Saving for Things You Want

Four years ago I was at the point where I wanted to move past the kit lenses I owned and start investing in “fast” prime lenses that would allow me to shoot at wider apertures to get the beautiful bokeh we all love.

My first investment was the “nifty fifty,” the Nikon 50mm f1.8D ($100). Then I bought the awesome little Nikon 35mm f1.8G lens ($200) for myself for Christmas. Both those little lenses were fantastic and I loved the images I was able to capture with them.

Nikon 50mm f1.4

Now, due to the ever-preset hunger for wider aperture capabilities, my eyes became set on the $500 Nikon 50mm f.14G lens. I could not afford a $500 lens! Before I became to blue about it, I came up with a plan to save for it; a plan that was a bit unconventional but effective.

What did I do?

I stopped buying any sodas and breakfast cereals. With four kids, we went through a lot of cereal in a week. I could just stick to drinking water and fix grits (we are in the South) on the days they would have had cereal.

Based on passed grocery receipts, I calculated that we were spending at least $25 per week on sodas and cereal.  I started tucking away $25 a week into a little savings envelope. In just five months, the lens would be bought with soda and cereal money!

I will say that three months into the savings schedule my husband surprised me with the lens, bought with tax refund money. So, I used that $300 I had saved to take a photography workshop instead!

Do you have something you are saving for or something you’ve had your eye on for a long time but just cannot afford?

Something I really want but that isn’t photography related is to be able to take my family back to Washington, D.C. We went there four years ago when my father was buried at Arlington National Cemetery but have not been able to afford to go back.

I cannot cut out sodas and cereal again because we pretty much eliminated those from our weekly shopping. We still have them on occasion but not regularly. So, what is another way to save for our special trip?

Thankfully I was introduced to a way to save money each month is via the cell phone bill. It is crazy what a family pays to have four phones with data plans!

When I was asked to try out the Samsung Galaxy S4 on the Cricket Wireless network, I was not only extremely happy with the phone (and built in camera), but I was VERY pleased with the phone service. There have been several times when my Cricket phone had better service than my Verizon iPhone 5.

(Yes, this is a post recommending Cricket Wireless, because I have enjoyed their service and love the savings it provides and feel like some of you may benefit from it too).


So, if you could cut your cell phone bill in half each month, what would YOU do with the savings? I would love to hear your “I’d love to have/do…” things.

  • Pay off bills – I told a friend about Cricket and she is planning to switch soon so she can pay down her credit card balance faster.
  • Buy new camera gear – I so would love to get the Nikon 105mm F2.8 macro
  • Take a trip – Want to go to Europe, Hawaii, Alaska (my personal dream trip)
  • Pay for Christmas gifts – Saving on your cell bill can help pay off any Christmas balance you have left on your card.
  • ???? You tell me…..


Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by Cricket Wireless. All views and opinions are my own.


About Amanda

I am passionate about helping others learn how to use their DSLR cameras and editing programs. More information about me can be found at my About page, or by visiting my personal blog.


  1. I would totally save the extra money for a family vacation!!

  2. Elaine simonsen says:

    Macro lens!

  3. Simone Freitas says:

    I am at the same spot you were at the beginning, just want to move from kit lenses and buy my first prime (I am dying for the canon 50mm f1.8). I am trying to figure out some way to save money so I can go to the next step in my photography journey.
    P.S. Love your posts!!

  4. I’d go to Hawaii and at the rate of my cell phone bill it wouldn’t take long!

  5. I’d take my grandchildren to Disney World 🙂

  6. It seems we have similar wishes Amanda, a trip to Alaska (my dream trip), and a Sony 100/2.8 macro!

  7. I would love a trip to Disneyland 🙂


  8. Amanda!!! if you only knew how we’re currently looking for cheaper phone service plans! i’ll have to look at crickett for sure! i would LOVE a 35mm lens!!! we’ve already saved for a family vacation – or that would be on my list as well.

  9. I purchased the Canon 50mm 1.8 earlier this year. Finally added one more lense, now I have a total of 3. The other two, came with the camera kit – Canon Rebel T2i. Amanda, I’d love a camera bag and another lense to add. What lense would you recommend I save up for? And what camera bag is worth the money. They are very pricey it seems.

  10. I would totally be saving to have our basement finished 🙂

  11. What a great way to save for the things that you really want….. Fantastic tips!

  12. Love this post Amanda!! 🙂

  13. What a great way to save Amanda! And we’re just getting ready to add our first kid cell phone user to our plan. Yikes! It adds up so fast. I’d buy a new camera I’ve been eying FOREVER if I could save on our plan.

  14. we would totally pay off bills with the extra cash. 😉

    I worked for cricket (corporate PR) before I had kids! 🙂

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