Am I a Compulsive Spender!? (Quite Possibly:/)
Author: Anna Newell Jones

While I don’t want to be a “fit” for Debtors Anonymous OR Spenders Anonymous I have more check marks for the Spenders Anonymous checklist than the Debtors Anonymous checklist.



Compulsive Shopping Checklist

  • Do you “take off for the stores” when you’ve experienced a setback or a disappointment, or when you feel angry or scared? Yes in the past
  • Are your spending habits emotionally disturbing to you and have they created chaos in you life? kinda, yeah. i guess that’s partly why i decided to do the spending fast… to get the chaos controlled…
  • Do your shopping habits create conflicts between you and someone close to you (spouse, lover, parents, children)?  Yes, the non-spending has too
  • Do you buy items with your credit cards that you wouldn’t buy if you had to pay cash? yeah
  • When you shop, do you feel a rush of euphoria mixed with feelings of anxiety? yes
  • Do you feel you’re performing a dangerous, reckless or forbidden act when you shop? in the past i’ve know i shouldn’t spend money but did it anyway, so yes
  • When you return home after shopping, do you feel guilty, ashamed, embarrassed or confused? guilty, yes and ashamed too because it meant that money wasn’t going to pay off past debts and spending the money meant it wasn’t going into savings either
  • Are many of your purchases seldom or never worn or used? no, not usually
  • Do you lie to your family or friends about what you buy and how much you spend? i have
  • Would you feel “lost” without credit cards? no
  • Do you think about money excessively – how much you have, how much you owe, how much you wish you had – and then go out and shop again? yes, i did
  • Do you spend a lot of time juggling accounts and bills to accommodate your shopping debts? not now but i have in the past

So 9 out of 11


in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Coffee Lovers Rejoice!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

I have to pass this along in case you haven’t heard. Starbucks is giving away free coffee on 4/15/10 to people who bring in a travel mug for the coffee! They are doing this for Earth Day and to encourage people to use reusable mugs. Hey, a free coffee in a reusable mug sounds good to me.

Free is better than $1.98 and fancy coffee is better than 4 months of Mr. CoffeeMaker coffee. Can I get an Amen!?


in Practical Solutions, Shamelessy Frugal, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Things To Do
Switching Over
Author: Anna Newell Jones

photo Loan Nguyen

So since I’m been officially trying to switch camps from being a Spender to a Saver it’s got me thinking… are people born one or the other? Do people pop out of the womb saying “I want that so I’m gonna buy it” or do they come out saying “I want that but I’m gonna save up for it”?

I vaguely remember being a kid and standing in line at Kmart with my sisters and mom thinking “I’m not going to ever spend any money. I’m going to save all my money so I can be a millionaire when I grow up.” Uhh. Yeah. That wore off quick when I found out that I could buy a mini gum ball machine, keep it in my room, re-buy the gum from myself with a penny and taunt my friends with my luxury gummy life. I guess my millionaire dreams ended there.

Here’s a excerpt from an article I found online about this topic. It is written by M.P. Dunleavey: 

“Why a spender spends
Actually, when you talk to financial psychologists and planners about what makes a saver or a spender, they all agree that emotions play an important role, perhaps even greater than habit.

Bob Kenney is the executive director of More Than Money, an organization that was designed to help wealthy people do more with their money than just make more of it knows from experience that whether you’re a saver or a spender has nothing to do with how much money you have. He’s seen wealthy people who pinch pennies and equally rich folks who are spendthrifts.

What matters is whether what they have is ‘enough,’ and whether they tend to react to that perceived scarcity or surplus by buying or saving.

The same fear of not having enough might inspire one person to save money and another person to spend it lavishly — regardless of how much money they actually have. Kenney’s point is that even rich people sometimes have to be taught to save. More Than Money sponsors community discussion groups for its members, and people often help to rein in each other’s spending. ‘If your peer tells you, ‘You don’t need three homes,’ you’re going to listen to them,’ Kenney says.

I wish someone would tell me I don’t need three homes, but Kenney feels that part of the problem with big spenders at all income levels is that changing your behavior ‘is almost countercultural.’ ‘Every place you go you’re pushed to buy more,’ he says. ‘But how much more do we need? It’s easy to forget (about saving), because the dominant culture wants you to believe you don’t have enough.’

A sense of control and a goal
Not everyone spends out of some underlying emotional need, however. ‘It could just be a bad habit,’ says Margo Geller, a wealth counselor with GV Financial Advisors in Atlanta. ‘It’s like eating junk food. If you grew up in a family that ate potato chips and McDonald’s, you’ll probably do that, too.’

Kenney says a lot of people are on automatic pilot. ‘They’re stuck in third gear and can’t get out of it. They go shopping without a thought, because it’s time to shop, because they pass that store or see the word ‘sale.”

So how do you become a saver? Well, I could give you the bad news about discipline and all that. But I’ll tell you the truth. It’s not about discipline: Learning to save is about wanting something else more than you want to spend.

It’s true that it helps to ‘pay yourself first’ and all that classic personal-finance advice. But you won’t do it unless you want something really, really badly. 

I never saved a dime (this is sad, but totally true) until I wanted to buy a house. Suddenly I was the saving queen. Now, I have to confess that as a longstanding spender, I’m not comfortable saving. It’s unfamiliar. So my desire to save battles with my desire to spend — on a daily basis. If not hourly. Especially when the Bliss Spa catalogue arrives in the mail. I hate that damned thing.

But increasingly my desire for certain things — more money for retirement, a new car, furniture for the house — is gaining the upper hand. And that’s how I’ve learned the little secret about being a saver that no one ever tells you.

Saving is even more fun than spending. (No, I’m not trying to pull the wool over your eyes.)

When you’re a spender, you can’t believe anything could top the feeling of indulging yourself. But talk to anyone who is a natural saver and they will tell you how fabulous it feels to be in control of your money, to know how much you have and that there’s plenty of it — and you’re watching it grow.

My friend Val is not only a natural saver (a habit she learned from her very money-savvy mother), but she dislikes spending. When she and her husband moved, it was stressful for her — not because of the hassle, but because she had to spend money to do it. Recently, she and her husband took a vacation, for which they had saved (nothing on Visa, OK?). She was glad they were able to pay for their getaway, but what made her happiest was coming home and knowing she was going to start saving again.

I can’t imagine I’d ever dislike spending money. No way. Not while there’s a Crate & Barrel still standing. But I am getting the idea that saving money can bring equal pleasure — and a really cool feeling of power. That kind of makes me want to keep saving.”

So, with that said the Nature Vs. Nurture debate is coming to And Then She Saved…

What you think? And are you a natural saver or natural spender?


in Personal, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Loopholio (How to Get Christmas for Others Without Spending a Cent!)
Author: Anna Newell Jones

           The other night I went to a Silpada party. Have you heard of this brand? It’s fancy sterling silver jewelry and the party format is like a classic Tupperware party minus the presentation. So instead of plastic storage containers it’s nice jewelry. Uh. Awesome. This was the 2nd Silpada party I had been to and I was in the Spending Fast mindset. I was prepared! I was ready to not spend money no matter what shiny pretty things I tried on and convinced myself I needed. I told myself that I was going to socialize with some people I hadn’t seen in awhile and that’s what I planned to do and then did.

Luckily this was a Botox ‘n Bling party so there were quite a few girls who were getting botoxed and that was better than any other entertainment around. It also happened to be a very good distraction from the shiny stuff I couldn’t keep my eyes off of. I always found myself gravitating to the display boxes like they were magnetic and so was I. But I’m not and they’re not. I just like the stuff.

  A very smart friend of mine said “Hey, Anna, you should host a party and then you could get free jewelry”. Oh! My! The! Wheels! Started! To! TURN! I thought about it for 1/2 a second and then signed up. I was given a bottle of wine (saving it for the guests at the party) and a picture frame (perfect re-gift).

This was the perfect loop-hole to the Spending Fast! I knew I could make treats for people out of ingredients I already owned and that I would be able to score some great jewelry in the process. Yes! This was perfect!

For some reason this party has got me thinking competitively. They say the average host makes $300 in free jewelry. I want to make $400! Really just to see if I can!

So, the party is April 14th and if you think you might like to order something let me know and I’ll send you the link to the online catalog.



in How To, Make More Money, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Things To Do
Hot and ready to trot
Author: Anna Newell Jones

In an effort to clear out some space and get ready for a location move the sweet hub face ‘n I are clearing out some of our old prints and pieces from past exhibitions. Lucky for you the pieces are at quite a reduced rate! So get em while they’re hot!

For my pieces that sell I’m gonna get a visa gift card and then use that for fun stuff. Oh. I remember when I used to have fun! Oh. I wanna have more fun.

For the pieces that that hub sells he’ll most likely squirrel away his money for a rainy day… just because he’s a natural saver and not because he’s on the spending fast. Some people!


So here’s the link to the etsy shop. I hope you find something you like and just so you know everthing is ready to ship!


in Make More Money, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters
Author: Anna Newell Jones

paying off debt

Oh my goodness. We just got our tax refund and I put my whole ½ towards my debt.

For the past 2 years (at least) I would vow that when I got my tax refund I would put it right towards my debt. And. Big surprise here. Guess what never happened? I never did that because that was basically like letting my money just vanish right in front of me and I wouldn’t have anything to show for it so, obviously, I didn’t like that idea. I wanted those new clothes and the Etsy goodies.

Now, I’m realizing that to get this debt paid off I have to want to be out of debt more than I want to have daily life convenience. It’s been hard realizing that. I also found it surprising satisfying to click that money right over to the credit card debt. It’s nice to get a larger payment towards the debt and it’s really nice to see some actual progress being made.


in Motivation, Paying Off Debt, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Taxes
Spending Fast Month 3 – Conquered!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

I googled 3 month images and this showed up. So this is my Spending Fast baby. haha.

Then I used the Baby Name Genie to name it. Because, I guess I am extremely bored today. The name they came up with Molly May Fast. so adorable.


For the 3rd month of the Spending Fast I saved $360.95. Which is good but pretty low compared to last months big boy savings that was 3 times as much as this months! I was bummed when I realized I hadn’t saved that much this month but then I remembered that I had to buy a plane ticket to go visit a new baby family member, last month was a really short month and also what else, oh yes, my Luna Bar obsession is still in full-effect. So while $360.95 doesn’t impress me it will help me get myself out of debt a bit more and I have to appreciate the fact that this month I didn’t get myself further into debt which is totally good.

This $360.95 is gonna go towards the ol’ credit card again. Geez, I want to get that thing paid off and over with already!

Check out the Total Savings tab to see the total amount I’ve saved.


in Paying Off Debt, Savings Total, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Reciprocation Proclamation Examination go ahead and add in an Ovation
Author: Anna Newell Jones


Over the top, completely obnoxious cakes just so happen to be my specialty.

Who knew I had such a talent? I should be on one of those Food channel cake challenges just to wow them with my Wowness. I have a feeling the renaissance sugar specialty lady would laugh in me face! And. I would probably deserve it.

So, anyway. Here’s what I came up with for my bud who bought me the Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang book (you have to read the Dudley essay, so funny) so that I could meet her at the book signing.

Here’s the post about that if you missed it.

Said Bday girl told me that her favorite cake/frosting combo was yellow cake with chocolate frosting and here you have it! The cake is a 2 layer yellow butter cake that is topped with a delicious creamy chocolate buttercream frosting. (it’s all vegan too, but that’s between you and me).

She has a cat so it is surrounded by a carousel of cats at the base and then topped with 2 different types of sprinkles and some sparkly garland stuff that I configured to look like an insane roller coaster.

I got all the ingredients from the grocery store and used decorations I already owed so I think the cake cost me $1.69ish total. Not bad. Not bad.


p.s. sorry for the shotty camera phone pic. i really have no excuse other than it’s the easiest and quickest way to get pics up on here. please forgive me.

one comment

in Personal, Social, Societal Pressures, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Things To Do
  • 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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