I’m Looking For Columnists!

and then we saved is looking for columnists, contributors, writers, DIY-ers

I’ve got to admit, I’ve taken on a lot this year and I’m kind of at my max. Even so, I’m set on making And Then We Saved the very best it can be this year. Since I’ve been driving this buggy solo I’m looking to bring on a few people that have amazing skills!

Do you really get what And Then We Saved is all about? If so, you just might be the person I’m looking for! I’m on the lookout for columnists, contributors, writers, DIY-ers, on-the-cheap-style-mavens, coupon queens, (maybe you have angle I haven’t even considered!) basically, if you can bring a fresh and new outlook to And Then We Saved I’d love to hear from you! I’m looking for people that can provide original content that aligns well with the site. Please leave a comment below with your idea. I have just started thinking about this so hopefully your comments will spark some fun ideas! xo! anna

**Submissions have closed. Thanks for all of your interest! I’m going to be selecting the columnists super soon, and there are so many great ideas I don’t even know how I’m going to pick just a few.**


in Personal, Things To Do


  1. Sierra // February 11, 2013

    Im currently working on getting out of $20k of debt (not including student loans yet) while making about that much in a year. And possibly going back to school. And im entertaining. Let’s do it.

  2. Laura Leiva // February 11, 2013


    I am a new reader and just came across your call for columnists or freelancers and I thought I’d send a message! I’m a recent journalism graduate (’12) and have been freelancing for about six years.

    My husband and I graduated probably at one of the worst times (he graduated in ’09) and now we are both working hard to make ends meet and deal with the bills. We won’t even talk about the student loan debt — that’s something we are still trying to manage.

    I want to learn that fine line between enjoying life and not being wasteful, so my pitch would be like a sort of chronicle of how I am saving money, what I’m learning along the way and how anyone can get started at any point in life.

    Thank you,

    Laura Leiva

  3. Aislinn // February 11, 2013

    I’m a college student so I obviously come to your blog on a weekly basis looking for inspiration because I’m a low budget girl. I have so many ideas with budget beauty, fashion forward style with pieces I already own, creative recipes that are healthy, cheap and college student friendly, and ways to make your dollar stretch to be able to stay afloat. I love this blog and I love what it is all about.

  4. Carrie // February 11, 2013

    Hey Anna! I think there may be room on your site to get into the benefits/challenges of home ownership (you rent, right?). We recently downsized so I could be a stay at home mom which included getting rid of most of our debts. What I had no idea about, however, was the stigma associated with downsizing. I thought people would totally understand our desire to live within our means (which we weren’t even doing on two incomes) but we got a lot of pity instead. It was strange! Anyway, I think there are a lot of home ownership/families living on one income/preparing to live on one income, etc, topics that could be covered in relation to saving money/getting rid of debt.

  5. Nuala // February 11, 2013

    Hi Anna! I discovered this site right before the new year and it’s changed EVERYTHING. Thanks so much for the encouragement.

    One of the biggest changes I’ve made is not buying things online for 6 months – which hopefully will extend to 12. That was a HUGE unnecessary money suck for me, and I’m already noticing the financial difference. I also am the queen of landing little paid gigs that can be picked up when things get tight, thanks to sites like Taskrabbit and DogVacay. I’d be unable to be a regular columnist but if either of those topics sound interesting to you I’d be more than happy to write up a couple posts!

    • Meghan // February 12, 2013

      I’ve never heard of either of these! Thanks for the share! I’d love to learn more about 2nd incomes.

  6. Reese & Ricks // February 11, 2013

    In December, we were inspired by your story and this website and committed to a three month fast that has turned into our desire to do it for a whole year! Our blog is about thrifting, DIY projects, and now our spending fast. You can read about the ways we have taken the principles you shared and incorporate them into our daily lives. We’re true DIYers (we’ve repurposed tables, shutters, screens, and built a window bench), and we’re always looking for ways to spend less. For your blog, we can contribute posts about how to successfully navigate thrift stores, how to repurpose household items, simple sewing projects, and how to have your very own at home spa days. If you’re interested, we’re also ok with you reblogging us! We have content about how we’re doing on the spending fast, and it might be a great way to show your readers how others have taken your principles and incorporated them. Hope to hear from you, Anna! -R&R

  7. Tin // February 11, 2013

    I would love to chat with you about this. I went from a high paying job to running my own freelance business. Four years in, business is great but still not pulling in what I used to … it’s all about adjusting for me these days. I could post about the freelance life and trying to stretch those dollars and getting paid what you’re worth … and when I’m not getting paid what I’m worth how to make ends meet without going back to my dreaded 9 to 5 …

    Let me know – I adore your blog (its number one on my Blogshelf app) and would love to collaborate in some way ….


  8. Meg // February 11, 2013

    I love this idea! It would be great if you featured a couple people about their own Spending Fasts, successes, etc. I’m not doing the Fast but have been dieting. Saving for a down payment on the house I’m building is wiping me out. Unfortunately I still won’t have enough for a new couch or dishes right away and I thought I would! It’s a process but going back in to credit card debt is just not acceptable.

  9. Jenny // February 11, 2013

    I would love to help. I’m always looking for ways to write again. I used be to a reporter/photographer/editor. I’m a Midwest high school English and journalism teacher. My unique angle would be making it as an educator when one doesn’t get paid for all work he or she does, and how I budget monthly to make ends meet and what it is like to budget for 3 months without getting a check. I don’t think people realize how much educators do for our students outside of “teaching.” I would like to show that and how I manage the funds to be the best I can be.

  10. Lily // February 11, 2013

    Anna – would love to chat with you about this. My husband and I have a very ambitious goal to payoff my graduate school loans this year (less than 4 years post graduation). We’re looking forward to all the other ways we can use this large sum of money once it’s over. In the meantime one of our adventures this year is traveling around the world in cuisine since we aren’t spend money on trips. We’re “traveling” to at least 2 different countries each month by trying out a recipes we’ve never tried and experiencing their cultures through food.

  11. Heidi // February 11, 2013

    I have been following a spending fast for almost two weeks now, and I am astounded by what I am learning about what has real value for me. Also, I have experienced a new freedom very much like the one I experienced when I quit smoking and was no longer a slave to that particular habit. I’ve found that the spending fast is opening my world in ways I would have missed had I not determined to undertake it. The goal is still to be debt free, but there are so many other benefits that are revealing themselves along the way. I would love to write about what it is like to rediscover with new eyes the things I have, to truly appreciate the time I have with my family more than anything and to discover what I really want from money. Security, freedom, autonomy and the means to travel! I so look forward to this, but am loving the journey and the discovery this fast is.

  12. Maddy // February 11, 2013

    I’d love to contribute something about being unemployed/job searching while also still dealing with the bad habits that got me in financial trouble before even being laid off – I was working a steady job and trying to curb my spending, then got laid off and had an even bigger reality check about how many frivolous purchases I was making. Now I’m looking for jobs outside of my normal field to just try and get back on track, while also giving me a budget I can work with to pay down debt & loans, etc. I still have slip ups (read: no money this weekend but still went to Tahoe with friends, even when done on “the cheap,” it wasn’t necessary) but I’m trying to manage both sides of the coin! (Money pun.) These are all somewhat frazzled ideas but let me know if there’s a way I can get involved. I love your blog/tweets!

  13. Joey // February 11, 2013

    Hey there! I’ve been keeping a blog on and off about trying to pay back debt and live within my means while trying to maintain my purchasing values. You can check out some of the topics I’ve covered and my writing style at http://www.thegreengazelle.blogspot.com. Finding your blog recently inspired me to pick up the torch after I let the flame go out – so I’d love to write for your blog!

  14. Claire // February 11, 2013

    I LOVE this idea! I want to help! I feel like this blog was/is such an inspiration to not only start off the Spending Fast, but to keep me motivated on tough days to keep going! I stumbled upon your blog by accident (seems my Pinterest obsession is useful for something) and after reading your story, things just CLICKED…if you can do it, why can’t I? I happen to live in Omaha, NE (yes have been in to Scout a few times!), and for some reason that connection to you made you all the more real to me! Reading others’ unique and equally inspiring stories from different areas of life would only help snowball the motivation and hopefully allow others to CLICK and figure out how they too can become debt free!

    How can I help? :)

    • Claire // February 11, 2013

      Whoops I forgot my idea, I got so excited! I am a healthcare professional with +$150,000 in student loans (yup, you read that correctly), a mortgage, a husband, and credit card debt on top of all of that. It took reading your blog to figure out that the 30 year repayment plan for my student loans didn’t HAVE to be the only way. So now my husband and I (who ALSO has +100,000 in grad school loans) have been using the spending fast to change our mind sets and way of life, while renovating a foreclosed home with only our own handy skills (I use the term “handy” loosely). We have had success and some set backs, but are just getting started on our journey (2nd month in). I would LOVE to share our story, our tips, our trials, successes and failures with anyone who might be helped by them! Let me know if any of that seems attractive to your blog and audience!

      • Meghan // February 12, 2013

        Claire, you’d be perfect! I have about the same in student loan debt and fortunately I qualify for the 10 year Public Service Student Loan Forgiveness. There are varying opinions on loan forgiveness. My plan is to participate but then try to save on the side, in case the government backs out. I don’t personally see that as a huge risk, but with loans at 6.875%, my original payment didn’t even cover the interest. Now I think it finally does. It’s a catch-22 because we have to save for retirement (and it would be silly to not take advantage of a company match), pay for housing, and address the loans. I feel a bit “sandwiched”!

  15. Jo // February 11, 2013

    Hi Anna – I’d love to share more about any of the following: paying off $80K in debt, doubling my salary in less than a year, and/or overcoming ineffective attitudes toward money. Love your idea for additional contributors. Can’t wait to see the posts!

  16. JD Stein // February 11, 2013


    One thought would be to add even more content on life after being debt free (the saving and living part).

    Two topics that i would consider contributing some posts on if you think they might fit with what you are looking for are:

    1. Traveling on a Budget: My family of 5 and I are currently on a 3 month trip through Asia and Europe using Airbnb. There is an art to traveling inexpensively, and I’d love to share some of what we have learned from this experience.

    2. What To Do With Your Savings (i.e How to Invest): Once one is debt free the question turns to what do with the savings. There is so much conflicting information on how to invest. I’d be willing to address any investing/finance topics that you are finding your readers want to hear about.

    • Monique // February 12, 2013

      Traveling (especially internationally) on a budget would make for a great topic! That would definitely be something I’d want to read about.

  17. slipcovers by shelly // February 11, 2013

    oh man….I love this crap! I know I shouldn’t offer, I don’t have lots of free time….but I have a PASSION for this topic. Here’s the link for when I was featured on money saving mommy. http://moneysavingmom.com/2013/01/we-paid-cash-a-new-car-for-my-husband.html

  18. Kathleen // February 11, 2013

    I’m down! I just paid off my student loan and write about living simply.

  19. Rae @ Motherhood Han // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna,

    I was excited to read this post tonight. I’m a stay-at-home mom married to a teacher, so as you can imagine, money is usually tight. I pride myself on my skills to knock off the overpriced things I like, and keeping our active family fed/clothed/entertained on an often non-existent budget. I’ve been asked about tricks and tips for family living on the cheap many times by friends who are starting families or looking for a way to stay at home. I think what I have learned are things that apply to anyone trying to improve their financial situation, or their life while living on the edge of a personal fiscal cliff. would love to talk about this more with you.

  20. Katie // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna! I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and really appreciate your advice and insights. I’d really love to get involved as a columnist here. I think I’ve got something a little different to offer, as I’m British and so obviously have an insight into saving/spending sensibly in another country. I’d love to write a column about being a thrifty Brit! The new perspective would be of interest to your international readers… and I think it would be an interesting insight for your American readers too. Let me know if you’d like to chat more!

  21. Liz Wright // February 12, 2013

    What a lovely idea, and well done for realising that you want to free yourself up some time to pursue other projects.
    I too am pursuing a spending fast.diet as part of my aim to readjust my outlook and live more simply. My focus is on re-prioritising to ensure that you spend you money in the ways that bring the most pleasure/payback to you, rather than those areas which you feel you ‘should’ spend on or feel pressured by modern marketing.
    Hope we can work together!

  22. Jen // February 12, 2013

    I love the idea of including some various perspectives about saving! I’m in my twenties and just recently went back to school while working full time, so paying of my student debt is my #1 priority! At the same time, I’m single and live in an urban area so going out and meeting new people is important to me too – my biggest challenge is how to maintain a social life and experience new things without spending away my money. Many of my friends and acquaintances are also in the same boat. I’m currently on a spending fast that allows some spending on social activities while still trying to do things as frugally as possible! It’s been tough but rewarding and I’d love to share my story!

  23. Sierra // February 12, 2013

    Hey, Anna!

    I’m a relatively new reader to your blog (within the last three months), but I have been so inspired by your story! I began a spending diet on January 1 and have already learned so much. I used to be ashamed of my financial situation ($3,000 in credit card debt, $16,500 in student loans), but owning up to it has given me a freedom I never imagined.

    Anyway, here’s my story idea: I have been told by many of my friends that I have a knack for finding trendy clothing that looks like expensive brands (J.Crew, Madewell, Anthropologie, etc.) but is actually affordable (think $20 or less per piece). I also thrift a lot of my clothing and am a pro at re-mixing looks (humble brag), so I think a “Look for Less” type of series might be a great feature for And Then We Saved.

    Let me know what you think!

  24. Lydia // February 12, 2013

    Every day there is always something around the corner that says “You need this, buy it” or you have your kids wanting $10 for this, $5 for that, and you think well its only….Then you start to add it up and you want to scream, but at the same time you want them to enjoy their life. It’s finding that fine line that I am pursuing as well as making my kids understand the value of money. Why do they not teach that in schools? There should be a class on debt and how not to choose that path. Life is all about choices and boy have I had my share. I would love to contribute and share my war stories, hopefully they will help someone feel better and in return I will feel better about myself. I have a lot to learn as well, and I’m 52 years old.

  25. Devon // February 12, 2013

    As a lifelong pack rat, I’d love to do something from the DIY and sell-on-Etsy (or eBay) angle. One of the major liberations of the Spending Fast has been discovering the hidden value of the stuff I’ve already collected…e.g., I think I’ve played more, and more happily, with my Barbie collection since ceasing to spend than I did in all the previous year! Now all my stuff-related activities are a pleasure instead of a guilt trip. Definitely a psychological bonus, totally unlooked-for.

  26. Morgan // February 12, 2013

    HI! I would love to share some ideas I have on being a family of 4 (soon to be 5) living frugally on one income and still having fun while saving money :)


  27. Devon // February 12, 2013

    I also do cartoons: Want to bring your zombies into four-panel form? (Bringing “dead” stuff into service: It’s all about the repurposing, yo.)

  28. Kristen // February 12, 2013

    This is a topic which I have worked a lot on myself in the past year and a half as I was in the process of a divorce that forced me to go from a 2 income house to 1, all while trying to pay a mortgage on a small nonprofit salary. Your site and others have helped me so much and I’d love the opportunity to share tips and practices I have come up with to help other young professional women.

  29. Caitlin // February 12, 2013

    Sweet idea! I have been doing the Spending Fast since around November. My “specialty” is the fact that I’m getting married in May, so I’m trying to plan/pay for a wedding based around the fast as well as keeping a tight leash on expenses by DEY (Do EVERYTHING Yourself). I also have a different perspective in that I have no debt, but my fiance will once student loan payments start (I would be looking at things from the encouraging-spouse side).
    I love writing, so if you need someone with this kind of knowledge, give me a shout :)!
    P.S. LOVE the blog, I read it to my co-workers a lot of times in the slower afternoons and they love it!

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 14, 2013

      Hah! Love DEY and that you read the blog to your co-workers! xo :)

  30. Alicia // February 12, 2013

    Hey Anna!

    I love your blog and really enjoy the “getting guesty” posts from time to time. I’m looking forward to hearing from the different contributors you select.

    I’m in my second year as an AmeriCorps volunteer, and the biggest frugality challenge for me has been socializing. You’ve written about this topic before (I always come back to your post about 56 things to do without spending money!) but I could add content about being young, single, and trying to make the most of post-college exploration in a new city while staying within my means. These posts could focus on one specific activity or challenge and offer ways to navigate the frugal waters while bringing your less-frugal friends on board.

    I’m looking forward to reading what you come up with!

  31. Rachel // February 12, 2013

    I found your blog after the Nate Berkus episode in October 2011, and I have been hooked ever since!! We even did the Spending Fast for close to a year, and we were able to build an emergency fund by everything we were able to to save monthly!

    I have 2 ideas and would LOVE to be a part of a blog that inspired our family so deeply:

    1. I love to cook (I’m a budding caterer) and I rarely use recipes to the exact amount as it calls for. I can take 3-4 items of whatever is in your pantry/freezer (common thing everyone may have, even ones that wouldn’t go together) and make a (delicious) meal out of it on the cheap. The goal would be to use up what you have while still being healthy. Its along the same vein as “Stump the Cook” on the podcast The Splendid Table.

    2. Anytime you need ideas for free things in that city for the month – I live in Baltimore, and free things abound, but not everyone knows about them.

  32. Vicki // February 12, 2013

    I love your site, I was thinking beauty on a budget? Maybe bi-weekly or monthly, things like making your own products and identifying low cost products that perform well, as well as finding your signature look and buying/using only what you need to achieve it.

  33. Budget and the Beach // February 12, 2013

    Great idea! My angle would be how you can still work out/stay healthy/eat healthy on a budget. Each week/month (whatever you’re looking for) I’d try a new recipe, free workout, cheap workout, etc. to stay healthy, but being able to stay in my very tight budget.

  34. Meghan // February 12, 2013

    What a great idea! My husband and I just started the spending diet so we can buy a house and start really saving for our daughters college fund. A couple of the ideas from above I loved were:

    Meg – who said she’d love to read more about other peoples stories, success, struggles and more. It helps you feel like you are not alone as you work through your financial goals.

    Rachel – who thought of the city guide idea! We live in Atlanta – but I travel often for work and it’d be so mice to have some free/cheap ideas when I’m in new cities.

    I’d also love to contribute recipes or other grocery related content. I work as recipe developer, live on a budget, and did a series on my personal blog last year about Smarter Suppers. Here is link http://www.stirandscribble.com/search/label/the%20Smarter%20Supper%20series

    • Monique // February 12, 2013

      I also love the idea of a city guide! You could get quite a few people involved that way, since many of your readers could give insight into the different places they live!

  35. erin // February 12, 2013

    I am working on the spending fast/diet now. With two kids in school and very involved with extracurricular activities and a partner in his first year of residency, it is a struggle to stay within the the boundaries of the fast/diet. I think more talk about how to be successful with children would appeal to a lot of readers. I’m open to talking about my my successes and failures through my journey of becoming debt-free.

  36. Cheryl // February 12, 2013

    I would like to contribute — perhaps write about preparing for retirement and getting debts paid off prior to that life event. I know most of your readers may be still in “family mode” but there may be a few out there who are approaching retirement-age and might appreciate my experiences.

  37. momoftwo // February 12, 2013

    How about comments from two kids on a spending diet and what they are learning thanks to Mom and Dad–along with the parent’s perspective? The kids are learning about budgeting and money as well as helping be the watchdogs (do we want it or do we need it?). They are TOTALLY into killing debt monsters and looking forward to becoming “saving superheros.” Involving the kids in this has really been our turning point because we are “all in” so to speak. As a parent, it’s a challenge to pay down the debt and at the same time raise a family. My daughter went with me to a consignment sale and she had some interesting comments afterward. I thought she would turn up her nose, however, I was so surprised at how it became a fun, power shopping, giggling moment with her. Not only did we get what she needed for summer, we had fun and spent less than $50! Parents need lots of support.

  38. Michelle // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna,

    I sent you an email! Hope you’re having a great day. The sunshine rocks.


  39. Viviane // February 12, 2013

    I have been on a spending fast-diet since January and to keep myself from spending and to keep busy, I have decided to make one diy project each month. I would love to share my projects.

    I also believe that the city guide is a great idea. I think that a bunch of people from different places should participate. I am from Montreal and I would love to help out.

  40. Alix Adams // February 12, 2013

    Anna! Oh hey there :)
    It is serendipitous that you posted this today…just last night I was talking with my husband about affordable crafting and interior design. Sometimes gifting and decorating can be ridiculously expensive, but you don’t have to be wealthy to create and decorate. If interested, I would be honored to contribute to And Then We Saved with some (very) affordable DIY craft and interior design projects.

  41. Alicia // February 12, 2013

    I posted this morning but I think it may have gotten lost- feel free to delete if this is a repeat.

    I’m a second year AmeriCorps volunteer, and the hardest part of living frugally is always the social side. My friends have a wide range of incomes (all of which are higher than mine) and approaches to spending, and I’ve developed many strategies for having fun, exploring a new city (Chicago), and keeping my social life vibrant while spending minimally. I would love to write in detail about responding to specific challenges of being young, social and frugal. I could also write about ideas for socializing on the cheap, including the nuts and bolts (e.g. throwing a dinner party, going to a show on the cheap, etc.).

    Can’t wait to see what your new columnists come up with!


  42. Katie // February 12, 2013

    This website has inspired so many of my actions towards tackling debt. At 24, I just moved back home to use that money to pay off debt. Additionally, I take on additional money-making opportunities whenever possible. I would consider myself to be on a spending diet and the rewards of my extreme measures are already proving to be incredible. Living at home comes with hilarious stories, as well as valuable lessons on getting out of debt, surely perfect for ATWS readers!

    I appreciate the community you’ve built to inspire others to lead a happier and debt-free life!

  43. Megan Belcher // February 12, 2013

    I would adore to write about cooking on a budget. My mother, whom I love dearly, has TERRIBLE trouble with this. She doesn’t plan meals, she eats out all of the time, and she is sometimes “charitable to a fault” as I like to say. I’ve been helping her learn how to budget her grocery list and make affordable meals. In addition, I’ve been teaching her about the need to take care of her needs before attempting to pay for and buy for others. I also do lots of DIY-ing that I haven’t really written about on my little blog. I’d love chatting with you about possibly being a columnist for you.

    Also, I’m a bankruptcy paralegal. I have great insights into how to build credit, how to prevent bankruptcy and how to gain control of your finances.

  44. Kathryn // February 12, 2013

    I don’t know if I have anything worth sharing, but some of the things we have done in our debt repayment efforts include:

    Me selling my diamond from my wedding ring and majorly downsizing.

    getting second jobs selling dog food on the weekends

    going on a family plan with extended family members to save over $100 a month on cell phones

    having a garden and growing our own veggies

    we also have a weekend budget, don’t have cable, etc etc. So I don’t know if any of that is interesting, but if it is I will help. (-: I’m all about finding creative ways to save money.

  45. Rachel // February 12, 2013

    Hi there! I think this is a great idea, both to take some pressure off for you and to get some additional voices and perspectives.

    I started the fast last month, and it has had a huge impact on my life, mostly for the better. I’ve also been writing about my experiences, and I find it really energizing and helps to keep me motivated and continually learning.

    I have a variety of ideas I would love to write about, and are some things I had hoped to find more of as I searched for advice, ideas and motivation. First, as a commitment to myself for a healthier financial life, I plan to spend this year learning as much as I can about financial literacy, money management, investment, etc. I would love the chance to share what I learn along the way in a way that is fresh, interesting and helpful to others as well. Of course, the first step is getting out of debt, but having a plan for beyond that helps prevent a return to my old money wasting days. This is a bit of a generalization, but I think that financial literacy and investing are areas that many women shy away from, and I think that is a void that needs to be filled online. Your site is particularly geared toward women, so I think it would be a great fit. I am not an expert by any means, but I would love to share what I am learning and I think that would make it more approachable for other women wanting to learn more, as well.

    I am also really passionate about finding ways to live that not only save me money, but are also healthy for the planet and my community, and that bring more meaning and fullness into my life. This can translate into a broad range of column topics, from how to save on utility bills to ways our financial lives can influence our personal relationships, to growing or foraging for our food locally.
    I know this may seem like a big range of topics, but I am equally passionate about all of them, and they provide new ways of approaching the goal of debt-free living.
    Again, great idea, and I look forward to chatting with you!

  46. Holly // February 12, 2013

    Hey Anna! I think I echo a lot of folks here who are interested in hearing stories from people that are in the midst of the Spending Fast or Spending Diet. It can definitely be inspirational to read tips from people who were knee deep in debt and made it out (hooray!), but for those of us still knee-deep, it would be nice to hear from that side too. I want to hear how it’s going, what is being learned along the way, what has worked and what hasn’t. I’ve read through a lot of your archives since discovering your blog a few months ago for that very reason, so fresh content of this sort would be awesome! I’m a new wife, who is learning the Spending Diet while paying off my ginormous wedding (yikes) and my husband’s back surgery (double yikes), all while supporting our household on my income since the hubs is still in school. If this time in my life has taught me anything, it’s that you can’t complain about your situation if you’re not doing anything about it, and if you’re doing something about it then what is there really to complain about. The glass is always half full, and I think most of your readers keep coming to your blog because you help them realize just that. I’d love to share more of my story, so good luck on the columnist hunt & if I can help, let me know!

    • Meghan // February 12, 2013

      I agree with the fresh perspective! Being totally honest here but the blog was much more inspiring when Anna was actually doing the Fast herself. It was what finally got me to realize that there was another way to live. The posts were also much more frequent and spoke to the extreme measures young women can take to get out of debt. There are tons of sites that talk about savings or how to feed a large family on a little, but this site is unique in that it is something that a single gal can identify with! I am not currently doing the Fast but I have thought about doing it. The issue is that there is always something around the corner and I delay the fast. I’d blog, or would love to hear from other people as columnists! Even if the response is too overwhelming for Anna, maybe each person could have their own section in Community and we could follow individuals?

      • Anna Newell Jones // February 12, 2013

        Hi Meghan, Thanks for the feedback. Even though I’m not still doing a Spending Fast my hope is that the site will still support and encourage the Spending Fast lifestyle and will appeal to young women. I’m tryin’ here! ;) I love the idea about the people who are doing a Spending Fast to have their own section in the Community area… if anyone wants to do that please do! Also, that’s a great idea to have people who are currently doing Spending Fasts to write about it in a column! I knew y’all would come up with ideas I hadn’t thought of!

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 12, 2013

      That’s good to hear Holly and thanks for letting me know what is most helpful for you as you do the Spending Diet. I’ll see what I can do to work more of those stories and experiences in :)

  47. Five Seed // February 12, 2013

    I graduated with my MAT four years ago (with a $25,000 student loan debt) and am working diligently to pay it off, even as the economic landscape for teachers is quite grim. I am currently working three PT jobs and running an at-home business, with a goal of paying off the remaining debt in 2-3 years. I am currently blogging about it (and other things) at Five Seed (via WordPress) and would love to guest post here, on the site that inspired my spending fast!

  48. Kelly // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna,
    My column would focus on saving, retirement plans, and investments for twenty and thirty-somethings that may or may not still have debt. It is my personal goal for 2013 to educate myself on these topics and form a more concrete plan that creates systems to make my money work for me in more efficient ways (especially after that blessed day when I finally pay off all my student debt!).

    As I have already made a plan to pay off my debt and have a general idea of when that will be, something that I haven’t spent as much time contemplating is retirement and investments. I envision using myself as something of a guinea pig and reporting back, here, my process in sorting through different savings/investment/retirement plans and how I am applying the information I learn to my life and my financial future.

    I know, from personal experience, paying off debt can become a singular objective and saving and retirement seem like abstract concepts I’ll handle at some undetermined point in the future. I’d like to illuminate the point that saving for the future can be possible even in the middle of paying off debt, and it can be done in concrete ways that don’t have to be daunting or complicated.


  49. Maria Fox & Arrow // February 12, 2013

    Hi there!

    I’ve been quietly following your blog for a while. I would love to see about low budget motherhood. We downsized for me to be a stay at home mom to a 2 year old girl and sometimes can’t afford all the fun, expensive stuff. My solution? We are DIY lovers and use it as a fun bonding time as well as for the obvious practical uses.
    We use DIY as a form of education and look for simple low budget solutions to rise our kid with all they need and deserve.
    Who said low budget means boring right?

    I hope you find something that you like in all of these comments!

  50. Lynette Seelmeyer // February 12, 2013

    Hey, Anna!

    I saw your email last night and think I have something to offer. My husband and I have two kids and over the course of many years of me not really working much, ran up a lot of debt, which we are now paying off with the spending diet plan (the spending fast was more than we could really take on with two kids). We intend to have our debt paid off withing 24 months. Obviously, this is a huge challenge with two children who have things going on, but at the same time, we need to do it almost more for their sake than for ours. Also, we want to teach them responsible spending habits. I think I can offer a parent’s perspective on how to make do with (a lot) less while paying off debt while still also managing to make sure my kids still enjoy themselves in reasonable fashion.

    I am also a journalism school graduate, and was a professional writer for years in my DINK life with my husband.

    Please let me know if you are interested in a spending diet + family point of view.


    • Lynette Seelmeyer // February 12, 2013

      I should mention that I do work, but I am a self-employed photographer (and finally using that journalism degree!), so my pay is hardly regular or predictable, which makes my side of getting out of debt a huge challenge. Let’s just say I have gotten really good at padding my savings account during the summer so I have money for bills in the winter.

  51. Katie // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna! I LOVE this idea and am super excited to see columns from other savers/debt blasters out there :) I started following your blog around November of last year and it has been a constant source of encouragement and motivation for me. I moved from the suburbs to the city of Chicago a year and a half ago and made myself a nice little (ok it’s big) pile of credit card debt on top of my student loans and it’s been with your help that I’m getting back on track and blasting that debt away.

    This past Christmas I did all DIY gifts for friends and relatives alike. I’d LOVE to contribute some DIY gift ideas to the site. I also really loved your “things I really wanted to buy but didn’t posts” that you’ve done and could EASILY put together lists like that of ridiculous things I think I need and talk myself out of. Plus I’d also be totally willing to speak to the trial and tribulations I go through each week/month of picking and choosing what I can spend on in order to stick to my debt payoff plan. Like you know, that’s trickier than you can imagine until you’re forced to face it! I’d love to hear what others do to make those decisions and the conversations they have in their heads – I know how ridiculous and hilarious mine are sometimes and I’m certain there are a lot out there.

    My degree is in English and I really don’t get too many chances in my usual daily life to put my writing to use so this would be so exciting for me! Seems like you’ve got a ton of awesome people willing to contribute too, so either way, I’m pumped to see the results of this new idea!

    Thanks for all the support, laughs, and motivation along the way. Keep up the awesome work you’re doing for so many of us!!

  52. Maria Fox & Arrow // February 12, 2013

    Hi there Anna!

    I’ve been quietly following your blog for a while and I would love to see about low budget motherhood.

    We downsized for me to be able to be a stay home mamma to a 2 year old and let just say that we can’t afford the same fun expensive stuff anymore.

    My solution? Don’t let that turn us into a boring all-about-saving obsessed family. We are DIY lovers and use it as fun bondin time activities as well as enjoying the practical uses of the results. We use DIY as education to out kid and always look for simple low budget solutions to rise ze bebé budget conscious and never having a dull moment ;)

  53. corey // February 12, 2013

    hey anna!

    what a wonderful opportunity! my name is corey (and i saw you at alt summit, but didn’t get to chat sadly… next year!) and i blog at http://www.betterwithjune.com. i am a creator and a writer (just finished my MA in writing, what up!?) and on my own blog i don’t get to talk about one of my life’s most exciting stories – paying off debt! (gosh that sounds nerdy..)

    my husband and i got married last march. our debt was keeping me up at night so we decided to do something about it before i became a crazy person, or we had kids which would then just pile it on… i’m stressed just thinking about it, are you? oy. anyways, 20k down, 10k to go. no car payments, and only ONE credit card left. it hasn’t been easy, but as we get closer to being debt free (except for our mortgage) i want to start planning ahead. one day we are going to wake up expecting a family and i dont want to lose sleep over something i know will be pure magic.

    i would write about how we managed to pay off 20k in debt in less than a year (on a fairly small combined income), how we plan on paying off this last 10k and how we plan on getting ready for the future!

    keep me in mind as you grow your blog, and stop by and say hi on my site sometime! keep up the great work!!

    cheers, corey

  54. Jessica // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna! I came across your blog in Julyish and read it from the beggining. Your journey completely intrigued me. I’m a single mother of a four year old. I don’t receive child support so I’m doing everything on my own. I am in the midst of spending fast right now. I don’t have a lot of debt, but I want to save money. When I do have to make a big purchase I’m ready for it and I don’t have to put it on a credit card. I really big into trying tips from Pinterest to test them out and see how they work and how much money they actually save me. I also restrict myself from buying convenience items (e.g. fancy pastry cutters) if I already have something at home that can do it or just need to use a bit of extra elbow grease. Also I have tried different methods of self control to help keep my socializing and grocery spending in check. I would be excited to help you in anyway!

  55. Jill // February 12, 2013

    Hey, Anna! I am addicted to financial hacks, DIY and saving! One of my latest endeavors is finding the frugal hacks on Pinterest and seeing if they actually work and will save me money. Some are effective, some are epic disasters. The ones that are successful, I tell absolutely everyone about because saving money is universally approved! :-)

  56. Kaelyn // February 12, 2013

    Hey Anna!
    I really enjoy your blog and would love the opportunity to contribute in some way. I am a shopping addict who tries to follow a rigid budget by only living on my husband’s income and saving my income for our future. In order to be able to shop I often have to get creative with recycling my clothes. I have always consigned my clothes, sell more valuable things on eBay and trade clothes with friends! I would love to write about creative ways to still shop while being budget friendly!

  57. Denise von Minden // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna! I’m a SAHM mother to three kids, twins & a 7 year old. I’m not perfect at spending money, but I’m definitely getting better esp. after discovering your site. My claim to fame is thrifting to clothe the kiddos in name-brand and super cheap duds. I also use thrifting to get cheap kids books and toys. I could share some of my ideas and thrifty finds with your readers. It would be exciting to join your team and would probably help me save in other aspects of our life too!

  58. Anna Newell Jones // February 12, 2013

    Hey Everyone!!

    I’m so excited by all the freaking amazing ideas you all have!! I’ve made up a PDF that might answer some of the questions you have and it will help me with submissions too. Here’s the link to it! http://andthenwesaved.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/02/Writing-for-And-Then-We-Saved3.pdf

  59. karen // February 12, 2013

    Hi Anna!
    It would be an honor to be a contributor.
    I grew up in a very budget-conscious house hold- we never wanted, but we never wasted. As an interior designer now, I’ve carried that sensibility into my work. In fact, I just quit my comfy corporate design job to start my own house flipping and design company- budget is more important now than ever! I would love to contribute about how good design doesn’t have to break the bank and how to make the most of your budget when it comes to design and your home. So many people get intimidated by design that they give up and pay the experts (and go way over budget). Hopefully I can help to demystify design deals and make good design accessible. I’d love to discuss some more ideas if you’re interested!

  60. Hostel // February 13, 2013

    Hi Anna:

    From reading the site, I feel like I am older than most readers. I can share the “what not to do” things with readers such as co-signing someone’s loan and filing for bankruptcy and not paying back student loans in a timely manner. I am not a homeowner, but I have worked out a living arrangement that is cheap and I could offer some tips there.

    I think people could learn from my mistakes! My wisdom is hard won but very helpful.

    • Hostel // February 13, 2013

      Oh and P.S., don’t get caught up in what your life “should” look like as compared to your peers.

  61. Camille David // February 13, 2013


    I have been following your blog for awhile now and love your DIY projects and other various pieces of advice. I just graduated from college as an accounting major and just finished all four parts of my CPA exam. I would like to bring that view point to a column – more a finance/business perspective. I know a lot about what it is like to be a college student struggling for a money and new to the job scene, pushing yourself to save those new paychecks and spend within your means.

    I really enjoy your message, as I have seen first hand (through my parents) what impact debt can have on your life, which is why I am living mine debt free.

    If you are interested, let me know!

  62. Tiffany // February 15, 2013

    I don’t think I’d be the right fit as a columnist, but I’d love to do a guest post for you this year! My blog is review/giveaway based, and I’d love to talk about how carefully selecting some of these types of blogs to follow can be a great way to save money and win stuff from time to time!

  63. Emily // February 16, 2013

    I’ve discovered ATWS recently and mentioned you in my most recent blog post! http://listingtotheside.blogspot.com/2013/02/on-budgeting-terminology-and-advice.html – I blog about Organizational Systems, if you think that might be a fit.

  64. Carolyn // February 17, 2013

    I’d definitely be interested in helping out! I’m pretty young and about to purchase our first house while on a budget. I’ll be searching for/creating ways to live on a budget while we make the transition.

    Also, I love writing. :)

  65. suri // February 17, 2013


    I had been writing online before – on Multiply, but mostly about kids. And when Multiply got changed its format, I did not have time to transfer all my blogs to the new one, so I kind of lost all of them.

    But I’d love to try on to give you and all the readers new insights : like where to find local consignment places, best deals in certain stores, making art project for kids from recycle stuffs and such.


  66. Elayne Woods // February 18, 2013

    I don’t know if you’re still looking fir writers, but I am a single mom of three boys who knows the importance of saving and budgeting, even if I am really sucky at both. In addition to being a photographer, student and having a job, I am a fashion designer. I really use the term fashion lightly, as I know next to nothing about Actual fashion. However, I always look good, so….

    At any rate, I up cycle free clothes and old curtains, sheets, bead spreads, etc into clothes all of the time. I’ve spent less than $150 on my own wardrobe in the past five years. I would be interested in writing about how to look great on a little to zero clothing budget.

    Thanks! :)

    • Elayne Woods // February 18, 2013

      Please excuse spelling errors. I hate my iPhone!! :)

  67. Nina Carduner // February 18, 2013


    Long time reader, first time applier for columnist. I’m a 29 year-old commercial print model, part-time job holder extraordinaire, DIYer (I just made my own trash-can reusing ACTUAL TRASH. Does it get more sad and cheap than that?) and tech entrepreneur. Two years ago I graduated with my MBA and have been blessed with $40 k in debt, as well as, an unbridled drive to find business opportunities and passive incomes everywhere I look. Not only have I devised a plan to get out of all my debt (60k+) in 6 years on a pitiful unstable income (we’re talking less than 20k a year folks! Modeling is not all its cracked up to be.) but I’ve coached friends and colleagues on the steps to vetting their business ideas, getting it off the ground, and maximizing their return while minimizing their costs. At least the 40k got me some mad business jargon skills!

    I would love to answer reader’s questions on starting their own side-businesses and how to grow them (What IS a marketing plan anyway? I’ll tell you!)

    My other little secret expertise is how to get out of debt when you’re battling some serious mental demons. If you suffer any kind of hereditary mental health issues (thanks mom and dad!) or can’t bare to face the day because you’re depressed about being broke, than you know how mental health can make or break your financial planning. Getting out of bed to microwave some ramen is so much more effort than ordering a pizza from an app on your phone. I’ve been there and with a lot of hard work, I’ve seen the other side.

    Part advice column, part memoir, and part tragi-comedy, I would love to share my zany brainpower to get us all out of debt without losing the shirts off our backs.

    Woot! Let’s do it!

  68. Claire // February 18, 2013

    I don’t know if this is particularly helpful or not, some people have really great ideas on what their own take on writing for this blog would be, but honestly…I feel as though I enjoy reading primarily the posts about the struggles you went through as someone in the ACTIVE PROCESS of the spending fast. Reading old archived posts is the most inspiring and helpful to me, because you wrote me while going through the exact same things many of your readers are going through. My vote for future bloggers would be to continue that – more on the daily struggles of the spending fast and the progress they make – and yes maybe failures along the way – because that is the most relatable.

    • Anna Newell Jones // February 27, 2013

      thanks claire! i feel like that is really important too and think it should be incorporated more fully again. i appreciate the feedback.

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  • 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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