Spending Fast Update: Month 1

April 28-May 26 (cut short because of my vacation!)

So, this whole no-spending-money-on-anything thing is a lot easier and a lot harder than I expected! Finding creative ways to save has been really fun!

I started bringing coupons to the grocery store and I saved $9 the first week and $16 the second. I also actually brought the cans to the redemption center. It was only La Croixs, but I made $5. Better than nothing!

Au revoir, fancy takeout crêpes. (@ The Skinny Pancake in Montpelier, VT)

It’s so hard not to spend on clothes and accessories (my weaknesses). I think the best feeling so far has been my newfound ability to add to cart without checking out. I still get the online shopping rush, without actually spending money.

About halfway through the month, I found myself begin to online window-shop again, so I decided to send a payment to my student loans every time I “added to cart.” It worked brilliantly! One day I sent a random $228 to my loans, instead of spending unneccessary money on Rebecca Minkoff bags or on Asos. When I completed my student loan exit counseling, I sent another $120 towards my loans just for fun.

Of course, throughout the first month, I screwed up. I’m a human being with needs! All of these amounts are rounded up:

The Shame List

drinks at the theatre, $17

drinks at the M.Ward concert, $22

NAF merch button, $3

dinner out, $27

drinks at the La Sera concert, $13

craft supplies, $24

Home Depot (plants & woodworking supplies), $57

treated Dad to dinner, $50

dry-brush, $13

doughnuts & treats with bae, $19

*weak moment* Asos, $26

treated Dad to drinks, $23

clothes, $32

total: $326

Ugh, this list makes me look like a total alcoholic! The first month taught me that (though I don’t drink at home) I’m weak when it comes to indulging when I go out. Hopefully, that will only improve from here! It’s a bummer to think that $326 went to something other than my debt, but it’s such an immense improvement from last month that I’m not letting it discourage me! Basically, it amounts to one wasted paycheck. I think the easiest plan for me is to slowly taper off (3/4, 1/2, 1/4 a paycheck…)

Without starting the Spending Fast, that extra money that I sent to my student loans would have been wasted! Hopefully I can knock a couple thousand dollars off the top before I start owing payments in 6 months. This month, my savings/emergency fund reached $1,500, which is a major milestone for me. I can pay cash to finish my degree, which is something I never thought I’d achieve. I might start auto-depositing $100/week instead of $50/week into my savings, so that come student loan time, I’ll barely even feel my monthly payments.

I went to Montréal this past weekend, so I had 4 days of a “Spending Vacation.” Luckily, the tenets of Spending-Fasting influenced my financial decision-making while abroad. We kept expenses really low, and availed ourselves of free activities. We were lucky enough to be there during Free Museum Day! Also, dat Canadian $$ exchange rate…

On a scale of 1-10, I’d consider May to be about a 4. I saved money and learned about my own spending habits, but I also spent way more than I had originally intended to.

Here’s to June being a much more massive success!


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