Melanie’s Spending Fast Update

spending diet

Below is Melanie’s Spending Diet Update. See all the Spending Diet and Faster’s Updates here. – Anna

This past month I celebrated my birthday. Prior to the Spending Diet, I would have probably bought myself an unnecessary gift… and treated myself to a fancy dinner… and then maybe to overpriced cupcakes and wine. This year was a much quieter affair. My birthday wasn’t a “big” or significant birthday. I didn’t go on vacation. I didn’t even take off work. My husband made me a nice dinner and a fruit cake– literally a cake made completely out of fruit. It was impressive and super thoughtful.

Birthdays one of those times where I like to get introspective and reflect on goals and dreams. One of my biggest goals was to save a significant amount of money. And I would consider $10,000 a significant amount. I like to get discouraged sometimes about how much money I have (or haven’t) saved, but the Spending Diet has taught me some truly beneficial habits. It’s taught me that I can save a significant amount of money each month by simply automating my savings. Once a month $1,000 is pulled into a separate savings account and I don’t think about it again. The Spending Diet has taught me that I don’t have to celebrate each and every thing. It’s great to acknowledge my accomplishments, but I can do so in a cheap or free way. I can make a gratitude list, I can treat myself to a piece of dark chocolate or give myself some time to just simply relax to celebrate accomplishments. The Spending Diet has also taught me that I can improve and grow my own financial literacy. I’ve learned more about money in the past year than I have… ever!

Even on Month 10 I know I can still make improvements. I still spend too much money on groceries and I still browse retail sites online. I should block those sites and meal plan before I grocery shop (not the other way around), but I’m human. I’ve made huge leaps and bounds in the past year. I’ve got a few weddings coming up this summer that will present budgetary challenges, but I plan on continuing with my automated savings indefinitely. We’ll see if I’m still this positive on month 12. :)

Do you give yourself time to be introspective? Let me know how you reflect on your accomplishments in the comments!


Melanie’s Spending Diet Stats:

Month 10 Savings: $1,000

Started the Spending Diet: July 1, 2014

Savings to date: $10,600 (!!!)

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


8 thoughts on “Melanie’s Spending Fast Update

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  1. Ronnica, Striving St

    Great job! Keep it up.

    I was just thinking on my way home from work today that I’ve got to re-focus on spending less on groceries. I budget $50/week and mostly spend it. I think if I allowed myself less, I would find ways to spend less.

  2. jane

    Sure saving $1000 a month is easy for you, you can afford it evidently. there’s no way i can save that much a month. people who live pay check to pay check cannot save much at all. Bills bills and bills, mortgage, electric, water, etc. we don’t spend anything extravagant. write about saving when you have no money to save!

    1. Anna Newell Jones

      Hi Jane, I understand where you’re coming from. When I did my Spending Fast I didn’t think I’d be able to get any debt paid off because I too was living paycheck to paycheck. Once I analyzed my past account statements, made my Wants and Needs list, and tracked every single penny I spent I saw that I was spending more than I realized I had been. That may not be the case for you but it I’d encourage you to try what I did. You may be surprised too.

    2. Melanie Gnau Post author

      Hi Jane. I can save $1,000 a month because I don’t have rent. I live in an Airstream. It’s not an easy life, but I’ve made huge sacrifices to save money.

  3. Jessica

    I, too, didn’t think I could ever save $1,000 a month. When I started my journey to a debt free life, I was living paycheck to paycheck, too. I would have lived that way forever if I hadn’t done a Spending Fast and refocused my priorities. It was sites like this that really helped me through my two years of debt payoff. Now I save at least $1,000 per month.

  4. Katie

    I don’t think I could ever save $1,000 a month but I definitely can save lots!

    Personally, I have a budget on my fridge. I look at it and my account daily to know where I’m at. Currently saving for a wedding, and then a trip 6months after. My fiance has horrible debt but it will be paid off in less than 3 months {aggressively paying it off!}

    Bonus about paying off debt is that about 3yrs after our trip, we’ll be able to buy a house with money we’ll save! Bigger down payment means lower mortgage. Hydro isn’t cheap where we are so we want to be able to save where we can :)

    Everyone’s bills and income are different, so saying you can’t save is kind of harsh. You save where you can. Cut corners. If it means you don’t buy as much on groceries, oh well. No treats! I’d rather make sacrifices now for the long run pay off!


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