It’s been a little over a month since I started the 100 day spending ban. Day 40 seemed like a great time to update you all because I have completely rearranged my finances and everything is actually going really well. I mentioned that this Spending Ban would be tough because I had a lot of pre-planned expenditures. This remains true, but the costs have remained low thanks to the kindness of my friends and heavy self-control on my part.
First, the most exciting updates! As of today, I have added an additional $1700 to my savings/emergency fund and paid down an additional $1300 on my CapitalOne Quicksilver account. This is huge because I never thought I would reach those numbers so quickly. Here’s how I did it:
1. I transferred my car loan to the Quicksilver credit card.
I pulled this stunt before on another loan (and it bit me in the butt because of the terms I agreed to in my divorce), but I have wanted to do this for a long time. First, I feel that consolidating my debt as much as I can will create leeway in my budget if things go south or I need extra breathing room. Second, my car loan was a 4.95% rate, while the Quicksilver is only 4%. This is due to the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. Learn more about that HERE.
Consolidating that debt and reducing the interest rate is going to help me make bigger payments in the long run.
2. My tax refund arrived.
If you’re one of the many who hate people like me, I’m sorry. I love my tax refund. This year’s refund totaled around $1300, thanks to education deductions, retirement savings credits, and student loan interest deductions. I use Turbotax because it makes everything easy and free for military members. I highly recommend it.
I put $1000 of my tax refund in my savings (for my impending move) and the other $300 went to the Quicksilver.
3. I started a different shift at work.
My new shift isn’t forever, but in the meantime, it has helped me stop spending and save $$$ on fuel.
- Traffic is non-existent. My miles per gallon on the Terrain are up by about 4 mpg because I’m no longer sitting in rush hour traffic. I also feel happier because my commute is only about 30 minutes each way (opposed to an hour or more). When I’m happy, I don’t want to spend money.
- I arrive at lunchtime – so there’s no more peer pressure from co-workers and it’s easier to pack a light dinner.
4. I played a lot of Fallout 4.
Whatever your feelings on video games, it can help you save money. I’m not your typical video-gamer. I don’t buy a new game every week. I can play the same game for years, and I don’t even own a new console. Fallout 4 is my roommate’s game that I’ve been playing on his PS4. Someone help me when he moves away. Since starting Fallout 4, I have had little desire to do anything else. When I’m not playing, I’m working, eating, reading, or sleeping = money saved.
5. I put all my credit cards in a drawer.
This has made the biggest impact in my spending fast thus far. You may not realize it, but having your credit card in your wallet will make you use it. There have been so many times when I have tried to save money but continued using my credit cards (swearing I would pay off what I spent). While I did pay off the little things I had spent money on each cycle, there was a noticeable increase in how much I spent on those little items. A white caramel mocha here; a quick bite for lunch there.
It adds up and you never feel the pain. Since removing my ability to use my credit card, I have removed the temptation to use it. There have been times when I’ve almost fallen to temptation. Then I remember that if I use my debit card, I will have to write it down in my expenditures notebook at home. I am so lazy that it actually feels me with dread. The less I have to write in that book, the better I feel.
60 More Days to Go
March is going to be much tougher with a lot more expenses. My lease ends in March, so there will be some overlap in my new apartment and old one (money wasted, but what can you do?). Plus – security deposits, pet deposits, etc.
I am so excited to move back to Aurora. The extra money spent to move again will be worth it to reduce my commute and find a space I love. I will continue to keep you updated. Also – look for my first quarter financial review at the end of March to see the real impact of this spending fast.
Do you have any tips or suggestions to help with my Spending Fast? Are you doing your own No-Spend Challenge?