The Spender’s Guide to Debt-Free Living

How a Spending Fast Helped Me Get from Broke to Badass in Record Time by Anna Newell Jones

Hi, it’s me, Susan! I wanted to take the lead on this book review because it’s on a subject really dear to my heart – saving money.

So, let’s take a look at the premise. Anna Newell Jones of And Then We Saved was more than $23,000 in debt and sinking fast. So she decided to stop spending on anything but essentials for a year. The question is “did this get her out of debt?”

The Positives

There’s a lot to admire about Anna’s approach. She works out “a needs-only” spending plan and then sticks to it for a period of 15 months (slightly longer than the year she had planned on). But it works and at the end of the book, she is celebrating living debt free.

I like the fact that she made a formal commitment to getting out of debt – it reminds me of when Darren and I were starting out. Darren and I both liked the fact that she made some extra income too, by blogging.

The Not So Positives

The problem with Anna’s approach is that it’s brutal. It’s the financial equivalent of going cold-turkey. Sure, it will work for some people – those with iron wills and strict internal discipline but for many people, it’s going to be too much.

Yes, you can turn this into something of a game (as Anna did) but it doesn’t change the fact that 15 months of only essential spending is incredibly hard work.


I admire Anna for what she did but I am not sure it’s for everyone. Though there are plenty of ideas in the book that you can integrate into less brutal savings strategies.

You might like to use some of my own strategies for saving money too.

You can grab a copy online here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *