Melanie vs. The Spending Diet – Update

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Melanie is sharing her Spending Diet adventures with us, and she’s got her August update for us below. – Anna

If you remember, I went over last month’s spending diet allowance. It was so much harder than  I imagined! In August, I committed to do better. I immediately took my $100 cash allowance out of the bank when I was paid and I stuck to it. But lo and behold, we had an emergency. Our air conditioning system stopped working on one of the hottest days of the year. And when you live in a tin can in the South, going without air conditioning is not an option.

Don’t emergencies always seem to happen at the most inopportune moments? Just when you think you’re doing better saving (or in life) BAM! something comes along to knock you down. Luckily in the past year, George and I have managed to get an emergency savings fund together. I consider 95 degree heat an emergency, so we had to dip into the emergency savings to fund a new air conditioning system. I really hated to do it, but I can’t sleep in that kind of heat, my husband can’t work and my poor pup was just plain uncomfortable.

I did experience some buyer’s guilt. I thought things like: “People for thousands of years went without air conditioning!” “It’s already August, it will be fall soon. We will only have to suffer for another month!” “I can’t spend $300 on a new air conditioning system, I’m on the spending diet!!!” But after a few days without air conditioning, I was whistling a new tune and I was ready to dip into those savings. Let’s just say that sweating immediately after stepping out of the shower is not a fun experience.  I’m not happy about it, but sometimes life is going to get in the way of a savings diet or savings fast. I just feel lucky that we had an emergency savings account to dip into.

Next month I plan to sell a few things in order to build my emergency savings account back up. I also signed up to teach a class for extra pay and for the first time ever, I’m receiving a small raise. (High fives for me?!) I know that I can get back on track with my savings but emergencies, man, they are really cramping my savings style!

 

How do you build your savings back up after an emergency? Let me know in the comments! 

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

16 comments

16 thoughts on “Melanie vs. The Spending Diet – Update

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  1. Caz

    My washer and dryer had to be replaced for the same reason and we had enough money saved to pay for it, but that money was supposed to stay in the savings account and meant we couldn’t replace the hideous carpet in our basement. So I have been Craigslisting and selling a few things too, and finding cheaper alternatives on groceries to save cash – generic Ketchup saved us over $1 last week, which doesn’t sound like much, but the other people in this house LOVE Ketchup and can’t tell the difference with the store brand one, so even if I don’t buy it every week, that’s $26 a year. If I could save or more on just 20 items we buy regularly, it adds up over a year. Also, the new washer is more efficient, so will save electricity and water (water bill dropped $10 in a month, there’s another $120 a year if it keeps saving every month!).

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  2. Caz

    I also wanted nice deck furniture, and the stuff I liked was $1500 – OMG – I just can’t justify spending that much on something that gets used for a few months. So I found a website called Ana White Plans, has plans for all sorts of things, including outdoor furniture. I built the set I wanted (I like to do DIY anyway) and with store bought cushions and lumber and stain, $275 for 2 2 seater sofas and table and cushions. I love your blog, keep giving me good ideas to save instead of waste my money! LOL!

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  3. Kate

    I’m one of the people who didn’t use air conditioning! :) I’m living in an Asian country, but I’m here in a province place so the weather is tolerable.

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  4. Raissomat

    Congrats on the raise Melanie!!! Don’t worry about the air conditioner, those are the things you save for!! It’s gone, all is well, and you already have plans on how to refill that fund. Great! Good luck on everything!!

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  5. Lisa

    I think the main thing is to just keep going and trust all those saved dollars and cents WiLL add up again. You are doing a great job!!

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  6. Mekashia

    I totally agree with you about the timing but just be grateful that you were able to get the AC. That happend to us when my car broke down and cost us $2000. I was sick but I tried to look on the brighter side. I need my car to got to work to make more money. I’m new to your blog and look forward to reading your post. We are expecting our second child and I really need to watch my spending now.

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  7. Kayla@RedDebtedStepc

    I hate emergencies! They always pop up when I think I’m going to have “extra” to put toward savings or debt at the end of the month. Then, BAM an emergency so I can’t put anything “extra” toward debt or savings. In fact, sometimes I’m lucky to break even after the unexpected expense.

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  8. Cristina

    Girl, donn’t feel guilty at all about getting the A.C. fixed. “Needs” aren’t always things we will die without. Consider something like toilet paper… will I die without it? No. Do I still need it? yes!!

    As far as I’m concerned, the spending diet and this emergency expense are in two totally different categories. Huge kudos for even having an emergency fund in the first place. You are definitely on the right track :)

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  9. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    We tried to go without AC in Washington, DC one summer and, uh, it didn’t work out. Being too sweaty to sleep is not good. I think it’s admirable you tired to go it sans AC, but you’re right, sometimes you just gotta be cool!

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  10. Anne E

    We live in St. Louis and it is too hot to go without air conditioning here, too. One way we save is by keeping the house warmer and using a window unit in the bedroom at night. We set the window unit to be cold enough that we can sleep comfortably, which is a lot cooler than we can tolerate in the rest of the house. Works like a charm and keeps the electric bill down.

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