Trump needs to start spending to reach funding promise

epublican presidential nominee Donald Trump's plane (TOP) passes Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton's campaign plane at McCarran International Airport on October 18, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada, on the eve of the two candidates' third and final US presidential debate.
Brendan Smialowski | AFP | Getty Images

Shortly after announcing his run for president last year, Donald Trump said he would spend up to $1 billion of his own money on the campaign. But in recent weeks, the Republican nominee has said that number is now $100 million.

"Remember, by the time this ends…," Trump told a crowd in Colorado Tuesday, "I will have spent over $100 million on this campaign. Hillary has spent nothing. She gets all her money from the special interest and donors. My interest is you."

Yet to hit even the $100 million mark, he'd better start spending. According to election filings, Trump has coughed up around $60 million of his own money for the campaign. And rather than ramping up his contributions as the election gets closer, he's been cutting back.

In the beginning of the year, Trump was spending more than $5 million a month on his campaign, hitting a peak of $11 million in March. But in July and August, the latest periods measured, Trump had dialed his spending back to $2 million a month.

Though September's official filing isn't due until Thursday, Trump's camp has already said the candidate contributed $2 million to his campaign that month. That means to hit his target, he would have to spend roughly $40 million over the course of a few weeks.

What's more, some of Trump's campaign spending has gone to companies owned or related to him. So his net out-of-pocket expenditures may actually be lower than the reported amount.

"Mr. Trump's contribution more than covered the costs of any reimbursements to him (or his related entities)," a spokesperson for the campaign said, adding "he has contributed an unprecedented amount to his campaign."