My first week of no spending…

Sigh. Actually, it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I thoroughly dreaded the idea of actually doing this at first, although it’s basically how I lived when paying off my credit cards. This is also how I plan to continue to live in the future, not to spend on things I do not need (and to keep my needs as small as possible). First off, it’s easy to live like this once you are used to it. Secondly, it allows you to pay off your debt and then save, which in turn allow you to do things like retire or be able to help family in need or do whatever else being financially free allows one to do.

Also, not living this way snowballs easily. I’m sure there are people who can budget well, and include the latte every day, and still save and blah blah. But it just seems like a slippery slope. I don’t buy a lot of extra material goods, I’ve bought new clothes once in the last year I think, I mostly spend money on little things. Those little things are super dangerous though. When I wrote out everything that I paid with using my debit card it was shocking and depressing seeing how much I spent on coffee or just overpriced fast food lunches a few times a week. It’s also so easy to just spend $5 dollars here or $10 there or just spend when it’s convenient. This is a bad strategy, and one I am not going to do. Reason one is that your spending quickly snowballs the opposite direction into reduced savings and possibly debt(!). Reason two is that once you get used to living like this, you don’t want to stop.

Happily though, it hasn’t been as scary/difficult/annoying/painful/boring/depressing/any other thing I feared it may be as I imagined. This week has actually been very freeing. I feel more creative, because I have to figure out how to make what I have now last as long as possible and in as many ways as possible. I have more time to read, write, play with my cats, sleep, ect since I’m not out and about spending frivolously. I also feel happier, because I feel completely in control of my finances and my life.

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My Spending Pause

So, I have decided to stop spending on all the little extras in order to get out of debt. I was inspired by And Then We Saved’s Spending Fast*, and how she paid off all her debt so quickly.

I have decided I need to change my spending habits, because in about 6 months student loan payments will be due (and that could be up to 450/month). My goals are:

  1. Pay off my car by 8/13
  2. Save up moving costs
  3. Save up 8 month emergency fund

To accomplish this I am on a spending pause, I am not going to spend money on anything that I do not need. Since I live at home still while I am finishing school, the needs list is very very small. Though, my income is rather small as well, because of how busy I am with school. I know I am capable of this, because over a year ago I paid off all my credit card debt, which involved not spending and putting everything to the credit cards. In the year since I paid them off I have gotten more liberal with my spending. Still no debt, and I am saving a decent amount, but I can do better.

So, in order to keep myself accountable I am going to blog my experience. I plan to update this weekly, so that I can keep my self honest and track my successes, which will hopefully motivate me. I am going to work on goal 1 first, since that is the only one that I have decided has a solid deadline. Goal 2 needs to be done before I move out, which will hopefully be sooner than later. Ideally Goal 3 would also be done before moving out, but I am not sure how much longer I can live here before I go crazy lol, so we will see on that one.

Okay, so now I have set this goal for myself, told my friends and family my plan, and also told all of you. I’m not gonna lie, I’m kinda freaking out right now, I like buying the little coffees daily and other little things that I don’t need but add up. It would also be a lot easier to just ignore my financial situation until it becomes a problem. I guess this is being responsible, damn adult-hood lol.

 

* That is totally trademarked, and I am not trying to infringe on that at all. I will only use it this once, because I want to give her credit for her awesome idea and amazing and inspirational story. 🙂