Living Tiny: Nicole’s Bathhouse – Home Tour
Author: Melanie Gnau

Living Tiny: Nicole's Bathhouse - Home Tour

Hi! Melanie here! At ATWS we’re interested in challenging the norm of debt and spending. That’s why we’re starting a new column called, “Living Tiny.” (See the 1st tiny home tour.) We’re focusing on 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 tiny house tour with Nicole. She’s a studio manager for a photography studio and lives with her cat, Nuka in Portland, Oregon. Take it away, Nicole!

Living Tiny: Nicole's Bathhouse - Home Tour

Hi, I’m Nicole! I’m a Portland, Oregon native that loves the outdoors, travel and my cat, Nuka. In my spare time I hike and shoot photos, go camping and help people design their tiny homes. I have a love for film photography and try to shoot film for personal projects.

My tiny house journey started while traveling back and forth between Portland and Cortes Island, BC. A good friend asked me if I’d like to make a photo book of tiny living spaces. After visiting some tiny homes on Cortes, I realized I wanted to build my own.

My reasons for wanting to live in a tiny house are all encompassing. I cannot fathom being able to afford an average 2-3 bedroom home in Portland with student loan debt, but I needed my own space. Rent has been going up in Portland at exponential rates and I became tired of paying $500+ for a room in a shared house. I felt like I was throwing money away. After living in a travel trailer and a car for a year, I realized how little I need, and the freedom of movement became more and more appealing. A tiny house seemed like a great investment towards ownership and I could get cheaper rent on a larger plot of land- allowing for money saved and more food gardening. Currently, I pay $250 a month plus utilities for a plot in a good friend’s backyard in NE Portland. Read More »


in DIY, Living Tiny (Home Tours), Minimalism, Simple Living
To Close Or Not to Close (Your Credit Card Account)
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Should you close your paid off credit card? |

Here’s a quick one for you today…

Hey, Anna!

I just paid off my highest interest credit card that I’ve had for over 10 years. I hear different things about closing cards completely—mainly that it would lower my FICO™ score to close it. What is your take on this?


To Close or Not to Close

Read More »


in Hey Anna (Reader Questions)
Our Collective Savings
Author: Anna Newell Jones

andthenwesaved spending fast spending diet collective savings

May’s Collective Savings were INSANE!! Together, in ONE MONTH!, we have saved/paid off $149,322.25! 

Now, our Collective Savings have grown to close to 1 MILLION DOLLARS! We’re up to $693,449.86! My eyes are popping out of my head in disbelief right now!

Join us by taking the Get Out of Debt Pledge and then add your savings so your hard work can be added to June’s total!

one comment

in Motivation, Paying Off Debt, Savings Total, Spending Fast
Are Prefabs the Affordable and Sustainable Way to Own a Home?
Author: Anum Yoon

Are Prefabs the Affordable and Sustainable Way to Own a Home? |

You need a house, pronto. You need a large, roomy and comfy place to live in, without having to deal with rent and annoying neighbors.

Fair enough. But there’s one problem: You can’t afford a traditional, site-built house.

Granted, you can take out a loan, but even loans can get pricey over time. So what’s a poor homeowner to do?

Read More »


in Investing
How to Make Over $700 Selling Used Books
Author: Kyle Taylor

How to Make Money Selling Used Books |

It’s a bit of a horrifying experience the first time you walk into a college bookstore. I remember the first time saying to myself, “You want a $145 for that?” To say I felt ripped off is an understatement, which is why this side hustle I’m about to share is all the more delicious.

I’ve written previously about how I sell used books online for extra money (“How to Become a Used Book Hunter“), but that involves going to garage sales every weekend and sweating the summer heat. Today I’m going to show you how to buy textbooks online at sites like Consider it my sweet revenge against the bookstores that overcharged me as a college student. :)

Here’s how to do it…

Read More »


in How To, Money
Simple Money Rules
Author: Melanie Gnau

Simple Money Rules

According to Warren Buffett, the rules of money are simple. “Rule number 1: Never lose money. Rule number 2: Don’t forget rule number 1.” And yet, we often break the rules. We lose money on bad investments or that late-night TV gadget. We lose money in the pockets of old jeans and from mindless online shopping. And the worst part about losing money isn’t just losing money, it’s losing your pride.

Have you ever broken Warren Buffett’s simple money rules? Tell me about it in the comments.

one comment

in Motivation
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
  • 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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