Category: Frugal (page 1 of 2)

A spending… ban…-ish for the rest of 2017

Those of you that have known me for a while may recall that I’m not a huge fan of entire spending bans, the logic being for me that when I restrict myself completely I tend to go overboard and binge after a while because I guess… discipline is not my forte in all areas of life!

But it’s a new year. New me. No wait, that’s one of those health slogans. 😉

New year, new financial plan!

There are a few items in my budget that I’ve wanted to address for a long time and I’ve always had a hard time with.

I didn’t tell him to pose haha, he just did!

 

Clothing

Last year I spent about $916 on new clothing, or about $76 a month. This includes bras – I’m not one of those fortunate enough to buy 4 for $100 at la senza… most of my bras are 40-50$ a piece :(- yogapants, shoes, new winter jacket and just various clothing related things.

I am so spoiled, I have always earned enough to be able to afford what to others are luxuries. I have good quality clothing and outer wear and it’s something I definitely don’t skimp on. BUT I have so much, I have five pairs of jeans I do not wear because they’re too tight, I have various other pieces I do not wear because they’re too tight! And simply, I just have enough clothes for years and there really is no good reason for me to buy ANY, any clothing at all this year. I already started this on February 15th, aside from a $90 Lululemon gift certificate I still have sitting around, there will be NO buying of clothes for the remainder of 2017.

Food/Groceries

The second category is food. I have since meeting my boyfriend gotten been ating out a lot less to the point where I mostly much prefer to eat at home. Eating out is expensive, I used to have coffee habit and after I kinda kicked that to the curb I did still eat out every once in a while, or picked up a tea. Enough for my “eating out” category to keep inching over $100 a month which is really too high. The end of the year in my YNAB budget also gave me this neat graph detailing more about my food and misc spending;

In 2016 I spent roughly $325 on groceries per month. That is a lot for a single person. I did eat A LOT of fresh fruit, I preserved a lot, I eat very healthy, i eat no processed things, I eat meat 1-2x a week, I don’t buy chips… fruits and veg cost quite a bit though. A lot of my eating out/ restaurant spending ended up in the blow money category since it no longer had its own category because I had erroneously hoped to largely eliminate restaurant spending. The blow money category cost roughly  $210 per month after removing the purchase of a new cyclocross bike and the cost of spa day for my birthday in October.

The blow money category really encompasses a lot of different stuff (not… blow, its just a term, I dont smoke weed etc) and sometimes I throw things in there that have no other home, it includes eating out though which after glancing through the expenses made up at least half of that $210 a month. Ouch?

I thought I was doing better with my spending in this category last year but clearly I have not. Because of that this month I embarked on a mission to only spend $130 on groceries during February.

Today is February 22 and I have spent $128.20 on groceries and $48.31 on eating out (1x tim hortons, 2x eating at work during snowstorms, one eclair and one snowstorm gas station run of chips/pop and one dinner out with my cousin, which was fun) and it wasn’t all that bad! I’ve been scrounging the cupboards and have been creative with meals.

It has been different, but not overly difficult. This is what self control feels like. I need to practice this a little more.  Curbing my food and clothing expenses will help add $2,400 to my savings this year. That’s two months of living expenses, or two trips, or a quarter of a new-to-me-vehicle. It’s money I badly need to save.

Spending-ban Goals for March:
$0 in the restaurant category
$145 groceries
$0 clothing etc

 

Going cold-turkey no-more-shampoo-in-my-hair

Aaaaaaannnnd I’m back! Sorta, kinda, not really, maybe.

Hey all 🙂

Haven’t posted in a while, certainly nothing finance-y. Sidenote: I’ve discovered I have a bad internet addiction where I spend too much time on useless stuff aka reddit and not doing anything productive,  I need to work on this in the next few months, I’ve already cut my cell data, what else can I do to be more productive? I traveled a few weeks in October/November, moved out of my house for a few weeks to let some new immigrants stay there in November/December(they paid for it, though, but I’m broke so it was worth it) and then Christmas came and went, and New Years, and here we are! I think quite a lot has changed since I’ve last put any serious effort into blogging at all, but I’ll get to all of that eventually… or not.

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of no longer using any shampoo or conditioner in my hair and as of today, that idea is becoming reality, I hope. Today marks day#1 of experiment no-more-shampoo-in-my-hair

hello hair!

hello hair! Picture taken about a year ago when I bought a new dress

I have very fine blonde hair, it hasn’t changed at all since I became a teen and I generally keep it the same length-ish. This pic was taken last year, it’s usually that length or two inches orso shorter and I wash and condition it every day. I like daily showers… I shower pretty quick and it helps me start the day off right. Since moving to Canada I’ve never had to worry about a water bill because I have my own well, as did my parents. The only worry in the house used to generally be if we had conditioner or not, as all my sisters and my mom have long fine hair, conditioner was/is a prime commodity. 😉

I dont spend much on shampoo and conditioner as most of it is gifted, thrifted, found etc, so this isn’t about cutting cost but more about convenience, less clutter, and less chemical.

Besides very fine blonde hair that gets greasy if I don’t wash it every day and then it’s just awful… I also have allergies, I’ll use the wrong shampoo or use something new and bam, my scalp itches and I look like I have lice because I keep scratching my head, or my forehead gets all red and bumpy, good times! So after toying with the idea and in my ongoing journey to living a more intentional life filled with less crap (minimalism, I started the year off by getting rid of more stuff and more furniture and I’m in the process of placing ads for a host of household items!) I decided, why not junk the shampoo and conditioner too.  

Last summer I went a while using dr. bronners and apple cider vinegar and baking soda rinses but that wasn’t cutting it, it was more hassle, more work, more annoyance. I also made some shampoo bars and tried that and  while it works just as well as regular shampoo I stilll ended up in the cycle of shampoo, lather, rinse, condition, lather, rinse… Then I just went through a month of using a new conditioner that kept leaving my hair feeling brassy and brittle… So I decided to just cold-turkey it.

This is day one, freshly washed with just warm water;

2016-01-06 17.35.15

I didnt bother cropping 😉 I dont usually use any product in my hair, heatdry it or style it at all. I wear it loose and down or up in a ponytail. No mess, no fuss! I switched to using a widetoothed wooden comb about a year ago already. Today I scrubbed my hair in the shower, using just my fingers tips and water, getting my scalp scrubbed well all the way around. My hair isn’t as knotted up as it is when I try to skip the conditioner, but it also isn’t as nice and smooth as when I do use a nice sillicone-filled conditioner.. .

Everything is looking and feeling good so far! I don’t own a hair dryer but I’ll be making daily pics and will be posting again soon to let you know how everything is going and what things are going to be like dry.

Here is some reddit info on quitting shampoo (the internet likes calling it “nopoo” which sounds awful, so I’ve avoided that phrase here)

No shampoo FAQ

I also found this gal’s blogpost about it helpful

The littlest house – Finished Part 1.

This is going to be an image heavy post. On November 8, 2008 I took possession of my little house. In June 2014 I moved out and in September 2014 I put it up for sale. I currently live with my sister, renting a house that my parents purchased to fix up while I wait for my house to sell. I was going to do this post in one go but it turns out I have way, way too many pictures. I did so much, it’s hard to give a clear overview without missing too much or adding too much.

Exterior before and after

DSC019172008 beforeDSC01920DSC01919    2013-10-09 17.20.2214075549_162013-10-01 17.15.002013-10-01 17.14.48DSC_1973DSC_1977 2013-04-15 18.09.352012-09-12 17.50.202012-09-03 13.49.23 DSC_0182DSC_0578 14075549_14

14075549_2

The only exterior projects I did not complete were adding gutters and putting on a new roof. Someone is currently looking at purchasing the house and I’m holding off on the roof… I don’t exactly have money for it anyway and I’m hoping to get an offer. Stuff I did outside:

Landscaping, new floor, roof and siding on shed + moved it, installed patiostone paths around the house and to the front door. New doors, all new windows except the sunroom, built on an addition, got rid of the firepit, removed a dead tree, removed old deck and added a new one. Total cost? At this point I have no idea anymore


Old porch and newly built-on bedroom


IMG_3025DSC01913DSC_0509DSC_0550DSC_0576DSC_0586 DSC_0627 DSC_0713DSC_0691DSC_0709 DSC_0695DSC_0688 DSC_0711 DSC_1028DSC_1441 DSC_1305 DSC_1347 DSC_1437 2014-09-07 17.13.05DSC_1470

2014-09-07 17.13.05

This is by far the largest project I did, the most time consuming, the one where I learned the most and the most expensive coming in at around 10-12k.. Stuff I did here:

The foundation under the old small porch had crumbled, I removed it, filled the hole and had a new bedroom built on. I had the framing, roof and shingles done by a family friend. I finished the interior insulation, heating, drywal, flooring, trim and paint myself. When I look back it’s like a blur… I didn’t know how to do half of it when I started and I’m still not sure I do now. The end result turned out great though!  I added about 130 sq ft to the house and once the bedroom was completed built the deck off the back. It was hard, it was lonely and expensive. I wouldn’t do it again on my own.

Sunroom (the room with all the windows in the front) turned laundry/mudroom

IMG_2135DSC00044 (2)DSC00042 (2) DSC00051 2013-04-22 18.45.542013-05-19 21.01.56 2013-06-06 12.35.392013-10-14 13.42.532014-08-14 18.00.51 2014-08-12 12.40.502014-08-17 11.55.392014-08-17 11.55.252014-09-15 15.06.00

The sunroom has always been my favourite room of the house, it’s bright in the summer and gets so nice and warm you feel like rolling up in a ball like a cat and just enjoying the sunshine.

I removed the old door, and the entire wall with the help of some friends. Some of the beams had rotten so part of the floor was replaced too. There used to be a window facing into the livingroom, at some point that was an exterior wall. I closed up the wall and drywalled over it to make room for the cabinets and washer and dryer. This room got all new electrical, drywal, trim, the washer and dryer were moved here after the old porch was demolished to make room for the new bedroom. My dad did the tile and vinyl on the floor and the bright squash colour was daring, I haven’t regretted it once! It’s done now… and I never got to use it!

Haha, alright, on to part #2. Check back in a few days 😛

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