Real-Life Spending Faster: Nancy
Author: Nancy

Real Life Spending Faster Stories |

I’ve got some exciting news! Starting today we’re going to start featuring some real-life Spending Fasters! We’ll still be following along with Melanie, Jenn, and Kelly’s Spending Fasts and Spending Diets but this new column with be more of one-off posts. We’ll get insights on how these Spending Fasters got started with their Fast, why they decided to take the Spending Fast or Spending Diet approach, how it’s been going, what the future plans are, and other fun stuff like that.

I get so many awesome emails from you all, and it always blows my mind what you’re accomplishing with the Spending Fast and Spending Diet. I’m super excited about sharing more of the awesome getting of of debt inspiration with you! (Btw, if you’d like to share your story in this new column shoot me an email with the subject line: Real-Life Spending Faster! to

Today, we’re going to get the party started with Nancy! – Anna


Real-Life Spending Faster: Nancy

My name is Nancy. I’m 40 and have been teaching in the same district for 12 years. I take home about $1,000 a week, which is decent pay, but I live in Westchester, New York. In case you’re not familiar, Westchester is a suburb of NYC, and living in Westchester takes serious money. My awesome husband works in the city.

After two years of expensive (and exhausting) fertility treatments we still have no children. (We do have one round, sweet, old kitty cat.)

My husband and I have our finances semi-separate. We have access to each other’s accounts but we each maintain our own except for an emergency savings fund that we make joint decisions on. Both of us pay any credit card charges in full at the end of each month – YAY!!! We have no car payments thanks to our thrifty philosophy about vehicles (to be expanded upon at a later time…)

Read More »


in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Take Action!
What Should I Register For? Baby Shower
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Registering for a new baby: What do you really need? |

Hey, Anna!

My husband and I are expecting our first baby in August, and as I’m going through the “Must-Haves” on the registry site, I’m seeing a lot of things that seem more like “wants.” I know every family and every baby is different, but I was wondering—What were you told was absolutely required, but that you found completely unnecessary? What were you hesitant to get, but once you had it, you wondered why you waited so long?


Thrifty Mom to Be


Dear Thrifty Mom to Be, First of all congratulations!

Every baby is completely different but for us, here are a few of the things we’ve found unnecessary: Read More »


in Hey Anna (Reader Questions), Kids, Pregnancy
Money Is Not The Only Answer
Author: Melanie Gnau

money is not the only answer

Money is not the only answer. I could always use more money, but I also feel like I need more time. I need more time to spend with my family and more time to work on my dream projects. And sometimes money can help me buy more time. I recently (begrudgingly) shelled out for a personal trainer to show me how lift weights so I’m not wasting my time during my workouts. It’s made a huge difference in how I workout. I now don’t waste time wondering what I should do.

Do you struggle with needing more time? Have you ever exchanged money for time? Talk to me in the comments!


in Motivation
8 Quick Tricks to Get Yourself to Eat at Home More
Author: Anna Newell Jones

8 quick tricks to get yourself to eat at home more


We all know eating out is expensive but do know exactly how much more you’re getting charged than if you were to cook at home? reports that pop is marked up 800%,  potatoes 977%,  pizza 600 to 800%, salmon 900 – 1000%, chicken noodle soup  has a 1650% markup, and since eggs wholesale for less than 10 cents apiece — and are one of the least labor-intensive dishes — they are one of the absolute most marked up restaurant foods with the average egg dish costing $5-$12.

Eating out is easy, fun, and quick but if you find yourself indulging a bit too much you may be pushing your wallet to the limit. Today, I’ve got 8 quick tricks to get yourself to eat at home more.

8 Quick Tricks to Get Yourself to Eat at Home More…

1. Don’t let yourself get too hungry or tired.

Who hasn’t been on the way home after a long day at the office and you know the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. Be sure to take an actual lunch break and eat snacks throughout the day if you need to. Also, resist the urge to stay up late scrolling through an Instagram black hole into the wee hours of the night so you get all the sleep your body requires.

2. Plan ahead.

Having a plan in place will help you end that omnipresent question: “What should we eat for dinner?” Pre-planning your meals for the week really doesn’t take that long (use these free meal-planning calendars) but it makes a huge difference with how much time and money you can save by doing so.

3. Make it fun. Read More »


in Sponsored
There Is Nothing So Habit-Forming As Money
Author: Melanie Gnau

There is Nothing So habit-forming as money

Starting a new habit is hard. Starting a new habit when you’re busy and broke, that’s even harder. But there is nothing so habit-forming as money. It can be a great motivator. I hate running, but I know I’d run faster if I saw a crisp $100 bill at the end of the finish line.

Have you ever tried to use money as a motivator to help you reach your goals? Let me hear about it in the comments!


in Motivation
Melanie’s Spending Fast Update
Author: Melanie Gnau

spending diet

Below is Melanie’s Spending Diet Update. See all the Spending Diet and Faster’s Updates here. – Anna

This past month I celebrated my birthday. Prior to the Spending Diet, I would have probably bought myself an unnecessary gift… and treated myself to a fancy dinner… and then maybe to overpriced cupcakes and wine. This year was a much quieter affair. My birthday wasn’t a “big” or significant birthday. I didn’t go on vacation. I didn’t even take off work. My husband made me a nice dinner and a fruit cake– literally a cake made completely out of fruit. It was impressive and super thoughtful. Read More »


in Spending Diet, Spending Fasters
Living Tiny: George and Melanie’s Airstream – House Tour
Author: Melanie Gnau

Living Tiny: George and Melanie's Airstream - House Tour andthenwesaved

Hi! I’m Melanie. I’m a librarian by night and a blogger by day. I live with my husband, George and my dog, Bambi in a 1978 Airstream Sovereign. I’ll be working on a new column here at ATWS about people living tiny for financial reasons. We’ll be showing house tours and answering all the questions you always wanted to know, but were afraid to ask! As a tiny houser, I’m going to be introducing the column with my story.

Almost two years ago, George and I were at a crossroads. We were recently married, I had a new job opportunity in a new area and we were broke. We didn’t have an extravagant wedding by any standards, but we did spend the majority of our meager savings on the event. We took a look at our budget, started looking at apartments in the new area and we were instantly discouraged. We knew that we couldn’t get ahead financially by renting an apartment. We also knew that we wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage. We had no credit and almost no savings. We saw an endless cycle of debt in front of us and we wanted out. Read More »


in DIY, Living Tiny (Home Tours), Minimalism, Simple Living
Is Saving Money Wrong?
Author: Melanie Gnau

Is Saving Money Wrong?

If you are from one of the many planets that Captain Kirk discovered during his travels, you might think that saving money on planet earth is a bad thing. We live in a world where we’re told to spend, spend, spend. We’re rarely told to save, save, save. But in this case, I think William Shatner is right. We need to save before we can spend.

How are you working towards saving before you spend? Let me know in the comments!


in Motivation
  • 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!

    ⭐︎Come back throughout the day for updates.


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