It’s hard to believe this is the 4th week of the spending fast. A whole month of spending money on needs only. I am utterly taken aback at how much saved money I have been able to put towards our debt: $4,943.47!
This month was absolutely amazing in that my husband worked a ton of overtime and my résumé writing business has had its best month ever.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- $537.12 – saved money from from our regular income
- $735.64 – my husband picking up extra shifts at work
- $982.09 – saved money from my résumé writing business
- $14.90 – Discover contributing 5% of my minimum payment towards my debt as part of their Paydown Credit Program
- $2,673.72 – one-off situations that will never happen again, such as my husband closing out his “secret” bank account and putting the money towards our debt
The best lesson I learned from the first month of the spending fast? Don’t panic! This is going to require some dramatic lifestyle changes, but it is doable. Even more important is that my family and I can still be happy while we do it!
The second most important thing I learned is that we will definitely need to continue to earn as much extra money as possible in order to pay off this debt in a reasonable period of time.
Spending Fast Wins
- Packed up and sent out my thredUp Clean Out Kit, which contained an estimated $81 worth of clothing to consign.
- Decided that I was losing more money in interest than I was gaining by having some of my money in savings. Took $1,766.48 out of savings and put it towards the credit card with the highest interest rate. (An important note here is that I did not touch my emergency fund! I still have 3 months of mortgage payments in savings).
- Didn’t panic when my husband asked me to add his student loans to my plan to pay off our debt, in addition to the credit card that he asked me to add to the plan last week!
- Took the advice of a member of the Spending Fasters Facebook group and used http://unbury.us/ to calculate how long it will take to pay off our debt. Panicked a little when I saw that if I put $1,500 a month towards the debt it would be paid off in 2036. Felt a little better when I saw that it if I just focus on our consumer debt, it will be paid off by 2019. Felt even better knowing that if I can come up with $2,000 a month to put towards our consumer debt, it will be paid off by 2018! Devised new plan to focus on consumer debt first, and then tackle student loans and the mortgage.
Spending fast losses
- We’re going on vacation tomorrow. This trip was planned months before I began the spending fast and the tickets are non-refundable, so it doesn’t make sense not to go. We have a rafting trip scheduled, but it’s supposed to be 50° that day, so I needed to order wet suits for my husband and I. There’s a small chance that the river will be too low and the trip will be cancelled, so we’re leaving the tags on and returning them if we don’t use them.
This post was inspired by today’s daily prompt: Panic
Robin Brodrick is a résumé writer, aspiring minimalist, Douglas Adams fan, and corporate recruiter in the cutthroat biotech and pharma industries. If you’re looking for a new job, or know somebody who is, Robin can help you with that, too. Visit www.talentcounseling.com to learn more. You can also follow Robin on Twitter or LinkedIn.