Month 1 Done & Done


Holy cow!  Month 1 of the Spending Fast is done!  I can't believe how fast it went, how not fun it was, or that actually saved money!  Below are this months details.

My total savings this month was $973.00!  Usually I have to take about $200 out of my savings account every month just to break even.  This month, however, I didn't even touch it!  Plus, I had extra that I used to start my retirement account!  While on the Spending Fast, I'm counting my short term savings account (my credit union) and my retirement account as "necessities," so while I'm technically saving money in these accounts, I'm not counting that towards my "Spending Fast savings" which I hope to use as a down payment on a house next year.  So, technically my total payment.savings for the month is $575.00!

After my first pay period (July 1-15), I opened my high interest money market account and deposited what was left of my paycheck into that account.  I have to admit, while it was thrilling, I was literally sick to my stomach.  How is it that I actually had this much money left over every pay period?  And where did it go?!  One month of frivolous spending is the equivalent of ½ a semester's tuition!  I feel like I need to go lie down when I think about the waste.

Overall, I consider Month 1 to be an epic fail even though I was able to save a lot to stay within my projected budget.  I went over in almost every category of my "necessities," but because I cut costs in other places, and had some extra money come in, I was able to pretty much break even with my projected costs..  Here's the break down of where I went over (the things in red are not counted "necessities"):
  • Bus pass: $25: Before I committed to buying a 30 day bus pass, I wanted to make sure it was something I would be willing to do, so I purchased a 5-day pass.  I didn't know that it was good for 5 consecutive days, and not "five uses."  I bought it on Friday, July 1st, expecting to use it again after the 4th of July weekend.  When I went to go to work Wednesday morning, July 6th, the driver informed me that the pass had expired and while she would let me ride to work, she tore up my pass.  What a WASTE OF MONEY!
  • Groceries $48:  Because my juicer broke, I figured I could wait until my birthday to get a new one.  However, I am not willing to give up juicing everyday, because to be honest, it's not only good fore me, but I have severe digestive problems that only seem to dissipate when I juice regularly.  I have been buying juices at the store, such as the Naked juices, and other organic, fresh juices, and they're costing a fortune!  I went over my grocery budget nearly $35 on juice!  I think I'm going to have to just bite the bullet and purchase a discount juicer.  Also, on one of my juice runs, I had something to do and asked my brother if he would go get them for me.  When on a Spending Fast rule #1, don't spend money, rule #2 don't give other people your debit card!  He came home with a box of Twinkies, a Kit Kat bar, and a flavored sparkling water for about $13.  I flipped out, and am still hoping he'll pay me back.
  • Dining out $8:  I completely eliminated dining out from my necessitates budget.  I have been making myself a big salad for lunch everyday, and I supplement with other fruits, vegetables, or other healthy snacks.  However, I recently started an intense exercise program, and I noticed that I'm usually hungrier than my normal salad.for.lunch. routine can handle.  One day, I joined some co-workers for a more hearty lunch, and it cost me $8!
  • iPhone App $2:  Because I am now taking the bus, I downloaded the transit information to my iPhone (still haven't cancelled it yet...).
  • Highlights $80:  I went over budget at my hair appointment.  I was really shocked, but to be honest, it was kind of worth it
  • Concert $25:  Remember that FREE NKOTBSB concert I went to?  It turns out the friend of my brother ended up asking for some money.  He wanted the money for at least one ticket, so I split the cost with my brother.
  • Taxes: $28:  Because of my raise, I ended up paying more money in taxes which I hadn't anticipated.
  • Roth 401K $100: This was the biggest money shock of the month!  Again, because of my raise, a lot more was contributed than I had estimated/budgeted.  I was literally sick to my stomach at the sight of that ginormous number.  I'm not sure if I will have HR change it to make the contribution less, or just leave it (more money for me later right?)
  • Tanning Membership $25:  I cancelled my tanning membership one week BEFORE the Spending Fast began.  However, that particular company requires 30 notice before they'll actually cancel it.  Because my payment due date fell within that 30 days, I still had to pay for the month of July, plus a $5 cancellation fee.
  • Exercise Program Extras $20:  If you ever order exercise programs online or via TV, please please please read the fine print!  I ordered an exercise DVD back in January, and because I never check my bank statements, I didn't realize that I was being charged $20 a month for a "club membership" from the company!  Essentially it was payment to be able to chat in an online support forum.  I never used it, and because I didn't read the fine print, I didn't even know about it.  Again this company requires cancellation notice, so I was stuck with a $20 payment in July, and one more in August!  MONEY WASTED!
  • $15:  Again with this one, READ THE FINE PRINT!  When I payed for a copy of my credit report, I did not read the fine print, and was enrolled in a membership program with Experian.  I called to cancel but they would not refund the $15.
All in all I went over my projected budget by $248.00!  Just think, that could have been extra savings this month!

While I didn't have to buy gas this month and was able to save some money in other categories, I was SAVED by some extra income I had come in.  Apparently, last year, when I paid off my final credit card I paid $100.00 more than I should have (how I did that, I have no clue).  Of course, the Credit Card company never said a word.  When I pulled my credit reports and noticed that the account was still showing a balance, I called them.  They informed me that it wasn't a balance, but a credit, just sitting there.  "Well can you send that to me?" I had to ask.  They did, and then updated my report with all three credit bureaus.

I also noticed four errors on my credit reports that have since been deleted or updated.  If you haven't pulled your credit report in a while, DO IT!  It's worth the 10 minutes it takes to do so.

I also received my Flex Spending reimbursement from my insurance which helped.

Extra Income:  $321.00
Over Spent:  $248.00

Dang!  While my $973.00 is pretty great, I had the potential to have saved $1,542.00 (the $973 I saved + $321 om extra income + the $248 I overspent)!  It's crazy to see how quickly the little things add up, and what a huge effect they can have on the big picture.  I guess I can't get too down, I was still able to save more than I ever thought possible, and now I'm determined to try harder next month. 

Where Did the Savings Go:

$ 575.00 was put into a Money Market Savings Account
$198.00 was put into my Roth 401(k) Retirement Account
$76.00 was put into my Emergency Savings Account
$124.00 went towards a Signature Loan I used for tuition last year


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