The Power of Setting Goals- In the Spending Fast Trenches

the power of setting goals

This is a guest post by Chelsea who is documenting her Spending Fast here on ATWS…

After paying over $1,200 towards my $25,000 debt in the first month, I knew the following months of my Spending Fast would be tough. Initially I felt empowered and excited to pay that much towards my debt,  but then doubt set in. What if I can’t even come close to that amount in the following months? What if I run out of things to sell on eBay? What if I hit a Spending Fast plateau?

I’m three weeks into my second month and while I don’t know specifics yet, I think I’ve paid around $100 this month on my debt. HOW TERRIBLE! Wait, that’s not terrible! I have a constant battle in my head that goes from one extreme to the other. I needed to find a way to calm my thoughts while remaining motivated.

It was time for a monthly payment goal!  Not only are goals great motivators, they’re also awesome at putting self-doubt at bay. Originally my goal was to put $1,000 towards my debt each month. This is an excellent goal but not very realistic. Goals need to be motivational, not discouraging. At $12.25 an hour, dropping a Grand each month is unlikely. I have set my new goal at paying $500 monthly. I feel that $500 is something that’s attainable and if I get awesome and exceed it then, well, that rocks! If there has been one thing I’ve learned these past few weeks, it’s that keeping things positive is a requirement for my Spending Fast journey.

So instead of being discouraged, I’m now excited. I still have a week to earn more money and meet my goal. Last Friday, I cruised over to Craigslist and saw that someone was hiring someone to address envelopes. I met this Craigslist gentleman and was handed a bag with over 600 envelopes and a list of addresses. He also gave me over 3,400 Post-It notes to write on, if I happen to finish the envelopes.

Let’s just say this past weekend was an unusual one. I am receiving ten cents per envelope (and Post-It) I complete. While ten cents isn’t much money, ten cents times 4,000 is a good amount. Completing this project isn’t glamorous or going to make me rich, but it is going to help me achieve my monthly goal.

If you are on a Spending Fast along with me, I encourage you to make goals. After you make them, really think about if they are attainable. There is nothing worse than setting yourself up for failure. I am on this Spending Fast because I know I can create my own future. Establishing a goal and getting creative in order to meet it is going to help me get there.

Next week I will be reporting back with my Month Two totals. I hope you stay tuned!

Chelsea Overton is in the midst of her Spending Fast® and writes about it from North Carolina with her bulldog, Xena, and boyfriend by her side. 

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

27 comments

27 thoughts on “The Power of Setting Goals- In the Spending Fast Trenches

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  1. The Norwegian Girl

    I think it`s great how creative you`re getting in earning more money! I`m currently rethinking my budget, and applying for jobs that can fit into my busy study schedule, and today I was at a job intervju for a summer job!

    Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Hey!
      I think that there are endless possibilities for money if we look hard (and long) enough. That’s awesome you already had an interview! I hope it went well! Good Luck with your budget revamp!

      -Chelsea

      Reply
  2. Colleen

    Awesome! I am documenting my spending fast too. It’s incredibly hard but so worth it in the end. I just started mine last Friday and paid off $450 on one credit card. It feels so good!

    Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Hi Colleen!
      WOW! $450 paid in less than a week! That’s incredible! I agree that it feels great to see that debt total lowering. Every little bit helps. Good luck and know that you’re doing something amazing for your future. Keep up the good work!

      Reply
    2. Anna Newell Jones

      $450 paid off since last Friday!??! Say what!??! That’s freaking AMAZING Colleen! You are killing it! The Spending Fast is super hard but you will be SO happy you did it; it’ll change your life!

      Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Hi Cameron,
      Yep, I have a car. I have considered selling it and taking public transportation but the monthly bus pass is actually more than I spend in gas and insurance combined. Still trying to figure that one out. Ideas?

      -Chelsea

      Reply
        1. Chelsea Overton Post author

          I work for a law office that consists of 4 people. I’ve asked but its a no go. Currently looking for another job so maybe the future will hold a bus pass!

          -Chelsea

          Reply
    2. Cameron

      Until I changed jobs in October I was cycling so much that it was a novelty using the car. Even if it saves you fuel and maybe some insurance if you have an insurer that understands.

      Rain, hail, or shine I was riding. The better thing is that it is really good cardio. I plan to combine my ride with public transport until I can do the 100 kilometre round trip. End of trip facilities might be worth considering, make sure you are stocked up with supplies just incase.

      Reply
  3. Amy

    Fantastic! Your words are very encouraging. Anna’s website has also helped me a great deal. I started my spending fast in December 2012 – although at times I have strayed and it is more of a spending diet, and is something I have to remind myself to stay on at times – and have paid off $4855 so far. Calculating the payments I have made and looking at these figures helps to keep me motivated for sure.

    Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Amy,
      Thanks for the encouragement. Paying almost $5k since December is ridiculous! What an inspiration! Good luck with your spending fast/diet and keep us updated on your progress. I’d love to hear!

      -Chelsea

      Reply
  4. Autumn

    Could you share more about how you picked up this random letter-addressing job? I would like to find more freelance writing work as well. Tips?

    Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Hi Autumn!
      Yes, of course! I went to Craigslist and looked under the “Gigs” section. Usually I focus on the writing jobs listed but this time there was an ad that literally said, “Someone to Address Envelopes: ASAP.” I called the number listed and met with the man later that day. I think the Gigs section is a good place to start for one time jobs. My main tip would be to keep chugging along. I have probably applied to 5-10 gigs a day for weeks. Don’t give up and eventually something will come through.

      Are you on any online freelance writing sites like elance or odesk?

      Reply
      1. Anna Newell Jones

        That’s a really good tip Chelsea, thanks for getting more specifics about how you got that gig. Do you have any safety tips for meeting people on CL or have you ever felt weirded out?

        Thanks also for including ELance and Odesk- great resources for extra income!

        Reply
        1. Chelsea Overton Post author

          Hi Anna,
          YES! My safety tips are that I only meet people at coffee shops. That way I know nothing too shady can happen. If someone refuses to meet at one, I just let the gig go. Staying safe is worth it!

          Reply
  5. Sue

    It is interesting how a person can find ways to make money!!!! Never thought of the whole envelope/post it note gig…….I suppose the possibilities are many! Keep up the good motivation!!!!

    Reply
  6. Pingback: Power of Setting Goals-ATWS | No Debt Brunette

  7. CollegeMom

    Chelsea and Anna – I’m a life-long goal setter…goal changer and sometimes goal conquerer. I love this post and your positive attitude.

    We included it in our Friday Favorites Roundup this week. Keep up the great work!

    Reply
  8. Lisa

    Thanks for sharing your story. Very inspiring!! For too long I was in denial about my credit card debt. In just 3 months I have managed to pay off $5,000 worth of debt. I am only spending money on my needs. Also, like you I am looking for additional work to make some extra payments.

    Reply
    1. Chelsea Overton Post author

      Hi Lisa,
      Thanks for stopping by! It is always so great to hear other people’s stories. I was definitely in denial as well when it came to how much I owed in student loan debt. Have you found any fun resources for making extra money?

      Reply
  9. Ashely

    Great idea on looking in the gig section on Craigslist! I looked and there were two postings for people to serve drinks at local festivals. I could spend a Saturday afternoon serving people to make some extra money!

    Reply

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