So far we are 22 days into the New Year and I have made some very difficult decisions. I told myself that this year I was going to focus on me and getting my life back into some form of order.
Note: The main point of this post is money so bear with me, I will get to the point
So far I have made a few very hard decisions and I suspect my hard decisions are far from over.
I am going to take care of health things I have been putting off like dental work and vision issues (I am practically blind and I am in serious need of better glasses)
I am going to focus on more budget friendly weekend getaways vs crazy long trips (with the exception of Ecuador)
I am going to save money and cut my debt in half.
The last thing is the most important. I realized that the number one thing holding me back from doing what I want in life is money. I want to travel that requires money, I want to start my own fair trade business that requires money, I want to buy a town home, again that requires money.
When I was trying to decide on what I wanted to do in 2015, I realized that yes I want to do everything, but at the same time I understood I couldn’t do everything. That doesn’t keep me from dreaming my dream trips to Europe, South America and China.
What can I say, I like dreaming.
Anyway I digress.
The end of last year was interesting, my grandmother passed away and while my heart broke it made me realize quite a few things.
I need to get rid of the people in my life that want me to adapt and change to what they want, without any consideration of the things I want. I am very much willing to compromise but I don’t feel it is fair to judge me because I want to travel & experience a multitude of things. Yes I am judged.
Life really is way too short.
I really needed to sit down and evaluate my situation so I can set myself up to do the things I want and live life to the fullest so when I am 80 I can have no regrets.
Truth is I am sick of having regrets.
So to come full circle I realized that maybe this year I wouldn’t be able to do a lot. I needed to sit down and make a budget, I needed to make sure I was saving money and I needed to make sure I was living balanced.
I made a spreadsheet with all my bills & debts. I put the balances of each bill along with the amount I am going to pay. Every month I am going to set a goal, reduce my debt by a % and/or to save a certain amount.
I am proud to say I have already hit both my money goals for January.
I have to thank my dear friend Ashley for the inspiration of this post. She has made me realize that surrounding yourself with people who encourage you vs those who point out your flaws is important. The daily encouragement I feel from her when I talk about my goals & ideas is one of the most amazing things I have felt in a very very long time.
Her encouragement has already made me accomplish my January goals. It feels great.
That being said the goals I am setting in February are going to be a little more aggressive. So that brings me to the topic of this post.
Truth is when saving money and putting yourself on a spending freeze it is pretty dull. I am not really a person that likes sitting around (although regretfully that is who I became last year) it makes me antsy, irritated and just plain crabby.
So friends I am sharing some ideas with you. If you are like me and trying to save money, here are some things you can do to make the lack of entertainment seem bearable.
So without further ado,
Things you can do instead of spending money:
1, Make a bucket list.
2. Make a “travel plan” This is one of my favorites… dream up your perfect trip put it in a notebook.
3, Organize your closet.
4. Finish those old craft projects (I have a list I am slowly working through)
5. Go to the library (you know the place that loans you things for FREE!!!)
6. Have a Chris Evans movie marathon (nope not ashamed)
7. Binge on netflix, pick a show and just have at it! My current favs? Lost Girl, Bitten, Walking Dead & Hart of Dixie
8. Call an old friend (in my case it was my college roommate)
9. List crap you don’t want on eBay.
10. Volunteer, it is a fun way to meet people and learn new skills!
11. Walk around the neighborhood.
12. Get rid of things you don’t want, plan a yard sale (make money while saving money! win win!)
13. Write a book
14. Start a blog (if I can do it, so can you!)
15. De-clutter (not my favorite, but I am trying to do it for my mom’s sake)
16. take a nap (we could all use more sleep)
17. Learn to bake
18. Go through your cabinets, use what you have vs buying more stuff
19. Write letters
20. Start a journal.
21. Make a book list you want to read and read it
Well everyone that is my list! What are some things you love to do to pass time?