If I’m being honest, I haven’t wanted to post anything lately. I’ve felt straight-up ill about the things that are happening in America right now and writing about home renovations seems small and unimportant. But I’m getting out of my funk now and you know what is helping? Doing things. I donated to my sister’s classroom today because knowledge truly is power. If you want to donate too, you can do that here.
I’ve also been thinking about good things in life. There still are good things, like…
- $1.99 Gladiolus at Trader Joe’s.
- The hour when all the dishes in my house are clean.
- Homegrown tomatoes on the window sill.
- Nights that are cool enough to drink hot tea again. (This is my favorite.)
- Watching Anne with an E on Netflix.
- Camping this weekend.
Please tell me some good things that are happening in your life. I need to hear it.
love, love, freakin’ love,
Photo via Death to the Stock Photos
This week has been more stressful than normal which means a lot considering I usually run around in a constant state of insanity. I’m planning a conference at work, I’ve been seeing a nutritionist, so I’ve got some new food and workout routines and I’m of course, (attempting) to keep up with this blog. Although it’s stressful, I’m remembering my old buddy, Yoda‘s words “Do do not there is no try.” You all remember that time when I was a Jedi, right? Ha-ha.
In the past when things got stressful, I’d spend, spend, spend. I’d buy too many lunches and lattes. I’d “reward” myself too much. And I’d ultimately overdraft my bank account. But with my spending diet, the new year and living small, I finally feel that I’m beginning to turn over a new leaf. I’m not stress spending anymore. It’s taken me well over a year to learn how to not stress spend. It hasn’t been an easy process. Spending money is oh-so-easy. A few clicks on the computer when I felt like I “deserved” something or a quick little jaunt to Targé and suddenly I felt better. But what didn’t feel better was logging into my bank account at the end of each month.
And lately I’ve been finding better ways to cope with my stress. I’ve been doing light yoga, writing down my to-dos at the beginning of each day and trying to take weekends off work.
I’d love to hear about how you decompress and destress without spending money. Talk to me in the comments!
Photo c/o Death to Stock Photos
I’ve been feeling a bit out-of-sorts with the Frugal Friday posts. I have the best of intentions to write a post for each Friday, but lately I’ve been a little out of it. I feel excited about other things and other projects AND OMG it’s almost the holiday season.
But my $100 Holiday Challenge has been helpful to snap me back into the frugal writing mindset. I haven’t been spending recklessly, but I haven’t been saving as much as I could either.
This week in the Link Love post, I linked to an article from Alexandra Franzen about getting through resistance and taking action. (I’m linking to it again, because it’s that good.) She writes, “The best way to get through resistance is to give the situation a whole new description, title, label… or name. A “name” that represents the essence of the experience.”
And just like resistance in all aspects of life, resistance in frugality needs to be named. We need to take back the painful phrases associated with saving money and change them into positive ones. Instead of saying “I only have $100 to spend on Christmas gifts,” (and how the hell am I going to do this?!) I’m calling it the $100 Holiday Challenge. It’s a challenge, it’s going to be hard, but it’s going to be fun too. I have $100 to spend on holiday gifts! I’m choosing to do this! I’m smart and frugal and I can do this!
Can you think of a time you’ve rephrased your obstacles to overcome them? I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
So you guys, this is a total cop-out. I totally jumped the gun on the fall thing and published this post way too early, but you know what? I’m posting it again because this week homegirl is tired. And now it really feels like fall. Here we go again, ya’ll.
This post was originally published in July of 2014.
“You guys. Fall is almost here. Target has put out their insanely large, insanely cute display of Back to School supplies. I’m trying desperately to stay away from it. I’m also preparing to teach a course this fall. So crazy. Feel free to refer to me as “professor.”
I’m also still on this saving money kick, but it hasn’t been much fun. I’m the kind of person who needs something to look forward to– like a trip! Since a trip is out of my budgetary reach and the summer is almost over (boo!), I created a list of free or cheap things to do this fall. I hope it will keep my spirits up, give me me something to look forward to and maybe even get you inspired and excited for fall?!
- Set some fun fall goals
- Donate school supplies to a child in need
- Donate your gently-used winter coats to someone in need
- Enroll in a class at your local community college
- Take a hike
- Admire the foliage
- Sprinkle pumpkin pie spice in your morning coffee
- Get up early to admire the sunrise
- Learn to knit!
- Get an early start on making Holiday gifts
- Host a pot-luck Friendsgiving (a Thanksgiving with friends)
- Put pumpkin in everything!
- Visit a pumpkin patch (or do what my mom did and tell us we are visiting a pumpkin patch, but really just go to the grocery store and play on the pumpkin display)
- Go on a hay ride
- Visit a corn maze
- Carve pumpkins
- Don’t forget to roast the seeds!
- Rake the leaves
- Jump in the leaves!
- Winterize your home (or your Airstream!)
- Visit the library and check out Autumn-themed books
- Bake a pumpkin pie
- Share the pie with your neighbor
- Camp in your own backyard
- Chop wood
- Find the perfect walking stick
- Build a fire pit
- Make hobo packets
- Roast marshmallows
- Tell ghost stories
- Enjoy a pumpkin beer
- Go on a bike ride
- Go on a fall-themed picnic
- Learn to can vegetables
- Plant winter veggies
- Or plant bulbs for next spring
- Do lots of autumn-themed crafts
- Donate or sell the summer clothing that you didn’t wear
- Pear down your winter wardrobe
- Host a clothing swap
- Or swap online on Swapdom
- Sell your wares at a flea market
- Go apple picking
- Bob for apples
- Make candy apples
- Learn to make apple cider or jam
- Pop popcorn and drizzle it in caramel
- Drink hot apple cider
- Drink hot chocolate
- Break out your crock-pot
- Make pumpkin chili!
- Don’t forget the cornbread!
- Eat your weight in fall veggies– squash and Brussels sprouts and cabbage, oh my!
- Get excited for fall fashion
- Break out the flannel
- Pull on those wool socks
- Don’t worry about bad hair days, just put on a beanie!
- If you are a lady, pull on those thick tights (and don’t worry about shaving your legs!)
- If you are a dude, grow a beard!
- Cuddle up in your oldest sweatshirt
- Wrap up in warm blankets
- Watch It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
- And A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
- Go to bed earlier
- Visit the fair or a fall festival (save money with these tips)
- Host a Halloween party
- Make your own Halloween costume and challenge yourself to use only stuff you can find around the house
- Dress up your pet!
- Craft creepy snacks like this Slimer Smoothie
- DIY candy
- Watch your favorite scary movie with a friend
- Read scary stories under the cover with a flashlight
- Listen to the Halloween station on Pandora
- Make spiced nuts
- Slurp on some soup and grill up an old-fashioned grilled cheese sandwich
- Make beeswax candles
- Discover your local farmer’s market
- Slowly sip a cup of hot tea
- Pretend that you like candy corn
- Discover the real meaning of Thanksgiving
- Be more grateful by creating a gratitude journal
- Make turkey hands! They’re still fun, even when you’re almost 30!
- Simply sit outside and enjoy the cool weather
- Join a local foraging group and forage for wild edibles
- Make acorn soup
- Or mushroom soup from the forage
- Make real cranberry sauce and put it on french toast!
- Pour maple syrup on everything!
- Enjoy the Harvest Moon on September 8th
- Invite your friends over and create fall-themed cocktails
- Make a pine cone bird feeder and keep those birds fed all winter
- Paint your nails an autumn-colored hue
- Celebrate Dia de Los Muertos and honor your deceased loved ones
- Break out the board games and your favorite jammies
- Give your mum some mums!
- Attend a high school football game
- Join a sports program for adults
- Participate in a zombie crawl
- Or a Turkey Trot for charity
- Take lots of pictures to document your memories!
Are you ready for fall? I’m feeling a little more ready and hopeful after this list.
What are your favorite fall-themed free activities? Let me know in the comments!
Living in an Airstream trailer works for us, but it won’t work for everyone.
One of my most popular posts is “20 Weird Ways to Save Money.” It’s been pinned a ton and I get a lot of outside traffic from it. It’s also been commented on quite a bit (at least for a small blog, like mine!). And I love all the ideas and tips that people leave on that post. But you might not know that there’s some comments on the blog that you don’t see. I don’t approve comments that are rude, nasty or just plain mean.
I share money advice and frugality tips because those things have worked for me or they are just things that I find interesting. No one can do every money tip out there. We all have jobs and priorities and things that we’d just rather not do. It’s not because we’re lazy, it’s because we just have different priories. If you just can’t stop using paper products because it makes your life easier than by all means, keep using them and save money elsewhere. I know I can’t stop using t.p.! It’s where I draw the line.
Your own brand of frugality is a personal choice. What works for some rando blogger on the Internet (including myself) might not work for you. Find what frugal tips do work for you, personally, and use them. Save money in your own way. Keep a blog and share your advice, but don’t ever judge someone for saving money differently than you. You do you, baby girl (or boy). You do you.
I’m usually a gung-ho DIYer. I mean, we fixed up the Airstream ourselves! And you can catch me on any given night knitting, cooking or making candles. I even tried to make all my Christmas gifts last year and plan to do so again this year! But there are some things that I just plain don’t like to do. I don’t like to clean my own car and I don’t like to give myself pedicures. I just don’t like to do it. #truestory. We’re going down to truth city today, folks.
But since I started the Spending Fast (spending only $100 per month on non-necessities) I’ve had to do many chores that I would outsource before because I didn’t like to do it. I’d like to say that it hasn’t been so bad, but I still hate doing those chores. I’m putting those things in the same category as working out— something I don’t like to do, but I have to do. (Both are in the same category as stuff that isn’t so bad once you start doing it.)
Even though I hate it, when trying to save money, DIY is at the utmost importance. There are some things I’d never DIY, like electrical stuff (it’s too scary and dangerous!), but if I can do it and feel safe doing it, I will. DIY not only saves me money, it also teaches me a new skill. DIY is empowering. Saving money is empowering.
DIY has totally changed my life. How has DIY changed your’s? Let me know in the comments.
Just keep truckin’
Saving money is hard, but even harder than saving money is continually saving money. I can save money for a month or so, no problem, but the hard part is keeping up that momentum. One of my students reminded me of that this week. In class we were talking about ways to get over that “fixed” mindset and I shared that it is difficult to save money because I think, well, “I’ll never have enough money to buy a house.” One of my shy (and young!) students piped up, “I can help you with that! I’ve learned that if you put away a little bit each month, eventually you’ll have a lot.” Kids these days, so wise. I needed that reminder. And some days, I’m sure you need that reminder too. Just keep swimming, keep on truckin’ and “Don’t watch the clock; do what it does. Keep going.” -Sam Levenson