Fears are a part of daily life. We have big fears and little fears of average and extraordinary things. While fear is a natural part of human existence, it can be the one blocker that stops you from success and achieving great things.
Here are 25 ways to conquer the fears that scare the crap out of you so you can keep moving onward and upward…
“Never trade what you want most for what you want in the moment.”
It’s so easy to go for the quick option… to pick up coffee on the way to work (or ahem, a breakfast burrito) instead of making coffee at home, or to go buy something new at the mall when there’s an event coming up instead of wearing something you already own.
I’ve found that changing your life and your habits is all about delaying what you want right this second (new clothes, lunch out, etc.) for what you want long-term (an end to the cycle of guilt, no more freaking debt). I know, way easier said then done but it really is so worth it.
You deserve to be debt-free, and you deserve to have the life you’ve been dreaming about. xo, Anna
2013 wasn’t a year I expected it to be. In late 2012, I graduated with my Master’s, started my doctorate, and began a new job—my dream job. The new job lasted for only six weeks before I was laid off. Then I began several miserable months of unemployment. During this time, besides wallowing and fervently searching for a job, I had to go overseas for family reasons. Luckily, I had some savings for the unexpected trip, and there I was—traveling to the other side of the world with just a small piece of luggage and handbag. While overseas, not only did I have my mind off of disheartening unemployment, but I also turned to minimalism.
Disorganization is a normal part of most everyone’s life. With our crazy schedules and only 24 hours in a day, many people say they never have the time to get their act together. While it is a common enough though process among the masses, the reality is people that claim they don’t have the time are actually guilty of not making the time.
We may not all live a life of a chronic hoarder but there are certainly parts of our lives that could use some serious organization. The trouble with making strides towards putting things in their proper place is many people just have no idea where to start. The thought of beginning something new is so overwhelming to many, they just do nothing.
I heard this really powerful saying the other day. So powerful that I felt compelled to go up to the lady and talk to her after she said it. She wrote it down for me so I wouldn’t forget it. She wrote it on a napkin; that napkin in the picture :)
“What I had, I spent. What I saved, I lost. What I gave, I have.”
I think that saying meant so much to me when I heard it because it showed me that while we talk so much the technical aspects of saving money and getting out of debt on this site that really what has become the most important piece of keeping myself out of debt, and to avoid having those bad money habits creep back into my life is to share the real and personal stuff about how I got out of debt.
What I learned throughout the years of the Spending Fast and Spending Diet is not mine to keep to myself, to hoard, to be selfish with. Sharing and giving what I know is what it’s all about. It’s also why I love it when you all tell me and the other readers what you know about saving money and getting out of debt in the comments and in the Community section. I know I don’t know it all, and I always, always learn so much from you all. Feeling sappy today for some reason… xo, anna
Setting out to achieve goals is no doubt, noble. If you want to get out of debt, eat out of your fridge every day, work out, or just be nicer to others you absolutely can but goals will not complete themselves without work on your end. In order to be successful at reaching your goals, you must put forth the effort and keep finding ways to remain motivated in your quest.
Here are 27 ways to help you achieve the goals you have set for yourself…
The term ‘Cheapskate’ is not always thought of in a good light. However, in light of the economy and the need to consider your future financial situation, becoming a cheapskate is not an unreasonable goal to set. Whether you call yourself cheap, thrifty, frugal, budget-conscious, money-wise, or financially smart it doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you are pro-actively saving cash you will need down the road.
A few months ago I went to New York City to shoot a couple of videos for PNC Bank’s new website. It’s pretty cool how the videos turned out and to see the paper illustrations mixed in with each instructor’s talk. My fellow instructors were Luke Landes of Consumerism Commentary, David Ning of Money Ning, and Galia Gichon of Down to Earth Finance.
I was a couple of months pregnant when the videos were shot but I wasn’t telling anyone at that point. I squeezed my bloated, nauseous body into a pair tights that the production team picked out for me and I tried to keep it all together. I had big plans to wander around New York City and go to Donut Plant and to see Stefan Sagmeister’s The Happy Show Exhibit (remember that time he kissed me? that was fun) but do you wanna know what I did instead? I stayed in the hotel room to sleep, be near a toilet (for any renegade barfing that might occur), and to watch a marathon of whatever was on Bravo. Since we don’t get that fancy channel it sounded like a perfectly sane way to spend my time in New York. And it was, totally was.
My 2nd video is called Setting Goals to Save More and will be released before the new year. I’ll let you know when they post that video. All the videos are solid and have a ton of useful info. I hope you get a chance to check them all out. xo, Anna
On Wednesday, August 7th, I’ll be doing a talk all about the Spending Fast. It will be hosted by Hannah Raynes of Trilogy Financial Services at The Curious Theatre here in Denver. The event will start at 6:00pm with drinks and appetizers and then the talk will begin at 7:00pm. There will be a question and answer session after the talk too so if you’ve ever wanted to meet, learn more about how the Spending Fast works and have some questions answered then this is a great event to attend. Oh, and did I mention it’s free? :) Can’t beat that!
If you think you’ll be attending, please send me a quick email at: firstname.lastname@example.org (so we know how much food to get). In the subject line please put: 2 attending event (or however many people will be going).
Hope you can make it! It’d be great to meet you in person! xo, Anna
** Update regarding parking: The theatre has recently lost the use of the parking lot on the south side of the building. Here are a couple of additional options: until 6pm, parking will be available on the street – and then after 6, guests can park in the DCCU lot across the street. Street parking – on Acoma, it’s free for two hours at a time until 6pm – then free o
n the cross streets, it’s metered, but free after 6pm.
This is a biggie for you. I always get asked what my favorite personal finance blogs and sites are and while I want to include every single one that exists I’ve narrowed it down to my 58 favorites (in no particular order).
58 of My Favorite Personal Finance Blogs and Sites…
The thing about personal finance is it’s often a really boring and dry topic to read about. At Budgets Are Sexy, Jay infuses every article with tons of personality, which makes it much more entertaining. Anything that can be done to make personal finance more interesting gets a thumbs up from me!
I like how the writer shares details from his own life while sharing personal finance tips based on current events. (Side note: Luke Landes started this site 10 year ago! It’s a granddaddy personal finance blog.)
Another personal finance blog with multiple contributors, PT Money provides a good variety of finance and life tips that just about everyone can relate to. (Side note: Philip Taylor runs the site and he also runs FinCon which is a personal finance conference held in the fall every year. If you’re a personal finance site junkie it’s THE place to be. Last year FinCon was held in Denver which was super handy and I’m bummed I’ll be missing it this year because it’ll be too close to my due date so I won’t be able to fly. Luckily, it’s an annual conference!)
The time-honored financial advice of spending less money than you earn and learning to pay yourself first is the theme on J.D. Roth’s Get Rich Slowly blog. You can’t help but be inspired if you read about J.D’s journey from $35,000 in debt to financial independence.
The majority of personal finance blogs talk about how to live frugally and how to cut expenses. Afford Anything talks about how to afford the things you want instead of learning to live without them, which puts everything into perspective.
If you’re looking for meaty, substantial articles with personal finance advice (and not so much about the writer’s personal journey), take a look at MoneyNing. (Side note: David Ning who runs the site is super nice)
Love how Jaime Tardy interviews actual millionaires for her blog each week, and shares what makes them successful. Instead of just reading basic financial articles, you can gain information from real people who have actually been through the situations they’re talking about.
Ben has been interested in personal finance from the time he was 12 years old. By the time he was in high school, he was already investing money. His financial knowledge has come in handy for his family, and now he shares what he’s learned on his blog.
This guy (also a fellow Coloradan) retired at the age of 30, with his wife, Mrs. Money Mustache, so they could start living their lives and start a family. They didn’t win the lottery or receive a big inheritance, they did it by learning how to become financially independent with the income they had. This is a really inspiring blog if you hope to retire at a young age, and if you like mustaches.
I have been on a spending diet for the past 20 years. It started abruptly when I was laid off from work the day after I found out I was pregnant. There’s nothing like seeing your family’s income cut in half to motivate you to tighten up your budget. The spending diet became permanent eight months later when my husband and I decided I should stay home with our new daughter.
Now, that same daughter is a sophomore in college and her sister will be a freshman in August. My husband and I aren’t wealthy and we have some work to do for retirement, but our daughters will graduate with little to no debt because we were able to scale back and save for their education.
A lot of you are at the beginning of your journey to financial health. It may feel like it will be impossible to maintain a 20-year spending diet. Not only is it possible, somewhere along the way you reboot your wants and needs. At some point in the journey the diet becomes the norm. The more you save, the more motivated you become to find new ways to save.
I may sound positive and cheerful about it now, but trust me there were times when I felt like I was missing out. It’s hard to watch friends enjoying the outward expressions of financial success while you’re being practical and saving for multiple college educations.
About 15 years ago our closest friends both bought large, expensive homes. They were getting promotions, spending tens of thousands on furniture and decorative improvements. My husband was also getting promotions, but we chose to sit tight in our starter home and continue to save.
Six years ago we finally made the move. It was pretty bad timing, but because of the size of our down payment our mortgage is not under water. Our home is valued at more than we paid for it and we’ve ridden out the financial downturn pretty well. If we had allowed our egos to lead us into a home purchase before we were ready I honestly do not believe we would have fared as well.
Nothing we do is extraordinary. We exercise patience and we use as much common sense as we can scrape together when making financial decisions. We find joy in simple things and we relish experiences rather than things.
Here are five tips we used that helped us curb the urge to spend…
Saving money is something all of us can since there are so many ways you can save regardless of your income or your personal finance management skills. It’s really as easy as becoming conscious and making a few simple changes!
Here are 33 ways to easily save a buck right this minute…
1. Look in your pockets
Loose change in your pockets should be kept in a piggy bank and allowed to accumulate then deposited into your savings account.
2.Adjust your home thermostat
When you are leaving your home for the day, make sure the thermostat is set properly to prevent the heat or air conditioning from coming on unnecessarily.
3. Clip some coupons
Review the coupons pages in the newspaper or magazines to save money on the items you use most often. Keep the coupons in your wallet so you have them at checkout time and can easily discard them after they’ve expired. (Related: How to Coupon Like a Pro)
4.Sign up for loyalty rewards
Sign up for the loyalty rewards cards at the supermarket and other stores you favor. They often have exclusive deals not afforded to the general public that will save you money.
5. Unplug unused electronics
Sure it’s convenient to keep your phone charger and other electronics plugged in when they are not in use but you can save quite a few dollars in a year by unplugging anything not being used.
My husband, Trevor, has a green thumb, remnant of a country-boy upbringing, I imagine. When we were house hunting a few years ago, his number one priority was a backyard for a beautiful garden. And, mind you, this was before gardening was a cool hipster thing to do. So I rolled my eyes and shrugged my shoulders through the entire first planting season after we moved into our house. He poured hours into that garden, moving raised beds to different places in the yard, carefully mapping and marking what should go where at what time.
How to Plant a Garden and Save Some Dough in the Process…
Money mistakes are pretty common even among those of us that practice good personal financial management methods. In some cases, the guilt from a money mistake can linger and end up causing even more mistakes. A cycle of bad money decision and mistakes can quickly cause problems in your finances so it is best to recognize the mistakes you’ve made and make a commitment to moving on and doing better in the future.
I made a bulk of these money mistakes before I decided to change my relationship with money and sometimes the guilt from those past decisions haunts me still. By deciding to be pro-active about my money and money-related decisions I’ve been able to change negative thoughts regarding money into positive ones. Luckily, we can get past these mistakes and move on with our lives!
18 Money Mistakes We’ve All Made and Can Totally Get Past…
Just when you think about giving up, remember why you’ve held on for so long.
Need a boost? Bring up whatever you’re struggling with financially here in the Community area. Trust me, you are not alone.
Need a kick in the pant’s kind of boost? Read through the Debt Free Life Pledges. These people have some serious hope and motivation, and they believe they can change their lives. I believe they can change their lives too. I believe you can change your life too. Do you want it bad enough? That’s the only thing you need to decide.
Summertime is here! I absolutely love the summer months but they are usually the months when I have the hardest time sticking to my budget because of all the fun things to do! While the sunny days and festive nights are great staying frugal is where I’m focusing my efforts.
Anyone who has a significant amount of debt can tell you that trying to eliminate that debt is hard work because nothing worth having comes easy.
Getting out of debt IS absolutely, completely worth it but it is generally, not an easy process. But, get this- you/me/we CAN do hard things. The secret is to keep going. Keep going when you do not want to and when your motivation starts to fade. Remember back when you decided you wanted to get rid of your debt? Remember when you signed the Get Out of Debt Pledge and decided you were going to change your life? Remember how excited you were and how you were committed to doing whatever needed to be done to get out of debt?! I want you to go back to that place and time and reactivate that drive and motivation.
I want you to know that it’s normal to have wavering motivation. Sacrificing stuff sucks. Turning down trips, concerts, dinners out can be a total bummer, and that’s okay be sad about sacrifices! Remember WE CAN DO HARD THINGS.
Recommit and get the heck back on that money-saving train! I want you to have a new life. You deserve to be free from debt and you deserve to have that terrible, soul-sucking debt cloud removed from your life. You deserve to walk lighter and to hold your head higher. You deserve guilt-free vacations. You deserve that new pair of shoes or fancy, delicious coffee and warm morning muffin on the way to work once in a while but you deserve them guilt-free! You deserve to know that you can set your mind to something, and that you can actually accomplish it. You deserve to have ZERO DEBT. You deserve to have freedom! You deserve autonomy! You deserve all the best that life has to offer and let me tell you, nothing feels as good as being debt-free. Do it for you. Getting out of debt is the best gift you could ever, ever give to yourself!
Still not convinced that lacking motivation is part of the getting-out-of-debt process? This is how it all went down for me (in a nutshell)…
There’s no question that student loans are completely overwhelming for a majority of people (they were for me). We’re all encouraged to get higher educations, take on massive amounts of debt when we’re fresh out of high school (at an age when most of us can’t even begin to fathom the amount of student loans we’re happily signing up for) in hopes of an amazing future (I eagerly did it!). Fast forward to 6 months after graduation and you’re obligated to start paying back the loans. Things go fine for awhile but reality soon hits when you see that the majority of your income is going to pay back your student loans.
So how do you continue to trudge along paying off the student loans while not getting discouraged in the process, and come out victorious over those big ol’ debts? I’m happy to report that there is a new tool that will help…
With national student loan debt exceeding credit card debt in 2012, SimpleTuition decided to create a unique new rewards program to help the 38 million Americans pay down their student loan debt faster. The new rewards program is called SmarterBucks and it is innovative. The program is completely free and gives users cash-back on their everyday purchases that go directly towards paying down student loans. Whether it’s through purchases online through their Marketplace, taking branding surveys, financial literacy quizzes, or day-to-day spending using the SmarterBank Visa debit card, SmarterBucks users earn rewards on the money they are already spending to help them pay down their student debt faster.
The Marketplace has hundreds of brands that can earn members anywhere from 1-16% with online purchases.
2. Gifted rewards from family and friends
Family and friends can sign up for SmarterBucks and SmarterBank and gift any earned rewards to the recipient of their choice. A SmarterBucks member can have as many Gifters as they want.
3. Contributions from family and friends
SmarterBucks members can invite family and friends to make one-time or recurring monthly contributions from their credit/debit card that goes directly toward paying down that member’s designated student loan.
4. SmarterBank® Visa® Debit Card
With the (optional) SmarterBank Visa Debit Card, members will earn SmarterBucks rewards on all non-PIN purchases that they make with the card.
5. SmarterBucks Exclusives
Special offers, often arranged directly with the merchant, offers discounts that can’t be found in the SmarterBucks Marketplace.
6. Monthly SmarterBucks Giveaway
Every month all SmarterBucks members are automatically entered to win anywhere from $1,000-$2,500 in SmarterBucks. (Love this!)
Do your student loans weigh you down and how are you conquering them?
This is a sponsored post but as always, my opinions are my own. Thanks for supporting the brands that help make this site possible! xo!
There are more exciting places to take your money than the pump!
The current cost of gasoline is averaging around $3.80 in Denver and DC, $3.90 in Portland, $4.00 in LA, and $4.10 in Chicago. That means that you urbanites dwelling in these cities and beyond are spending at least $50 a month in gas. Here at And Then We Saved, we practice “Saving where we can, so we can spend where we want.” So it’s all about utilizing public transportation, hopping on your bike, or commuting – if the distance is less than 10 minutes by car – just walk. Plus, we need at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted exercise per day anyways!
This list is based on the notion of freeing up 50 dollars per month.
This is a post by Chelsea who is currently doing a Spending Fast®.
Change can be such a scary concept! Leaving the life rituals that you are used to and starting something new seems almost suffocating at times.
I was living in Ohio and having to work two jobs because after seven months of living there, I still couldn’t find full time employment. The world as I knew it ended and here I am, three weeks later, sitting in my new apartment in North Carolina with not one but two full time job offers. I have no idea which one to pick! How did I get to this point? Does it matter? What an awesome predicament!
Change is awkward and uncomfortable and unfamiliar but sometimes it’s good. Although I am very lonely and unhappy about my recent relationship split, I now have time to focus on my career. Which, when on a Spending Fast, is a great thing! What do I wanna be when I grow up? I have no idea! Now is a great time to channel my energy into figuring that out.
During the move, the bottom drawer to my dresser decided to break. My apartment has a big enough closet that all of my dresser items can fit inside it. As I was starting to take the dresser to the dumpster, I realized that I don’t have a desk. And a desk is really just a dresser without the drawers! So I took that bad boy back inside and started unscrewing the drawer brackets. After about 30 minutes of work, I have a new desk! It got beat up a bit in the move so I will have to paint it but instead of spending money on a desk, I created a free one. I changed something familiar into something new and useful.
After thinking about it, isn’t that what being on a Spending Fast and paying off debt is all about? Deciding to commit to the change instead of pushing against it. Changing your spending habits may seem weird and uncomfortable now but in the long run, it’s going to be beautiful and make your life more functional.
What are some ways a life change turned out surprisingly well when at first you weren’t sure it’d all work out okay?
Chelsea Overton is in the midst of a Spending Fast® and writes about it from North Carolina with her bulldog, Xena the Warrior Princess, by her side.
There can be a certain physical reaction you experience when you are out shopping – something that feels similar to complete euphoria when you find the oh-my-gawd-perfect-handbag or those awesome-fitting-jeans. For some people the reaction goes way deeper in that shopping becomes a high they can’t seem to live without. While not everyone has a true addiction to shopping, it can still be a satisfying experience.
Imagine no longer having the stress of worrying about how you plan to pay your electric bill. Focus on how amazing it would feel to not have to cringe every single time your telephone rings out of fear of a bill collector on the other end.
Frugality can go a long way to debt relief and getting your financial life back on track. Finding ways to save money in your daily life will certainly exercise your mind and your creativity. Frugal can be fun! Not only that but you can achieve so much more by using your powers for good.
When it comes to getting out of debt, there is a lot of information out there to help you reach your goals. Of course, you can read pages and pages about how to get out of debt. But, does it work? Does anyone really ever do it? I’m here to tell you that they do. How do I know? Well, I have been on both ends of the debt spectrum — from declaring bankruptcy to paying off my own debts. I share this story with all of you, not for accolades or “atta’ girl” notations, but rather because it sometimes helps to know that you are not alone and there really can be a light at the end of the tunnel (no matter how long that tunnel might be).
This is a post by Chelsea who is currently doing a Spending Fast®.
Since starting my Spending Fast a little over three months ago, I have learned quite a bit more about myself than expected. One of the main things is that I have a lot of marketable talent that I completely didn’t realize. Last Monday I started a new job (hallelujah) and my title went from “Clerk” to “Information Technology Specialist.” I tell you this because my college degree is in Spanish. I have no formal training in computers, I just happen to enjoy working with computers. I realized this a few months ago and added my skills to my resume. After meeting a new friend, I mentioned to her that I was good with technology and she told her boss; the rest is history.
How To Figure Out Your Skills and Sell Them for Cash…
My second month of being on a Spending Fast has come to an end and I must admit that I am thankful. During the first month I was all like, “Woo, look at me! I’m saving money and being awesome.” This month has been more like, “Ugh, I really want to buy nail polish and chocolate and wine and this whole not spending thing sucks.”
I know that by writing about my journey through And Then We Saved and on my personal site, I have been able to stick with my commitment. It is so tempting to cheat and buy something small every once in a while, but knowing I will have to report back on my progress has helped tremendously. I am an extremist by nature and often get pumped up about doing things and then burn out almost immediately. I jumped into the Spending Fast with the notion that I was unstoppable and could do anything. After eating cold soup (no microwave at work) and cracker sandwiches for lunch, the idea of being on a Spending Fast has become a reality. I am so grateful to receive motivation and encouragement from all the readers who share similar experiences. It’s comforting to know I am not alone.
All that being said, it’ s time to report my month two totals. Drum roll please…
There are a few memorable TV shows that come to mind when thinking of the word cheap skate. Think of Seinfeld’s George Costanza who always tried to get everyone else to pay for his lunch at the diner and famously ordered the cheap-o wedding invitations with the toxic envelope glue. Even junior audiences have Mr. Krabs who wouldn’t let a penny hit the floor without rushing to the scene.
While we may laugh about these funny TV personalities or mock their cheapness, there is some financial logic behind their extreme frugal personalities, and it makes me wonder, “Is being cheap the key to living your dream life?” And, if it’s not THE KEY permanently, is being a cheap skate at least temporarily the key?
I think so.
How Being Cheap Is The Key To Living Your Dream Life…
Recently, I interviewed Jackie Beck who is the founder of The Debt Myth and creator of Pay Off Debt (an iPhone app that’s helped tens of thousands of people use the debt snowball method) Jackie and her husband paid off over $147,00o in debt and she is now dedicated to helping people get out of debt and really learn to love their financial life. That sounds pretty good to me! Here’s how they did it…
A Q&A With Jackie Beck- “How We Got Out of Over $147,000 in Debt!”…
As with many resolutions, made at the New Year and beyond, we start out strong towards a goal. But as time goes by and glitches in the road trip us up, we tend to lose our steam. When our path to debt freedom is sidetracked by an unexpected expense or we fall off the wagon when we see something we just ‘can’t live without!’ we tend to get down on ourselves and blow our commitment towards getting out of debt and staying there.
Staying motivated is possible for all goals – but you have to work at it.
How To Stay Motivated To Get Out Of Debt For The Whole Year…
Tahnya Kristina had a 6-figure income and lost it when the market crashed. Today she’s sharing how she’s made getting out of debt her number one priority and how she changed the way she approaches money.
Getting Out of Debt Is Not Fun, But It Can Be Easy…
Admittedly, old habits can seem hard to break. When you get into your own daily routines, you tend to wander along through your days without changing too much. This is because routine is comfortable and change is tends to feel very uncomfortable.
When it comes to money, people get set in their ways with how they do things just like we do in other areas of our lives. We pay our bills, put money into savings (ideally) or we avoid our bills and over-spend; everyday waking up and going to work so we can keep our lives moving.
Many times, when we have never-ending debts we tend to shrink away from our obligations because they feel so overwhelming. I know I was stuck in the cycle of doing just the bare-minimum to keep my head about water but when I started to make itty-bitty jolts of progress or when I had money in my pockets it felt weird. I was so used to being broke and struggling that having things go any other way were super forgein. I had to re-train my brain to get more and more comfortable with the idea of things not being how they historically had been. Who would’ve guessed that as terrible as being in debt felt that having money in my account would feel strange too.
It seems that every frugal person I know is into washing out and re-using their plastic baggies. I think the minute we decide to be more money-conscious we get a letter in the mail that says, “Just FYI, re-using plastic baggies will now be your ‘thing’.” So, as the good frugal person I am I, of course, wash and re-use my plastic baggies. Everything was going just fine until one day we had to buy a new box of plastic baggies. This made no sense since I should have at least 20 baggies that were ready to be re-used. I knew something was up. Was I not putting them back into the cabinet like I thought I was? Was an elf slipping in and stealing my baggies? Who’s got beef with my baggies? Turns out, my husband Aaron’s got beef with my plastic baggie habit and has been tossing my plastic baggies when I wasn’t looking! Raining on my frugal parade? Yes.
Turns out my constant stream of wet plastic baggies were really annoying him because they were never truly getting dry, and as he now puts it he says, “They were ripe for disease!” Since the plastic sticks together when they’re wet they were always a little damp on the inside. Enter my magic invention (and marriage saver), the plastic baggie dryer! Now, my plastic baggies are always dry and they have a place to hang so they don’t take up valuable dish rack dryer real-estate. First-world problems, I know.
How to Make a Plastic Baggie Dryer (and Stop Annoying Your Husband)…
Recently, I found out about Color Me Katie and her theory of creating art with what she either already owns or with inexpensive things like markers, poster board, colored paper, or stuff from the dollar store. She says (and I’m totally paraphrasing here), “You don’t need to spend a lot of money to make art.” So when I came home from Alt I found myself with all this colorful candy and decided that I was going to use what I had to make something fun. So that’s what I did!
“Don’t give up before the miracle happens.” – Fannie Flagg
It’s easy to feel discouraged when things get tough through the getting out of debt process but I have to urge you to continue on. If you haven’t started your getting out of debt journey yet, believe that’s it IS possible to become debt-free.
Please, do not give up before you start. You deserve a debt-free life so let’s kick some debt-ass together and get on with some good living!
Whoa. It’s been 3 years (as of December 29th) since I started this site as a way to document my impending Spending Fast, and I always like to look back at the previous year to take it all in and appreciate what’s happened and the progress that’s been made.
The first year (2010) was all about the Spending Fast, and I managed to eliminate close to 18k that first year (!!).
The second year (2011) was all about the Spending Diet, and I managed to eliminate the remaining debt. It took a total of 15 months to knock-out the debt that I thought I would die with.
This third year (2012) has been all about trying to learn how to spend “normally”. Some months have been super easy and other months, super terrible. I guess that’s about as “normal” as it gets, huh?
There are often things I see that I really, really want, and even though I know I don’t need whatever it is that’s catching my eye sometimes my judgment lapses, and I just cave to the temptation.
The impulse to buy these things can be really powerful sometimes, and making small purchases can add up to several hundred dollars or thousands of dollars a year if you’re not careful– and if you’re anything like me you probably won’t even use the impulse buy a few weeks after you make the purchase.
Avoiding “wants” is essential if you want to save money, especially if you’re following the Spending Fast or the somewhat more lenient Spending Diet plan.
Here are a few ways to avoid buying everything you (think) want…
I was finally REALLY ready to be done with debt for good. I was committed to the process and it was time to take action.
The Spending Fast can seem very restrictive (because it is) but it was surprisingly freeing to have those restrictions. I no longer had to feel guilty about shopping and spending. If an item was on the “needs” side of my “wants and needs list” I could buy it was and if it wasn’t on the “needs” side of the list, I didn’t buy it.
To buy or not buy was clear-cut. There was no grey area. To have those limitations was a relief.
Have you ever had limitations put on you only to found that you were less stifled than anticipated?
A Spending Fast ® is considered an extreme but very effective method of getting out of debt quickly. A Spending Fast works through the elimination of all “non-need” spending.
I did a Spending Fast and I substantially improved my financial situation by paying off $23,605.10 in debt. It only took 15 months and I couldn’t believe it! Because I’m now debt-free I can live the life I’ve always wanted to live. I’m able to be autonomous and I’m able to focus on my goals without having debt hanging over my head and affecting all of my decisions.
There are a few things to think about before you start your own Spending Fast and all of these elements will affect how fast you are able to become debt-free.
These Factors Will Affect Your Spending Fast ®
The total amount of debt you have
How much spending you decide to cut out
How committed you are to the process
The duration of time that you chose for your Spending Fast
How much money you can make by selling your unused possessions
What you chose to do to generate additional income and how much money you can bring in with the side job(s)
When I finally decided that I had to be done with my debt my life completely changed, mainly because I was finally willing to do whatever I needed to do to be done with my debt once and for all. The cycle of debt, guilt, and remorse had to end.
Life is so much better on this side — the debt-free side! If you’re ready to change your life and if you’re ready to get rid of your debt quickly, this is how to do a Spending Fast. You can do this!
How To Do A Spending Fast ®…
1. List Your Debts and Their Interest Rates
Make a list of all your bills, and then write the highest-interest rate bill at the top of the list with the lowest interest rate bill at the bottom of the list. This will determine the order in which you will eliminate each bill: highest interest rate bill to the lowest interest rate bill.
2. Ask Your Creditors for Lower Interest Rates
Call the credit card companies and ask them to lower your interest rate. They just might do it so it’s worth a shot to call them and ask.
3. Picture the Life You Dream of Living
Determine your priorities by putting actual pen to paper and by writing down your ideal life. What would you be doing if you didn’t have to work for a living? How would you spend your time, and when are you the most happy? Ask yourself, ”Is there any way I can reach my goals with the debt I have?” If the answer is “no” and you don’t feel good about it, then it’s time to start thinking about making some serious changes. Be very honest with yourself. Do you find that you’re making decisions about things to do (or not do) based on the amount of debt you have? Does your debt prevent you from living a life that is true to you? Does your debt (and your obligation to it) pull you and angle your decisions in even the subtlest ways?
4. Make The Commitment To Be Done With Debt Once and for All
If you’re not ready to be done with your debt, then you might want to try some other methods first. The Spending Fast technique requires a lot of commitment and dedication. A Spending Fast is a way to get extreme results in a relatively short amount of time, but you have to be ready to go forward full-force with it. Your life will change and it will affect every area of life. Getting out of debt and committing to the Spending Fast is worth it, it’s just not easy!
5. If You’re Partnered, Try to Get Them to Do the Spending Fast With You
It’s a lot easier to change your life if your partner is on board but, if they aren’t, then consider doing the Spending Fast solo (I did it that way). Separate bank accounts are very helpful if you’re doing the Spending Fast solo.
6. Set a Time-Frame for Your Spending Fast
I recommend a year, so you can get past the difficult beginning part (where all your habits are getting changed) and into the real benefits part (where your debt is getting paid off). A year can seem long day-to-day but at the end of the year you’ll be surprised how fast it goes by. If you chose to do a weekend-long spending fast, a week-long spending fast, a couple months or a year, you will still get results and it will still positively affect your financial situation.
7. Make a Public Declaration of Your Desire to Become Debt-Free
Tell your friends and family about your decision to do a Spending Fast so you can have the accountability that comes along with it. In addition to telling your family and friends, take the Debt-Free Life Pledge, and read the entries from others who are committed to getting out of debt too (it’s super inspiring to read the pledges and I always read them when I need extra motivation).
8. Create a “Wants and Needs” List
The “wants and needs” list is the backbone of the spending fast. On the “needs” list include just the necessities needed to live: rent, food, utilities, etc. On the “wants” list, put everything that is an “extra” in your life. Things that went on this side of the list for me were items like clothes, coffee at coffee shops, movies in the theater, gifts, bed linens, new music, new make-up, shoes, etc. (Here is my original Spending Fast *Wants and Needs* list - 1/4 of the way from the top of the page.) The *Wants and Needs* list can (and will) be different based on each person’s varying priorities in life. If you decide that something should be on your needs list that wasn’t on mine that’s okay! Just try not to justify adding things just to make it easier. You can do this!
9. Spend Money on the “Needs” Side of the List Only
This is the simple-but-not-easy part of the Spending Fast.
10. Think About What You Can Buy Rather Than What You Can’t
If find yourself starting to feel bummed out when you’re in the thick of the Spending Fast, try to shift your perspective, because it will do wonders for your morale. Remember to keep having fun (just the free kind). Remember that the Spending Fast isn’t forever. There is a light at the end of the tunnel (that’s why you set a time-frame at the start), and remind yourself of why you’re doing the Spending Fast in the first place — it’s to get out of debt once-and-for-all and to change your life! Look at the list you made in step #3 when your morale gets low.
11. Become Immersed in a Community of Like-Minded People
Get involved in the And Then Whe Saved Community. This is where people share their questions, struggles, accomplishments, set-backs, tips, tricks, and most importantly, their getting-out-of-debt successes. It’s a great place to get a reminder that we aren’t alone in our dreams to live debt-free lives.
12. Attack Your Debts
At the end of the month, send all the money that is left in your account to the bill that has the highest interest rate. Continue to send the minimum due on your other bills. Once a bill gets knocked out, be proud of yourself! You’re really doing it! You’re becoming debt-free! Next, start working on the next highest interest rate bill on the list. Become competitive with yourself; try to get better numbers than the previous month and keep track of your savings from month-to-month. To be able to see all of the savings at the end of the year is amazing.
13 & 14. Be Committed to the Process and Continue With the Spending Fast Until You Reach Your End Date
It’s unrealistic to think that “mistakes” won’t happen so keep going even when they (inevitably) occur so when they do, re-focus, and get back at you. Stick with the Spending Fast for the entire time-frame you committed yourself to. If you reach your goal of paying off your debt and you happen to do it before your predetermined end date (um, awesome!), then why not keep going? Squirrel away the extra money and prepare yourself for the next step — financial security.
15. Be Proud of Yourself for What You Accomplished — Big or Small
When you come to the end of your Spending Fast, look back on all you were able to do. Being proactive and being willing to take charge of your life and finances is definitely something to be proud of!
Throughout the Spending Fast, always be on the look-out for ways to cut the “needs” list down even more, get creative with ways to save money, and be willing to make things yourself in an effort to save.
Before you know it, saving will become (unbelievably) more fun than spending and your financial life will be forever changed!
Spending Fast ® is a registered trademark. All rights reserved.
Swapping madness has officially hit Denver! And, it’s A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
What’s so great about swapping is that you get to get rid of the stuff you no longer need or want and you get to pick out NEW to you THINGS! It’s a way to re-mix your style and infuse some freshness. It can also be an adrenaline rush when the swap begins and everyone is trying to find the best things! It’s exciting!
Having style while also trying to save money and get out of debt can feel very difficult, especially if you’re used to going to the stores and buying whatever is cute (that’s what I used to do and it got me into a lot of trouble!) Swapping is a fun and social thing to do with your girlfriends and you can make a night out of it! (don’t live in Denver but want to get in on the swapping fun too? The Swapaholics tell you how to host your own swap with your girlfriends right here.)
Oh… and did I mention that Handbags.com is giving away 3 amazing brand new bags to swappers at the end of the night?! Um. Yes. It’s true.
Here are the event details
It’s An AndThenWeSaved.com Accessories Swap! Sponsored by Handbags.com
If you’re a woman in Colorado you’re invited!
Bring your girlfriends and make a night of it! This is going to be a lot of fun!!
When and Where
· Saturday, March 10th from 6:30pm to 9 pm
· It will be held at The Curtis Hotel located at 1405 Curtis Street, Denver, CO
· The actual swap will start at 7:30 pm on the dot. Please arrive between 6:30 – 7:00 pm so we have enough time to inspect & sort your items.
· $5 CASH ONLY to enter. A portion of the proceeds will be given to SafeHouse Denver (supports and assists women and children in leaving dangerous domestic violence situations).
· Swappers please bring 10 great pieces: Handbags, shoes, hats and jewelry to swap. Bring items that you would give to your best friend or sister! (If you don’t have 10 items bring as many as you want to swap and you’ll be able to take that many. For example, bring 6 items take 6 items.)
· Your items will be checked by official Handbags.com Inspectors so please don’t bring things that are falling apart, have stains, holes, are smelly, broken or just plain ugly! We will not accept these items! We want everyone to leave with great items at the end of the night:)
· At 9pm 3 people will win a fabulous bag from Handbags.com!! (Big Buddha bags valued at approx. $100!)
· At 9pm all of the items that have not been swapped can either be taken back by the original owner or can be left for donation to SafeHouse Denver (a women’s domestic violence shelter)
· Free Parking Garage is Available at the hotel for the 1st 100 people (you’ll receive a parking voucher when you check-in for the swap)
· First 50 Swappers will receive 1 FREE drink ticket
· Handbag Design Contest (winners will win fabulous bags from Handbags.com! at 9pm)
· DIY Button Making Station
· Tunes by DJ El Brian
· Sweet Treats from Pastel
· $5 Mani’s from Tootsies Nail Shoppe
· Photo-booth FUN will be provided by Newell Jones + Jones Photography
When I started up the Spending Diet in January of 2011 to try to eliminate the remaining debt that I had I was shocked at how hard the Spending Diet proved to be. I thought that it would be easier than the Spending Fast. Since I had just completed a year of spending no money at all, the Spending Diet seemed like a piece of cake! Especially since I got a $100 “non-need” allowance. (When I first decided to do a Spending Diet I was going to give myself a $200 a month “non-need” limit, and changed it to $100 a month because $200 a month seemed waaayyyy too easy! *shakes head in disbelief*)
Turns out $100 is not really much money at all, and most months it only proved to be a gateway drug to spend more than I was supposed to, and often I felt frustrated that I wasn’t able to stick to my $100 limit.
Sticking to the Spending Diet was very difficult and that sucked. The guilt and remorse that was so often associated with my spending prior to the Spending Fast was back, this time though, I just didn’t have the debt cloud hanging over my head.
That discretionary spending was, once again, my problem, and my main issue. I found myself losing track of how much “non-need” spending I did, and more times then not, I didn’t want to keep track. I found that it was a lot more tedious to be on the Spending Diet because I had grown so accustomed to my “Wants and Needs” list of the Spending Fast. If an item was on my “Needs” list, it was okay to spend money on the item. If it was on my “Wants” list, “Nope, no spending on that!” The Spending Fast was cut and dry and that part made it very easy.
While the Spending Diet was extremely difficult, it eased me into thinking more “normally” about money.
This whole process has been so much about changing my thinking, and about changing my habits even when I don’t really want to.
And even though I was far from perfect on the Spending Diet it helped me go from the extreme of spending no-money-at-all to spending a-little-money-sometimes, it’s been more than anything, a transition. A transition that’s taught me how to be cautious with my money, and to not go all ape-sh*t wild like I really want to most of the time.
Like for example, I want to buy these shoes (why is it always shoes or boots!?) and it’s driving me nuts how much I’ve been thinking about them. I’ve looked at the website probably 20 times (at least) this weekend (um, crazy time-consuming! I’ve got stuff that really needs to get done, and I still can’t seem to control myself!), and I keep comparing them with other shoes, and trying to justify a reason why I need these shoes. The reality is, I have plenty of shoes. They’re just not those shoes, and I want those shoes on my feet! Like, yesterday!
Being on the Spending Fast, and Spending Diet has taught me that I can switch camps from being a “Spender” to a “Saver”, that getting out of debt it more hard than it is easy, that it takes a lot of time and repetition for habits to die and for habits to evolve. I’ve also learned time and time again that mistakes will happen, and that it’s really, seriously, okay that they do.
I’ve also realized that I seem to learn the most when I mess up. When I have to find a way to fix something that cements it in my brain.
It’s in the fixing that the true changes happen.
So, with that, this is how the Spending Diet shook out for 2011-2012…
Total Spending Diet Savings: $5,973.94
While that number is considerably lower than the savings from the previous year’s Spending Fast of $17,911.89 it is still pretty good.
My habits are continuing to evolve and I’m making peace with the fact that even if I don’t do something perfectly progress is progress. Today, I can live with that; even if it’s hard to see the changes as they’re happening I’m completely amazed when I look back on the past two years and what I’ve been able to accomplish.
image via a well traveled woman
What have you been able to accomplish that amazed you? What habits are the hardest for you to change? What do you do to stay motivated on the days that you want to quit?
Everyday I wake up and look at this poster. It’s right in my line of sight as I stagger into the living room to head out to work. Since it’s also bright red it catches my eye whether I want to look at it or not, and it reminds me to keep going even when I’d rather not.
In November the Spending Fast was reactivated. I’ve mentioned that the Spending Fast is tough, and the beginning of it is the hardest part by far. All the habits are getting jolted out of place, all the auto-buys are being denied, all the quick-fixes are no longer happening. It’s hard to make these changes.
I re-activated the Spending Fast to tackle a medical bill that came up. Allergy shots were the cause of the damage and they ended up kicking my butt in the bill department. I set up a payment plan with the hospital and promised I would pay them $150 a month until the total bill of $2,556.96 was eliminated.
November was rough trying to get back into the full swing of the Spending Fast again (and I wasn’t totally perfect with it) but I’m happy to report that I saved $823.44 which is promptly being sent off to the hospital for the bill (new balance is $1,733.52). That’s about double what I was saving while doing the Spending Diet. That’s kind of huge, and proves to me that once again the Spending Fast works to help get rid of debt in a mighty fast way.
See my total savings and break-down from every month here.
Did you do the Spending Fast too? How’d it go? What’d you learn? What went well, and what didn’t?
Start the Spending Fast November 1st along with me. I’m pausing the Spending Diet to start the Spending Fast up again to get rid of a medical bill. Do you need to get rid of some debt too? Is something hanging over your head? Or do you want to get some money into savings for emergencies? This is a great way to make some fast progress on your financial goals, and it might just be the best kind of DIY ever.
It’s hard to believe that I have to write this post right now. I didn’t want to say this, but I’m back in debt.
It’s a medical bill so that makes me feel a little better about it, but debt is debt is debt. It still hangs over my head taunting me.
It says, “You thought you beat me. You thought you said goodbye. But, I’m here, and we’re hanging out.”
Like an ex that won’t get the hint, like an itch that no amount of scratching will remedy, like a demon from Paranormal Activity. It’s back.
I’ve got allergies. Really really bad allergies. They’re the kind of allergies that make everyone I see think I’m sick with something contagious. People step back. They wash their hands. They pump that hand sanitizer an extra time. You know, those kind of allergies.
Red, watery eyes, runny nose; the whole deal. For years they have gone on and for years I’ve taken prescription medication for them. At one point my voice sounded so nasally that it even annoyed me.
Here are some things I learned while visiting the allergist:
If you’re around something and then you have symptoms, you’re probably allergic. Profound, right?
Allergies can change every 7 years.
The waiting room at an allergy clinic is full of Epi-pens and people with Epi-pen stories. There is never a shortage of these stories.
I found out a while back that I’m allergic to everything outside. Everything except for pine trees. If it wasn’t for the pine trees I’d just get myself one of those hamster bubbles (human-sized) and just live in there. Because there’s just no point if you’re allergic to everything. But, the pine trees, they give me hope.
One day I was at the doctor talking (again) about my allergies and he mentioned this thing called Rush Immunotherapy. He told me “It’s two days in a row and we inject you with everything you’re allergic to.” To which I replied, “That sounds completely terrible. Sign me up!”
I had never really entertained the idea of allergy shots because of the time commitment, but this two day intensive thing, I could get behind that.
I called my insurance, and made sure they would cover it, and went forward with the allergy shots. Two days of getting shot up with every single thing you’re allergic to is exactly as fun as it sounds.
Fast-forward to today. My allergies are better. The maintenance shots seem to be working, and I no longer scare people away with the length and frequency of the amount snot leaving my nose.
After many calls to the hospital and many calls to the insurance company to make sure all the claims had been submitted and to make sure it was all correct so that I didn’t pay for anything that was actually covered, I’m left with a bill for $2,556.96.
The medical world is elusive. I asked how much it would be. I wanted to add it up, weigh it all, and make sure it was going to be worth it. I had learned my lesson with getting into trouble with debt in the past, and I was not going to be making the same kind of mistakes again. I was determined to be responsible now. I thought I had it all sorted out. The hospital couldn’t (or wouldn’t) give me an exact price for the allergy shots, and I was instructed to call my insurance company. The insurance company told me it was a covered thing so I went forward with that knowledge.
I guess it’s good to know that even though “life stuff” like this happens that there is a way out. That I can start the Spending Fast on an as needed basis to get out of debt fairly quickly. It’s good to know that it works. That it is an option today.
Since I got my debt paid off I’ve been able to put a little bit of money into a savings account for emergencies. I don’t see this as an emergency so I’m going to leave that stash stashed away. I’ve got a payment plan set up with the hospital and I told them I’d pay them $150 every month. The payment plan starts in November so I will finish out October with the Spending Diet and start the Spending Fast up again November. That’s a tricky time of year to start it up again with the holidays coming but it’s got to be done.
“Your journey has molded you for your greater good, and it was exactly what it needed to be. Don’t think that you lost time. It took each and every situation you have encountered to bring you to the now. And now is right on time.” – Asha Tyson
I’ve spent a lot of time feeling so out-of-control with my money and debt. I think about all that stuff I bought that I don’t even remember. All that money spent with nothing to show for it. I wonder how many things my parents didn’t do because they couldn’t afford it because I owed them money and wasn’t sending it to them. I was spending my money frivolously rather than sending it to the people I was supposed to send it to.
Selfishly, my wants overshadowed my obligations.
It’s easy to think about the time wasted… that horrible feeling of being in debt that I was in for so long. It’s easy to think that I should’ve done different things, and also, “how could I be so irresponsible with money!?”
The important thing is that today I can make different choices, and choose to have a different kind of life. A life that’s responsible. A life that I’m proud of. I’m glad I took the steps to start the Spending Fast when I did because I never would’ve guessed that I’d get to a place when debt was no longer in my life.
The time that it took to get here had to happen. As miserable as I was financially that time was needed. Today, thinking about that horribleness keeps me motivated because I never want to get into debt again. I never again want to be that out of control with my finances. Those feelings made me desperate enough to take action.
It all has a purpose.
Turns out, you can change your life too. There’s no need to waste any more minutes of your life feeling like crap because of money. You can change your life and it can be better.
Yesterday at 7:20am I had the chance to talk with Gary Sadlemeyer and Scott Voorhees on the Good Morning Show at the 1110 KFAB radio station out of Omaha, Nebraska.
On Wednesday night I kept dreaming that I missed their phone call 4 times (!) and then when I realized they had been trying to call I tried to call them back but it was too late and the show was over.
Turns out, it all went great. No oversleeping, no missed calls. I had Aaron, my husband, set his alarm early for me (double alarm approach) so I could get up a little earlier than usual and make some coffee, get ready for work, do the interview, and head into work. It’s a little surreal to do a radio interview and then go to your job for the state. Fun but surreal.
I thought that if I was ever going to get out of the debt I needed a miracle. The options I saw in front of me were to either file for bankruptcy or win the Lottery (and I didn’t even play the Lotto). I’m really curious about these two financial extremes (HERE’S THE 1ST INTERVIEW and here’s the 2nd interview) so I will be interviewing people who have either filed for bankruptcy or who have come into very large sums of money through unconventional means.
We will be exploring the effects of both on life in the short and long-term. In the final installation I will be interviewing a man who won 6 Million Dollars in the Colorado Lottery. I hope you find these interviews as interesting and insightful into the extremes of money as I do.
The 3rd interview in the series (below) is with a wonderful woman named Shelly. She’s going to talk to us about the nitty gritty of filing for bankruptcy.
And Then We Saved: How much debt did you have when you filed for bankruptcy?
Last Friday night I started getting a whole bunch of messages on Facebook.
Like these ones:
We shot the interview a week or so ago and I didn’t know when it would air so it was a happy surprise to get the messages from people on Facebook. We only have the most basic of cable packages (so the image isn’t fuzzy) so I didn’t get to see it as it aired… ironic, right! Out went a frantic text to my family hoping someone might be able to catch it. Luckily, my dad turned to CNN/HLN right as I came on!
During the interview it was crazy to be sitting there and have Dr. Drew in my ear (via ear bud) and then to get to speak with Clark Howard too (he knows his stuff!). I kept thinking about all those years I listened to LoveLine as a youngin’ peering into the juicy details of adult lives. I thought I was pretty cool/scandalous to be hearing that stuff.
Dr. Drew showed some of the clips from when I was Clark Howard’s show and we got to speak with a woman who is 100k in debt. I wish I had more time to talk with her… there’s so much to say.
The above video was shot on my sister phone from the TV so it’s a bit rough… As soon as Dr. Drew puts up the official clip I’ll replace this one. (If you have Comcast Xfinity you can view the whole legit episode online).
There is a lively discussion happening over on the Community page. (Here’s the link.) It got me riled up- in a good way. I saw the underlying question and discussion as “If difficulty happens. If things get hard with the Spending Fast and/or Spending Diet- do I give up?”. My answer is obviously “Heck No” but you can read all about it and join in the discussion too. I would like to hear your thoughts on this topic.
Some things on my mind:
Just because something is hard doesn’t mean that that is enough of a reason to give up.
Keep going. Keep deciding to become debt-free. And then once you’re debt-free keep deciding to STAY out of debt and build a secure financial future.
We CAN do HARD things.
Getting out of debt is not easy but it IS worth it.
Well, I suppose Month 8 was technically “complete” like 13 days ago seeings as how this is the 13th of September and all but hey, here it is. Ripe for your viewing pleasure.
In August, I saved $387.35 (the Spending Diet remains far harder than the Spending Fast. In my opinion I suggest going for the gold, cutting through the B.S., getting through the tough transition/getting used to it part, reaping more benefits, and getting out of debt faster by cutting off your excess spending cold-turkey and just do the Spending Fast already. The Spending Diet allows discretionary spending which for me, was easier to cut out completely while I was changing my thoughts around money. I suggest using the Spending Diet method after the Spending Fast to gradually ease back into normal spending habits at the completion of the Spending Fast but that’s just what has worked for me).
Which brought my grand total of savings to $25,543.86. Which is kind of completely nuts. Remember, this money was saved by working my average paying day job as a clerk for the state, by spending on “Needs” only, by reducing the amount I spend on “Needs” even more, by creating additional income by thinking of creative ways to utilize my talents and skillz (yes, a Z- you know I had to), by selling all the junk and crap I no longer use, need and/or want, by starting the momentum of getting debt paid off, by writing about all of it to keep myself accountable, lots of other stuff that you can read about in the archives of the blog, but probably most importantly I finally learned how to tell myself “No”… and my word, that took long enough to get.
I didn’t do anything magical to get out of debt that you can’t do too. I’m going to write a post soon about all the reasons I hear about why people say they can’t do it too and I’ll tell you why they-you can. It’s gonna be juicy so stay tuned.
If you’re curious about the complete break-down on my savings and the respective monthly disbursements that have happened from Day 1 of the Spending Fast throughout 2010 and into 2011 through this years Spending Diet (which goes up to this very day) then you can see it all on the Total Savings page.
Despite what parenting magazines and all the advertisers would have you believe entertaining children and doing things together as a family does not need to cost you hundreds of dollars every time you want to do something. Yes, there are activities that cost a lot, but there are also a lot of free and cheap activities you can do instead. Rather than having your kids play computer games or watch TV, you might be surprised at how many fun and simple things can be done that they’ll really enjoy and won’t cost you a lot of money.
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!
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