Minimalist Game Day Five

This is from Friday.

The rules are simple, you get rid of things from your life, either by selling them, throwing them away, or donating them. On the first day, you remove one item, and then on the second day, you remove two items, you keep on playing until it’s the end of the month, or whenever you run out of things to remove from your life. It is okay if you can’t make it until the end of the month. Personally, I would rather see items get donated, or sold to someone else. If you must throw something away, I hope it’s because it isn’t fixable. Even if you have removed three items from your life, you should still be proud of that, because it is three more things you removed before the challenge. But if you are able to complete this challenge, you would have got rid of almost 500 items! That’s a lot of stuff.

And I hope I can finish this project, despite the fact that I already gotten rid of 192 items last year, by removing one thing a day for 192 days.

If you are participating, I would love to know what you are parting with, feel free to let me know in the comments. This is such a fun way to welcome Spring cleaning.

These are five items…

I have yet another tea tin, that is empty. It held my peach matcha tea, but I prefer to have my matcha tea in a bag, I find that easier. So it would be silly for me to put anything in there that isn’t matcha tea in the tin. So it is time to get rid of this item.

I have two small tins of tea from samples of various tea kits. I don’t feel the need to keep these, so I’m going to ask my Grandmother, or my mom if either one of them will be interested in having these.

Next, I have my terrible attempt of painting an ocean for my boyfriend’s birthday present. I have no desire of keeping it, and trying to make it into something else.

Lastly, I used to keep my spare change in 2L pop bottles (one for nickels, dimes, quarters, and one for loonies and toonies). But since my boyfriend and I aren’t using that much cash, because a lot of places haves stopped accepting it, we are just using one tea tin to store all of our change. A side note is that my boyfriend and I no longer drink that much soda as we often used to. I feel really healthy and happy about that. We mostly just drink water, tea, and lattes, and the occasional cup of coffee. We make sure we have a cup of green tea every day.

Thankful Thursdays #36 – March 4th, 2021

This is one of my favourite posts, because I get to talk about what I am thankful for the past week. It is always a good and fun way to end the day, or week with a grateful heart. I would love to hear about yours in the comments.

There are so many benefits of practicing gratitude, so you have never to lose by practicing it. Some of the benefits of gratitude, is you sleep better, and easier, you help lower your stress levels, so it might even be harder for you to feel stress. You also increase your immune system, which helps you decrease your chances of getting sick.

Here is my list from last week…

  1. I am thankful that we got to celebrate my boyfriend’s birthday. He loved his present, and that I made him brunch, and dinner for us.
  2. I am grateful for being able to go through all of belongings from my old room.
  3. I am thankful that I am starting to declutter again, it really helps me reorganize, and make more room for the things I enjoy.
  4. I am happy that I was able to spend some time with my sister while I was babysitting my niece. Normally she works all day, and then by the time she is done work, it’s dinner, and then my niece goes to bed, and then my sister gets ready for bed, shortly afterwards. But on Tuesday we were able to hang out, and take my niece out to the park, and for a walk. It was a lot of fun.
  5. I am grateful for being able to allocate our finances to pay down our debts. I am really happy that we are on the right path to be debt free. It’s going to take us a little while, but we have spent some time working on what to pay off next. Which is really exciting.

Day 43

Learn the importance of saving up money, especially during these times of uncertainty. My boyfriend and I have cut down on a lot of expenses already. For example, we no longer eat any take-out, even though it’s nice to get a delivery — no cooking, and no dishes. But it has been fun to make our own food. We have decided that it is good when we don’t get any take-out, or buy much of anything for our selves, like new books, or tea, or anything else.

This way, we know that we have enough money to pay for our bills, and debts. It is a great feeling to cut back on these expenses. We are also trying to save up for the future. It is fun to think about what we can do with the money we are saving up. Some time we would love to get away for a week, or two. We would love to travel to Bali, and Italy. Although because I never been on an air plane before, I would like to start by travelling to Europe first since it’s similar to where I currently live right now, and it’s a shorter flight compared to Bali. I wouldn’t want my first plane ride to be long and stressful.

We love fantasizing what we would like to do with the money, but for now we are just building our savings. We aren’t going to be travelling until it seems safer for us to do. But for now, it feels good knowing that there is extra money in our accounts, just in case anything happens.

Today, I will try my best to cut back on one expenses, so I can build and work on saving money for my future. Having money saved up, will me feel more relaxed with the uncertainty of the future.

Day 20

The sooner you get a handle on your finances, the easier and less stressful life will be. Money can either make life easier or harder. But it is something that can be worked on. I recommend making a budget, and keeping track of where you spend your money. In order to save money, you must not exceed what you make. I know sometimes that can be harder than it actually sounds. But it does take some time, but once you get a handle of it, life becomes less stressful, and more freeing.

When you make your budget, make sure you are including all of your expenses. Make sure you don’t forget about all of your subscriptions (YouTube, Spotify, Netflix, Prime Video, etc.). Use this time to reflect with what you can and can’t live without. Every dollar counts.

Today, I will not let another day go by, without working on my finances. I understand that the sooner I get a handle on my finances, the better my life will be. I will be able to have more freedom, and less stress. It may be challenging at first, but I know I can overcome these obstacles.

Top Ten Tuesdays #20 – January 12th, 2021

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.

The rules are simple: Each Tuesday, Jana assigns a new topic. Create your own Top Ten list that fits that topic – putting your unique spin on it if you want. Everyone is welcome to join but please link back to http://www.thatartsyreadergirl.com/ in your Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week is all about our 2021 Resolutions. They can include your book resolutions, or other areas in your life.

  1. Read 30 minutes a day.
  2. Exercise for 20 minutes a day.
  3. Save up more money.
  4. Get enough sleep.
  5. Schedule more time to write my stories.
  6. Learn how to crochet via YouTube videos.
  7. Continue to declutter my belongings.
  8. Cut back on ordering and eating fast food.
  9. Eat healthy foods.
  10. Travel to a new city, if travelling is permitted.

I would love to hear about some of your resolutions in the comments.

Day 11

Every day, I am writing about a positive affirmation, and I am also going to discuss life lessons that I have learned that day, or have learned throughout my life. Even though I am in my mid-twenties, I still feel like I have a lot of wisdom to offer to others.

I was inspired by these blog posts by reading The Language of Letting Go by Melody Beattie. In that book she has daily readings throughout that book. She got a lot of her ideas from her other books about codependency. She is a really a good author. I started reading her books because someone dear to me who was an alcoholic. I found comfort in her books.

Today’s lesson is about eliminating one less expense from your monthly expenses. Whether it is you cut back on one less coffee throughout the month, or you eliminate a night of take out. You can look at your subscriptions, and think of cancelling one of them. You can decide how big or how small you want to cut back on expenses. It can really help you with your monthly budget. Perhaps one of your goals this year is to save money, this can be a really good starting point.

Today, I will be more aware of my monthly expenses. I will focus on ways of how I can more responsible with my money, and ways where I can save up more money.

How to Have a Merry but Stress Less Christmas

I know this is a bit late. But I know they are some people out there that start Christmas shopping right after Christmas, for the sales, and whatever else. Shopping is an addiction. I hope this helps other have a more cheerful Christmas with less stress, and more money in your pockets. These ideas can be applied to birthday presents, too.

Everyone knows how stressful Christmas can be. And yet, everyone we swear next year will be different, it will be less stressful. But the cycle just continues and things become more extravagant than the year prior.

If you are sort of in a holidaze from the stress, or from the mess of Christmas. I have solutions for you!

Cut Back on Gift Giving

Instead of going into thousands of dollars in debt, like some do. But it doesn’t have to be this way. You can have a family discussion via Zoom, or Skype, depending on your restrictions. What I am trying to do is keep it simple as possible, but still enjoyable for others.

Buy them the following;

  • Something they want
  • Something they need
  • Something to wear
  • Something to read

That way you just only need to buy four things for everyone, instead of your typical pile of gifts. This is a good solution if you are looking for ways to cut back on buying some many presents for everyone.

Or another solution is to have everyone pitch in money for one big present.

Cut Back On Presents

Or perhaps you want to cut back on presents completely. That way you just enjoy each other’s company. Perhaps it has become too much hauling all of these presents to peoples’ houses. Or maybe you just don’t want to buy people actual presents, and objects. Then perhaps an idea for you would be to give people an experience. I hope things are different next year, where more things are more available for us to do.

Some ideas of experiences are,

  • Concert tickets
  • Movie/Plays/Stand up comedy, etc.
  • Spa Outing
  • Wine tasting (depending on the age of the recipient)
  • Other festivals if they are too young, or don’t drink

Give Others Your Time

Another solution is to give others your time, it’s free!

Perhaps you can offer a sibling, or a friend, or a neighbour a night off from their kids, so they can enjoy a night out. Or perhaps you know how to cook this delicious meal, you can teach someone else to make it. Or you know how to crochet, or knit, you can always offer to teach someone else how to do that.

By cutting back on giving out presents you don’t have to wrap any presents, which is a plus, too. Less work to do. And it also helps the environment, since most places don’t allow wrapping paper to be recycled, so all of that just ends up in a landfill. If you are still handing out gifts, perhaps you can use dish clothes, or scarves, or a blanket, instead.

Secret Santa

Secret Santa is when you put names in a hat, and you secretly place names of everyone in the group. Each person pulls out a name from the hat. That is who they are supposed to shop for. You would have a discussed budget, of how much money you want to spend, and you have to stay under that amount. You can discuss some things you would like to receive for Christmas, and your Secret Santa will buy you some of those things for you.

Don’t be a Michael Scott

I don’t know how many of you watch The Office, but there was this one Christmas episode, where they did Secret Santa, they had a $20 limit. Michael bought a $400 iPod, and got mad because Phyllis was Michael’s Secret Santa, and she knitted him an oven mitt. Please don’t be that guy that overspends on Christmas, especially when you know this person doesn’t have a lot of money. You don’t want the other person to feel bad that you didn’t get as many presents as much as you had given them.

Respect Their Wishes

Sometimes people say they don’t want any gifts. Please know they really mean no gifts. Some people realize they are already happy with everything they already have, and would not have someone go out and spend money on them. There is no secret language to “No gifts”, that isn’t their way to trick you, and making you wonder if they actually mean. Or if it means they just “don’t know yet”. If someone tells you no gifts, please honour their wish.

Shoe Box Ideas

I just heard of this idea not too long ago. You can fill a shoe box, filled with envelopes with different gift cards to different occasions for each month. You can only open an envelope on the first day of the month, and you make plans sometime throughout the month to do that activity. This works great for children, because they get the activity and the anticipation of not knowing which adventure they will be partaking in. I think that is an amazing idea. And if you can’t afford to buy all of the gift cards at once, you can just write a letter and letting them about each activity. That way you just have to budget this in once a month, instead of having to come up with x amount of money before Christmas.

Or another idea is that you can ask other people for money, or ask for mini hygiene products, and perhaps a backpack they no longer use (but it’s still in good condition). You can fill up a backpack with toothbrushes, toothpaste, money, shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, etc. You can give this to a homeless person, or to a shelter. I suggest using the traveler size of things, so it is easier for them to carry around, and you can fit more stuff in the bag.

Christmas doesn’t have to cost a fortune to be memorable. Christmas is about helping others, spread love, and happiness. We should begin to refrain ourselves from the commercialization, that we have suddenly allowed to be the norm of Christmas.

2020 Review

In my opinion, December went by too fast, so it is difficult for me to pinpoint what exactly I have learned from December. So instead of writing a post about the things I have learned in December, I am going to talk about the things I have learned in 2020.

I have learned that I am capable to make changes in my life. I can leave things behind that don’t make me happy. For instance my job was not making me happy. I felt undervalued, and underappreciated. I knew I could something better in my life. Now I am focusing on the things that make me happy. Right now that is my blog. I still have a dream about becoming an author. I have been using this time to brainstorm ideas for a story, that can be turned into a novel, one day.

I have learned that memories are in our hearts, not in our things. It’s okay to let go of things. In fact, letting go of things, it can add value to someone else. This is known as the Subtraction, Addition. When we subtract our belongings, we have added more value of space that we can finally use for the things that add joy in our lives. I love helping others, so being able to part with some of my things, like sweaters, various shirts, I was able to help other people who may not have been able to afford these things.

In a pandemic, we weren’t missing the things we couldn’t buy, we were missing our families, friends, hugs. We were restricted from going over to other people’s houses. We missed out on birthdays, holidays, and other festivities.

From the pandemic, it also taught us that we should cherish every moment, and every person in our lives. We may never know when it is our last shared memory, moment with each other. We never know how much time is left, so it is important that we live our lives. We shouldn’t be wasting our valuable time on things that don’t necessarily matter. How many times have you told yourself, “I wished I had more time.”? Really look into yourself, and evaluate how you have been spending your time. Did you just binge watch a new show? All of those hours could have done something beneficial, like crossing something off your to-do list. Watching TV is cool, but it should be used as a reward for getting something done, not as something to do, to either pass the time, or avoid doing something.

I have also learned that it is important to make time for the things that matter. We should focus on the things like reading a book, exercising, and eating more healthy. These activities will add longevity, and keep your mind active.

I learned that is important to save up, and set some money aside for an emergency fund. Paying off debt helps, too. I have been making a budget on a monthly basis, which is really necessary to do, especially this year, and next year.

I have been having a lot of time to go after my dreams, which is something I take seriously. I can’t wait to spend more time making my dreams and goals come true.

As badly as 2020 was for us, I think we should also focus on the things we have learnt from 2020, and carry it forward to 2021.

WWW Wednesdays – December 23rd, 2020

Let’s talk books! This is a post where I talk all about books by answering the following questions…

  1. What have I finished reading?
  2. What am I currently reading?
  3. What will I be reading next?

I would love to know what everyone is reading! 🙂

  1. What have I finished reading?

I really enjoyed how insightful this book, and I thought she had provided us with great advice. Another thing I like about reading her books is that she talks about it from a Canadian perspective, so she would talk about RRSPs (Registered Retirement Saving Plan) which is money we set aside for our retirement. In the U.S. it’s called a 401K. I really like that aspect about the book.

My rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

2. What am I currently reading?

I just started this book, so far it’s really good. I can’t wait to read more.

3. What will I read next?

I can’t wait to read this book tomorrow night!

WWW Wednesdays – December 16th, 2020

Let’s talk books! This is a post where I talk all about books by answering the following questions…

  1. What have I finished reading?
  2. What am I currently reading?
  3. What will I be reading next?
  1. What have I finished reading?

I enjoyed that this book was an easy read for anyone, even if they have a hard time understanding finances. Sometimes finances can hard to understand, it takes time, it’s like learning another language. This book has simple solutions to help you make smarter choices with your money. It wasn’t a long book either.

My rating: 3.25 stars out of 5

2. What am I currently reading?

Whenever I was sick, and had to miss school, I would end up watching this show. I was always curious about how money worked, and I would sometimes hear my parents fight about money from time to time. I can’t wait to read more about this book.

3. What am I going to read next?