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Last month, I embarked on my first spending fast. If you haven’t heard of a spending fast, you can head over to the blog, And Then We Saved by Anna Newell Jones. She coined the term (I think). She used an extended spending fast to pay off a massive amount of debt, so I decided to try a one-month spending fast, just to see what would happen.
The results varied. I saved and spent, but I know where everything went wrong. When I do this again in January 2018, I’ll be ready. Below, I share where I failed and succeeded.
First, let’s talk about what I spent money on. Some were unforeseen items, while others were me being undisciplined. Still, I am proud of myself as a first-timer.
Things I Spent Money On
- Transcripts & application fees ($50) – A necessary evil since I’m in the middle of applying to nursing school and the NECP. Transcripts are pricey, and I went to several colleges.
- 6 cans of Coke/RC ($3) – My kryptonite. When I get stressed, I head straight to the vending machine.
- A new straightener ($11) – This was the dumbest purchase I made because I thought my old straightener died. I tried it on numerous outlets across the apartment, but no luck – so I tossed it. Then, I found out that the circuits needed to be reset… I was so upset. An awesome straightener went to an early grave.
- A tip at a restaurant ($10) – My friend took me out to dinner, so I paid the tip.
- Testing fee for ATI TEAS a.k.a nursing entrance exam ($115) – This exam was necessary because it is required to apply for admission into the University of West Florida’s nursing program. More on this later.
- Mushroom & Swiss burger & Oreo Frappe at DQ ($9) – Just me being weak.
- Dinner with a friend x2 ($45) – A repayment to the friend who took me out to dinner, and a celebratory dinner when I paid off the Discover card. I know… what an oxymoron.
- New bedding ($125)- I gave our expensive bedding (we bought it in April of this year) to my husband since he’s the reason we bought it. I was sleeping under an assortment of blankets and throws. Even though I was warm and comfortable, I could never make my bed properly. Making the bed and keeping my bedroom minimal and tidy is important to me, so I didn’t want to wait on this. Plus, my home office is in my bedroom. I do my best work in a clean, organized space, so the random blankets had to go.
Overall, I did well. I’m kicking myself about the various food purchases, but it was much less than the prior three months. My friends were encouraging and helpful, never pressuring me to spend money when I didn’t want to. I ate a lot of peanut butter and jellies. I also found myself running to the commissary to pick up little things when I was craving more substantial food. Meal-planning was tough during the dog-sitting because I wanted to lay low and keep the house clean.
The larger purchases were necessary (minus the bedding). I might have planned better, but my life is crazy right now. Planning for anything is tough.
With this spending fast, I paid $1,650 on my Discover card, reducing the total to $650. Then I pulled the rest of that money from my savings account and PAID IT OFF. Woopee!
The Discover card is officially gone.
The Spending Fast was an eye-opener for me. I know I spend too much eating out and buying coffees, but this reminded me that once upon a time, I hardly ever did those things. It felt good to eat minimally. I may have lost a little weight too. With winter coming on, I have no doubt I’ll spend less because going outside will be awful.
What were your biggest weaknesses during a spending fast? If you’ve never completed a spending fast, would you consider it?