“Death Comes Like a Thief in the Night” (& Other Reasons Why I’m Asking Myself if Saving Money is Really Worth It)

death comes like a thief in the night is saving money really worth it? andthenwesaved.com

This is a post by my sister, Kelly, who just completed Month 1 of her year-long Spending Fast. – Anna

 

Life is Short – Is This All Worth It? Why Suffer?

“Death comes like a thief in the night”, I remember my mom telling me when we were little girls. I’ve been feeling really discouraged, and I’ve been asking myself “why?”, a lot lately. A family member died tragically a couple weeks ago. Why did he die? Does any of this even really matter, at all? Why should I bother with this Spending Fast? I’ve been finding myself thinking, “You only live once, and, really, what’s so wrong with having some debt, and some indulgences along the way especially if it’s getting paid off… no matter how slowly? Shouldn’t I be enjoying life?” I don’t have the answers, and I don’t know what tomorrow holds but I DO know that every time I think of the future and of “Future Kelly” debt is not part of the picture. “Be Debt Free” is something that is ALWAYS on my goals lists, so while I did mess up some, and while I have been questioning a lot of life’s biggest questions, I’m not going to throw in the towel on the Spending Fast.

In my last post, I told you how I was able to pay off my personal credit card within the first week of The Fast. Of course, I won’t be having a tax refund every month- dang it:( so my upcoming savings won’t be nearly as big as this first month’s. I’ve also stumbled some, so the kids, and I ate out about 3 times. It was due to poor planning- BUT on the flip side, we ONLY ate out 3 times! My M.O. used to be that I would eat out, or buy something out at least once a day. My 3 children, and I ate dinner at home every night, and it was actually pretty nice.

I’m trying to be gentle with myself, despite the “set backs”. I’m still committed to the Spending Fast until November 5, 2015, so I’ll just keep trudging along.

 

Small, Day-to-Day Changes

I’ve always considered myself a good Scout. I’m prepared, I stockpile, I have a plan. I’m quitting that this year- no more stockpiling. I’m using travel shampoos that would have stayed buried in my closet, and eventually be thrown away. The changes are small but I’m seeing that they do add up. I ran out of shaving cream so I’ve been using hair conditioner that I don’t really like for my hair as a shaving gel, and it works totally fine. Okay, so this is kinda gross, and may be TMI but I ran out of cotton balls, so I decided to cut up the free huge maxi pads that the hospital gave me from my last child’s birth. I cut them up into strips, and I’ve been using that instead of buying more cotton balls.

We’re eating the things that are in our cabinets before we’re buying more food, and I’m waiting ’til things are actually gone before I write it on the ‘need to pick up at the store’ list. We even ate up the jar of peanut butter that’s not our favorite but it’s been in the cupboard for months. My coffee pot broke the first week of The Fast, and there’s no way I will punish myself with a Year of No Coffee. Thankfully, I found a french press in my house that I NEEDED at some point but never used because it was too much hassle. I’m using it now. Also, I’m keeping the house at 68 degrees when we are home, and 65 degrees when we are not there.

Anna insisted that I should create a Needs/Wants list to help with my money spending decisions so I did that. Here it is…

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in Spending Fast, Spending Fasters !!NEW!!, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Don’t Buy These 3 Things in December

the 3 things you absolutely should not buy in december andthenwesaved.com

I hope you had a great Thanksgiving! We went over to a friend’s house, and everyone was impressed with how the Tofurkey we brought was actually not disgusting. The standard it had to meet was pretty low so it had that going for it. This morning, Henry woke up at 6:30 am like he likes to do, I turned on the news, and I was half-way listening to it while I sat on the floor with him as he pulled out every single book. On the news they were talking about the worst things to buy in December, and my ears perked up like I was dog who had just spotted a squirrel. I was all over that shit.

The 3 things they say you absolutely should not buy in December? A treadmill, a TV, and winter clothing items and gear. The best time to buy those things? In January! With New Year’s Resolution’s fitness stuff is marked down significantly, TV’s are marked down because of The Super Bowl , and winter clothing and gear is greatly reduced because retailers are starting to think about making way for the Spring merchandise.

The more you know, right?

6 comments

in Practical Solutions
14 Free Ways to Improve Your Life in 15 Minutes (or Less)

14 free ways to improve your life in 15 minutes or less andthenwesaved.comTell me I’m not the only one who almost always (mostly) feels like, life could be just a hair better than it currently is. I don’t feel that way because I’m not happy with how things are with my life, it’s more of a continual, life improval thing that I’m after. I’ve learned that just by just tweaking a couple different things each day life can feel more organized, more focused, calmer, and just more enjoyable. Luckily, these ideas are free, and they take VERY LITTLE time to do. Most of these ideas can be done in just a few minutes, or at least they can get underway with just a few minutes of attention each day. Watch your life improve, as you incorporate these tips into your life.

Here are 14 free ways to start improving your life in 15 minutes or less…

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5 comments

in Social, Take Action!, Things To Do
7 Advantages Extroverts Have When it Comes to Money

7 advantages extroverts have when it comes to money andthenwesaved.com

A few days ago we talked about the advantages that introverts have with money so today, let’s talk about extroverts. Extroverts are of the personality persuasion that is boisterous and enthusiast, and they feel energized by being around people which is the complete opposite of their quiet counterparts – the introverts. Those with an extrovert personality may appear to be apt to spending more and being frivolous with their cash in general. However, the qualities that go along with an extrovert personality may actually give this type of person some advantages in the personal finance department.

 

Here are 7 advantages extroverts may have when it comes to money…

1. They May Have Better Job Prospects

Extroverts may be inclined to go after and accept a larger pool of job opportunities. While introverts may prefer more low-key, solitary, behind-the-scenes work, an extrovert may view a variety of job opportunities and figure out way to make them work to their own advantage. They can find success in a variety of industries and often feel comfortable with adapting to new and fast-paced environments.

2. They May Have Better Networking Success

For extroverts working in sales and similar jobs, their ability to be socially adventurous and confident can provide more opportunities for earning and investing money. So much of business revolves around making the right connections and networking with the right people. Because extroverts are not wallflowers by nature, they are more likely to jump right in and get to know everyone. They are also more likely than their counterparts to even show up for networking events.

3. They May Be More Successful at Entrepreneurial Pursuits

Extroverts are more willing to take chances if they feel it will be worth their while. This quality may help with entrepreneurial ideas and actions. Extroverts may be more likely to take business risks that earn them more money and power in the long run.

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in Uncategorized
How to Maximize Black Friday – 17 Tips

17 ways to maximize black friday andthenwesaved.com

Continuing on with my collaboration with Kmart we’re going to talk about a ton of ways to make the most of Black Friday. Black Friday is the Friday that follows Thanksgiving, and it’s also the official start of the holiday shopping season. Black Friday is all about deals, bargains, and sales, and that’s something I can fully get behind because, as you know, saving money is my thing.

I had a chance to ask Heather, someone who has been shopping on Black Friday for the last 7 years, what advice she would give to new Black Friday shoppers. She says, “Be prepared with a list of what you want to get, and stay calm when crazy people are near. Also, go in groups so 1 person can finish shopping while the other stands in line.” She said that the best deal she ever got on Black Friday was on an Xbox, and that “the best deals are usually on electronics but clothes and boots are always cheaper on Black Friday too!”

 

17 Ways to Make the Most of Black Friday

1. Create Your Gift-Shopping List

I’ve mentioned this before but it’s such an important part of saving money around the holidays that I’ve got to mention it again. Planning ahead is absolutely vital when you’re buying for the holidays. Write out who you’re going to buy for, what you’re going to get them, and be sure to have alternatives in mind in case the item(s) you want are sold out.

2. Decide on a Holiday Shopping Budget

Again, super important. You don’t want to be hating life as you stare at an empty bank account come December 26th. Saving money = good. Spending all the money = not good. We know this.

3. Do Your Research

Know the hours of the Black Friday sale, and when the items you want to buy, in particular are going on sale since some items go on sale at different times then others. Also, do some research online to see if you need to get in line early or if there are likely to be people camping out.

4. Check both online and paper ads

5. Combine the deals you find with coupons to save TONS

Take advantage of all the printable coupons that you can.

6. Look on Social Media

Check out the social media pages to find out about deals that may not be advertised through the traditional methods. Twitter is one of the absolute best places to find out about not as widely known sale info.

7. Make a Plan

If you can, go to the store ahead of time. Ask the sales attendants where the items you want to buy will be at since some of the items might not be in their standard location because of different promotional displays. Then, draw out a quick layout of the store, marking the path you’re going to take the morning of Black Friday.

8. Ask the Sales Attendants for Insider Info

Okay, so while you’re talking with the staff at the store about where the items will be on Black Friday also ask them if they know about any unadvertised deals. This is the thing, the staff gets info about deals way ahead of everyone else because they have to plan the displays. Be nice and friendly, and they just might spill some extra money-saving beans.

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in Seasonal, Sponsored
7 Advantages Introverts Have When it Comes to Money

7 advantages introverts have when it comes to money andthenwesaved.com

Most people fall into either the introvert or extrovert personality. If you’re not familiar with what these terms mean, I’ll explain them a bit. Introverts tend to be purposefully reserved, and they feel recharged after alone time. Extroverts however, tend to be thought of as being vocal and outgoing, and they feel energized by interacting with people. (Just today I heard about Ambiverts! These are people who have an equal mix of both the introvert and extrovert traits.) If you’re not sure which personality type you are go take this Extroversion Introversion Quiz, and come right back.

The topic of introverts and extroverts has been super fascinating to me for quite a while because when I was a kid I was constantly getting told I was quiet or shy, and it drove me nuts! I always took it as an insult, and vowed I would never call my kid shy when I grew up because it was a label I hated having put on me. Particularly, because I didn’t see myself as shy. Reserved and cautious around strangers, sure. Careful about my words and actions around strangers, yes, definitely. Quiet? I could see that. Shy though? Nah. I was choosing not to talk. And when I wanted to talk, I did.

As a kid I wasn’t sure to make of all this “shy” business. When I was around 11 or so, we were in a used bookstore, and I came across a book that was called something like, “Overcoming Shyness”, or something to that effect. I convinced my mom to buy the book for me, and then I read it ASAP so I could try to find the solution to my “problem”. (Oh… :’( didn’t mean for that to sound so sad! I want to go back and give my young self a hug.) I even wrote a letter to Dear Abby, and I asked her for advice on how to not be shy anymore. I don’t remember what she said exactly but I do remember feeling very hopeful when she wrote me back.

After all my research, and attempts to “fix” myself, and turn myself into an extrovert, I found, over time, that I just had to get more comfortable with who I was. I had to start doing things that I was proud of. Playing sports, taking photographs, and doing good things for other people. Slowly but surely, I gained confidence, and my anxiety around people lessened. I realized that being reserved isn’t a “bad” thing at all, that alone time is a necessity for me, and now, sometimes, you can’t get me to shut up once I get talking.;)

Not surprisingly, your ability to manage money may be directly related to your natural-born personality, and your personality traits may directly influence your knack –or lack thereof – of managing money.

 

Here are 7 Advantages that Introverts May Have When it Comes to Money (and we’ll talk about the advantages extroverts have in an upcoming post!)…

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6 comments

in Personal, Social, Societal Pressures
Get Yourself a Free Thanksgiving Turkey! Here’s How

get yourself a free turkey! - here's how andthenwesaved.com

On Thanksgiving day, I won’t be partaking in the turkey eating because I’m a Vegetarian/Pepperotarian (a Pepperotarian is someone who avoids all meats except for pepperoni on pizza. The Pepperotarian is a not so distant cousin of the Baconotarian. Basically, I’m a super shitty Vegetarian), but for the large majority of people, a Thanksgiving turkey is the centerpiece the holiday dinner. Turkeys are typically sold by the pound so if you have a big family to feed, the turkey cost can be on the high side. For people who are in dire financial straits, there are ways to get access to a free turkey and other meal staples through local food banks and churches. For people who want to be frugal, there are other ways to score a free turkey without taking anything away from those who are financially disadvantaged.

 

Here are 5 ways to get your Thanksgiving turkey for free…

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4 comments

in How To, Seasonal
9 Gifts for Guys That are All Under $22 Bucks

gifts for guys under 22 dollars andthenwesaved.com

When the holidays roll around I always have a mix of things going through my head. Mostly, it’s guilt-tinged thoughts of, “I really should make all the gifts to save money but… I just don’t, realistically, have enough time.” And the relief-filled thoughts of, “It would be easy to find some reasonably priced gifts.” So, usually, I end up doing a mix of both DIY gifts and store-bought items. Balance is a thing, right?

When Kohl’s asked me to come up with a few items that Aaron would like as gifts I immediately thought about how he wears dark wash, slim fit, Levi’s every single day but won’t by them at the Levi’s store because they’re at least 100% more expensive there then they are at Kohl’s. Anyway! That has nothing to do with this post.

I rounded up a few items that Aaron would really like, and the price of each item is under $22 because I’m cheap like that.

Aaron’s Gift List: 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9

 

P.S. Isn’t Michonne the biggest badass ever on Walking Dead? I want to be her when I grow up. (Just a heads-up that link is to a fairly graphic zombie killing scene. If you’re not into that type of thing you might not want to watch it.)

In compliance with FTC guidelines, I’m disclosing that this is a sponsored post. However, the opinions are my own, as always. Thank you for supporting the brands that help to make this site possible! – Anna

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in Sponsored
  • 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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