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.

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.

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.

December Goals

So I am pretty exciting for a new month, as it means new goals that I get to think of for myself. I have already thought of goals that I would try out this month.

My boyfriend and I are going to go to work towards spending less money on luxurious items, in order to save some, and put towards paying off more of our debts. Which will be really amazing. I am look forward to that.

I have already thought of an idea that I think would make for a good novel, perhaps. I know I’m a bit late, but every November, writers are encouraged to write a novel in those 30 days. I plan on doing that, but I plan on doing that in January since I was a bit busy in November. Then once I complete it, I am going to read it and edit it, so hopefully I’ll be able to share that with you sometime in February. They say the average book has about 50,000 words, so it works out to be 1,667 words a day. Especially you are just focusing on writing your idea, and then after that you spend time dedicating to the editing process.

I would like to make more trying new recipes, because that sounds like a lot of fun.

I am also working on ideas of how I can make 2021 the best year ever! More to come with that idea.

I will also keep on blogging daily, which is always a lot of fun. I can’t’ wait to find out what your December goals are.

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. 🙂

Thankful Thursday #18

I am so proud that I have been reflecting on what I am grateful for, for the past four and half months now. I am so happy.

I encourage everyone to think about what you are thankful for.

Here is a list of things that I am grateful for.

  1. I got to go to the library and pick up my library books.
  2. My boyfriend and I have discussed ways that we can save up more money.
  3. I have spending more time reading my books.
  4. My boyfriend and I splurged and got some tea, which is delicious as always.
  5. I got to help my sister, by watching my niece because my sister got called in for work. It was a fun watching her. She was good as always.
She normally would put her feet on her foot rest, but she decided to rest her foot on my leg. Awe! 🙂 ❤

What are you thankful for this week?

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.

Budget 101

So, in case you missed out, I have been discussing finances, and thinking of ways to reset our relationship with money.

https://threeyellowdaisies.ca/category/finances/

So far, we have discussed, your statement of net worth, what you owe and your money goals.

Today, we are going to discuss budgets. This is going to show us how we are spending our money.

You can begin with how much money you make in a month. For some this may vary, but try your best to estimate as close as you can, or even compare the previous months to get more of an estimate.

Next, focus on your fixed costs, these are costs that don’t change (ex. rent, phone bill, subscriptions, etc.), then focus on your variable costs, which are things that vary from month to month like (gas, groceries, etc.).

Now, you can subtract your monthly bills from your monthly income. Whatever amount is left over is what you can use to pay down your debts, and into your saving account(s), and even your retirement fund.

If you are not happy with the number that is left over, you can use this time to really consider how important your non-essential bills are. Perhaps you have a monthly subscription to something you no longer use. It is time to cut ties with that expense.

Perhaps you still go out for your daily coffee before going to work. Try making one at home instead, and place it in a traveler mug, or just drink it at home until you can buy a traveler mug.

Eating out can be take a huge chunk of money out of your pay cheque, but it’s healthier for you and your wallet to eat at home. You know what exactly you are eating, and there isn’t any hidden salt, or other bad things for you. I know I was scared of going into the grocery store, but perhaps you have a family member or a friend that you can with or you can ask if they can pick up your share.

If you can grow a garden. Or perhaps you can grow one with your close family and friends and you can share what you grow. You can grow a lot of produce and vegetables.

Another suggestion is to engage in No Meat Mondays, because that would be one less meal that contains meat, which is the most expensive things at the grocery. I’m not suggesting you to give up meat entirely, but you might be surprise on the differences it can have your body, and your grocery bill.

And lose that, “But it only costs $5… I’m going to get it.” How many times have you said that in your lifetime? Every 20 times you say that, costs you $100.

Engage and challenge your friends in having one month of no shopping, where you only spend money the bare essentials (rent, hydro, food, transportation to and from work). No leisure shopping! Or you can start small and dedicate a week or two weeks without shopping.

Try going to the library, instead of buying new books. Engage in book swaps with close people. If you read a book of some kind and think, “Wow, I really think my cousin would appreciate this book.” Drop it off on her porch, or send her a recommendation. Perhaps your family and friends can buy an E-Book or an audiobook, depending on what they prefer. Audiobooks are amazing when you have a long commute to work.

You can also swap your clothes with one another, as well.

Feel free to share your ways of cutting down expenses and save money.

Remember your goal should be spending half of your monthly income towards your bills, and try to put 30% of your monthly income towards your debt, and save the remaining 20%.

Ideally everyone should have an emergency fund of $1,000, which takes time to save, but once you do, it is just a comforting feeling. This takes some discipline, so don’t beat yourself up, if you don’t achieve this as fast as you hope.

Although, it might be challenging during these times, but please try to set a bit of money aside, and it doesn’t have to be much right away. But seeing the amount of your savings increasing, it is an amazing feeling. Saving something is much better than saving nothing at all.