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 She 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 She 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 She 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 She 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.