Who This Blog Is For

who the blog and then we saved is for

It’s so great to have new readers. It’s great, amazing, wonderful, awesome, and really… so so good.

Though, I think I should clarify who this blog is truly for. While And Then We Saved started as simply a way to keep myself accountable in my desire to become debt-free it has morphed into something more. This blog has become a way to share hope with people who are in the same place that I was in when I started my Spending Fast – in the depths of the debt. In that overwhelmingly horrible and demoralizing place.

On the Community page those in debt and struggling with getting out of debt have a place to talk about how the process is going for them and receive support along the way. The Community page is a place where those in debt can have that accountability that was so vital for me as I crawled out of my debt (the accountability that this blog provided). The Community page is also a place to share the successes and accomplishments that come along with doing the respective Spending Fast and Spending Diet. Eliminating credit card debt? Hell yeah. No longer being consumed by things? Double Hell Yeah. Getting to do the things you truly want to do in life with out having debt hang over your head?! Yeah! THAT is what it’s about. It’s about turning your life around and seeing that it CAN be done and it’s about knowing that you’re not alone. Not at all.

Doing a Spending Fast or a Spending Diet isn’t a magical lottery ticket. It is hard work. It sucked at times. Some of my relationships really suffered because of it. I wanted to give up. There were a lot of really awkward moments. I messed up. It was hard. Did I already say that? Because it was (and continues to be).

And Then We Saved is a place where I share my experience, strength and hope with getting out of debt, living without all of the time-sucking stuff and it’s about how I’m re-prioritizing my life and getting it back on track so that I can live the life I’m supposed to live and not one possessed by things… like it used to be.

Getting out of debt is about living a life that is autonomous. To be able to have the freedom to make decisions based on your own best interests and not on the best interests of those that you owe money to… because if you owe money to someone they’re going to want a say in how you spend the money that you’re not giving to them.

This blog is a place where others can see what I did to get out of debt. It worked for me so why not share that with others who it might help? The answer is, there is no reason to not share it.

There are tons of people that commit suicide every year because of credit card debt and money problems. Have you seen the documentary movie Maxed Out? Money issues and debt are serious. Knowing there is a way out besides filing for bankruptcy and besides death is a very good thing.

My life has not been a silver-spooned one and it hasn’t been a life of poverty either. I don’t live under a bridge and never have. I know everyone likes a good rags-to-riches story but unfortunately, I don’t have one and wish I did because it’d make this paragraph more exciting. My life has been pretty average. I have a job as a clerk for the state. I have a couple of close friends and I have some acquaintances. Like most people, I try to be a good person. I try to do the best I can at things. I’ve got some good traits and some not good ones. I’ve got some bad childhood memories and sometimes, I eat chocolate for dinner. Sometimes, I fart and hope no one notices. Sometimes, I blame the fart on the person standing next to me. I’m telling ya, I’m not a crazy circus girl here. I tell you this so you can see that while others make more or less money then I do that to get out of debt the Spending Fast can be modified for each person’s different life and varying situation. We all know someone who is loaded and has tons of debt and we know the person who has the 7-11 job and is amazing with their money. Everyone has different stories and different situations but we’re all kind of the same. It seems we all want to try to do the best we can with what we’ve got.

I acquired my debt in my early 20’s like lots of others. I liked shopping and I liked thinking I could afford things I couldn’t. I was in complete denial and was over-spending every month by at least $200 to $300. I was seduced by the thought of keeping things looking nice and perfect and looking like I succeeded even though, I wasn’t there. I wanted to look like I had my life put together so others thought so too. I was judging my insides to others outsides and this is a place that I was at for many years.

On this blog I talk about how I got myself out of my overwhelming $23,605.10 in debt… by eliminating excess spending, finding new ways to make money to get the debt paid off faster, how to do without and make the most of what you have. Just like diet books don’t invent the “eat less, exercise more” model I haven’t invented the “spend less” idea. Through And Then We Saved I try to put the typically stuffy and depressing topics of personal finance and getting-out-of-debt into a light-hearted, relatable and fun format. I try to keep And Then We Saved as true to me as possible because there’s just no reason for stuffiness! (Saving really can be as fun as shopping… unbelievably…)

When the Spending Fast started I literally had no extra money at the end of the month. I thought that I could maybe pay off my credit card debt through the Spending Fast but anything other than that was completely outside of the scope of my expectations. My debt was eliminated by: creating a “Wants and Needs” list, by stopping all “non-need” spending, by doing little things to cut out excess spending, by “Making Do and Mending”, by “doing without”, and by tapping into my skills to come up with additional ways to increase my income.  (My husband did not give me any money and his income didn’t factor into my debt elimination. We have had separate bank accounts until March 2010 and even since then we’ve tried to keep it as separate as possible while still trying out the joint account thing.)

If you have no problems with money, then this may not be the blog for you. Or… maybe it is if you want to help others and share how you do it.

If you already do everything that you’re supposed to do financially, have no debt, are all set for the future financially and have no struggles with life and stuff then maybe this isn’t the blog for you either. Or… then again, maybe it is if you want to share how you do it.

If you’re like the tons of people who have a job, have dreams, have debt, have struggled with money and debt and spending, want a future, want a better future, want to live a life that is not possessed and obsessed by things then this blog is for you.

Life can be better and it can be debt-free and that what this blog is about. It’s for those that want that too. If that’s you, I’m glad you’re here along with me.

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P.S. Ready to get out of debt ASAP? Check out the Spending Fast Bootcamp!

11 comments

11 thoughts on “Who This Blog Is For

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  1. ashleycolean

    i can't thank you enough for your blog. if not for you i may have never buckled down and begun learning so much about finance, MY finances, and myself in general. i'm cruising toward my own debt recovery- largely, in part, to your blog. so thanks again!!! ace

    Reply
  2. Megan

    Anna, Thank you for this post! I've been reading your blog since your CNN feature and love it. I even decided to start my own Spending Diet with my husband in February – and it does work! Lately, we have been veering off of the diet, but this post was just what I needed to remind me what it's all about and get my butt back in gear. We are also heading to Europe in July, and I can't wait to hear some of your Spending Diet tips for traveling overseas. Thanks again!

    Reply
  3. clutteredmoney

    I really want to start a Spending Fast but am finding it overwhelming to start because I have kids! Every time they ask for something, I feel incredibly sad because I always tell them that it's not in the budget. I want them to understand that we should live within our means and that even if we have the money to buy doesn't mean we always should. I wonder if there's anyone else who did a spending fast as a family who can shed some light on how it can be done!

    I love your blog!

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  4. ad

    Thanks Anna for your blog. I read it daily and find ways to incorporate your ideas into my own budgeting and lifestyle. While I am not living 100% by the rules you have set for yourself, your blog has helped me stay motivated to pay off my own debt and given me the confidence and strength to know it is possible. Keep posting. You will have people that do not agree with you but no one is forcing them to read your blog.

    Reply
  5. Jade

    Hi Anna, I too am thankful I found your blog.

    When you posted 'Who this blog is for' I was thinking 'ME!!!'. I am in serious debt from school and have loved reading your tips about how to save money and cut costs. I have also enjoyed the honest posts about the awkward and uncomfortable social situations that arise when you become a 'saver' vs a 'spender'. I go through those all the time.

    I think what started out as a personal challenge for you has gone on to help and inspire a lot of others – like me!

    Reply
  6. Stitchybritt

    I'm 100% with you. I'm just so pleased someone is out there saying "I'm on a budget", because it seems almost taboo to so many people. When my colleagues invite me out for a coffee and I say "I can't, I'm on a tight budget", they look at me strange. When my friends invite me to dinner at a restaurant and I decline, they say "go on, just this once". Very few people seem to understand the concept of really stopping spending.

    Reply
  7. Maryl

    @cluttered money. Are your kids to an age they can grasp a budget and discuss things? I'm sure you have a small fund for "entertainment" in your spending plan. Sit them down, explain that this is what we have for toys/fun/movies for X time period (week/two weeks/month). Have a brainstorming session on how to do the most with it. Put ideas into a hat and draw them out. Or put a committee in charge of entertainment. If your kids get an allowance, then that's their extras money for candy, gum, nonbudgeted items, and when the money's gone, it's gone until the next go 'round.

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  8. Rebekah

    And that's why I come here, to be inspired and remind myself that there are more important things in life than having the entire line of Murad skincare products, shoes that cost $300 and a closet full of new clothing.

    Reply
  9. daisy

    Hi Anna, I've just found your blog via Manna from Brooklyn's blog, which I follow cause she's a kinda kooky chic, huh?
    I'm in Australia, we're not having it as rough as you guys in the States. However I do come from a pretty frugal family and have lots of tricks I use to not spend money. Grey water collection? I'm a champ at it! I drive a van just in case I see something free that I can sell later or use – plant adoption is my specialty.
    As I suffer at times from F.O.M.O (Fear Of Missing Out) I have taught myself retail restraint using the following technique. Now mind you I've been doing a lot of my shopping at markets, Op (thrift) stores and garage (yard) sales for years because I like fossicking around. But this works in any shopping situation…

    I HAVE EVERYTHING I WANT TO BUY!!
    Oh yes, it's true.
    I work my way around the shop, picking up everything I fancy. I take my time. I may look a little (or a lot) crazy to anyone who may be watching.
    But what this does is sets up the delay process – I used it as a lever to help me stop smoking, then as a lever to help me stop over-eating (a consequence for a while of stopping smoking). So when I feel that I'm emotionally sated and can carry no more I start with the logic…
    "Now really, are you sure you need this?
    It took you 2 hours to earn the amount of money this costs!
    Will you need to spend more money on larger accomodation just to house this thing and all the other things?"
    Why don't you not spend this money and put it toward a bit extra off your mortgage?"
    And the clincher…
    "Will you DIE without it? "

    Then I put it all back exactly where I got it from.
    At worse, I end up with one item.
    NOT buying makes me feel so much more empowered and proud of myself and those feelings far outway the anxious weight of possession ever has.
    Another trick my mother used to do – we were very poor when I was a kid – was to say "Hmm, I'll think about it" and leave the item and the store. And she rarely rarely went back for anything. Kinda the same thing, I guess.

    Phew! Thanks for listening! Anna, I think your blog is great; good for you, being such a generous woman. And a somewhat super-hero, getting rid of your debt, especially within that time frame. Wooohoo for youuuuuu!

    xxDaisy

    Reply
  10. Heather Novak

    OH YES! We did this via Dave Ramsey…your way would have been more relatable to me as a woman. Even still, I catch myself saying "Oh, my husband would kill me if I bought this…" and I've started to correct myself: "WE have a spending plan, not sure if this is going to be on it…." It was really unfair of me to hang it on him when WE chose to get debt free. As far as feeling defensive or like it is unfair to go without something or the newest something(and who is to say what we 'need' anyway! Are they paying for it?)….I just get proud about it…"We CHOOSE to spend our money carefully and pay cash for things." More empowering and accurate statement than "Oh that isn't in our budget." or "I cannot afford that." Thanks for sharing your journey…it is a BIG ACCOMPLISHMENT.

    Reply

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