Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spending Fast: Getting Started

Yesterday I posted about the Spending Fast and how I got started.  Today I'm sharing the motivation behind the fast and how you can get started too!  I have adapted the spending fast a little bit to fit my lifestyle, however I've tried to stay as true to Anna's instruction as possible so as not to make any excuses to spend!  Please keep in mind two things:  1) I am not a financial advisor or professional by any means 2) I am not the mastermind behind the spending fast! Check out to learn more about the spending fast "OG".
First of, let's talk about the obvious:  What is a spending fast?  It's exactly what it sounds like.  You focus on spending your money on needs only and putting all of the "savings" towards your debt.  There are a few ways to do it.  The way that I'm sharing it pretty true to the original, but with a few modifications to fit my lifestyle. The next steps will show you how to get started. 

1//Determine your motivation

I have a few motivations for wanting to be debt free.  We're hoping to buy a house in the near future, i have a baby that I want to provide an amazing life to, and I'm tired of living pay check to pay check when I really shouldn't need to.

Ask yourself this:  How can I benefit from a spending fast?  What would change if I didn't have any debts?  

2// Identify your weaknesses

The way the the "Spending Fast" book tells you to do this is a revers budget.  This means that you take your bank statements from the last few months and you analyze them.  Determine where the money is going instead of towards your debts. This is also a good place to review how much your bills/payments cost you each month.  This will save you time when you create your Wants & Needs list later. 

3// Create a Wants & Needs list

Your Wants and Needs list should have two columns.  The graphic below shows what kinds of things you may have in your columns.  Keep in mind that a "Need" for you might be a "Want" for others.  Corey and I are moving to an apartment with a gym, so my membership is now a "Want" instead of a need, but if we weren't it would be on the "Need" side. 
4// Create your Debt Hit List
The debt hit list is the break down of your debt.  Just to pre-warn you, writing it down makes it very real very quickly.  You'll list your debts from highest interest rate to lowest. If you have a debt that weighs on your more for emotional reasons, that one could rank higher as well. This is a screen shot of my debt hit list:
I used google sheets for my hit list.  I put my Debt Hit List in one tab and my Spending Register on another.  We'll talk about the spending register next. 

5// Create a Spending Register

There are several ways to do the spending register.  Anna does it on an "old fashion" check book balancing pad.  Personally, I have poor hand writing and don't trust myself to keep great track of that, so I put mine on a google sheet.  On this sheet you become your own banking app.  You carefully enter in all deposits and debits from the account so that you always know where every penny is.  See the example below:

6// Decide your Cycle Length

I chose to make my cycle length two weeks long.  Each pay day marks the beginning of a new cycle.  I'm "zero balance" budgeting, so at the end of a cycle, I'll take all of the money out of my checking account and only have my paycheck, depositing the next day, in my account.  Because I'm carefully noting all deposits and debits, this is not a problem at all. Your cycle length might be different depending on what works best for your lifestyle or job. 

Once you get to the end of your first cycle, you'll take that amount the that you took out and put into savings and use that to pay towards your debt! If you're not paying debt and you're just saving, stick in savings and leave it there!

7// Start paying off that debt or saving that money!

The most important part of all of this is to stop spending on things you don't need.  You can see on my spending register there's still some fast food and things like that, but I'm working hard to make a change and stop spending on those extra things that I don't need.  And you can do it to!  

I'll be sharing my progress and more tips on making the spending fast work for you every week.  Stay tuned!

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

The Spending Fast

*This post contains an affiliate link. If you were to purchase and item on Amazon using my link, I receive a small commission for you doing so.*

A few months ago, I was wandering around the library in the non-fiction sections.  I don't really know what I was looking for, but I happened upon a book that sort of changed my life forever.  The book is called "The Spender's Guide to Debt Free Living:  How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get From Broke to Badass in Record Time".  I checked it out and started reading.

I've always been on the "pretty okay" side of money.  I'm never really broke, but I'm also never quite where I'd like to be financially.  I have a car loan that I feel like I'll never pay off, I accumulated over $10,000 of student loan debt, and I got a mouth make over on credit.  

While everything I've spent money on has been well worth it, that number has been weighing heavy on my heart and I'm ready for it to go.  This book was exactly the motivation I needed to make that happen. 

I made somewhat of a half-assed attempt at the spending fast a few months ago, but I didn't really make a very solid plan and I wasn't truly following the suggested methods of the book.  On April 1st I decided to do a "re-start"  and really buckle down.  I'm going public with it so that you, my wonderful readers, can help keep me accountable. 
Over the next few months I'll keep you updated on my progress and I'll provide more details on how this spending fast works.  I hope you'll join me in my quest to become debt free in record time. 

If you feel like working towards a debt free life, you can get The Spender's Guide to Debt-Free Living: How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record Time on Amazon by clicking the link or the photo below. 

Monday, April 10, 2017

7 months of Parenting

I've obviously skipped a few months, but I felt like jumping back in and sharing how things are going after 7 months of parenting. 

Being a parent is the most amazing thing I've ever done.  I'm sure I've said that a few times.  But it is truly so rewarding, hard, easy, and exactly what I was meant for.  My baby girl is my favorite person.  Watching her change and grow every day is what I live for.  

Today Clara likes to wave hello and goodbye.  She prefers to play with the wipes package more than most of her toys.  She doesn't like sitting up, but loves to chat all day long.  She's a little petite for her age, but growing every day.  Her favorite thing is seeing daddy walk through to door after his day at work.  

I guess being a parent is pretty okay. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

A Fresh-ish Start

For a few weeks I've been considering getting rid of this blog and starting a whole new one.  

I'd dedicate this new blog to what my life is like now, but to be honest, I think I'm going about it all wrong. I created this blog so that it could grow and change with me.  That's even where the concept for the name came from. 

So I've decided to stop searching for the perfect new blog name and just bring this one back to it's former glory. 

I hope that you'll join me as I continue blogging here in my "old" space.

For now, this is all, but stay tuned for more!

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