56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money
Author: Anna Newell Jones

things to do instead of spending money

Not spending money? No need to worry there’s lots to do!

56 Things To Do Instead of Spending Money… 

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in Clothing/Accessories Swap, How To, Paying Off Debt, Social, Staying Out of Debt, Take Action!, Things To Do
Being Charitable While Broke – Possible or Not?
Author: Anna Newell Jones

is it possible to be charitable while broke

A very nice reader referred my to this cool site called Instead.

The idea is that you choose to forgo something small like a coffee, a movie, take-out food, or something else entirely that you get to pick yourself. Then, you pick a non-profit to donate that money that you would’ve spend on the coffee or movie.

I like how this site makes giving to others so attainable, and so doable.


Do you know of similar sites? Do you give to charities when you’re broke (or when you’re feeling broke)? Do you do other things to make up for not giving monetarily? If so, I’d love to hear about it.


in Do Without, Practical Solutions, Social, Take Action!, Things To Do
50 Free Things To Do In Denver This Spring
Author: Anna Newell Jones

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook you’ve already seen this link that I shared earlier in the week BUT it’s so good that I have to post it here too. Just don’t want anyone to miss out on the crazy amount of FREE stuff happening in town!

50 Free Things To Do In Denver This Spring

If you live in Denver do you know of other free things to do that aren’t on this list? What fun, free (or super cheap) things are there to do in your city? Do you take part in the free events?


in Seasonal, Social, Things To Do
A Reader Question: What To Do When There’s No Money And No Hope
Author: Anna Newell Jones

While I’m away I’ll be posting some questions that readers have sent to me along with the answers. (Names have been changed)

Reader Question:

Hi Anna! 

I have been looking for help for my spending disease for SO long. Thank you for being there for us. I am excited to start but terrified of failing. I wake in the morning and go buy coffee for 64 cents. I justify it by saying that if I bought coffee and cream at the market, more than likely the cream would spoil and then it would be a waste.

This is just a little example of what I mean. I have a MUCH bigger problem at the thrift stores (which I adore) since shoes are only $3-5. Can I change this attitude? I am not really in debt, as much as I am underwater in my income vs. living expenses. I am retired and on disability with a fixed income (SS). I am $150 a month short on just bare living. Is there ANYTHING I can do? It seems so helpless most of the time. 

Thank you for reading this and any help would be great!



Hi Kathleen,

Thank you for your email. There is definitely something you can do. Take your power back!

1. Determine what you want out of life. What are you goals? Think about it this way: what do you truly want out of life? What do you want your life to feel like everyday?

2. Evaluate where your money is really going. Look through the last 3 months of your bank statements to see it all on paper. If you use cash more than your debit card then start to track all of your spending for the next month.

3. Then, make your Wants and Needs.

4. Next, (this is what I did) cut out your Wants.

5. Set a time frame. 6 months, a year, etc. The beginning is the hardest part so I recommend a year.

6. Know that it is going to be hard.

7. It will be hard. Look back at what you wrote in your #1.

8. Keep going. Everyday look back at what you wrote in #1.

9. The end of the month comes. You’ll see that there is money left when there used to not be any money left.

10. Start the new month.

Remember that if you mess up, and you will mess up (I messed up a lot) keep going. Choose to change your life and your financial situation the next time you’re faced with a choice to spend money or not. I used to overspend every month by $200-$300 every month. I was hopeless too. I cut the spending cycle cold turkey.

It’s what worked for me. Be committed to the process.

Also, a great resource is the Community section on my blog. Connect with like-minded people and get support.

Hang in there Kathleen and stay strong.


in Do Without, Hey Anna (Reader Questions), Paying Off Debt, Struggle (Hopeless, Demoralized), Take Action!
Exploring The World For Free
Author: Anna Newell Jones

Since today is the re-activation of the Spending Fast it’s pretty terrible timing that I’m also traveling today. We’re visiting family which complicates things on the money front. Doesn’t it seem like money is needed for just about everything?! We’re going to do the trip very bare bones and we’re going to explore for free (like the image above notes) and we’re going to enjoy being together with everyone and that’s all free.

There’s a lot that can be done with absolutely no money. I’ve found that it just takes a bit more maneuvering to figure out and plan things. It can be done though.

Noticing life can be fun. Channel your inner Manna From Brooklyn and see what you notice too.

Here’s to Day 1 of the Spending Fast, and to being back on the horse!

While I’m away I’ll be posting some questions that readers have sent me along with the answers.

Have a great week!


How do you explore your world for free?


in Practical Solutions, Spending Fast, Travel Cheap
Gettin’ Guesty with Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance
Author: Anna Newell Jones

We have ANOTHER great contributor this week for Gettin’ Guesty!

Please help me welcome:

Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance

We sat down (virtually) and chatted about how to dress great without spending major bucks. She a lover of thrift stores, style and is a fellow Denverite!

I’m pumped to share her Q&A with ya’ll.

image courtesy of the guest

And Then We Saved: How do you craft your outfits? Where does your inspiration come from?

 Haiku Ambulance: Each outfit is entirely built out of spontaneity and is inspired by any number of things. Most importantly these things: the weather, my mood, anything I’ve recently seen in a movie, online, or read in a book. But my real inspiration mainly comes from other blogs and the items I find in the thrift stores. 

ATWS: What are the biggest “tricks” and tips that you use when buying/looking for vintage/thrift items?

 HA: I think that hands down, the number one best trick is to look in every section. Some of my best pieces have come from either the children’s section, plus size, or lingerie. Try to think about it logically: you aren’t in a store that is selling the same piece in every size. Looking for a shrunken blazer? Look in the children’s section or sizes smaller than you. Looking for oversized items? Search a few sizes up. And always remember that the people in the thrift stores aren’t putting everything back properly. Either way it will pay off for you to look everywhere even if it seems time consuming. And also keep in mind that vintage sizing is wildly different than today’s, so a lot of the best vintage will be several sizes larger on the tag than what you are today. Also buy books on collectible items- things you would never imagine to be worth anything are sometimes the crap that sells for thousands. Read up and you will make better “investments.” 

ATWS: What is the best/worst thing about buying vintage/thrift?

 HA: The thrill of the hunt is one of the best feelings ever in the whole entire world. Knowing that you and you alone, were the one to find a certain item is incredible. Especially when that item is usually $2-$9. I think the overall “yuckiness” of thrifting is the worst. I have definitely gotten pink eye from a thrift store and wore trousers that smelled like manure because I failed to wash them prior to wearing. Always take hand sanitizer: that’s another great rule.

ATWS: What are your wardrobe basics/essentials?

 HA: For me the essentials are a perfectly fitting/feeling: blazer, pair of jeans, and high waisted skirt. And obviously you would need to throw some shirts and shoes in the mix, so you aren’t walking around with your boobies and dirty bare feet hanging out. 

ATWS: What’s the greatest item you’ve found while thrifting?

 HA: Oh goodness. The greatest item I have found… Boy. I have some really fantastic fur coats that are just insane. But I think that each item has the potential to be the best. At least at its own time, each item makes me just as excited as the last. And if we’re judging by how much use an item has received, then hands down it is my black blazer that did indeed come from the children’s section.

ATWS: When you buy new items what are you on the lookout for/what strikes you when you’re shopping “new”?

 HA: When I buy new things I seem to buy more trendy items. I also have pretty much decided that (for the most part) I will continue buying new shoes. My feet are an awful wreck from buying vintage shoes that never quite fit right. 

ATWS: How long does it take for you to get your outfits together? How do you motivate yourself to take pics in the morning outside when it’s freezing out!?

 HA: I wake up with roughly an hour’s time to get ready. I never plan anything ahead of time, so that certainly causes some chaos around the house from time to time. I honestly take the blog photos in all of four minutes before we go to work, so the freezing temps don’t matter all that much when it goes by so quickly! And when it’s cold it we can expedite the process in like two minutes.

ATWS: Have you always been into fashion? If not, when did you become interested in it?

 HA: I’ve always been a thrifter and I’ve always been into clothes. I think that getting into fashion itself actually came later in life. I have had an affinity for theatre and costume design, but my style was a bit more campy and silly until a few years ago. I’m glad to see that I’ve come a little ways since then.

ATWS: How long have you been blogging? Your biggest features/honors?

HA: I have been blogging for well over five years now, but I did my first ever outfit post a year and two months ago. I feel like every feature is an honor. I was exceptionally thrilled to be approached by stylepantry.com and certainly 303Magazine was one of the most exciting things ever to happen. 

ATWS: You are the recent recipient of the 303 Denver Style Award! (Congratulations!) How did that feel to get that award?

 HA: Totally bizarre. It was a series of happenstance that ended up being utterly amazing. My dad was there when I accepted the award and it was truly awesome to see him so proud of me over something that I started as a hobby. And 303Magazine is such a great publication—it really puts out some great and gorgeous issues so I couldn’t be more humbled to be acknowledged by such a killer Denver institution.

Zoë Cullie of Haiku Ambulance ● THANK YOU ● for being a part of And Then We Saved!

If you would like to be considered as a contributor for Gettin’ Guesty send me an email at: Hello@AndThenWeSaved.com


in Fashion & Style, Guest Interviews, Make Do & Mend, Things To Do
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