt-free to be able to make the sacrifices that you need to to change your life forever. It’s not complicated but it does take commitment!

      Reply
  17. Denise

    Just got through reading your blogs. Very helpful and inspirational. My goal is to be debt free of credit cards in 2 years. Son will be going off to college so therefore I need to be debt free of credit card in 2 years. Will try and go on a spending freeze for 2 years. Wish me luck!!

    Reply
  18. Malea

    I just started a spending fast today. I’m going through August 20th for now, but I had already planned some things for Aug 20th to 30th that I can’t cancel. However, I am looking at ways of reducing costs for those things and that will be a diet period rather than a fast. Then, on the 30th, I will be back on the fast!

    I started today, and already made some good choices… I work at retail clothing shop, and a dress I love is only $12 from $60 after a sale percent off and the employee discount. I don’t *need* another dress, no matter how cute or inexpensive, so I said no after thinking about it all shift. I felt great about that decision by the time I got home!

    Then, I have a check to deposit, but the bank branch I go to is right across from a drive through Starbucks. I decided to hold onto the check and go to a different branch tomorrow on my way to my new (and better paying) job instead. I’m choosing a branch that is NOT near any of my temptations, but still on my route to work.

    I love how down to earth your advice is, and how it is matter of fact and friendly mixed together. So often I read financial advice and it is either technical or preachy and totally turns me off. Your blog feels like I’m reading something written by a friend. THANKS! :)

    Reply
  19. Michelle

    I have to wonder, but where do you live? Do you live alone or with roommates? Do you have children? I like the idea that you have, but I am aware that this may not work for all of us.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I live in Denver with my husband. I didn’t have a child when I did the Spending Fast or Spending Diet. It might not work for everyone but you can modify the Spending Fast to meet your specific situation. Create your Needs and Wants list based on your life… not mine. Your priorities will differ from mine and your list should reflect those differences. Try also to focus on the similarities in our situations and not the differences… that will go far.

      Reply
  20. Krissa

    Thank you for the inspiration! While working 2 full time jobs and both having student loan debt, my husband and I need a plan. I have wrote down my plan tonight after reading your blog. I am amazed at how muffle I already spend (2 hair cuts a year, clothes from thrift shops, and so on and so on) but it seems like I can do better! Thank you!!

    Reply
  21. Angie

    Kudos to you for paying down your debt! I am curious about how much of it was from the income you made off of this blog. Not that there is anything wrong with that – in fact if you created this blog to chronicle paying debt and then paid it with income from the blog, I would say that’s pretty smart. But it does make it harder for your average reader to live up to.

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hi Angie, I didn’t pay off any of my debt with income from this blog or from freelance writing. The majority of my debt was paid off by working as a clerk for the State of Colorado. Hope that helps!

      Reply
  22. Nette

    Hi there
    I loved reading your blog. What you have achieved is amazing. It is 2014 now and I know you have a baby (congratulations!). What’s next? Are you still saving and if so to what end?
    Thanks
    Nette

    Reply
  23. Tambra

    I love this idea and have considered doing the diet version but the problem we are having right now is I had to take a $5.00 pay cut do to job change so now our debt to income ratio is upside down. Our debt is more than our income. Im in the process of trying to cut where we can like no internet, cable and its helped but still not enough to be able to pay extra or save yet.

    Reply
  24. Brittany

    I just found your site and YOU ROCK, GIRL! I now have renewed hope that I can pay off mine and my husbands debt and start working towards the goal of our house being paid off! Thank you for this post, your entire blog is full of great information! I look forward to following you to see what you do in the future!

    Reply
  25. Saving Sanely

    This is my dream! We are in progress on paying down about $150k in debt plus our mortgage. We have paid off $40k but still have a long way to go! Thanks for keeping hope alive!

    Reply
  26. Salina

    I’m absolutely in love with your blog! I live in Colorado and I am currently a freshman in college and already wanting to learn how to get myself out of debt! My parents bought me a car but unfortunately it decided to just quit working (my luck). So now I’m stuck with student loans and a car payment! Just the thought of all my bills for being only 19 makes me sick, but your blog has inspired me to save up my money and dig myself out of this hole! :) Thanks so much!

    Reply
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  29. andrea

    Hi there, no offense, but how can anyone afford over a grand payment in one month? After rent etc, its impossible!! The income tax refund is great, but that is once a year. That is if you do not owe taxes.

    Reply
  30. Sandra Trammel

    I want to share my story.. I met my husband 6 years ago and he had much more debit than I knew. I never had a school loan so I was not sure how they worked. I do read suze orman and until recently really took notice and payed attention. He had taken out a loan 7 years ago and then stopped going to classes. I was not sure what the mail was that was coming and just gave it to him. Well, May 2015 I opened the letter… HE took out a 19,000.00 loan and never paid it and it blew up to 28,000.00 in those years.. He was deferring his payments.. about that time Suze came out with a FB post on school loans so I read it and did a little more research and found out you can never get rid of them and they blow up fast.. June 10th 2015 I took over the loan and said we are paying this and until this is done we will not be buying anything extras.. that are for us. My daughter got married, I had a new Grandbaby, Christmas came around and then the new year.. I was staying to my plan for his loan. February 18th 2016 the last payment was made on that loan. We are done. I have learned so much during this.. I have always been a person who wants to stretch every dollar into 3 but this was a little different.. this was just paying back wasted money and interest. We owe 139,000.00 on our house and my goal next is to pay it off this year by working hard and selling crap we no longer need. Little sacrifices for peace of mind.

    Reply
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  32. Alyssa

    I am currently in $4026 in debt, have zero savings and am living pay cheque to pay cheque. I just cannot seem to get ahead. My 29th birthday is at the end of June. and I am committed to making the last year of my twenties count and really get a handle on my spending and savings. I am tired of the constant anxiety, stress and dread about money constantly looming over me. I want my 30’s to be different and not carry these patterns into my next chapter. I am committed to doing whatever it takes to make this year count!

    Reply
  33. KElsey

    Where did you save the 6k I only see about 3k. Was this for student loans or was this in an emergency fund?

    Reply
  34. PattyinNH

    Hi Anna, can you show an example of your master savings sheet from the book? I am very excited to be starting the fast. I am shocked at the number of spending triggers I have. Every day I note the things that I was really, really tempted to buy but walked away from. I am trying to pay down my daughters college loan of 90,000. When that is done I can retire, maybe☺

    Reply
    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Hi Patty, That’s so exciting that you’re starting the fast! My Master Savings sheet was very simple. It was a piece of notebook paper and every month I wrote how much I paid to each debt, tallied the total about paid off, then recalculated my new remainder due. Here’s the one I put on this blog as I was doing the Spending Fast: http://andthenwesaved.com/total-savings/. Be sure to keep me posted on how you’re doing!! – Anna

      Reply

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