How Broke Are You? Quiz

help me i'm poor

Being broke sucks so let’s have some fun with it, how ’bout?

I’ve done just about everything on this quiz at sometime or another (sometimes because I HAD to and now mostly because I WANT to– it makes big difference when that shift happens!;) And I cracked up when I saw the “Do You Cut Your Own Hair?” question because of yesterday’s post. So, How Broke Are You? Take the Quiz then let me know what results you get.


in Just For Fun
How to Cut Your Own Hair – An Updated Guide!

How to Cut Your Own Hair andthenwesaved.comIt’s been a little while since I did my last How to Cut Your Hair Tutorial so when I started thinking about going for a shorter, spring-time cut I knew I had to share the process with you here. My hair had gotten really scraggly and thin (postpartum hair loss is not cool, btw) since I had the baby and it was definitely not a cute look. I have seen so many beautiful, long, choppy bobs on Pinterest lately so those were my inspiration. I also knew I wanted to keep my hair long enough to pull back into a ponytail because let’s be honest, having a little baby around means high-maintenance hair is just not gonna work!

This hairstyle has ended up being the perfect mix of my needs: easy to cut, the choppy look I was going for was simple to accomplish, the hairstyle looks polished by throwing in a few hot rollers (I used those for my hair in the above picture), and my hair can still be pulled back into a ponytail so the baby can’t pull it like he likes to do.

Let’s get started!

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Stay calm! :) - Cutting your hair, especially for the first time can feel kind of intimidating. It’s really only scary the first time you do it. Just remember, if you totally jack up your hair you can always go get it cut/fixed by a pro but at least you have a shot at saving considerable money if you try cutting it yourself first.
  • Just like anything, practice, practice, practice! - If you’re not happy with the results the 1st time you can always snip more to craft the ‘do you DO want. Opt for a longer version of the cut you want so you can have some wiggle room for adjustments. 
  • Think ahead. - If you have a big event coming up maybe cutting your hair yourself for the first time *might* not be the best idea. My mom always says, “Bring a tried and true dish to parties, not something you’ve never made before.”  Basically, you don’t want to try out a new recipe or in this case, a new haircut, if you’re not sure it’s going to work.
  • Perfectionists need not apply. I can tell you from experience, cutting your own hair can be an adventure. ;) Sometimes the hair is a wee bit longer on one side than the other, and sometimes things don’t go as planned. “Mistakes” and/or “imperfections” are the name of the cutting your own hair game, especially in the beginning.


  • Hair cut inspiration - Having a plan is vital, that way you won’t be making things up as you go.
  • Hair Cutting Scissors - One of the best things you can do for your DIY haircut is to get a pair of real hair-cutting shears. In the last haircutting tutorial I used craft scissors and since then I’ve gotten legit, sharp scissors that are made specifically for hair, and they have made the biggest difference!
  • Mirror – To check the back of your hair.
  • Fine Tooth Comb - I love using the pointy end of this comb to make clean parts. Something about a sharp part really takes a hairstyle to the next level.
  • Hair ties or clips for sectioning off the hair.

How to Cut Your Own Hair

The before and after.

How to Cut Your Own Hair

1. I like to cut my hair dry so I can see the progress I’ve made. If you want to cut your hair wet then take into account that when it dries it will shorten up.

2. Decide how long you would like your hair to be.

3. Divide your hair into 2 sections. Pull the sections over your shoulders, and put hair ties right above the length you want your hair to be. If you have shorter hair than I started out with then just do a modified version with clips instead of the using the pigtail method that I did.

How to Cut Your Own Hair How to Cut Your Own Hair andthenwesaved.comHow to Cut Your Own Hair

4. Take a deep breath and start cutting! Since I wanted a choppy long bob I cut straight across for this initial cut. If you don’t want blunt ends like I did then cut into the hair at 11:00 or 2:00 angles, depending on what direction you’re coming at the hair from.

5. Do the other side.

How to Cut Your Own Hair

6. Next, pull the hair into a low ponytail and clip off the point. By clipping off the point you’re eliminating the V shape. If you want the V shape in the back then skip this step.

How to Cut Your Own Hair

7. Refine your cut by trimming the ends, and cut any pieces that are strangely long. While I started with a straight across blunt cut I did the refining cuts at the 11:00 or 2:00 angle so I have a mix of softer angles and blunt edges. If you cut at the angle rather than straight across the hair will look better as it grows out.

How to Cut Your Own Hair How to Cut Your Own Hair andthenwesaved.com8. Now it’s time to do the front of your hair. Use your comb to smooth and straighten the front section of hair that will frame your face. Use your fingers to create a straight line and then clip the hair under your fingers again with the 11:00/2:00 angle.

How to Cut Your Own Hair andthenwesaved.comHow to Cut Your Own Hair

9. Fluff, then take a look at the back of your head and straighten up/clean up any areas that need a bit of tweaking. If after you take a shower you notice your hair needs a little more modifying then trim it up. I ended up doing that with my cut until I got it just right. I just clipped a little bit at a time and kept checking it out to see how it was looking as I went.

10. You did it! Congrats!


Do you think you’ll be trying a homemade haircut? If you already cut your hair yourself do you have any tips that you can add?

Thanks to Aaron for taking the photographs! 


in DIY, How To, Style, Things To Do
Money Saving Mind Tricks

Money Saving Mind Tricks

This is a fun post by guest writer, Melanie! xo. Anna

I don’t own a leather duster, a wand or a top hat. I won’t be performing in Vegas or even Reno any time soon. You definitely won’t see me hanging out in a Plexiglas case, encased in ice or buried alive, but I can teach you a few mind tricks to help you save money. And really that’s better than any magic trick.

13 Money Saving Mind Tricks..

1. Automatically Draft Money Into Savings

This is by far the best mind trick I have for saving money. Set up an automatic draft to pull money from your checking account into your savings account every month. You get extra points if you set up the draft to pull to a savings account with another bank or an account is more difficult to access. You won’t even miss the money. Maaaaaaagic.

2. Never Spend Change

If you operate on cash, always break a bill instead of fishing into your change purse. Empty your change each night and gradually you’ll have a small savings. This trick is particularly useful for smaller, nonessential savings like gas money for that road trip you’ve been planning. If you don’t operate on cash, you can still replicate this process. Some banks will round your purchases to the nearest dollar and deposit that money into a savings account. If your bank doesn’t offer that service, you can easily add up the change on your purchases and move that change to a separate account. Doing the math yourself is a little a little less magical, but it works.

3. Windfalls and Unexpected Money

Those taxes returns you just got back, yeah, you worked hard for that money, but that’s no reason to run wildly to the nearest mall and blow it on a bunch of nothing. Windfalls, tax returns and unexpected money can make a great start to a rainy day savings account.

4. Freeze Your Credit Cards

Are you an impulse spender? We’ve all been there. We’re tired, hungry or stressed so we make an impulse buy. An effective and fun trick to play on yourself is to freeze your credit cards– literally. Place them in a bowl of water and put them in the freezer. Next time you want to make an impulse buy, you’ll have to wait for the water to melt along with the impulse!

5. Tape a Picture of What You Want Your Credit Card

I’ve been saving for a trip to Key West this summer. I can’t tell you what a guilt trip it is to see a picture of your long-term goal when I’m about to make an impulse buy. By wrapping my credit card and debit card in a picture of my end savings goal, I’m constantly reminding myself that afternoon trip to the vending machine won’t get me closer to my saving goal.

6. Tax Yourself

Before you make any purchase that is a “want” not a “need” implement a self-tax. Take the same amount that you’ll spend on your wanted item and transfer it to your savings account. I wouldn’t advise this as a long-term savings plan, but it the tax may defer you from making large, unnecessary purchases.

7. Pin it or Put it on Your ‘To Buy Later’ List

Sometimes just pinning that too cute bathing suit or writing down the item you want on a “Buy It Later”  list is enough of shopping rush. You’ll delay the purchase and you may even forget about it entirely. That’s magical, dude.

8. Ask for a Discount

You don’t have to play mind games with service people to get discounts. Sometimes simply asking for discounts will help you to receive a discount. Anna recently was able to cut $50 a month in expenses for ten minutes worth of phone calls!

9. Don’t Grocery Shop at Super Stores

This tip is kind of an anti-mind trick. Big box stores can trick you into spending money. You think, “Hey, I’ll just run in for bananas”, and end up with a cart full of god knows what. By shopping at a store that only sells the category of the thing that you need you’ll avoid the temptation of that new bag and the scarf… and hat… and shoes. Don’t let superstores hypnotize you!

10. Unsubscribe

Just as those pesky superstores can trick you into spending money when you are inside the store, retailers can do the same outside of the store. To avoid those ever-so-tempting online rebates, unsubscribe to retailer emails through Unroll Me. You can also avoid receiving snail mail offers through the service, Catalog Choice. These services take away the temptation before it even happens! It’s also a great tip to keep down clutter. Magic at it’s finest, folks.

11. Make it a Game

Set up a challenge between you and your spouse or you and your friends or family members. See who can save more money in a month. Award bonus points for making money on the weekends or coming up with free family activities.

12. Keep Making Payments After You Pay Off a Loan

Did you just pay off a loan? Awesome! You should be so proud of yourself. But don’t get ahead of yourself either. When people get a raise or suddenly have more money they inflate their lifestyle to match. So instead of making those student loan repayments, consider putting the same amount of money into a retirement fund. It’s making payments to your future, yo!

13. Visualize Yourself as a Wealthy Person

Athletes and top performers often cite the powers of visualization. Don’t discount the powers of visualization and affirmations just because you feel a bit silly doing it. Try visualizing yourself as a wealthy person. What does it look like? Where do you live? How do you look? What do you eat? Then work your way up to affirmations. Say your affirmations in the mirror each day. It seems so ridiculous, but after a while you’ll begin to believe. Mind magic!


What other kinds of mind tricks do you use to save money? Let me know in the comments!

Melanie is a recently married librarian living in an Airstream with her husband. Yes, it’s as weird as it sounds. Find out more about their life at Love Library.


in Paying Off Debt
Suffer Now to be a Champion Forever

dont quit suffer now to be a champion forever

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit, suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

When I came across this quote that Muhammad Ali said I instantly thought about the Spending Fast and how it can sometimes suck during the process of it but it’s completely life changing throughout it and after it. I’m all about a little suffering now in the name of being debt-free forever. How about you?


in Motivation
Would You Create Your Own Job as a Ride-Sharing Driver?


The other night we took baby Henry down to one of our neighbors houses for a little get-together and the topic of SXSW came up. They were talking how it was (apparently) hard to get around to all the different parts of the conference/festival because cabs in Austin were really hard to come by. Then, one of the other guests brought up Lyft and Uber and how they have been using these ride-sharing apps here in Denver quite a bit. I have been feeling a little out of the loop with some things because I’ve basically been in a baby-world coma the past 5-ish months so this ride-sharing/everyone can be a cab driver talk was really news to me.

It got me thinking about how if you have a car you could basically create a part-time (or even full-time!?) job for yourself if you meet the requirements. My understanding of how these apps work is that you register as a driver or rider and then if you’re a “driver” you turn a setting on where are “working” and accepting riders. The riders can then see where you are located based on the GPS on your phone, view your profile, they can select you, and even pay you all from their phone. So money is never physically exchanged. I was happy to hear that because that part of the situation initally had me worried about safety/robberies/etc.

I guess going through companies like Uber and Lyft are usually less-expensive than cabs so it’s good to know about them from that front too. Technology has become so mind-blowingly amazing.

Have you ever used one of these companies? Would you consider being a driver in your spare time? Do you have these companies in your city too? Are there others like them out there? I’ve got so many questions!


in Make More Money
Heyyyy, We’re Back!

site is fixed

Alright! Things seem to be back on track with the site. There are some itty-bitty wonky things I’m noticing here and there but for now, things are functioning enough to at least get some posts up! I’m so glad; I’ve missed y’all! xo. Anna


in Just For Fun
  • Anna

    Hi, I'm Anna! I paid off close to 24k in debt in only 15 months & it completely changed my life! I want you to have a debt-free life too so here you'll be able to read all about: How to do a Spending Fast®, saving & making more money, DIY's, & a lot about living awesomely with less. Let's do this!

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