Earlier in the month I got a text from my sister, Kelly, and it said, “I decided I’m going on a Spending Fast for one year. Today is Day 1.” Internally, I completely freaked out. But, I tried to keep it contained so I didn’t seem too excited (for the fear of scaring her off with my over-the-top enthusiasm). I replied with a simple and contained, “Whoa. Cool!” All of my family and friends have been hearing about the Spending Fast for a grip now, and I’ve never pushed it on anyone. My thinking is that they know I’ve gotten out of debt, they know how I did it, and if they want to ask me any questions or have me give them any support through a getting out of debt mission (Spending Fast or not) that I am totally there for them. You can’t force anyone to do anything because that’s just obnoxious, and it doesn’t work anyway so I don’t do it. Plus, the Spending Fast is hard, and it can really, really suck at times so you’ve got to be ready to deal with that if you’re going to take on a Spending Fast. (While it’s insanely effective, it’s not magic; hard work and sacrifice is required so, sometimes, other methods should be tried 1st.) All that to say that I am soooooooo, sooooo excited (I’m not gonna hold back now), and proud of my sister for making the decision to change her life by doing a Spending Fast. I’ve seen how powerful it can be in my life and in other people’s lives so I’m excited to see how it will end up changing someone’s life that I’m so close to. Plus, it’ll be interesting to be on the other side of a Spending Fast…
Hi, I’m Kelly, Anna’s identical twin sister. My stats: 35 years old, business owner, recently divorced, 3 kids under 10, boyfriend, no pets. I’m currently embarrassed by how much debt I have so I’m not going to say the full number yet. I’ve been thinking about doing the Spending Fast for years, and now it’s finally time to do it. I’ve got credit card debt, lawyer debt, student loan debt (owed to a financial institution and to my parents), a car loan and another debt. I’ve seen Anna’s success with getting out of debt and with how quick she’s was able to do it, and I want to be debt free too.
I started the Spending Fast officially on November 5, 2014.
My biggest trouble areas are eating out and unfocused spending at places like Target.
Like Anna, after I decided to do the Spending Fast I felt instant relief, and then, about an hour after that I got notified that a tax return appeal that I was hoping for did indeed come through so I put that money directly on my number 1 priority bill: my personal credit card. I also redeemed awards from my bank for cash ($150), and put that money towards my credit card debt, as well. 3 days into the Spending Fast, and my personal credit card was completely paid off! $6,884.21 saved! Had I not decided to do the Spending Fast I would’ve spent that tax return money on random stuff, like usual, and my debt would still be there.
Other things I’ve done this first week to save money…
- Cancelled Netflix – Savings: $9 month
- Cancelled my internet at my home – Savings: $57 month. I cancelled it because my phone still works without it, and I noticed that the battery was just getting used up faster. Plus, I have an office and store with internet service that I can use when I need it.
- I cancelled my membership to the YMCA because I never went anyway, and because I have a mountain bike, treadmill, and weights in my basement. Also, I have a membership to another gym that’s already been paid for in advance and that was only $50 for the year so if I REALLY want to go to a gym anytime soon I can go there. Savings: $54 a month.
- I did decide to keep my Audible membership so I can have something to listen to while working out, and that’s $14.95 a month.
The next debt I’m going to tackle is to my lawyer, Bill. My debt with him is currently at 3,911.07. I did set up a payment plan with him but he added a 7% interest rate to the original amount because while we were setting up the payment arrangements apparently I missed a payment, and the 7% was the penalty he added on. That was not ideal but because of that high-interest rate he will now get paid sooner rather than later. So far, in November I’ve paid the lawyer $350, and I made an additional payment of $260.
I’ve got 3 little kids so, of course, I’m concerned about the upcoming holidays. My daughter is 10, and this year she is fully aware of the materialistic haul that is possible to come out of Christmas. She’s already said she wants: a computer, an iPod, a phone, and I stopped listening after that.
I’ve told her about “mom’s Spending Fast”, and that we’ll still have an amazing Christmas but it might look a little different than it has in year’s past. I always get the kids ornaments for Christmas, and I just made my daughter hers the other night when I was at home distracting myself from the temptation to go out to eat. (It’s a rainbow with a cloud coming out of it, and it’s felt. It has a smiley face, eyelashes, and buck teeth. I also tucked a little handwritten note inside it with my hopes and wishes for her. Then, I sewed it shut.)
Something that will make this Year of the Spending Fast really interesting is that I am a small business owner. I own a clothing store in Omaha, and it’s currently in its 6th year. It’s hard to do a Spending Fast, and not have that penetrate every area of my life so my shop, Scout, will be going on a Spending Fast with me. I still have startup loan debt that I’d like to knock out, a line of credit with some debt on it, and an outstanding bill from my accountant.
Do you have any tips about how to save money with kids, and explain money issues to them? And, do you have any ideas about how to make Christmas special without spending any money?
Wish me luck! – Kelly
P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!