Inna nutshell

It’s funny what comes up in Google images when I typed in “nutshell”. Here’s one:
aww
Then I typed in “encapsulate” to see what images showed up. This is what I got:


All this “nutshell” and “encapsulate” talk to tell you that I’ve been thinking a lot about what I’ve learned so far on this Spending Fast journey. Whenever anything is called a journey it’s instantly cheesy huh.

I feel like I should save this until the end of the fast so I can have some BIG reveal about the deep and meaningful year I’ve had not spending any money but I’ve learned a lot so far already so who am I to deprive you of that!? I kid. I kid.

Here you are… what I’ve learned:

  • Find additional ways to make more money
  • Don’t eat out
  • Dye clothes, linens, bags, etc. to extend their life
  • What can you offer to others? Barter it up. Trade with people.
  • Create a “uniform” for yourself. Wear the same color (I wear a ton of black) to mix and match and get more use out of the clothing.
  • Wear out your clothes/items
  • If you have to buy something make sure it’s made well and will last. Choose classic styles
  • Make gifts for people and/or re-gift
  • Become okay with giving only bday/holiday cards to friends (baked goods are a nice addition if you feel too cheap just giving a card)
  • Look into your phone plans and try to go to a lower priced plan
  • Use the library
  • Use the bus
  • Walk
  • Bike
  • Stuff your laundry into 1 load rather than 2
  • For clothes that you are sick of hang onto them and do a clothing swap with buds or get some cash for it at a buy/sell/trade store like Buffalo Exchange or Scout: Dry Goods & Trade
  • Rather than giving stuff to the thrift store try to sell it 1st on Craigslist or at the pawn shop
  • Hem your clothes, repair them
  • Rather than buying new item fix the old thing
  • Grow your hair long. It needs haircuts less often
  • Use box hair color
  • Bar soap is cheaper than body wash and lasts a lot longer
  • Vacation in places that you can have a free place to stay and a refrigerator to keep grocery items in
  • If you do a certain skill charge what you’re worth
  • Utilize free fun stuff in your city like Pecha Kucha nights and free museum days
  • Use up the stuff you have already
  • Use the free samples that are given away
  • Eat out of your cupboards
  • Traveling is expensive, do it less often if you want to save money
  • Say no to things
  • If you have a habit or routine (like I had Luna bars and coffee every morning) it’s probably costing you money
  • Realize how much less stuff you have to take care of and how much time it was taking from your life
  • Less transactions to track in bank account because of less spending… more time saved!
  • Feels good to be pro-active with my finances makes a huge difference mentally
  • Become okay with telling yourself “No”
  • Wait to purchase. Think about it longer
  • Only buy things you love and things that you want around you
  • It’s amazing how much lotion I have (had). Use it up before you buy more and most likely you’ll get some as a gift from someone.
  • Tell people why you aren’t spending so they’ll pressure you less and understand that you’re not being cheap just to be difficult
  • Magazines feed wants and make me feel like I need to purchase things to be perfect. Avoid certain ones if they give you the same feeling
  • Ask people that know how to save how they do it
  • Realize change takes awhile and be okay with messing up
  • Pick free fruit from your friends trees
  • Before you embark on a Spending Fast talk to your partner about how it will affect them and be ready to compromise a bit if needed
  • Don’t buy stuff in advance
  • Don’t buy in bulk
  • Oatmeal. Oatmeal is crazy cheap and there’s not much (if any) taste difference between on and off brand oats.
  • Put generic food items in leftover name brand packages. This works best with things like oats/cereal.
  • Be okay with being a mooch sometimes
  • Become okay with hearing that you are a mooch sometimes

13 Comments

  1. Katrina // October 4, 2012

    This list is so encouraging. It’s perfect :)

  2. Heather // November 16, 2012

    This is a great list, the one thing I would disagree with is “don’t buy in bulk” BUT… that is an individual consideration. For example, I make my own breads, and we eat a lot of dishes with beans and rice, so things like flour and dry goods we buy at Costco or GFS. I keep a spreadsheet of what costs what at which stores to make sure I’m always getting best price per unit. If you buy in bulk and then waste it, of course it isn’t a good idea lol. Also, I did get most of my kids Christmas presents at Costco last weekend, and when comparing them to Toys R Us and Target prices, we saved a ton. I think it’s really just about being aware of where you spend your money and how to get the best deal.

  3. Brandice Petr // November 29, 2012

    This is a great list! My husband and I paid off all of your school loans and car loans two years ago and embarked on a spending freeze. We made a theme “Think Twice” before we bought anything we evaluated if it was necessary. When shopping I would find my self saying the words jokingly and then passing on many items.

    To save on groceries (one of the largest areas of our budget) I price matched at Wal-mart. I found it easier than couponing and going to multiple stores. My sister and I started a website that is free to help others save money on groceries. You should check it out for your continued efforts on your budget!

    Brandice
    pricematcherz.com

    • Paulen // February 3, 2013

      Shopping at Walmart for groceries won’t work if you’re trying to eat healthy non-gmo organic (or organic like) food. This is one area I won’t skimpon since I think that what we put into our bodies is far more important than the house that we live in. However, you can easily grow some of your own veggies and shop at farmer’s markets.

      • Paulen // February 3, 2013

        Better yet, stop buying all processed foods and you’ll save a lot of money. Of course, this is an entirely different subject but many believe that it costs more to eat healthy. Yes, I pay more for my milk and eggs, etc., but I have noticed that I don’t buy a lot of things that I used to. In the long run, what is healthier is more important than the bottom line but both can be achieved if you’re willing to check out your community and shop locally.

        • Anna Newell Jones // February 8, 2013

          I agree. It’s kind of like, you will either pay for it now (the food) or you’ll pay for it down the road with your health. One way or another you’re gonna pay so pick your poison. (Ack. That was depressing of me!;)

  4. samantha // December 7, 2012

    hey! using box hair dye is way too expensive! my girlfriend sent me off to sally beauty supply to get a bottle of developer (i think it is called) and some tubes of color. I have very very dark brown, almost black, hair and am in my 40s, which means i have to touch up my roots every three weeks. this little deal at sally’s is wayway cheaper. the people who work there can tell you which kind of developer to get. if you take in your favorite color of box dye, they will also tell you which color tube to get. you mix a 1:1 ratio of developer and color in a bowl and paint it on your roots. i think my color jobs are around $2 bc i only use .5oz each time. box dye is a rip-off! i can tell you more if you are interested! happy holidays!!

  5. Kendra // January 26, 2013

    “Don’t buy stuff in advance”. This one stopped me in my tracks. I lost some weight and went down a size and became obsessed with getting a few pairs of low rise jeans while they’re still available, even though I have a couple that still fit. Maybe by the time I wear those out, I will be interested in something else. There’s nothing worse than finding something in your closet that is brand new but no longer in style. “Wear it out ” and “don’t buy in advance”. Thanks, you just saved me some money.

    • Anna Newell Jones // January 28, 2013

      I’m glad you like that one. It’s so easy to get into panic/consume mode without really thinking, “Should I even buy this right now?!”

  6. Christy // May 5, 2013

    “If you have a habit or routine [...] it’s probably costing you money.”

    Oh, my gosh. Breakthrough. This is amazing. I don’t even think about the things I do *all the freakin’ time* as “spending money.” Some of my habits (rituals), I will choose to keep, because I value what they give me more than what I spend on them. But my mindless habits? Done. Finito.

    Thank you. This is so valuable.

    • Anna Newell Jones // May 28, 2013

      That was a big break-through for me too. It was like, “Ohhh… this little habit of mine is adding up quick!”

  7. Sue // May 8, 2013

    Be okay with being a mooch sometimes
    Become okay with hearing that you are a mooch sometimes

    I like the last two :)

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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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