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?
Some highlights from the year…
Being able to go part-time with the state
The biggest thing that happened this year is that I was able to go part-time with my state job. I was only granted that freedom because I’m debt-free and therefore need less money to survive on. My husband and I still contribute the same amount to our joint account (that we pay our household bills from) that we did before I went part-time and other than that we still don’t “share” money. Being free from debt has given me the opportunity to pursue what I really love doing which is photography, and work more on this site. So far, being able to go part-time step has been the biggest day-to-day result of doing the Spending Fast and Spending Diet. Talk about a life-changer!
The Freckled Nest crew made the site come to life in such a cute and organized way. I’m so happy with the work they did!
Readers and exciting press
And Then We Saved is now reaching close to half-a-million readers a month and has been featured in some very cool media outlets this year. It’s so awesome to be able to show people that getting out of debt is possible and that there is an extremely effective method of doing it. While the Spending Fast and Spending Diet can (admittedly) be completely terrible at times and seem like it is taking forever I would challenge anyone to find a more effective method for getting out of debt. Think about it like this, be okay with your life sucking for a year, suffer through it, and then your life is forever changed without the big debt cloud hanging over your head and angling all your decisions. Suffer now for a lifetime of freedom. The year seems crazy long when you’re in the midst of the Spending Fast but once it’s over it’s like, “That’s it!? That didn’t take long at all!” Seriously, life is way better on the debt-free side. Minor tangent there. Sorry, I just get so excited because I want everyone to have the freedom that comes with be debt-free!
Get Out of Debt Pledgers!
As of right now, 275 people have decided to change their lives by taking the Get Out of Debt Pledge! It’s beyond inspiring to read all the pledges and see how people are ready to change their lives for good! Whenever you are low on motivation head over there to get a jolt of “what it’s all about”.
Seeing readers helping other readers warms my heart (not trying to sound cheesy but I can’t help it). To hear all the creative money-saving techniques you come up with and then to read as you support each other is beyond amazing. I’ve also just heard about a group of Spending Fasters who will be meeting in person to share their ups-and-downs with each other. That’s so amazing.
Thanks for being with me throughout everything, and I can’t wait to get started on 2013. I have a feeling it’s going to be really awesome! xo, Anna
What are your favorite posts from 2012 (doesn’t have to just be from this site), and what have been your best and worst financial moments of the past year?