Reader Question – Spending Diet #Fail
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Spending Diet Fail |

Hey Anna,

I love your blog and all of the great ideas you share! I have been trying to follow a Spending Fast/Diet for probably around 2 years, and can never last more than 2 weeks. I signed the Get Out of Debt Pledge on April 1st and well…guess how long that lasted? Thankfully, I don’t have much debt but my goal is to pay off what I have, build my savings and learn to live with less. I am getting married this fall, as well as returning to school, and being a part of a few of my friends’ weddings this summer.

I guess my question is, How can I make this commitment and actually follow through when there are things I “need” to spend money on? I have been saving regularly for my wedding and trying to stay within my budget, but then there are wedding gifts, bridesmaid dresses, shoes, etc. for the other events I am a part of.

Sorry this turned into a ramble, I am feeling pretty defeated and just don’t know where to start!!

Where am I going wrong? I’d appreciate your help.
Discouraged but Committed



I totally hear you with the struggle. I would recommend that you do the best you can and forgive yourself for any “slip-ups” along the way. Stay committed to the Spending Diet for the entire length of time you commit to. Even if “mistakes” happen, keep going. Even if the Spending Diet isn’t done perfectly (and there’s no way it could be done perfectly, by the way) you will still be better off at the end of the time period than if you never started the Spending Diet in the first place. It’s kind of like that saying, time is still going to pass if you make efforts to change your life, or not, so you might as well make some changes! (I completely paraphrased and butchered that quote but you get my point;)

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in Hey Anna (Reader Questions), Spending Diet
Real Life Spending Faster: Katie
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Real Life Spending Faster |

My name is Katie. I’m 25 years old and I live in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Currently I work in the vocational field, helping people with disabilities find integrated employment in their communities! I make about $35,000 a year, which is less than my graduate degree actually cost to earn. (Big sigh.) Right now I have about $83,000 of debt — about $73,000 of that is federal school loans, and the other $10,000 is a loan that I took out to purchase a vehicle this past January when my old car was on its last leg. I have no children and live on my own, but I have a long-distance boyfriend. I rent my one-bedroom apartment, which is about $725 a month. My upcoming plans are to move in with my boyfriend, get a job that allows me to advance my professional career, and start the next grown-up chapter in my life!

I started my Spending Fast last summer (August 2014), so I’ve been in it for about a year. After attending graduate school to become a professional counselor, my goal was to find a job that would allow me to work toward my licensure (you have to have so many hours of work in before you can get the state license to practice). I’ve taken a job in the related field of vocational counseling, but without my license, I have been making less money than I will in the future.

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in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters
19 Creative Tips to Get Your Frugal Juices Flowing
Author: Anna Newell Jones

19 ways to get those frugal juices flowing |

In my early 20s, I was a complete financial moron. I was the poster child for how you should not use your student loan money and credit cards.

So far I’ve paid back $19K on my credit cards, and I’m down to $0 (YESSSSSS!!). Plus, I’m also chipping away at my student loan debt. You will find some tips below that are helping me in my debt-free journey.

1. Raid the Work Cupboard – If you work in an office like me, people are always leaving their coffee cups, plastic containers, and travel mugs behind. Be sure you ask your colleagues before you grab, but that coffee mug that’s been sitting there for 2 years? Pretty sure no one is coming back for it.

2. Free Sample Websites – Check out this website. It is my most favorite website for real free stuff. I’ve gotten free clothing, free food, and even money! Be sure you check daily because the items there tend to go quickly.

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in Enough (Crap, Debt, Guilt), How To, Motivation, Paying Off Debt, Practical Solutions
Personal Responsibility
Author: Melanie Gnau

Personal Responsibility - And Then We Saved

“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself.” -Jim Rohn

The hardest change happens within ourselves. It’s easy to get stuck in our ways. It’s easy to get into the habit of spending above our means. But we can change. We can turn over a new leaf. We can pay off our debt and start saving. We can start today.

How are you taking personal responsibility? Let’s talk in the comments!


in Motivation
Budgeting: Is There an App for That?
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Budgeting - Is There an App for That |

Hey Anna,

I first discovered your blog years ago, and after feeling overwhelmed by the need to do a better job of saving for the future, I’ve circled back around. Anyways, I was wondering if you or any of your readers had any suggestions for mobile phone apps to track spending on wants for the Spending Diet. It seems most apps I’m finding are more about an overall budget and tracking ALL THE THINGS, when I would love a simple way to have a quick look at just wants spending for the month. Any input would be appreciated. Thanks!

Anything to make budgeting easier!

Need Help Tracking My Wants




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in Hey Anna (Reader Questions)
Jenn’s Spending Fast Update (Months 7-9)
Author: Jenn Davis

Note from Anna: Apologies for being behind in getting Jennifer’s post up.

Where to start?

My last update was in April.

I fell off the wagon and spent some money on clothes—and overall I wasn’t successful in paying any debt off for the month of May (month 7). Falling off the wagon happens to everyone, but I find that I especially have trouble. Whether with the Spending Fast, fitness goals, or goals in general, I have to find patience. Patience with myself, and with how long it takes to see results. I want results right away, usually right after a declaration of a goal.

With that said, I’ve found that these tips have helped me to develop being  patience:

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in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters
How (and Why) to Relieve That Grudge – Letting It Go
Author: Anna Newell Jones

How (and why) to Resolve a Grudge |

As humans, we make mistakes. Sometimes these mistakes hurt the feelings of other people, or our own feelings may be hurt. A grudge may be formed when forgiveness seems unattainable, and that inability to forgive can lead to a grudge. The grudge may go on for a few weeks, or it can last for years.

Holding a grudge can have negative effects on our lives and our physical health. Learning how to let go and release any grudges you may hold is super powerful.

You may be asking yourself “and how does this relate to paying off my debt and living debt free?” Well, lemme tell you. Having a grudge costs a lot. Mainly, a lot of time and a lot of energy.

Getting out of debt is about living our best lives so we can focus on the good things in our lives. The things that truly matter, not shitty grudge-like things, you know?

Here are 10 ways to relieve a grudge and learn how to forgive others for a happier, more fulfilled life:

1. Pinpoint the Issue

Some people hold a grunge based on negative feelings without ever really identifying the core, deep-down issue. In order to find resolution to a problem, you have to first identify it. You may have to dig deep to admit the actual problem, but doing so can help you find the solution.

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in Family, Friends, & Relationships, How To, Social
Living Tiny: Bama’s Unconventional Airstream
Author: Melanie Gnau

Living Tiny: Bama's Unconventional Airstream| And Then We Saved

At ATWS we’re interested in challenging the norm of debt and spending. That’s why once a month we feature people who have gone to (what some would say) extreme means with their living situations to get out of debt, save money and live a simpler life. Today we have a house tour with Chris “Bama” Milucky. Bama has lived in a van, a truck and even spent a summer living in a tent! He now resides in an Airstream in the Colorado Rockies. Take it away, Bama!

I’m “Bama,” as in Alabama. That’s what people call me. I don’t know why the wife takes part in all my adventures, but the dog is in it for belly scratches. I’d say I suffer from chronic unemployment, but it’s become second nature. I call it “funemployment.” I work construction jobs when I find ’em, and mountain bike gigs, too. I also author a monthly column in DirtRag Magazine. Read More »


in Living Tiny (Home Tours)
  • 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. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

    ⭐︎Come back throughout the day for updates.


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