A REALLY over-the-top thrifty woman has disclosed how she saved $30,000 in just eight months – by eating her lunches out of the trashcans and dumpsters and garbage.
Amanda Holden, 32, is from Portland, Oregon, was able to quit her finance job and travel for a year by eating her lunches made from the leftovers of her baffled coworkers who started calling her ‘Dumpster Dog’.
Now she writes about her finances through her tongue-in-cheek blog, aptly called the ‘Dumpster Dog Blog’.
“I worked at an office with lots of dudes so there was always extra food. I ate their left overs.”
“In approaching this challenge, I was very self-deprecating and using my humor. I told my close friends at work. I talked about it openly and most people embraced it. There were some times when I couldn’t find any scraps to eat and I would have to buy food. I would never go hungry. It wasn’t about hurting myself, I was just doing everything I could. If someone is going to eat half a pizza, I would just ask them to toss it over.’
“When I gave my boss my two weeks notice, he took a minute, then looked at me with a wonky eye and asked if that was why I was eating trash and why I was called the ‘Dumpster Dog’. He said he’d seen me pull a half-eaten burrito from the trash. We had a laugh about it, I was always full of antics.”
Amanda, a 27-year-old, was struggling bad, having no savings and in desperate need of a career change.
“In my twenties, I wasn’t very careful with money. I wanted to reassess, but I had no savings, apart from my pension plan, I had nothing else to speak off. No emergency funds. I was having a lot of fun, going out every night, but it’s not something you can sustain. It was no secret that I didn’t love my job. I hit a point I didn’t like what I was doing.”
Amanda set out to make a goal to quit her job within six months and have at least saved $20,000 to go traveling around the world.
“It was a big ask on my 27-year-old salary. The first thing I gave up was shopping. Although it was never my addiction, it was hard as a woman not to spend money on make-up and beauty products. The second thing was social spending. I was an extremely social person, if I wanted to spend money I had to temper that.”
“I cut out haircuts, no gym membership or buying coffees. The third way, I just made an effort to cut out food.”
Once she had made it to her saving goals, Amanda flew to Mexico and then hopped on down to Central America and into South America, where she found her passion for teaching financial planning aimed for women. When she returned to the US, she started her own business called ‘Invested Development’, to coach and mentor young women.
“My goal is to make it funny. This is my way of giving back.”
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