$321,414.89 in Debt Paid Off!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

spending fast savings total andthenwesaved.com

If you’ve visited the site this week you’ve probably noticed a cool new thing up there at the top of the site. That right there is the total amount of money that has been saved/debt that’s been paid off as a result of doing a Spending Fast or Spending Diet. That amount is the total from all the readers! I went through all the older and recent emails that I’ve received along with all the posts on this blog, tweets, Facebook messages, Facebook posts, and Instagram comments (all of it!) to get the total amount of debt paid off. Now, of course, this is subject to human error and there’s no way it’s going to be 100% accurate since everyone is self-reporting, and since I don’t have a staff to fact-check but I think we can take it for what it is, and be happy with the slightly imperfect, but completely encouraging and inspiring amount of debt that we’ve all paid off as a result of the Spending Fast/ Spending Diet. If you’ve somehow communicated to me an exact amount of debt you’ve paid off then that amount is included above. If you’ve contacted me with a success story (those are the best, btw! I live for those!) but didn’t tell me an exact amount than it’s obviously not included in the total because I wouldn’t know the amount to include.

On the 1st of every month I’ll update the total at the top of the site to show our collective savings. All you have to do is comment on the Collective Savings page with how much you’ve saved/paid off as a result of your Spending Fast or Spending Diet. You can report back everyday, every week, every month, or at the end of the year. Then, I’ll tally it all up so we can all see the total amount we’ve saved.

It’s so incredibly inspiring to see how much all that hard work has been paying off and to see that the Spending Fast and Spending Diet really work, and it’s really changing lives. Every single penny that’s getting paid off is one more step closer to the Freedom Land!

If you haven’t already, consider taking The Debt Free Life Pledge.

I’m so excited about this, and I hope you are too!

4 comments

in Savings, Savings Total, Spending Diet, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters
Scandalous (and Semi-Scandalous) Ways to Get Free Stuff
Author: Anna Newell Jones

scandalous ways to get free stuff (click through for the juicy scoop!) andthenwesaved.com

I’ll admit it. I’ve considered doing some scandalous/shady things in an effort to save money. Semi-scandalous stuff I’m usually okay with but I would never rip someone off or do anything illegal to save money ’cause, you know, that’d be stealing. Which is obviously not cool. The key is going right up to the scandalous line but not crossing it.

If you are extremely frugal, you are most likely ALWAYS trying to find new ways to get things completely for free or totally cheap. After all, there’s no point in shelling out your hard-earned money for something you can get for free! While there are a variety of ways to score free goods, some of them may be borderline immoral or perhaps even illegal so use your judgment.

 

Scandalous (and Semi-Scandalous) Ways to Get Free Stuff…

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10 comments

in Shamelessy Frugal, Things To Do
Birthday Loan Officer
Author: Anna Newell Jones

birthday loan officer episode portlandia

A friend sent me this link to the Portlandia sketch called Birthday Loan Officer that originally aired a year-ish ago. (I don’t know how in the world I’m just seeing this now!) Raise your hand if you can relate. (I’m raising my hand over here, btw.:P)

one comment

in Just For Fun, Social
Keep the Sparks Flying – 1,831 Questions to Ask Your Partner on Date Night
Author: Anna Newell Jones

1831 questions to ask your partner (click through!) andthenwesaved.com

Recently I saw this article on The New York Times called To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. It is a super interesting article that talks about how over 20 years ago psychologist Arthur Aron got two strangers to fall in love. It all starts by asking each other a series of 36 questions (The 36 Questions That Lead to Love). The questions start out broad and then one-by-one get increasingly more intimate. Basically fast-tracking the whole “get to know you” period. Then, the questions are followed up with a four-minute eye-to-eye stare down. This whole thing got me wondering, “Can you replicate what these people did even if you’re already in a relationship?” What if you just ask your partner all the questions right there in your living room? I figure that asking each other questions and staring into each other’s eyes is far less-expensive than relationship counseling and it could give you a major closeness booster so it could be worth a shot, right?

I’ve rounded up A TON (1,831) of questions for you to ask your partner (not all at once. lol). I’ve been trying to not assume I know how Aaron is going to answer because it’s so easy to do that after you’ve been with someone for awhile. That way it keeps me open-minded and he’s allowed to change, grow, evolve, and maybe even surprise me sometimes. :)

Use these questions in conjunction with a date night (24 Date Night Ideas for $10 or Less) or when you’re just emptying out the dishwasher together. It’s a free way to get closer and deeper your love.

 

1,831 Questions to Ask Your Partner to Get to Know Them Better… 

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3 comments

in Family, Friends, & Relationships, Things To Do
Spend to Save – Legit or Just Wishful Thinking?
Author: Anna Newell Jones

8 ways spending money helps you save andthenwesaved.com

Generally speaking, I am not a fan of spending money to get money but Dave points out 8 situations where spending actually helps you save- helping you to ultimately get out of debt quicker.

Dave B. is a small business owner who resides in Atlanta and writes about strategies to save money and get out of debt. – Anna

When it comes to getting out of debt, it seems obvious that the first thing you should do is save money, right? And the best way to save money would be to spend less of it, correct? Well, yes and no. Actually, there are some instances where spending more money can actually help you get out of debt. Once I finally wrapped my head around this idea, I managed to conserve more money than ever before and ended up getting myself out of debt much faster. Here’s a list of things that worked for me on my quest.

 

8 Ways Spending Money Can Help Get You Out of Debt…

1. Down Payments

The zero-down offers made by car dealerships are tempting, but you might pay more in the long run. For example, I recently purchased a car for $15,000, and put $5,000 down. I financed the rest for 60 months at 4% interest. In total, I’m going to be spending approximately $21,575. Had I put $0 down, this number would be $22,100. That’s $525 I saved just by making a significant initial payment. The same is true for money put down on a home. Bumping up your down payment from $6,000 to $10,000 on a $200,000 30-year fixed mortgage with a 4% interest rate saves you almost $3,000.

2. Insurance Premiums

In the past, when my auto insurance bill came in the mail, I just made each monthly payment and moved on. After I took a look at it, though, I found that I could save a full month or even more by paying it all off at once. My provider had a discount program in place where I essentially got one month free by paying it in full. I also noticed that I was being charged a $3 processing fee each month, so by paying the full balance I saved another $36 for the year.

3. Large Purchases

If you spend $400 on a 46-inch flat-screen TV made by a lesser-known manufacturer, you may think you’re getting a deal. However, if the TV malfunctions a year after you buy it, you might be left out in the cold. Most of the time, it’s cheaper to replace these high-end items rather than pay to have them fixed. If the power supply or picture tube on your flat-screen TV goes out, plan on spending $400 or even more to have it repaired.

That’s why it makes sense to spend a little more on quality. In most cases you can get yourself a mid-level flat-screen TV for about $100 extra, which is money well spent. You don’t necessarily need to purchase a Sony or a Samsung, but stay away from the really cheap brands like Seiki, Westinghouse, and Dynex. The same holds true for laptop computers and any other major purchases.

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5 comments

in Paying Off Debt, Practical Solutions, Savings
24 Date Night Ideas for $10 or Less
Author: Anna Newell Jones

24 inexpensive date ideas for under 10 dollars (click through!) andthenwesaved.com

Having more Date nights showed up on my list of things to work on in 2015. (We went out the other night and we saw The Theory of Everything. It was amazing. Try to see it if you haven’t already. If Eddie Redmayne doesn’t win the Oscar I’ll be shocked. He’s so talented.) Dates are such a great way to connect with your loved one whether you are married or still enjoying the early stages of a relationship. However, being on a debt free quest or making the decision to live frugally can sometimes throw an old monkey wrench in the romantic liaisons department. While thrifty thinking can change your automatic date instincts it definitely doesn’t mean that all those fun nights together have to end. Oh heck no. Just like with most things, when you’re being careful with your money you just need to get a little creative with your plans.

Here are 24 ways to celebrate a date night for $10 or less…

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5 comments

in Family, Friends, & Relationships, Social
The Reward…
Author: Anna Newell Jones

the reward

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!

4 comments

in Motivation, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Melanie’s Spending Diet Progress Report
Author: Melanie Gnau

How I Saved 1K in a Month (click through for more!) andthenwesaved.com

Below is Melanie’s December Spending Diet update. See all the past Spending Faster updates here. – Anna

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…

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3 comments

in Spending Diet, Spending Fasters, Things To Do
  • 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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