One Reader’s Unbelievable Success Story!

Change the Course of Your Life | And Then We Saved

I just have to tell you that my jaw dropped when I read Ashley’s email. You’ll see why when you read about her inspiring story. She got creative, tapped into her skills, maximized her time, and in doing so was able to completely change the course of her life. Um, yeah. She’s totally inspiring! – Anna

Hi Anna!

I just wanted to let you know our story. About a year and a half ago, my then-boyfriend and I were talking about getting married. My parents don’t have much money, so we knew we would have to pay for the event ourselves. Then, I worked as a server at Olive Garden, and my boyfriend had just moved to the area and was in the process of finding a job. We needed money. Neither of us were very smart spenders or savers, so I started fishing around the Internet looking for help/advice, and I stumbled upon your blog. Your story is so amazing! How you were able to pay off so much debt in such a short amount of time is amazing! Your posts were entertaining and informative and I was glued to the screen all night.

One post in particular (I can’t remember what it was titled exactly), was about ways to make some extra cash. You talked about how you opened an Etsy store for a bit and hand-drew cards for people. I left your website thinking, “I wish that there was some way I could run an Etsy store or start-up my own business, but I just don’t have the creative ability a lot of those ladies do.” PLUS, Etsy has a super-saturated market, and it’s hard to find something to do that 500 other people aren’t already doing!

Then I wandered to Pinterest and started scrolling through my feed. A few cute tattoo designs popped up and I thought to myself, “If only there was a way to get a temporary tattoo like this, ’cause its cute but I don’t want it forever.” And taa-daa!!!! It was like a light bulb went off. I thought, “There HAS to be some way to make your own temporary tattoos. You can make anything nowadays!”

I started looking up stuff that night, and the next night, and through the whole month. I checked Etsy for similar shops, and there were only a few! I looked into what supplies I would need, logo and packaging design, and shipping costs. All in all, I think I put $250 into the project to get it started. I opened up my shop, Smash Tat, in December 2013 and what a ride it’s been! I now work only for myself and make 3-4 times as much as I did working somewhere else. We have plenty of money saved up for our DIY wedding, and I was finally able to get a car—that we plan to have paid off by the end of the year. We’re currently building a tiny house to save more money in the long run, and most importantly… I LOVE WHAT I DO! In a million years I never would have come up with the idea for SmashTat on my own, and I just wanted to reach out to you and say THANK YOU! You have blessed our new little family in such a huge way. Please keep telling your story and sharing your knowledge, because you never know who it may help :)

Again, thank you :)


Holy cow. So impressed. Have you started your own business? If so, what would you say were (or are) your biggest obstacles? Have you been surprised by your success?

P.S. Looking for some ways to make more money yourself? Here’s a helpful post: 37 Easy Ideas to Make Money on the Weekend.

P.S. Looking to make more money? CLICK HERE for over 195+ side gig ideas


3 thoughts on “One Reader’s Unbelievable Success Story!

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  1. Frugal in France

    Hello, Anna ! Gosh you must be so happy to be at the origin of this success. As for me, I had a business and made a mess of it, so I have no advice to give and Ashley is doing so well, I think she’s got it all already !

  2. Raissomat

    WOWZA!!!! The stars sure aligned for you, and it was the right idea at the right time! That’s so nice it sounds like a fairy tale .
    What can one ask more for these days than a great job, saved for wedding, family and a TINY HOME!! You live the dream..
    We are getting the wedding part sorted. The rest..well.. I have so many visions and am so lost. I wish my idea was as simple as yours. I hope one day I will get it right, and it won’t be too late.

  3. Victoria Smith

    I am hoping this is appropriate for this Blog. I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician, and there is a company that provides a completely free savings website for patients with no insurance, or those who cannot afford their deductible on their medications. I have used their savings card before with good results. It’s good nationwide, and I think people should know about it. Patients can go to and put in their medication list (without having to enter personal information) and receive prices that are often discounted from area pharmacies (relative to the zip code that is entered). I have worked with many patients who have received significant savings this way. Just some info for those patients who are struggling with their medicine costs.
    I figure any way you can save is a good idea!


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