This is what I’ve learned: when you get to the other side (of debt or whatever, really) it’s those struggles that you can use to help others who are going through what you went through. Once you’ve found the way out you get to help others get there too. You’re able to relate in a way no one else can. You’ve been there. You know how hard it is and how hard things can be. But once you’ve gotten to the other side you know this too… you know there’s an answer.
So, with that I’ve got to tell you, I’ve been there. I know. It’s hard to get out of debt and it hard to be in debt. But this is the thing. You get to choose your hard. You get to choose which one you want and which one you don’t. And truly, the reward is not so great without the struggle. It’s the struggling that makes it Oh So Sweet when you reach the goal you’ve been working towards. You’ve got this. You absolutely CAN get out of debt!
December was the month that I had anticipated a spending spree. With the holidays in full swing, I always have the tendency to overdo things– more gifts, more food, more spending and ultimately, more regret! I had been (fairly) good all year, but I was afraid that somehow the spirit of St. Nicholas would possess my body and credit card. But lucky for me, I’m a planner, I had planned and purchased most of my gifts before December ever rolled around. I had budgeted just $100 for holiday gifts. I did use $100 separate from my $100 Spending Diet fund, but it was $100 none the less. It was still a challenge. I did obsess over the $100 gift budget. I planned sales, I planned coupons and I did more math than I had done in the last 5 years. I also had a strategy. Here’s some things that helped me…
Last Thursday was a big day because that was the day I handed over my book manuscript to the publisher!
Last week was intense. Monday I worked on it 17 hours. Tuesday 14 hours, and Wednesday, another 17 hours. On Wednesday I didn’t go to sleep until 5:30 am, and then I woke up at 7:30 am to get right back to work. Even though I’ve been working on the book for the past year there were just all these little things that I wanted to tweak to make it just right. 65,000 words of Spending Fast goodness were handed over at 4:30pm EST. I was so wound up from adrenaline that I was buzzing around the rest of the day. Then, I crashed on Friday, and spent the next couple of days recovering! :)
Now, all sorts of things will take place leading up to the book’s publication which will be in January 2016. Another few rounds of edits will take place. The cover will get designed, the illustrations will be put into place (you’ll LOVE them, btw!), and the layout with be laid (?… lol).
It’s all so exciting! Thanks for being a part of the process, and for letting me share this big accomplishment with you! xo, Anna
When I was watching the news the other day I saw that the top 3 resolutions for 2015 are:
1. Lose weight.
2. Get out of debt. (#heck yeah)
3. Get organized.
I usually don’t make “official” resolutions because I do a pretty good job already of trying to work on myself and my goals throughout the year. With the New Year though, it’s hard to not pay special attention to things to focus on improving.
But, this year I decided I would get focused and write out a list. Nothing makes things official quite like lists do.
Hi! Below is Spending Faster, Jenn’s December update. She’s doing so amazing! See her past updates here and here. – Anna
MONTH TWO OF THE SPENDING FAST
Even with Christmas, I was able to save some money in the month of December! It’s been a busy month for me, but not with buying gifts and focusing on the holiday. My family and friends understood this, relieving me of the stresses of the holiday season. Aren’t they great? I am truly grateful for the people in my life, because they all genuinely want what’s best for me.
I did, however, give my mom some framed artwork of mine and my dad and friends some of those DIY ring dishes from A Beautiful Mess (the ones Anna made are pictured above).
In December, I focused on ways to bring in more money. This is what I did:
Ebay: I have listed some items that I don’t use anymore and am continuing to do so. I have sold $250 so far, but you have to minus the shipping cost and cost of using Ebay. I would still say not too shabby.
Society6: I started up a society6 account to sell some art prints as I work on my passion for painting abstract art.
Etsy: I also just opened an Etsy shop today and my first items for sale are two of the jewelry dishes leftover from the Christmas gifts. I will be adding original artwork for sale on this site.
I also received a Christmas bonus of $300 at work. And it was saved instead of spent on gifts.
This month has been about combining passion with income. I definitely feel like I am taking a plunge and putting myself out there so to speak. But I have a newfound sense of excitement and purpose. I have a new appetite for education and learning that will enhance my passions. It is coming to my attention that nothing happens overnight, and that my impatience for things to happen overnight is a notion I have to let go of to keep moving forward.
Total saved for month two: $400
Which went into a savings account for an emergency fund. My impatience has, however, gotten me to say the amount of $400 will my emergency fund (instead of the 1,000 I set out for in the beginning). In the interest of time and my sanity, I feel like this is an ok amount to set aside for now and to begin on throwing the money at my debt.
There are people that will always say “there’s just no money to save!” (I know because I used to be one of those people!). Luckily, there are actually A TON of ways to get some cash back into your pockets by doing a few simple things around the house. We all know there is no better time than right now to start saving more money!
I’ve compiled a massive list for you, and I’d love to hear what you do to save money around the house. Let me know in the comments, and tell me if I missed anything! I always love hearing what you all do to save because y’all are always coming up with clever ways to save money that just blow my mind.
If you can believe it (I can’t!) this blog started 5 years ago on 12/29/09! I started it just as a way to keep me on track while I attempted my year-long Spending Fast to try to get rid of my 6k in credit card debt (a task that I thought was insurmountable, btw). I never, EVER would have guessed that not only would I be able to absolutely CRUSH that $6,000 in debt but that just 15 months after I started the Spending Fast that I’d be completely debt-free (my mind is still constantly blown that it happened so fast!). And, who would’ve guessed that I’d still be typing away on And Then We Saved a whole 5 years later…!?!? (Not me, for sure.)
There are so many cool things I’ve got in the works for 2015 that I can’t wait to share with you. The main thing that I’ve been working on is my book that will be all about How to Do a Spending Fast! Writing it has been such a crazy experience: fun, tedious, rewarding, sometimes absolutely overwhelming but mostly completely fulfilling. Throughout the whole process, before I start writing, I’ve read this little yellow sticky note that’s taped to my computer screen. It says, “Please guide my words as I write so this book so it can be a channel to help the most people change their lives.” That’s the goal: make the book the vehicle for the Get-Out-of-Debt-as-Quick-as-Humanely-Possible-So- You-Can-Get-On-with-Your-Life-Already message! That’s the goal I hope to accomplish with the book. I absolutely cannot wait for you to read it, and have a tangible, complete and comprehensive Spending Fast guide right at your finger-tips! The book will be published in January 2016, and I’ll keep you posted about its status as I learn more throughout this upcoming year up to (and beyond) it’s release date.
A few other things I’ve got in the works:
– Developing an e-course (! can’t wait to share it with you! I think you’re going to love it!)
– Structuring a coaching program to help readers who need (or just want) more individualized attention and assistance through the Spending Fast or Spending Diet.
– Monthly updates about the TOTAL AMOUNT of debt our community has paid off or saved as a result of the Spending Fast or Spending Diet (I’m SO excited to share the current debt pay-off total with you. It’s unbelievably inspiring how much debt we’ve all paid off and put into savings so far!).
– Developing a few tangible items to help remind you of your goals every day!
Everything changed when I gave up, stopped fighting against my debt, and faced my excessive overspending. I put my hands up and succumbed (succumb?) to the reality of my reality. As soon as I realized that everything I had been trying to do to get out debt was failing miserably, and once I came clean with my friends and family about being straight up broke, and overwhelmed THAT’S when the real changes starting happening. When I gave up, when I let go, that’s when I got my power back. To gain power by giving up? Trust me, the irony is not lost on me.
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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