We’re trying something new with our extra spending money. My husband and I usually transfer $500.00 each pay period into a separate checking account that we use solely for anything that isn’t savings or a fixed expense. For us this means things like groceries, personal care items, entertainment, eating out, etc.
While trying to find creative ways to free up more money to invest, we’ve decided to tighten up the spending money we always seem to burn through completely. Any money leftover in our spending account each pay period will either be transferred to our savings account, or invested.
We’re doing a pretty good job this pay period. So far we’ve spent $100.00 less than usual, although my husband will need gas at some point this week. Since our next pay day is this Friday, I’m pretty excited about our progress.
For the past two weeks we’ve been cooking at home each night, and packing lunches for us to take to work and for our school-aged son to take to school. We’ve also paid close attention to how much we’re spending at the grocery store. By buying non-perishables, coffee, and cereal at Costco, we’ve been able to save some money in that area as well.
It seems like by just being more aware of what we’re spending our money on, we’ve eliminated most of the frivolous purchases that were eating up all of our extra money before. We probably bought take-out for dinner at least two times a week before. And that doesn’t include the number of times I sent my husband on ice cream runs every week.
I guess it should be no surprise that in addition to saving some green, I’ve also lost two pounds in the past two weeks!
Last night I had the most bizarre dream. I dreamed I met with a psychic that told me this was my last incarnation on this planet. And that I only had 12 days left to live.
In my dream, I told the fortune teller that another psychic had recently told me that this was my last time around on this planet also. (In reality, I have not seen any psychics, and no one has told me these things).
A little dream interpretation research on DreamMoods.com indicated that dreaming about speaking with a psychic could be my way of “expressing fear or anxieties about the future and reaching my goals.” I get that. This goal of reaching financial independence feels a little overwhelming and unobtainable at times. Read more…
So, I’ve been thinking. I recently realized that for me, personal finance and minimalism are closely related. Maybe even one and the same.
Before you curse my interpretation, let me explain.
Personal finance allows me to simplify my life and create more space for the the things I value and care about. It helps me spend consciously, eliminate debt, save like crazy and reduce waste. Eventually it will lead me to my ultimate goal – financial independence.
I want to clear something up. Working towards financial independence doesn’t mean that I want to be filthy rich so I can fly around in my private jet while being fanned and fed grapes by my servants. Although that doesn’t sound like a horrible existence. Read more…
Earlier this week I was chatting through the comments section with Gena from Ha Nui Loa regarding a really humorous guest post from Gip Plaster from So Much More Life about the false stereotypes people have about Texans. Since Gena lives in Hawaii with her husband Jeff, I was sharing with her a couple of my stereotypes — or expectations — about what I thought it would be like to visit Hawaii.
Ever since I was a young girl and my parents visited Hawaii, I’ve wanted to go there. My husband and I always thought we’d spend our honeymoon there, but when the time came we chose instead to go on a less expensive honeymoon to the Smoky Mountains in Tennessee. We use the money we saved to put towards a down-payment on our home. While I don’t regret this decision, I still yearn to visit the Hawaiian Islands. Read more…
This morning I was reading a post written by Selena from This Contented Life. It was an entry from her Life Lessons series titled Do One Thing at a Time. Her post really got me thinking about the downfalls of scattering our energies. Not only does multitasking cause unneeded stress in our lives, it also decreases the quality of our output.
Sometimes multitasking is unavoidable. For example, when I’m working and my boss sends me an email, I know I have to stop working, read and respond to the email. I work from home four out of five days each week, so responding promptly to emails lets my employer know that I hear her. It’s how we keep the conversation flowing on the days I’m not in the office. Read more…
This may be an unpopular post, but there is something that’s been bothering me lately. Why are so many minimalist bloggers encouraging others to stop reading blogs while also refusing to associate with new people outside of THEIR space (blog)?
Isn’t that like saying, “Oh no. I won’t come to your party – it’s not good enough. But please, continue to frequent my parties with your good tidings and good cheer!”
If there is one thing I’ve learned in this life, it’s that we’re all connected. How could you possibly discover more about the world and yourself if you close yourself off from others that may have different ideas than you? Read more…
Well, May 21st came and went and we’re all still here. I’ll admit I wasn’t worried that we wouldn’t be, but you never know.
Speaking of the anticipated rapture, I was reading a post written by Laura from Smash Your T.V. and Have Adventures this weekend. It was about an end-of-times sale she spotted on Craig’s List where a few nonbelievers were putting out a request for people’s worldly belongings. There was a common theme throughout the ads that indicated the *stuff* the believers would be leaving behind would be gladly taken over by the nonbelievers placing the ads. Read more…
When I think of being frugal I think of living economically. It is being mindfully aware of all my daily actions so as not to create unnecessary waste. I think of simple living, reducing costs and streamlining my home and business.
We live in a society that creates waste in increasing amounts. We upgrade all the time — whether it is our clothes, or our appliances, or our electronic equipment. Whatever it is, most things are no longer created to endure time and wear, as the assumption is that most people will replace it before it breaks. And some people have come to the attitude that if it breaks, they’ll just buy a new one anyway.
Therefore we are living in a very disposable age. The problem with disposing and replacing is that we generate more and more waste in manufacturing, transporting, retailing and eliminating of products. To me this is the opposite of frugal living. Read more…
There is a happiness and contentment that sets in when you stop trying to fill the discontent in your soul by consumption — and instead focus your energy on creation.
Consumption : the utilization of economic goods in the satisfaction of wants or in the process of production resulting chiefly in their destruction, deterioration, or transformation.
~As defined by Merriam Webster
Consuming as a past time doesn’t contain the sustenance necessary to keep us satisfied for long. We never quite get our fill when our main objective in life is to consume by upgrading our possessions. We upgrade our car, our house, our job, our clothes, our TVs, etc., etc., etc.
As soon as we obtain the latest object of our desire, our sights are set on the next *thing* to upgrade. Of course this means our energy, time and resources will be allocated to our next upgrade as well. We never quite make it though, do we? We upgrade, decide what our next upgrade will be…and round and round we go. Read more…
When I was younger I used to keep a backpack in the toy box by my bedroom door. Inside were all of the things I felt I would need in order to survive if for some reason I was forced out of my home. In it I kept some extra underwear and a couple pair of socks, a change of clothes, shampoo and soap, and a little metal Band-Aid box with all of the cash I owned at the time, $40.00.
I looked through the backpack fairly often, taking stock of what was there, and updating the contents as my needs changed. Sorting through the filling oftentimes led me to daydream about the fantastic adventures I would have if only school and parents weren’t keeping me in check. I dreamed of living in the woods near my home, and would even take my backpack there to pretend I was doing just that. Read more…