“People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.”
Well said, Mr. Porter. So, whatcha’ waiting for;)? Change your life already!
“People underestimate their capacity for change. There is never a right time to do a difficult thing.”
Well said, Mr. Porter. So, whatcha’ waiting for;)? Change your life already!
I cannot tell you how happy I am to welcome you to the new site! Mervi (and the whole team) over at Freckled Nest has been awesome with getting the site to look the way I want. Now, the site will (hopefully;) be a lot more user-friendly.
I’m super excited to get some brand-new money-saving, frugal-living, live-better-with-less posts posted! I’ve really missed blogging!
p.s. there are still a couple of glitches with the new site design, they’re getting worked on and they should be fixed soon:)
Last week was a whirlwind of greatness. Even with all the cool stuff that happened the thing that made me the happiest was that it was sunny out. This year’s winter seemed really mild as it was happening but when the sun started coming out all hot and bright it rocketed me into some straight up cloud-nine living. Seriously. Did that happen to anyone else?
Here’s a quick re-cap of the stuff that went down last week. And then, back to our regular programming;)
So, if it being sunny and amazing out wasn’t enough (it was) I was sitting at the allergist office waiting my required 1/2 hour between getting the allergy shots (that make me look like I have Popeye arms) and I was flipping through Westword’s Best of Denver issue. It is a epic issue that has a flat edged spine because it’s so massive. It’s packed with all the insider stuff happens in Denver that helps to make this town so great. I was chatting with my friend Shayla seeing what she was up to and then, wouldn’t you know it, And Then She Saved goes and pops out and catches my eye. I couldn’t have been more surprised to see that me and Tran Wills of Handbags.com got an award for Best Instant Wardrobe Change (sometimes they make up categories if they want to include something;) for the swaps we’ve been hosting around town. It was so cool! I was trying to contain my excitement since I was sitting in a waiting room but really, I was freaking out. When I got home Facebook was all lit up with different people in town saying they got awards. It’s neat to be recognized for stuff that I’m just doing just because it’s fun to do and because Denver ladies need Swaps. Amiright!? I also really like the part in the blurb where it calls Tran Wills a “Social Media Princess” because she is, and really whatever she’s touches turns to awesome. Big thanks to Westword for supporting stuff happening in town and for giving shout-outs.
Then, if that wasn’t enough (it was), one of my all-time favorite sites (and contributor to a wee-bit of my pre-spending fast debt because of all the crazy cute and unique items) Etsy, went and interviewed me about that post I wrote a couple weeks ago called The High Cost of Being a Bridesmaid (and What To Do About It). I love how they weaved my answers into an eloquently written and cohesive article. I’m always amazed how writers do that. They take sometimes totally different interview questions merge them with answers and their commentary and poof, there’s a great article. It’s the mad writing skills that really shine and Chappell Ellison worked her magic like the helluva’ good writer she is in her post Bridesmaid on a Budget.
Then, if that wasn’t enough (it was) The Nate Berkus show re-ran the Downsizing Debt episode I was on that aired back in October, and it was fun to re-live that whole surreal experience. Man, his smile is amazing. You’ve seen his smile right?
Then, if that wasn’t enought (it was)- is that getting annoying enough by now;)- my profile went public as a Staff Writer for Wise Bread! Wise Bread is one of the top personal finance sites out there and I could not be more thrilled to contribute to their amazingly helpful and chock-full-of-useful-information personal finance site.
Wow, now I’m out-of-breath;). It was quite a week and I’m so grateful to be able to have these opportunities and that you all have been, and continue to be, so supportive through it all.
If you didn’t read the posts, comment on them, and share your successes and struggles about how you’re living (and getting to living) a debt-free life in the community section, and if you all didn’t help me spread the getting-out-of-debt hope, And Then She Saved wouldn’t be what it is.
I’m so grateful and I’m so thankful.
Thank you for helping this blog grow! xo, Anna
“Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work and driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for in order to get to the job you need to pay for the clothes and the car, and the house you leave vacant all day so you can afford to live in it.” – Ellen Goodman
Yep. Kind of ridiculous (and completely true for most of us). Depressing much? Eeek… sorry:/
It reminds me of this quote by Chuck Palahniuk.
Missed the Accessories Swap? Here’s a great video that Ben Simkins created for Handbags.com. I love the part when the swap opens and all the ladies are running and picking up items (at the 1:28 mark;)
The Accessories Swap photobooth photographs are posted!
To view the photobooth photographs:
Then: Click on the Accessories Swap gallery
The photobooth just adds a little extra fun to any event. I love seeing all the shots after events to see what people did in the photos.
Have you seen this amazing list of Women Money Bloggers?!!!?!!? It’s chock full of tons of great sites! I’ve got a ton of sites to check out now.
(p.s. I’m so honored that And Then She Saved has been included in the list too;)
Benjamin Franklin was a very frugal man and had some extremely wise words on the subject. His frugal wisdom still apply to today’s times despite being over 200 years old!
(Benjamin Franklin also wrote a book called The Way To Wealth and there is a link at the bottom of this post to an online version of the book.)
I can relate to: #1, #5, #10, #13, #14, #16, #17, #19, #20 (SO wise), #24, #25 (YES!), #27, #30, #31, #32 (love it), #33, and #36 (touché). So, pretty much all of them. Which ones do you relate to?
Frugality (40-78) – Prudent economy; that careful management of anything valuable which expends nothing unnecessarily, and applies what is used to a profitable purpose; thrift; — opposed to extravagance
Here’s a free online version of Benjamin Franklin’s book The Way To Wealth if you’re interested in reading more.
How many of Ben Franklin’s frugal ways can you relate to?
**This giveaway has closed
Free stuff is great, and what’s even better is CUTE free stuff. So when a company wants to give And Then We Saved readers free, cute things I let ‘em! Um. Because I like y’all. A lot.
Remember the interview with the lady who won a large Sweepstakes, and the interview with the man who won 6 Million in the Colorado Lotto? The morale of both stories was: if you don’t play you can’t win!
Fair Ivy is a small company out of Santa Monica, CA that offers monthly surprise packages for women, men, teens and pets. They are eco-friendly and they support individual crafters and entrepreneurs.
The prize is a 2 month subscription where you’ll receive 1-2 surprise handmade goodies delivered right to your mailbox each month.
You won’t know exactly what the item(s) will be and that’s part of the fun! It’s a surprise! But here are some examples of what has been in some of their surprise packages:
The Giveaway will close on Sunday, February 5th at 5:00pm (Mountain time) and please be sure to leave your contact info in the requested fields when you leave your comment so I can reach the lucky winner.
Leave a comment below to tell me that you signed up for their newsletter and if you did the additional entries leave a comment below saying so and you’re good to go!
When the very talented Kat Kohl contacted me with her story of how she survives financially as an artist in New York City, I really appreciated what she had to say because being an artist in ANY city is tricky (amiright?!). Also, I often get questions about how to live in New York City on the cheap (one time I heard someone say that the only way to do it is, “Don’t Live In New York City”).
Kat determined her priorities, and she’s actively molding her days to create a life that reflects her values and goals. She’s choosing to make her dreams happen.
Here’s Kat’s story…
I’m a regular reader of And Then She Saved, and have utilized many of Anna’s tips within the past year. By making many MAJOR cutbacks on unnecessary items like clothing, going-out, and by eliminating Christmas gift exchanges with friends, I was able to save enough to attend an artist residency in Iceland. I took a 1 month leave of absence from my job so that meant that I had to fund my flight, residency, and essentials in Iceland all while still paying my New York apartment rent and my student loan! Thankfully, I was able to apply some vacation days, and I also received half my flight cost as a birthday gift from my parents, but having an apartment in Manhattan (that I share with 2 roommates) in addition to an art studio in Brooklyn means my hard costs are extremely high. I hope that my story below will help other young artists see that IT IS possible to hit the ground running in New York City while navigating the art scene, and also surviving financially.
This is how I do it:
I work as a Project Manager at Duggal, a fine art/graphics/custom display fabrication company that serves artists, museum, and retail clients around the globe. I earn a base salary + commission on my personal sales. My base covers all my necessary expenses with some left over, but my real “extra” cash comes from my commission check. I try to save as much of my commission check as possible for “rainy days”- such as when my computer died and I had to buy a new MacBook 2 days before I left for Iceland.
Once I was in NYC, I was so busy working in my studio that I hardly had time to go out with all the work I was doing in my studio on the nights and weekends. Early on I made a budget to see where every bit of my paycheck was going. I had to be realistic about the exact amount I had left-over every month.
I’ve only been to a movie or concert twice in the past 3 years. When I do go out, I look at the costs of drinks and food and choose very carefully.
Since my student loan is fixed I don’t benefit financially from paying it off sooner even if I wrote the loan company a check for the entire balance tomorrow. Also, as long as I have it, it provides me with a bit of a tax break. Some debt can be GOOD debt.
And how to be a young artist in New York City…
1. Keep the momentum going immediately after graduation
Just because professors aren’t giving you assignments to complete doesn’t means you should take a break. There shouldn’t be gaps on your professional resume, or on your artist c.v.. Galleries and buyers are more interested in your work if they see that there is a constant effort or progression on your end. This demonstrates to them that in the long run, your work would be a good investment because you are continuing to develop as an artist, thus raising the value of your work and interest of collectors.
2. Apply for grants
Grants are VERY hard to come by, and extremely difficult to obtain in New York because of all the competition. It is important to continuously apply for them though, but I would not DEPEND on them solely to create work and establish a studio. Also since galleries, dealers and buyers don’t want to visit your apartment to view your work, this means I needed a studio, and I made it my mission to find an affordable one.
Be willing to be flexible and share the space with others to reduce the cost
3. Network CONSTANTLY
I make it a habit to always have postcards of my work on me (it must include your contact information), because you never know who you will run into. You just might just meet someone who is a great connection.
4. Determine the cost of your studio rent by day
Consider that every day you don’t go, you lose X amount of money.
I think about how when I’m not working, someone else IS. THAT really gets me going!
5. View your studio as a small business
This means I need to spend money on supplies: a “storefront”, a website, and postcards/business cards for networking. However, you have to be realistic. Ask yourself if you are giving it 100% or not. If you are only giving a 25-50% effort, you should truly evaluate the cost of doing it “professionally” vs. “personally” as a hobby.
6. Don’t sell out, but be open to suggestions
Dealers are excellent studio guests because they know and will share with you what sells, what doesn’t, and what would showcase your work best. It is in their personal best interest to give you honest feedback, because they will be happy to represent you to their clientele if they think your work will sell.
Really evaluate their advice: is their suggestion an idea that can really improve and expand your work, or does it compromise your vision entirely?
7. PAY IT FORWARD
As a sculptor, I’ve utilized the help of many friends and family members for hauling, installing, and taking down my work. When given the opportunity, I do the same for others. Not only does it cut costs, but at the end of the day, the art world is a social network and a community. When other artist friends or gallery owners you know have an opening, you should attend as a show of support, and it will be reciprocated when your own work is being shown.
Do you have insider tips for surviving in your field? Think you could make it work as an artist in New York City? I’m curious, what do you think the biggest obstacle would be?
Would you like to be a contributor on a topic related to personal finance? Send me an email at: email@example.com. (Please know that credit or lending companies will not be considered. Only real people with real stories and experiences should email.)
I’m SO happy to start up the NEW Weekly Guest Writer/Contributor Section!!
It’s called Gettin’ Guesty and I’ll be featuring people who are tackling the debt/living simply/living frugal world from all angles.
I’ll showcase all sorts of different stories and experiences and it’s gonna be all sorts of awesome.
SooooooOOOOOooooOOooooooooooooooOOOOOOOOOOOOOooooooOOO without further delay… I am so pumped to introduce our VERY 1st contributor!
Kelly Newell Owner of SCOUT Dry Goods & Trade
Kelly just so happens to be my identical twin sister but that doesn’t mean that she didn’t have to go through the rigorous contributor process, because she did. I may have even grilled her a little more than the others to make sure she was up to snuff.
Can’t just be havin’ riff raff up in here!
SCOUT Dry Goods & Trade is located in Omaha, Nebraska and is situated right in the middle of the majorly cute Dundee neighborhood. Scout is at 5019 Underwood Avenue in case you wanna go right there and just check it out yourself.
And Then She Saved: What is the concept behind Scout? Tell us all about it.
SCOUT Dry Goods & Trade: We buy, sell and trade cool clothes. We stock men’s and women’s vintage and modern clothes, shoes, jewelry, accessories. We’ve also got some really great cards, posters, books and stamps. We love art and creativity and we feature several local and handmade items.
ATSS: For those who aren’t familiar with the Buy-Sell-Trade concept can you tell us what that means?
SDGT: Our concept is really similar to a consignment store except you don’t have to wait for your items to sell. We’ll give you store credit or cash before you leave and the whole deal doesn’t take long at all. Scout is all about recycling your old fashions to get new to you items. It’s a way to freshen up your style without spending a single cent. It is completely possible to have style without debt.
ATSS: How does your store help those looking to save money/spend less?
SDGT: All of our items are about 70% less than what they would sell for brand new. We only buy items for the shop that are currently fashionable and in excellent condition. We put out about 100 new items each day and have really great turnover so there is always something amazing in. People looking to save money can find the cutest stuff for a lot less.
ATSS: Rumor has it that you have an amazing $1 sale on Sundays. What are the details on that? That sounds really great!
SDGT: Yes! Every Sunday from 12n-5pm we have a $1 Sale with completely different items each week. The $1 items are items that people bring in to sell to us and we have to pass on them for one reason or another – not in season, too many currently in stock, slightly damaged, that sort of thing- and the person bringing them in also doesn’t want the items anymore so we put everything in our $1 Sale and then whatever is left over goes to a local not-for-profit organization the next day. Win-Win for everybody! I know lots of people that plan their Sundays around our $1 Sale- it is quite the compliment!
ATSS: What are the biggest “tricks”/tips you have for people buying vintage/thrift?
SDGT: Shop in all the sections, men’s, women’s and in all the sizes. Something may not be in the section you would normally look in but would be perfect for the look that you’re going for. You never know what you’ll find when shopping vintage/thrift. There is a lot of style to be had without spending a lot of money. It’s all about how the outfit is put together.
ATSS: What are your greatest tips for putting together inexpensive outfits?
SDGT: Invest in items that are core to your style-if you always go back to the black short sleeve boat neck top with the equally low back-invest in one in a quality material-you’ll get your monies worth. Shop your favorite 2nd hand stores often and sign up for their emails. It really is all about timing, we get so many new items every single day. I’ve seen it time and time again where a customer will wait to purchase an item and come back to find it sold and is totally bummed. So, if you see an inexpensive item that you love snatch it up right then! We also have Secret Sales that we only tell people about through our emails. They are kind of a little “thank-you-for-being-so-awesome-and-opening-our emails-and-paying-attention-to-us” present so that’s another way to buy inexpensively with us.
ATSS: What is the best/worst thing about buying vintage/thrift?
SDGT: Best: the variety, the uniqueness and the history behind each piece. Worst: Items damaged beyond repair and overpriced items.
ATSS: What’s the best item and worst item that has come through Scout?
SDGT: The first year we were open we used to see a lot of underwear (!) that was kind of gross:) Now that we’ve been around for a bit people have a better idea of what we buy and sell. One of my favorite things is getting to know which customers sell us really good stuff and then seeing them come in the door with a load of stuff to sell! How cool is that?! Amazing items just walking through the door and gets set right in front of us?! I love my job! As far as my favorite item that I got from Scout- it is a vintage necklace with an intricate black, white and gold penguin made from diamonds and it hangs on a long gold chain. When the penguins’ stomach opens there is a little gold fish dangling there! It is the cutest thing.
ATSS: Anything you regret selling?
SDGT: Not really-its kind of a karma thing. My feeling is: “Gotta let awesome go to get awesome back.”
ATSS: Anything else you’d like to share that you haven’t been asked?
SDGT: Come to Omaha and go shopping with me!
SCOUT Dry Goods & Trade ● THANK YOU ● for being a part of And Then She Saved!
If you would like to be considered as a contributor for Gettin’ Guesty send me an email at: Hello@AndThenSheSaved.com
Do you ever find yourself staring at a whole mess of leftovers in your refrigerator? I’ve found that eating out of the fridge and out of the cupboards- using up the stuff I already have is a great way to cut back on spending money. Groceries tend to eat up most of my money thoughout the month.
Stinkin. Groceries! Are! Expensive!
I was thinking people would probably be way more into leftovers if they had a more fun name.
Maye something like: “Deja Vu Meals”.
Seriously. Am I right or am I right!? That’d be WAY more fun.
Or, we could called them: “Hello Again Meals.”
Or: “Hi Again’s”.
Or: “Hey Stranger, New To Town? Nope. You’re Not!”
Okay, now I’m just getting hysterical.
What’s your favorite leftover meal? How do you stretch your bucks in the meal department?
(Totally un-related fact: when my identical twin sister and I were little kids we always thought that if we had our own “identical twin sitcom” we would call it “Deja Vu”. We grew up with that twin show “Sister Sister” so we thought we had a shot.
And, well, we would be hiiillarrious, of course!
We always thought about going to a Twins Festival too. Anyone ever been to one?)