The One Where Mandi Plans to Stop Spending Any Money

Terry and I are in debt.

This is nothing new. I took out loans to go to Harding that were then deferred while I joined the Peace Corps, travelled through Asia, taught in France and went to Oxford to get my PGCE. I ignored them, but they didn’t go away. Terry and I went home to America twice last year and that went on the credit cards, which already had balances on them. We pay towards them every month, but they’ve snuck up on us recently.

This debt is upsetting. So much so that I just want it all to go away. While looking up budget calculators online, I found Anna from And Then We Saved . Anna did a Spending Fast, where she spent money on nothing but essentials for a year to pay off her debts. Anna is my new hero.

I know what you’re thinking, ‘you, not spend money for a year?’ And yes, that is exactly what I intend to do. Obviously I have to spend money or I wouldn’t be able to get to work or pay my bills, which would lead to almost immediate deportation. I will spend money on essentials.

For the next twelve months I will spend money on:

Rent
Utilities
Gas
Food (£200/month, to include the occasional drink if we can budget properly)
My Cell Phone
Medicine
Seeing American friends who are in the UK – I’m an expat and there is always money to see old friend
I give out prizes to my students and I fear that if I stopped buying them there would be an uprising. So I’ll still buy sweets for them.
*added per Meg’s excellent advice*: toiletries – nothing fancy, but enough to keep myself cared for (pampering will have to wait for next year)

For the next twelve months I will not spend money on:

Visiting Starbucks stores (although I will gratefully accept gift cards)
Clothing
Anything from Charity Shops
Any new makeup that I already own another of, whether or not I like the one I already have
Nights Out
Eating Out
Gifts (hope y’all like crafts!)
Or anything else not listed above

Sounds boring, right? Well, so is being in debt. I am confident that by giving up the following for a year, I will have more money to do whatever I want once I am debt-free.

Terry has agreed to join me by cutting down his spending to £100 per month, which will help.

I am announcing this publicly so that you can keep me accountable. I will be posting how much debt Terry and I are paying each month and also potentially Haikus about how much I would love a Caramel Macchiato. Deal with it.

What do you think? Am I crazy? Have you ever considered trying something similar? Let me know!

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