Sometimes Being Selfish is the Best Option – Here’s Why
Author: Anna Newell Jones

sometimes you must do whats best for you

“Sometimes, you must do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everybody else.” – Unknown

When I start thinking about creating these hope/motivational posts (because they are SO needed when you’re in the trenches of saving money/getting out of debt) I scroll through my ever-running list of quotes, and I think, “Okay Universe, what does someone need to hear today?” And then, I’m drawn to one quote over another. I like to think that it will help one (or ALL!;) of you get just the push you need to keep going, and help you stay motivated on your trek to a life free from debt!

It can get really tough battling debt, so we’ve got to stay strong as we fight the evils of debt together! (I just imagined like, a zillion She-Ra’s with swords drawn, and debt just dropping dead all over the place. You too? Okay, good.)

Now about this quote here… So, CLEARLY it’s great to care about how your actions will affect others but sometimes you’ve got to say, “Screw it!”, and maybe be a little selfish if that’s what it takes to get yourself to a healthier place. I think this concept applies to all areas of life, and not just to the financial aspect. Do you have people in your life that are keeping you in unhealthy habits? And then do you in turn feel like crap because the choices you’re making aren’t honoring the TRUE you? If so, that’s a feeling you should listen to. You’re getting those shitty feelings for a reason… to prompt you into action.

Sometimes friends/family/partners don’t “get” why you would want to get out of debt if it means you have to do some sacrificing. I understand that to a point, and I believe that it’s usually because they love you and don’t want to see you suffer. However, if you find that after you tell certain people that you’re trying to get out of debt, they still pressure you to spend, and minimize your efforts and successes even after they’ve had time to come around then it might be time to be “selfish” in your effort to become a better you.

For me, being “selfish” meant that I had to tell people stuff they didn’t want to hear sometimes. Usually that was saying, “No” to invites to dinner or lunch out, saying “No” to concerts, and saying “No” to trips. It wasn’t fun to do, and some people got mad and called me selfish but I did it, and made it to the other side. And you know what? I’m glad I stuck to my mission, and was committed to at least trying to become debt-free. To me, in those instances, being selfish was needed, and absolutely the best option for me to make.


What do you think? Have you ever had to be “selfish” in order to protect what’s best for you? I sure have. Would love to hear your thoughts on this. 


in Motivation
Fight For It.
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Fight For It

You want out of debt? Then fight for it!

You can do this.


in Motivation
How Gratitude Works
Author: Anna Newell Jones

the miracle of gratitude

“The miracle of gratitude is that it shifts your perception to such an extent that it changes the world you see.” -Dr. Robert Holden

What are you grateful for today?


in Gratitude, Motivation
Never Trade What You Want Most…
Author: Anna Newell Jones

never trade what you want most

“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


in Motivation
Want to Get Out of Debt Faster? Here’s How…
Author: Anna Newell Jones

want faster results? work harder“Want faster results? Work Harder.”

Debt sucks. If you want to get out of debt faster you can do it.

Here’s how:

  • Eliminate more items off of your “Wants” list
  • Find more ways to increase your income
  • Get creative and knock down the expenses on your “Needs” list

You can do this. You can get out of debt. Go big. Get rid of that debt fast and get on with your life. Don’t make yourself suffer through years of slow-repayment or painful budgeting. Have I told you how much I hate budgets?

I’m shouting at you now. This is time for some tough love. YOU CAN DO THIS!


in Motivation
Know Your Limitations
Author: Anna Newell Jones

know your limitations and defy them

“Know your limitations and defy them.”

I had struggles before the thought even crossed my mind to get out of debt, obviously during the getting out of debt process the obstacles continued, and even today being on the debt-free side life isn’t all struggle-free. I think it’s easy to think that life will be instantly perfect when we’re debt-free but those old habits that got me into debt in the first place still show up once in a while. Recognizing the patterns and habits is the best way to start addressing them and making changing, and believe me, I constantly have to re-evaluate my spending and attitudes around money because I don’t want to slip back into my old ways again. Getting out of debt was hard enough the first time and I definitely don’t want to do it again!

How do you figure out your limitations and how to tell them to get back in their place so you can live the life you’re meant to?


in How To, Motivation, Paying Off Debt
What Kind of Life is Waiting for You?
Author: Anna Newell Jones

get out of debt motivational quote

“We must let go of the life we’ve planned to have the life that is waiting for us.” – Joseph Campbell

In a lot of ways starting the Spending Fast was scary. It was super exciting but also kind of, a little bit scary. I had no idea what I was getting myself into. I only knew that I could no longer go on living the way I had been. I knew I had to change my life and to change my life I had to let go of some of my old ideas. I had to let go completely to my old way of life. I had to be open to the possibilty that life could be better. That life could be different.

Once I let go my life changed. I decided to make one decision- do the Spending Fast, and that’s when my life changed. You can change your life too. You can let go and see what is waiting for you. I dare you to give it a try. You deserve the freedom that comes from being debt-free. Trust me, it’s a great way to live. I want you to be free to live that awesome life that’s waiting for you.

What kind of life is waiting for you?


in Motivation
Very Little Is Needed For A Happy Life
Author: Anna Newell Jones

make a happy life

“Remember, very little is needed to make a happy life.” -Marcus Aurelius


in Motivation, Simple Living
Don’t Underestimate Your Capacity for Change
Author: Anna Newell Jones

don't underestimate your capacity for change

“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!


in Motivation
Look Fear In The Face and Do What You Think You Can’t
Author: Anna Newell Jones

“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You must do the things which you think you cannot do.” -Eleanor Roosevelt

“Courage is being scared to death and saddling up anyway.”- John Wayne

There’s no doubt that changing your life and habits is hard work. I mean, you go from living in your comfort zone to flipping your whole life upside down. Often when people ask me about doing the Spending Fast and what it took to get out of debt I get the feeling that they want me to tell them that it was easy and that it didn’t change my day-to-day life all that much. But it did.

You know those people that say they lose weight and they didn’t have to do anything different? Like, “I eat cake for breakfast EVERYDAY and I lost weight! It’s a miracle!”

Doing a Spending Fast, and changing your relationship with money is hard work and it’s not like eating cake for breakfast everyday.

If you want to change your life, you have to change your life! That might seem like a silly thing to say but, really, if it was possible for me to keep doing what I was doing (spending money like crazy) and still get out of debt I would’ve picked that option. Changing your life and living debt-free takes work, time, and sacrifices. All of which are completely worth it when you come out on the other side debt-free and victorious but to think it won’t be hard work to get to that point – that’s just not reality.

I want to challenge you to look debt in the face and tell it to F- OFF! It’s time to be done with the debt and remorse and over-spending once and for all!

It’s scary to think about changing your life but you know what, it’s also so freaking exciting! By getting on the path to live a debt-free life you’re going to create a new future for yourself. One where you have choices and one where half your paycheck isn’t going to pay for stuff you’ve already forgotten about and have already donated to the thrift store.

I probably sound all pumped up in this post and it’s because I just read the latest Getting Out of Debt Pledgers posts and man, they just inspire the crap out of me.

So do it. Look fear in the face and saddle on up. It’s time to change your life.


in Motivation, Paying Off Debt, Spending Fast, Staying Out of Debt, Take Action!
Author: Anna Newell Jones

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.” – L. Reid

Wow. This is a saying that is SO not part of our culture huh. Thanks to my little sis for bringing this one to my attention. It’s a goodie.

It’s no secret that over-consumption got the best of me. I’m going to officially make this my motto for the year!


in Motivation
Author: Anna Newell Jones

by william edmonds


in Just For Fun, Motivation
All Want
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Still feeling a bit discouraged about the Spending Diet I decided to look into a quote I’ve heard about regarding “wanting”.

The quote is: “All Suffering Is Want”.

I feel like I’ve been in a big place of WANT lately and I’m not happy about it. While I’ve come millions of miles from where I was a little over a year ago I hoped I would have completely wiped out this transition-y period where I still want. I don’t know, I probably AM being too hard on myself like one super nice commenter pointed out. (I have to say being called “Buttercup” was nice and sweet and unexpected and appreciated. Thank You for the nice words since I’ve mentioned I’ve been down on myself about the Spending Diet.)

It’s been kind of shocking to realize that it was actually easier to be on the Spending Fast. It was a RELIEF to say “NO” to all wants. Now I’m finding that with discretion comes uneasiness. I’m walking through the uneasiness and experiencing it and trying to get a hang of this whole “moderation” thing. I’ve never been good at that whole thing.

Yesterday was better at least. I didn’t spend any money on anything like I have planned. Feels good. Real good.

So, about that quote… Turns out its a Buddhist saying. I’m not Buddhist but reading about “Want” from this perspective was quite insightful.

(Info from Zen Habits.)


The Buddha’s had observed that life is suffering. Before He could find a solution to the problem of suffering in life, He had first to look for the cause of suffering. The Buddha was just like a good doctor who first observes a patient’s symptoms and identifies the cause of illness before prescribing a cure. The Buddha discovered that the direct causes of suffering are desire or craving, and ignorance. This is the truth of the cause of suffering, which is the Second Noble Truth.

CRAVING is the deep-seated desire that all living beings have for the pleasures of the senses, and for life itself. For instance, people always seek to enjoy good food, entertainment and pleasant company. Yet none of these can give them complete and lasting satisfaction. After the fine meal has been eaten, the beautiful music heard and the pleasant company shared, one is still not content. One would like to enjoy these pleasures again and again, and for as long as possible.

People who desire to own many things also can never be fully satisfied too. Like children in a toyshop, they crave all the attractive things they see around them. But like children, they soon become dissatisfied with what they already have and desire more. Sometimes, they can hardly eat or sleep until they get what they want. Yet when they succeed in getting what they want, they may still find their happiness short-lived. Many will be too worried for the safety and condition of their new possessions to enjoy it. Then when the object they possess eventually breaks into pieces and has to be thrown away, they will suffer its loss even more.

When we have obtained something we desire, we may want more and more of it, and so greed arises. Because of desire and greed, people will lie, cheat and steal to get what they want. Uncontrolled desires can also lead to addiction, for example, to smoking, drinking and overeating, all of which lead to suffering and cause mental and physical harm.

If another person prevents one from getting what is desired, one may feel anger towards that person. Desire, when obstructed, can lead to ill will and anger. This in turn can lead to harsh words, violent quarrels and even fights or killings. All this is suffering.

Since that was super deep we need some non-deep-ness.

For you:

image via jelly bones via plastic winkle bottom



in Spending Diet, Spending Fast
Protect Me
Author: Anna Newell Jones

this isn’t me. just a tattoo i found that i thought was particularly fitting.

Protege Moi De Mes Desirs translanted means: Protect Me From What I Want


in Just For Fun
You can.
Author: Anna Newell Jones

This really speaks to me. Especially since I wasn’t sure if I could do the Spending Fast for a whole year and ended up pulling it off… You can do it too.

by valentina design

via jelly bones


in Motivation, Spending Fast
Spending Fast Day 9 – You’re a Tough SOB
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Breathe deeply. Fill your lungs and look around. Smell stuff. Taste stuff.

Imagine yourself sitting closed eyed and cross-legged  in the place right beneath your rib cage. Just be. Just be still.

It’s what I like to do (try to do) when things get crazy and there’s a lot going on. Plus it’s free which makes it that much better.


in Motivation, Personal, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
Spending Fast Day 5 – Am I Really Going to Do This for a Whole Year? Shit. (Difficulty and Reality is Setting in.)
Author: Anna Newell Jones

It’s only DAY 5 but things are getting difficult. The bills have been paid and this is usually the point of the month where I go through my Etsy favorites and see what I want and then justify why I NEED it and then I simply buy it.

I’m starting realize that just because I have money in my account and I like something that that isn’t nearly enough of a reason to buy it.

Around this time of the month in the past I would find myself at Walgreens purchasing something we can probably all agree is a need, you know, something like toothpaste and then I would find myself starting to wander to the make-up aisle to see if there is any new shade of make-up I should be testing out or something else that would be some sort of miracle cure for some problem I never knew I had until I saw an item I was convinced would fix the mysterious ailment that I have suddenly acquired. Then by that point I would find myself walking out of the store with a $62 bag of crap that I really didn’t need at all and the toothpaste had been completely forgotten.

Also around this time of the month, I used to make my way over to the famously inexpensive and trendy, yet shabbily built clothing and accessory shop Forever21. I liked to see if there might be something to add to my wardrobe to make myself feel better about myself and all my hard work at the gym. After all, what’s the point of working out if you just have crappy frumpy clothes to wear? The answer is- there is no point. Health should be a good enough reason but somedays it’s just not. Then, as anyone who has shopped at Forever21 knows the item usually falls apart after a few washes and is definitely not anything that I would say is any sort of investment. Disposable is what that clothing is and that’s exactly what I was doing with my money before I started this spending fast. Mindlessly and aimlessly disposing of my money.

This whole process has made me realize that the dollar really doesn’t mean all that much to me. If it meant more I probably wouldn’t be so fond of letting it go from my grasp.

It has been really hard to shift my habits to start thinking differently about money and spending and saving and about what I do with my spare time (since I’m not finding myself in stores as much ’cause it’s not all that fun if you can’t buy anything. can I get an amen.)

Surprisingly, I’m actually feeling empowered and more willing to make the right choices financially. It could and most likely is because I feel accountable since I have said I would tell you all about any set-backs that I may have. And… I don’t want to mess up because I don’t want to tell you about messing up.

Because of the spending fast I have:

  • Cancelled the internet on my phone
  • Down-sized my unlimited text messaging package
  • Down-sized my fancy html email service (it’s almost free now)
  • Reserved some books from the library about being financially responsible (I’ll tell you all about which ones in another post)
  • Kept the thermostat mostly at 68 degrees
  • Ran out of shampoo and then found some old discarded shampoo hidden away in a back closet and have actually been using it
  • Monitoring how long I’m in the shower and trying not to be in there forever like I used to do
  • Decided that I shouldn’t be using my dryer (that is right next to the shower) as a towel warmer for my princess ass
  • Ate shriveled grapes even though I didn’t want to
one comment

in Motivation, Personal, Spending Fast, Spending Fasters, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized)
  • 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. Also! We're building a Tiny House and we're going to be on Tiny House Nation. Follow along!!

    ⭐︎Come back throughout the day for updates.


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