What Would You Do? Stick with the Spending Fast or Travel?

what do you think? spending fast or travel andthenwesaved.com

Hi Readers! I get so many great questions from you all, and many times you are asking questions about situations that other people are running into as well. I follow a fellow wedding photographer, Jasmine Star, and on her blog, she has a great feature where you can send her a question and she’ll answer it on her blog. Seeing how well that works on her site got me thinking that would be a great solution for sharing the responses I help readers out via email. Hopefully your question or dilemma can help others too!

If you’d like me to answer a question for you here on the blog send me an email with your question to: hello@andthenwesaved.com. In the subject line please write: Reader Question. I’ll change all identifying info so no one will know it’s you but me and you. I most likely won’t be able to answer every single question but I’ll try to let you know ASAP if your question will be getting selected for inclusion in a post. If your question doesn’t get selected, remember you can (and should) post about it in the Community section of the site. Get and give support! It’s a great resource!

Well, let’s go ahead and get started with the first question…

Hey, Anna!

I recently started the Spending Fast (February 2015 – February 2016) and have a quick question: I have one thing that is really a “must have” this year – I got into the Berlin Marathon (it would be in September). I know that this would be very costly and goes against the Spending Fast ideology, but it’s really hard to get into now. Would you suggest doing the Spending Fast for six months and then doing the Spending Diet for the rest of the year so that I can afford Berlin? Or should I skip Berlin and hope that I get in sometime in the future?


Run Fast or Get Out of Debt Fast


Dear RFOGOODF (omg that’s silly;),

Berlin sounds amazing! And congratulations on getting into the marathon! You know, you called it a “must have” so that tells me right there how important it is to you. The Spending Fast isn’t about ruining your life just to get out of debt. Yes, it will most definitely suck at times, there’s no doubt about that but you’ve got to remember what “makes you tick” is a priority and that matters! Your idea of doing half a year of the Spending Fast and half a year of the Spending Diet sounds like a brilliant compromise so you can still make tons of headway with getting out of debt but also do something that is meaningful and important to you. You could also do the Spending Fast for the entire year like you planned. When you create your Wants and Needs list you get to determine what is a priority to you in your life. If the Berlin Marathon is a “must have” as you say, then it should absolutely go on the Needs side of your life. Just because I didn’t have Berlin on the Needs side of my list doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Our lives are different and your Wants and Needs list will reflect that. Also! Just so you know, throughout my Spending Fast I did continue to do my photography exhibits. They were important to me so I had to keep going with them. I, of course found super cheap ways to continue to do them but I did keep participating in them!

Ultimately, you’ve got to trust your gut. Do what feels most right to you.

“Must Haves” Matter,



Do you agree with my response? What would you have told her she should do in this situation?

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15 thoughts on “What Would You Do? Stick with the Spending Fast or Travel?

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  1. Carrie on

    I think you gave great advice. Tomorrow isn’t promised to us and who knows if he/she will ever get into the Berlin marathon again. You never know what life will throw your way – I say seize the day on this one! I think the fast/diet is a good compromise, and with careful planning such as staying in hostels, hunting for a cheap flight and looking for free attractions that the cost can be minimized.

  2. Lynette Seelmeyer

    I think you gave her wonderful advice! This sounds like a potential “once in a lifetime opportunity,” so her plan of half a year on the Spending Fast and half a year on the Spending Diet is great, and your advice to her to understand how important this is (and kudos to her for getting in) is great. We are actually doing the same thing for summer travel here and have found good ways to make it work with the Spending Diet.

  3. Katie

    The fact that she’s asking shows how committed she is to her Spending Fast! Awesome job!! Maybe the way to look at it is that rather than allocating her Fast money to debt she can put it in a labeled savings account so that she can pay for the entire trip with cash rather than booking the flight and hotel on her credit card (or at least transferring the money from her savings immediately to pay off those charges on a credit card).

  4. Naomi Skint Dad Blog

    It’s a tough one to make a decision on and I can understand why she is torn.

    We were planning a trip this year which would have been amazing, both professionally and personally. When it came down to it, we wrote out a pros and cons list and, on balance, found it was more of a personal want, rather than a need.

    So we cancelled. Or should I say postponed and we may look to take the trip when our finances are in a better shape.

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      Pros and cons lists are such a great way to see where you stand on an issue. I’m glad to hear you’re just postponing the trip. You’ll enjoy it so much more when you get your finances in order. Man, it’s such a great feeling getting to do things you enjoy completely guilt-free. I can’t wait for you to experience that! You’re well on your way, Naomi! Trust me, I’m cheering you on!

  5. Mrs. Frugalwoods

    I think your advice is spot on. For me, being financially savvy is about being able to afford the special and important things in life. My frugality is not about restricting or limiting myself, it’s about the freedom to only spend on the things that truly matter to me. And, it sounds like the Berlin marathon really matters to this reader–so I’d say go for it!

    1. Anna Newell Jones Post author

      I’m so glad you agree Mrs. Frugalwoods. I always think about how the whole point of tackling debt is so you can truly enjoy life, and the things that make you happy to be alive.

  6. Angela

    Great advice. Saving for two overseas trips were actually our spending fast goals this year. We don’t normally take one, let alone two overseas trips a year, but they are both for special occasions. One trip is already paid for thanks to our Spending Fast, and the other one will be by the time the trip rolls around.


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