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?

WWW Wednesdays – December 9th, 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 was hooked on this book. It was really creepy, some parts really scared me. It’s like a realtor tells you that this house is haunted, and you still buy the house anymore. Yeah, that’s what happened here. I have always been intrigued by books about a haunted house.

My rating: 3.75 stars out of 5

2. What am I currently reading?

I am excited to start this book. I have about just under 3.5 years until my 30th birthday, so I feel like this is an important book for me to read. I’ll be starting this book later on today.

3. What will I be reading next?

November Goals

I really hope this is an amazing month. I want to make myself really proud of what I want to happen in this month. I would like to keep on striving for my goals.

I would like to keep writing and spend more time writing good stories. I know, I have said this before, but one of my biggest goals I have for myself is to write this amazing story, and get published. I am not expecting that to happen this month, but if I keep on practicing, I can make it happen. Big goals take time.

I want to keep on reading many books this month. My goal is to read five books by the time it’s December. If I read more than five, than that would be amazing.

I would like to see if I can eliminate fast food for 30 days. Well, I guess until December 6th, since I had take out earlier. This will be healthy for my health, and my wallet.

Another goal I want to have is be more cautious with spending. My goal is to save more money this month. I know my boyfriend and I are capable are setting aside more money.

What are some of your goals for the month? I would love to hear about them in the comments. 🙂

Top Ten Tuesdays #7

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 The Artsy Reader Girl in your own Top Ten Tuesday post.

This week’s topic is super long book titles.

10. How to Win Friends and Influence People

9. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

8. The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck

7. You Are a Badass How to Stop Doubting Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life

6. How to Have a Great Career, Find Your Passion, Achieve Your Goals, Love Your Goals

5. You Are a Badass at Making Money Master the Mindset of Wealth

4. The Happiness Project Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean my Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun

3. You Are a Badass Every Day How to Keep Your Motivation Strong, Your Vibe High, and Your Quest For Transformation Unstoppable

2. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

  1. A Monk’s Guide to a Clean House and Mind

Finances – Shopping Ban

In case, you are a big spender, perhaps this is a tip for you!

I suggest having a month where you don’t spend money on any non-essential items. Perhaps you can have three months throughout the year where you partake in your shopping bans. If you are a beginner, I would suggest that you spread them out by having throughout the year.

Whenever you see something like a new dress, or a perfume, or new makeup, or take out, or whatever sparks your eye. Write down the item and the price in a notebook, or in a document either on your phone or computer. At the end of your shopping ban, calculate how much money you would have spent. The point is you would see how much you would have spent, if it wasn’t for this shopping spree.

You should be proud of how much money you have saved. And this not only helps with getting ahead of your finances, but you are also bringing in less new items in your house, too. And that’s a good thing.