Kicking Bad Habits

About a month ago I wrote that I was re-evaluating another habit of mine: my frequent Tim Horton’s stops. While I’ve mostly cut coffee out of my lifeover the past years, initially for cost, then for health reaons, I seemed to have replaced it with a picking up tea habit. Out of… laziness? I usually only get the tea but once a week orso I ended up adding a breakfast sandwich, sometimes a muffin. And yeah they’re good but holy crap I can eat so much more at home for the same nutritional value than one of those calorie bombs.

Good timing for this challenge too, since apparently donuts got more expensive this month. ūüėČ

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I could say convenience but I can buy the exact same tea at work that tastes just as fine, or make some at home. Both save me the slight detour in gas as well as time to go to the drive-through Tim Horton’s, are significantly cheaper and¬†by not going toTim Horton’s it means I’m less likely to order the occasional breakfast sandwich or timbits, which aren’t all that great for my waistline. So Tim’s isn’t even convenient, I don’t go with friends, I’m always on my own through the drive-through and it’s more expensive. Why do I do it? It makes no sense.¬†So I quit for 30 days.

I made it! It wasn’t very hard at at all and I only failed once. On a Tuesday I had to leave in a rush and picked up a Tim’s panini, tea and muffin, since I had to go straight to work afterwards I didn’t have time to stop at home and make anything. It was poor planning¬†and procrastination early in the day actually that ended up in a Tim’s run. I COULD have packed a sandwich earlier or grabbed a granola bar and an apple, but I didn’t.

I didn’t care for the sandwich either, it was just food to keep my body going, and more than twice as costly than making something at home that I really like, that would’ve been better for my waistline anyway with a lot less salt. (Another goal this year: health)

I finished the challenge on April 15th and have been to Tim’s twice since then. In¬†April I’ve now spent $75.17 on eating out, half of which was at the farmer’s market and getting some PEI burger love, the rest was convenience food I could’ve had¬†better versions of¬†at home. And that’s what this is about, to create¬†memories¬†and experiences¬†instead of waste money on things, to put more good stuff into my body and less bad stuff, to be healthier and¬†to become a better version of me, year after year. So that is that. No more Tim’s.

It’s not all that hard, there are tons of people that can’t even afford to buy a coffee….

Which leads me to the next question I’ve been pondering this weekend, what does real hunger feel like?

On March 15th I kicked off a 30 day no Tim’s challenge. I buy a breakfast sandwich combo on average weekly, and pick up a cup of tea on an almost daily basis these days. I read Bridget’s post yesterday on the price versus the cost of non-necessities this week and it relates. Like Bridget, I will hit my financial goals anyway, regardless of whether I spend $50 at Tim Horton’s every month. I am a penny pincher and I do think every bit helps but I’m not kicking Timmies because I think I might save a few extra dollars as I have before, that’s just a happy side-effect (I hope) in the end.

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The self-imposed 30-day Tim’s ban has more to do with my health and lifestyle than money. It’s in a similar vein as when some years ago I tackled my coffee habit, my watching tv habit and my bad language habit.¬†(To update on those: I got rid of my show and film habit along with the shitty ex and cable and never looked back, I only drink coffee when out and about or when travelling and well, I still use bad words sometimes in my down time but continue to expand my vocabulary ūüôā )

Back to Tim’s. I enjoy eating out, I enjoy picking a restaurant and spending some time with a friend or family and enjoying food. I allot for an eating out budget every month and am not generally too upset when I go over. I don’t mind spending more than a few dollars on a nice meal. I like food. I am a foodie. (my waistline attests) and, in an attempt to keep my waistline under control as I turn 30 this year, Tim’s is out. The breakfast sandwiches taste pretty good,but they aren’t as good ¬†or healthy as the breakfast recipes I have yet to try to make, Tim’s is a convenience that adds little to my overall life.

When I set my goals for 2015 I also made quite a few lifestyle¬†related goals. I wanted to get my sleeping pattern under control, which I have, eat better, move more, read more. All around self-improvement. To become a better version of me, year after year. I want to expand my cooking and baking skills, bring more lunches, and make eating out an even more enjoyable and special occasion of sorts when I do go out… PLUS I would rather have one or two nice dinners a month and bucks to drop on them than a daily tea on my drive to work. The latter does little for my social life and as I mentioned, my skinny jeans. So until April 15th, Tim’s is out and my kettle is in. Perhaps after that, I’ll stick with it for good.

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Week 4. January 25 – 31, 2015. One month down… 11 to go.¬†

My parents finally came home this week. I’ve been taking care of my 14year old sister and four year old niece – Basically mom-dutying for 12 days. Getting them fed, dressed and driving them to school, picking them up (no school bus), feeding them again…. You get the point, while attempting to keep up working almost-full-time. It was hard! I know that when you have kids you gradually grow with them, having a teenager and a toddler dumped in your lap suddenly is quite the lifestyle change!

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Unfortunately my parents got stuck in NYC on the way back due to the big winterstorm that came down the east coast so 12 days turned into 16. I managed to get away for three nights while my other sis watched them through the 16 days to preserve my sanity. It was fun, and hard. My parents finally made it back on the 29th and SURE ENOUGH on the 30th I got sick and I’ve been sick for a full week since.

Having the kiddos here really helped me get into a routine sleeping-wise, which is AWESOME. However, I didn’t have time to go to the gym and it exposed me to whatever they brought home from school and I ended up with a very sore throat/fever that seemed like strep, and now a week later it seems I have bronchitis. Fun stuff, great for the finances though because I haven’t spent very much, not eating out much is great on the wallet! Now for the details:


Goal recap.

1. Stop using overdraft, live on last periods pay. Reach by end of February. Done.
2. Save and splurge on a nice new purse in the spring, Michael Kors Dillon? Haven’t done anything with this yet.
3. Sell my house. Take the money and run. In progress.
4. Max emergency fund to $10,000. Save $571.59/month. (or: future house) Done.
5. Retirement TFSA/RSP  $105.53/month. Done.
6. Vehicle fund $17.33/month. Done.
7. Future House  $41.66/month. Done.
8. Travel expense $1,500 jan ‚Äď oct, after that is work depending.¬†On target
9. Last but not least a networth of $72,000. An increase of the amount I plan to save and any small gains in interest/value. :) On target.
10. Visit Cape Breton.¬†Haven’t done anything with this yet.
12. Go to East to West music festival in Moncton, NB. This got cancelled so I can’t go ūüôĀ
13. Go camping in the Magdalen Island for a week.¬†Haven’t done anything with this yet.

I hit all my financial targets this month, all my savings targets are spot on. It went well! I haven’t made any concrete travel plans and my house still hasn’t sold though. ūüôĀ

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14. Get up at 08:00/08:30 five days per week. Done.
15. Lose 30 for 30. In progress.
16. Track food and  journal exercise daily. Done.
17. Go swimming once a week (incl. in gym membership) Fail.
18. Complete c25k a second time by April 30, 2015. In progress.
19. Start weighing in weekly by June 30, 2015. On target.
20. Average steps per day 8,500. Done, average was 8,834 for January.
21. Read more: read 30 books this year. In progress. Read two in January so a bit behind.
22. Wear out shoes, don’t buy more, reduce total amount of shoes owed. In progress.
23. Complete the #100happydays challenge. In progress.
24. Finish two bible studies. In progress.
25. Keep track of these goals weekly here. Done!

Healthwise things went well, I’m keeping up with being active more in general (which needs to be a permanent lifestyle so I’m taking it slow) ¬†my workouts are still lacking. I slimmed down a bit this month, I’m not sure how much in centimeters or actual kilos and it’s not actually that important for the time being, my pants fit better and I feel and look better. I am still tracking everything I eat and my sleeping and activity patterns daily.

The benefit of eating at home more and spending less at Tim Horton’s (I’m not a huge burger and fries eater but I do love breakfast sandwiches) is that I’ve been doing some experimenting in the kitchen. This morning I made chocolate banana baked oatmeal (pic above) and I tried making chia pudding. Any time in the past few years I end up eating out a lot more I tend to forget how much I enjoy cooking and baking.

And that’s a wrap! Happy February!