Celebrating in Frugal Style

Happy International Women’s Day!

If you’re like me you’ve :

  • seen the pro and anti posts on your social media
  • saw suggestions to participate in a gender strike
  • were given suggestions about celebrating by purchasing a host of items
  • been instructed to give up the second shift

The last two cost. The first because unless you’re taking a vacation day you’re out of money, also if all the women at my business took the day off we’d just have a lot to do tomorrow.

The second is obvious, no I’m not buying all my female friends trinkets to celebrate their identity.

I opted to celebrate in my own way. Instead of putting money out I went with emotion:

  • I messaged female friends who have lifted me up with notes on why I adore them
  • I took time to honour myself through a yoga class
  • I was kind to myself

The day, for me, serves as a reminder to not judge others harshly, to identify when I engage in sexist thinking/behaviour, and to continue to honour myself.

Did you participate in the celebrations today?

 

 

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Lenten Beginning

It appears Catholicism is in my blood.While I don’t attend Mass and strongly disagree with some teachings, at my core I’m still practicing.

Today marks the beginning of Lent. Since the weekend I’ve been reflecting on what sacrifices I’d like to make.

While I don’t truly believe that sacrifice is going to save my soul, I do think it’s good for my spirit (aka mental and emotional health).

My concussion treatment plan is a good place to start:

  • No sugar (let’s be real this means not seeking out items that have loads of added sugar)
  • No alcohol
  • 10 minutes of meditation a day
  • Not overloading my work schedule or as Pope Francis suggests I’m fasting from pressure. While he recommends substituting pressure with prayer, I’m going to give up pressure and be present.

For me sacrifice was always about giving up something to be closer to God.To better show the face of Christ to those around us. I didn’t understand how it worked but went with the belief that God understands our hearts and intentions.

The things I’m giving up are being done with the intent to make me a more peaceful person. We are so influenced by other people’s energy and I want when people meet me they go away feeling good about themselves.

Do you find yourself being influenced by the religion you were born into?

 

Reblog from Kate Saves

I haven’t shared my political views very often and with a concussion I’m less likely to make great points. My fellow Canadian, however, says it so well.

Be kind, even when frightened. I have been frightened. The colour of my skin has made certain people feel that they are better than me or deserve more than me.

That’s when it’s even more important to listen and be kind.

I am one of the many who were completely shocked by the results of the American election. I’m just a casual Canadian observer of American politics, but I totally thought my girl Hillary Clinton had it in the bag. After I went through a period of what felt like grief, I wanted to know how…

via On Privilege — Kate Saves

A simple 5 ingredient personal care regime

When I began to really focus on wasting less on a budget I turned to blogs for inspiration. Steph has been a great source of ideas and provides lots of motivation.

Three years ago, when I began experimenting with making my own skin care line I wish I had this list.

purplegumboots & greenpickles

The only 5 ingredients you’ll need for your zero-waste personal care regime for face, hair, and body

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2017 Goal Setting

I really loved the idea of Big, Hairy Audacious Goals  and in 2016 paying off the debt to live the life we wanted was huge. Now with the consumer debt gone we want a lot of things that are all huge (new kitchen, no mortgage, vacation) and if we tackle one a year it may feel like we’re waiting forever to get to the others. So I’m taking bite sized pieces out of each of them so that we can feel good about every part of our lives.

Goal 1: Mortgage Payments

I’m going to save money every month so that at the end of 2017 I will be able to put at least an extra $1,200 towards our mortgage.

Goal 2: Home Improvement

This will be the year that we fix the sinking driveway and update our light fixtures. I feel that these are two realistic goals that can easily be achieved and will make our home seem much more welcoming. I’ll give myself until May before I think about the driveway properly since it’ll be either snow or rain covered until then. The light fixtures we can begin our search in the new year. There are at least 4 that must be replaced with a couple of others that would be nice to have done.

Goal 3: Emergency Fund

I define my emergency fund a.k.a. sky is falling account to be the account that will save us in case of job loss. I currently have 3 weeks pay (1.5 months) in that account. My aim is to save another 3 weeks pay in 2017.

I’m going to do this by throwing my budget buffer money in here starting in March.

Goal 4: Vacation/2nd Honeymoon

2018 is going to be our 10th wedding anniversary. Our wedding, while fun and the start of a fantastic chapter, was bloody stressful. We want a do-over. Sort of, we’d like to throw a big party for our friends and family and go on a vacation.

We’d also like to take a vacation out of the country that year. Knowing that this is something we’d like to do, we’re going to have to start planning and budgeting now.

 

Mini Goals

Goal 1: Conference/Vacation

I’m heading to a conference in February to a place I’ve never been before, and never intend to visit again, so I’ve tacked on a few extra days. The reason I’m never going again is because it’s frightfully expensive for me to go to this place. So expensive that the cost of adding hotel dates wiped out my vacation savings. My plan is to put leftover buffer money towards my vacation line in January and February so that I can pay for any excursions that I’d like. My aim is to return feeling relaxed and being debt free.

 

As always my overarching goal is to ensure that I stay true to myself and live a life that reflects the things that matter to me.

Are you setting goals for yourself this year?

 

Word of the Year

Lauralynne wrote an excellent, thought-provoking post about her word of the year. Everything she said resonated with me to such an extent that I was tempted to share her word.

However, I know that when my mind enters anxiety mode this word may not be the best choice.

My plan this week was to come up with my 2017 goal to share so I’m going to review the blog, create a plan similar to 2016, and then choose a word.

What word would you choose to help define your upcoming year?

Boxing Day Sales

So I just posted that I got lovely presents and didn’t need anything yet I found myself joining the hoards.

I went out this afternoon when most things were pretty picked over in the hope that it’ll be less busy and that a lot of the goodies would be gone so I wouldn’t be tempted to purchase things we don’t need.

My plan was to get:

  • Christmas gift for a friend
  • Birthday gift for a friend
  • A few items for the gift closet

I did exactly this and my extras are things I feel good about:

  • mini nail polish pack (I have dumped most of mine as they’re old)
  • Hair ornament pack ( so needed and so inexpensive)
  • Dashboard camera for ML (he’s been chatting about this for some time)

Not only did I get these but I stayed below my budget. In fact I was below budget but I used my points card so I ended up only spending half the cash I had planned.

Did you indulge in Boxing Day sales?

Christmas Gifts

How was your Christmas?

Ours was wonderful: it was filled with food and family. And also gifts. The gifts were a bit stressful for me this year. I’m always a bit concerned but this year ML pointed out I became really concerned about if our presents would be good enough.

To truly understand how out of whack with reality I was you’d have to know our families. Our families don’t care about the things, we all feel we have enough the gifts are a way to show we care but to meet needs as well.

I got, and gave, meaningful presents.

The best part? All our gifts were easily put in their places within our home. Since I’m trying to be more cognizant of what we allow into our home and ensuring it brings us joy.

I’m not sure where my stress came from but this Christmas was a reminder that the season isn’t about spending but about appreciating those we love.

 

Gilmore Girls Day

I came of age during the Gilmore Girls hey day. I wanted to be like Rory, in fact I was already a lot like Rory, minus the gorgeous boy and fantastic mother-daughter relationship. So when I found out there was going to be a revival a friend and I  immediately went into planning mode.

We planned a girl day with loads of junk food. As you know,  I can be a Pinterest addict. A search brought up a host of ideas some were time consuming ( homemade pop tarts) while others were costly ( specialty glassware). I had great intentions about making treats for us based on the show but in the end I did a grocery run.

As a way to keep myself in check I budgeted $10 for treats. It worked, sort of…I went shopping the day of too good a sale.

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We had an awesome party and would have definitely made Lorelai proud!

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While I learnt I can make $10 go very far in the junk food aisle the food hangover reminded me exactly why I shouldn’t.

Dreaming

Do you have a crazy dream that you’ve kept in spite of not doing a thing to achieve it?

For me it’s always been being a lead singer.

Image result for selena quintanilla singing
Selena Quintanilla was my inspiration

In my teens I was involved in the school’s choir and my parents paid for lessons until my stage fright had me abandoning it.

In spite of not doing anything about this this little dream has me doing YouTube karaoke, pretending I’m on stage when putting on make up, and dancing around my living room.

Last month I found a school in town that teaches adults in a band setting. For $250/month I get to be in a band!

I’ll even be performing in front of crowds twice a year. Considering all my goals I wondered if this would be the best use of funds. How does joining a band and relearning to sing align with everything?

Remarkably well! I’ll be hitting the first 2 points of the things that I felt would make my life feel meaningful. For us the whole point of saving is to make our dreams come true. Pursuing this may mean that it takes me longer to save my 6 month buffer or we adjust our vacation goals. It does mean that I can get to make 2 dreams come true:

  1. Being a singer
  2. Having the money to pursue my dreams

While honouring myself.

What childhood dream would you revisit if you could?