Living Tiny: Alek’s Austin Tiny House
Author: Melanie Gnau

Living Tiny: Alek's Austin Tiny House |

At ATWS we’re interested in challenging the norm of debt and spending. That’s why once a month we feature people who have gone to (what some would say) extreme means with their living situations to get out of debt, save money and live a simpler life. Today we have a tour with Alek. Alek is a freelance web designer in Austin, Texas. He lives in his tiny home with his girlfriend, Lee. Take it away, Alek! Read More »


in Living Tiny (Home Tours)
December + January’s Collective Savings Totals!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

andthenwesaved spending fast collective savings

It’s that time of the month where we get to see how all the hard work we’ve been doing with the Spending Fast and Spending Diets have been paying off! Today, I’ve got both December and January’s Collective Savings amounts!

In December we saved $19,547.95!

In January we saved $22,087.81!

That brings our Collective Savings total to $952,779.11! Um. That’s amazing! Almost a million dollars paid off/saved because of doing Spending Fast/Spending Diet!??! SO AMAZING.

Not sure what I’m talking about with this “collective savings” talk? Welllllll… if you have been thinking about getting out of debt but haven’t taken the leap yet why not do it today? Here’s the link to the Get Out of Debt Pledge. You can change your life by getting the heck out of debt ASAP then get on with your life. Finally getting out of debt is THE BEST gift you could ever give to yourself, and having the weight of the debt lifted is one of the most incredible feelings ever. You can absolutely have a debt free life too! Then, after you’ve saved/paid off some money even if it’s just $1 be sure to go to our Collective Savings page. There you can log your savings and have your hard work added in with everyone else’s!

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in Savings Total
Happiness Dwells in the Soul
Author: Melanie Gnau

Happiness dwells in the soul | And Then We Saved

“Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul.” – Democritus

Happiness doesn’t depend on stuff. It doesn’t depend on other people, and it doesn’t even depend on money. Happiness comes from within.

How do you cultivate happiness? Talk to me in the comments!


in Motivation
8 Energy (And Money) Saving Hacks You Can Start Right Now
Author: Lorna

8 Energy (And Money) Saving Hacks You Can Start Right Now|
A recent road trip through California really brought to light the devastating effect of the ongoing drought there. Dried up river beds, farmers struggling to produce crops, large groves of failing trees. It was kind of creepy – like the desert is purposefully taking back the land. It made me aware of how much water I mindlessly waste, and it got me looking for ways to cut back on usage. Coming up with ways to reuse and cut back on water has led to some decent savings for me in hydro-electric power costs. Not a huge amount, but noticeable.

Here are eight of the best energy-saving hacks you can put into practice right now, and enjoy reduced costs while having a gentler impact on the environment.


8 Energy (and Money) Saving Hacks You Can Do Right Now… 

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in Environment, Home Ownership, How To, Practical Solutions
Keep Your Face Towards the Sunshine
Author: Melanie Gnau

Keep your face towards the sunshine | And Then We Saved

“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and the shadows will fall behind you.” – Walt Whitman

It’s easy to get discouraged on your saving journey. Maybe you don’t think you’re saving fast enough or maybe there’s been a few unexpected obstacles. It’s ok. Keep focusing on the good. Keep focusing on what you have saved and what you can save. Focus on the sunshine.

How are you keeping your face towards the sunshine? Talk to me in the comments!




in Motivation
Live Green, Eat Raw
Author: Gabrielle Diesendorf

Live Green, Eat Raw |


I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived in a cottage-like home by the seaside. Every summer my parents would send me there, and that is where I learned that you could live just fine off what nature has to offer.

The cottage had no running water, so every morning, my grandfather and I would go to the spring to fetch some. We would walk for two miles to get there, and during that walk, my grandfather would prepare my breakfast. (More precisely, he would bring some almonds and raisins in a cup, and during our walk he would fill the cup with black raspberries and dogberries.)

Those magical days sparked my love for raw food. Today, I know much more about raw food than how to pick berries. I’ve learned how to eat raw safely, and on a budget.


How (and Why) to Eat Raw – Save Money…

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in Food, Groceries, & Recipes
Savings Mission: The 50% Project
Author: Laura

Savings Mission The 50 Project |

This is a guest post from Laura.  Laura is an engineering student from Vancouver, B.C. She can usually be found in an electronics lab or under a pile of yarn. Sometimes both.


My parents supported me all through university. But when I moved from Vancouver to Prince George eight months ago to start a co-op position, I was (temporarily) cut off and had my first real taste of financial independence. (Note to all American readers: a co-op is like an internship, except they have to pay you.)

I was dealing with a much larger income than I had ever had before, but I also had financial responsibilities that I wasn’t used to, such as buying groceries and paying rent. Since I’m not the sort of person who likes diving into things without a plan, I turned to the world of personal finance to figure out what I’m supposed to do with all my money.

I found a lot of helpful advice, but the bulk of what I read wasn’t working for me. I’m in a unique situation: I don’t have any debt, I don’t currently have a car, and my rent in Prince George is about half what it normally costs in Vancouver. If I followed the usual advice of saving 10% of my net income, I would have a huge amount of spending money left over, but it would be an artificially inflated amount.

I felt I could either use my time in Prince George as an opportunity to get used to a lifestyle that I wouldn’t be able to afford once I moved back to my beloved but grossly overpriced hometown, or I could build up my savings. (My super-frugal dad will be proud to know that I picked the latter.)


I decided to shoot for saving 50% of my net income because it was:

  1. A large enough amount that I would have to be mindful of my spending and exercise self-restraint on occasion
  2. A small enough amount that I wouldn’t have to subsist on rice and ketchup
  3. An impressive sounding number

So far it’s been a success — I’m proud to say that next week I’ll have deposited $10,000 into my savings account. I feel like I’ve come a long way in the past eight months. I now know that I am capable of taking care of myself and managing my finances responsibly. And I have come up with a strategy that works for me, one that I hope is general enough to help others who are just starting out.


How to do The 50% Saving Project:

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in Do Without, Goals, Savings, Simple Living
6 DIY Tips To Stay Warm And Save Money This Winter
Author: Dan McKee

6 DIY Tips To Stay Warm And Save Money This Winter |

You can keep your home warm in winter and save big on energy bills when you enter the world of DIY! Believe it or not, the easy-to-do hacks that follow can help you achieve both.


6 Easy Ways to Save Money While Keeping Warm… 

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in How To, Practical Solutions
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    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. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

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