Meal Planning on a Budget is Available Now on Amazon!

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal FinanceLeave a Comment


I’m so excited to announce my latest book, Meal Planning on a Budget, is available on Amazon Kindle and paperback! Better yet, it’s only $.99 cents through Feb 28th! Are you struggling to lower your spending on food? Are you tired of entering the grocery store only to leave with food you’ll eventually throw away? Do you want to finally get your food budget under control? No matter how busy your schedule is or what grocery store options you have, you can tighten your grocery budget and achieve your financial goals faster. Across the board, our spending on food is … Read More

I Picked Out My Own Engagement Ring at a Pawn Shop

Jen SmithFrugality, Personal Finance2 Comments

If there’s one thing I love almost as much as my husband, it’s getting a sweet deal on something I was going to buy anyways. While I’ve always been adverse to parting with my paycheck, I’m not the most responsible with my money and I never considered myself frugal until recently. But through paying off $78,000 in debt, I know for sure I married the most frugal man I’ve ever met. He introduced me to pawn shops and now they’re my super secret frugal weapon. I grew up buying everything new. We’d stop at thrift stores every once in a … Read More

9 Unusual Ways I Use Ebates to Get Cash-Back

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, SavingsLeave a Comment

ebates cash back

I’ve never been one to get caught up with sales and gimmicks to get you to buy things you don’t need. I love apps like Ibotta and Ebates but they’re full of rebates that can cost you more money than store brands if you don’t do the math. A lot of people use Ebates to justify their Macy’s and Kohl’s splurges but buying secondhand is still cheaper no matter how many coupons and rebates you use. The real hack is to find ways to save on the cheapest price of things you’d buy anyway. It’s not possible everywhere but surprisingly, … Read More

11 Books to Read After The Total Money Makeover

Jen SmithPersonal Finance6 Comments

best frugality books

Shortly after I started Saving with Spunk in August 2016, I read The Top 10 Distinctions Between Millionaires & The Middle Class by Keith Cameron Smith. I loved it so much I reviewed it on the blog and it became one of my most popular pins on Pinterest. In 2017 I got more into entrepreneurial books. It was necessary because I had no clue how to run a blog, much less get paid for all the time I put into it. Now that I have a slight grasp on the direction of the blog I want to get back to … Read More

How to Save Money And Pay Off Debt In The City

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, SavingsLeave a Comment

save money in the city

I hear a lot of people say they can’t save money or pay off their debt because of where they live. The jobs are in the city and that’s where the rent is high so I get why you would say that. But I live in a city and we were able to pay off $78,000 of debt in less than two years. With no handouts, gifts, or help from our parents. I live in St. Petersburg, FL, a suburb of Tampa. It’s a beach town with expensive waterfront properties and a booming tech city downtown with high rise condos … Read More

The Only 4 Survey Sites That Are Actually Worth Your Time

Jen SmithMake Money, Personal Finance5 Comments

survey sites worth trying

I have the entrepreneurial gene. I’m always working on something new that will move our family forward. And I’m always thinking of ways to make the most money for the least effort. But not everyone wants to start their own business or write for hours a day. That doesn’t mean you can’t make some extra money. Time is the #1 excuse I hear for why people can’t make more money to pay off their debt faster. I know you have a lunch break. I know you wait for the water to boil for those rice and beans. I know you … Read More

Things I Learned About Investing When I Got to Baby Step 4

Jen SmithPersonal Finance, Savings5 Comments

baby step 4 investing

Dave Ramsey’s Total Money Makeover is the book we used to learn about personal finance and ultimately get out of $78,000 of debt in less than 2 years. We followed his system, dubbed “The Baby Steps” almost perfectly (TBH, I don’t think there’s anyone who does the baby steps perfectly.) One of my first posts on Saving with Spunk was explaining the baby steps. Baby Step 1: $1000 in an emergency fund Baby Step 2: Pay off all debt using the debt snowball method Baby Step 3: Save 3-6 months of expenses in an emergency fund Baby Step 4: Invest … Read More

Should You Refinance Your Student Loans?

Jen SmithDebt, Personal FinanceLeave a Comment

refinance student loans

If you have more student loans than you know what to do with then you’re always thinking about how to get rid of them. It always starts with looking into student loan forgiveness programs. Those programs suck. They either restrict you to low paying jobs for 10 years or curse you into paying the life of your loan plus taxes on whole other income, which inevitably leads to payments to the IRS which include more interest and fees. Those programs are great for people who have no other options but they are a last resort and seriously limit your potential … Read More

Debt Free Stories: Kyle & Jeanette Paid Off $55K in 16 Months!

Jen SmithDebt, Personal FinanceLeave a Comment


I started Saving With Spunk with the selfish intention to stay motivated through our debt payoff journey. And nothing motivated me more than hearing other people’s debt-free stories. I troll Instagram for these stories. I am personally horrible at social media but Kyle and Jeanette from Living to be Debt Free are some of my favorites. They live in Grand Blanc, Michigan with their two-year-old daughter, Lindsey and another bb on the way! Kyle and Jeanette just finished paying off $55,000 in student loan debt in 16 months on a starting income of $100K that dropped to $91K due to … Read More

Paying Off Debt Gets Done Through The Stupid Little Things

Jen SmithDebt, Personal Finance26 Comments

It’s a new year! And you’re probably reading this because you want to make a change with how you handle your money in 2018. You want to pay off your student loans, start investing, and maybe save up for a big girl vacation, like, to Europe or something. You want to make big changes but very rarely do big things happen to move the needle. It’s the little things that sustain you when you’re trying to make big changes. Like, pay off more money in debt than you make in a year. My husband, Travis, and I paid off nearly … Read More