Darlene’s Spending Fast Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Happy six-month anniversary Spending Fast! Oh, how I love you (mostly)!  In celebration of six months, I thought I would change it up a bit, and add some spice to this update!  Here is the good, the bad and the ugly, now that SIX WHOLE months have been completed:


#1: THE GOOD (aka everything we are currently SUPER excited about right NOW) 

  • My Car is PAID OFF – One less loan in our life. Oh, how I am cherishing the title, mailed in a very timely fashion, from the DMV.  It’s my trophy.
  • Our public library.  Somehow, for the past fifteen years, I have forgotten I can get music and books for FREE from the library.  In addition, the library is up with the times and has electronic books; a website where I easily can request books, music and audio books; and a staff that is very excited to help. WIN. WIN. WIN.
  • Overdrive, the app.  This is where I VERY EASILY (technology is not all that interesting to me) download the electronic books I borrow from the library.  I LOVE THIS.  I am going to challenge myself to learn how also to get an electronic book onto my NOOK, which is borrowed from the library, before my next post.  More to come on that.
  • Tax refund – I love this time of year–when we get money and don’t owe money. Wooo hooo!  – Almost 100 percent of our tax refund went straight to our debt. (I took out a portion to pay one-third of our homeowner’s insurance.)
  • My annual bonus from work. This year, instead of spending this before it was in my account, almost all of it went toward debt. I pulled out $1,600 to go toward an emergency/ vacation fund.
  • The Nespresso machine at work (Hello, free lattes).  This is my little piece of happiness every day.


#2 THE BAD (aka, things out of our control that, as an adult, we just need to deal with):

  • Plumbing  We had an incident in January that involved our outgoing sewage pipe and a tree root that resulted in overflowing toilets, and it had to be fixed PRONTO!  This incident cost $1,300. Hence, there was no leftover money in January to put toward our debt monster.  BUT we also didn’t charge anything, and we paid all our bills, and we didn’t have to borrow money. So, in the end, it certainly could have been worse. Hence, the aforementioned emergency fund.
  • Homeowners Insurance– Why does this have to be so expensive!  We pay ours in three payments annually and the first payment was due in February.  I was happy to have our tax return at the same time since it’s a hefty bill.


#3 THE UGLY (aka, our minor deviations from the Spending Fast because, heh, who is perfect?) 

  • Cleaning Lady – As I talked about in my last post, this is something I didn’t define as a need back in August.  But it’s been hard keeping up with the house, although my mom helps us a lot with this.   With this in mind, and seeing the extra stress it was causing, my husband threw out the idea of extending the Spending Fast so we get the cleaning lady back. It felt wrong. Really, really wrong.  Like, we should be able to manage this or be OK with a messier house.  But we both are away from the house for almost fifty hours per week (including commutes) and our weekends are filled with lots of family and kid obligations. So, I called the cleaning lady back.  Her first visit back was at the end of February.  And it was GLORIOUS.  End of confession.  No official announcement yet on the extension of said Spending Fast…
  • Really narrow car seats – So, I held off for two months buying car seats that would fit in the back of our nanny’s car with the infant seat for her daughter. Instead, she drove my husband’s car, which has a third row.  The car seats weren’t on our “needs” list and, technically, this arrangement worked.  That left me schlepping it to work via bus and train (when everything is on schedule, I don’t mind the reading time).  Since these are special seats that fit three seats across an average-sized car, that makes them more expensive, of course. Basically, there were too many nights when the bus came almost thirty minutes late, and my commute home turned from forty-five minutes to an hour to almost an hour and a half. A few times the hubby had to pack up the kids (already in PJs) to get me.  So, we bit the bullet and purchased the car seats, and I felt guilty and untrue to the Spending Fast, but now that some time has passed, I must say life has become much easier all the way around.
  • A few lunches and two trips to Starbucks – I am human after all!


With the good, the bad, and the ugly in mind, I would like to say ’Thank you’ to Mr. Spending Fast for the six months we’ve spent together so far.  You have taught me that a cleaning lady is more important to me than any other “non-essential” purchase in my life right now.  You also have taught me to savor these “non-essentials” that I used to take for granted.  If nothing else, I am so appreciative of that.


Here are our updated Grand Totals: 

Total Debt Paid off: $28,085 (SF start date Sep 1, 2016)

  • CC debt: $11,348 (down from $31,682)
  • Loans (cars and personal): $23,191 (down from $29,692)
  • Student loans: $39,487 (down from $40,737)

P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!


6 thoughts on “Darlene’s Spending Fast Update: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

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  1. Chrystal

    I like how this was broken down. I think the car seats made sense in the long run. And I wish we had a cleaning lady again. It might be something I work into our budget later this year when I’m back to work from my maternity leave.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Darlene Wilson

      Thank you so much for the encouragement. I still feel a little guilty about the cleaning lady, but it is reducing overall stress quite a bit!

  2. Abby

    Good for you for having the discipline to put all your tax money and work bonus towards paying off your debt. Congratulations on paying your car off! When I recently paid my car off I felt like the weight of the world had been lifted off me.


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