This is a post by Chelsea who is currently doing a Spending Fast®.
Being on a year-long Spending Fast is awesome for finances but not always so awesome for the brain. It is easy to get bummed out that we can’t go shopping with our friends or buy the latest nail polish colors.
I’m a huge sucker for some custom wood detailing. Trimmed out windows, bead board, and whitewashed wood paneling is the stuff of magic. There’s just something so finished about a room with extra wood details and trimmed windows. I mean, carpenters have a sexy line of work, if you’re asking me. And they charge arm and limb to install any custom woodwork, so any time you can cut costs by doing it yourself I’m totally game! One of the most affordable and doable woodwork projects you can do in your home is to frame your windows in trim. And I am talking easy peasy folks…Not a single 45 degree angle! Plus I’ll teach you a little painting trick that saves you even more $$$!
The warmer it gets, the more I want to go camping. Here’s a little roundup of cheap camping ideas if you have the urge for roughing it. Don’t worry, it’s not too rough…
First, find a free destination near you. There are so many cheap campsites around the country, listed on FreeCampsites.net. Going in a warmer month and location will cut down on the gear you’ll need, so that will also save money. Bare minimum pup tents come cheaper than this one, but if you want flaps for a little privacy, this lightweight two-person tent will do the trick. Keep warm with an insanely cheap sleeping bag, if you don’t already have one. For food, you can do better than hot dogs. A dutch oven can help you make easy and inexpensive meals like stews and pastas, over the fire. And unless you’re a real pro, you’ll need some firewood, lighter fluid, and a fire starter for that. (I’ve also heard dryer lint makes good kindling, if you want to skip the fluid). Conserve your wood as much as you can, and gather more from felled dry branches if you can. Clean up your dishes and yourself with this natural soap that’s safe for everything. Also: smear it on the inside of your socks to prevent blisters. Keep bugs at bay with citronella balm and the dark at bay with a little lantern. For entertainment, pack books, games, and playing cards, and explore the terrain around you!
Any free campsite recommendations? What free stuff do you like to do while camping?
Lauren Johnson is a filmmaker/producer living in West Hollywood who enjoys a great foreign thriller, leisure beers, and non-primary colors. Lauren also writes the blog LOCONCEPTS.
I love polymer clay. Have you ever used it? If you haven’t, let me tell you a bit about it. Polymer clay is an oven bake clay found in most craft stores. The multi brand clay comes in a whole spectrum of colors, can be texturized with any tool and be made to resemble just about anything. I’ve been working with the clay for a long time now and I’m still amazed at what it does. And to even sweeten this already sweet pot, it’s inexpensive stuff.
Some of my favorite items to make with polymer clay are pieces of jewelry, especially earrings. I like being able to make them exactly how I want them. For these earrings, I transferred a leaf drawing onto the clay to create a pair of one-of-a-kind earrings. Here’s how it’s done.
This is a post by Chelsea who is currently doing a Spending Fast®.
I am now into month four of my Spending Fast! About a month ago I had to uproot my life and move to a new state suddenly. Since I was not expecting it, I had not saved up a lot of money to move with so my Spending Fast had to take a temporary break. I didn’t go crazy and go shopping or anything, but I was not able to put the amount of money towards my debt that I had anticipated. Since time doesn’t stop, my month three totals are finally in but let me warn you, they are sad!
My original day 1 debt: $24,996.98
My total starting month three: $23,514.05
Month three debt paid: $11.51
New debt total: $23,502.54
Who pays $11.51 to their debt??! I actually paid a lot more but had to use my credit card quite a bit in the interim so I came out $11.51 on top. At least I came out ahead! (Anna saved $0. during Month 17 of her Spending Fast so I guess it’s normal to have some really great savings months and others that aren’t so awesome.)
Last week I wrote about having two job offers and not knowing which to choose. Well, I have chosen the second job (which pays $3 an hour more) and start next Monday! I am very excited about this new position because it is with a very large company with lots of room to work hard and advance.
Now that my life is circling back towards stability, I am reclaiming my focus and my Spending Fast goals. I am spending a few days visiting my family and while I am here I am listing their unwanted items online. They have agreed that if I sell their stuff, I can get a certain percentage for my effort. And that certain percentage is going towards my debt. I’m excited to see how it will play out.
I have a lot of extra free time lately so instead of sleeping all day and being sad, I am focusing on learning graphic design. I already had the computer programs needed to learn and How To books. What was I waiting for? I am learning this because I enjoy design but also because once I gain design skills, I can start freelancing that too!
I am excited about this new phase of my life and hopeful that it will bring great (money-making/debt paying) things.
Have you ever not met your Spending Fast monthly goal (or any goal you set out to achieve)? What are some ways you stay inspired during that time?
Chelsea Overton is in the midst of a Spending Fast® and writes about it from North Carolina with her bulldog, Xena the Warrior Princess, by her side. She also has her own website where she logs her journey towards financial freedom.
Marching out of debt requires a lot of energy, there’s no doubt about it. As we discuss here on And Then We Saved, working towards a debt-free lifestyle is not just about reducing your spending. It’s about creating additional income for yourself by getting resourceful… or let’s just go there – downright scrappy. The key is to find ways to monetize the activities that you naturally enjoy doing. Take the “free” out of your free time by sharing your passions to help benefit others and earn extra cash.
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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