Tag Archives: Money

Resolution update #1

2 Feb

It’s February already! How can that be?! 

I thought it would be good to keep a record of how I get along with my New Year resolution, for myself as much as anyone to remember when the year is over.

[If you’re a new reader you can read about my resolution here.]

I am really happy to be continuing with this no buy resolution. I haven’t kept to it religiously – the ‘rules’ were never meant to be legalistic – but there have been lots of times where I have thought about buying something and have either

– just told myself that I can’t have it or
– actively gone about trying to find it for free or to borrow it.

I have bought a few things this month…

I bought this spatula by accident really. I bought it for a friend for her birthday but then decided I’d bought too much for her. However, I’d needed a new spatula for ages and as it was only £3.50 I kept it!

 

I caved and bought a packet of Rolos during my Welsh class and I was REALLY ANNOYED afterwards! I know it’s only 60p or something but the chocolate just made me feel sluggish and I wished I hadn’t given into temptation.

I also caved and bought a Thai curry when I was really tired after work the other day. I LOVE Thai food. It doesn’t feel all greasy and full of fat like some other takeaways we have. Josh and I shared one and it only cost £5.99 so I don’t feel too bad!

The thing I have appreciated so much about this challenge is my change in mindset. Instead of just impulse buying I am constantly thinking “do I actually need this” or “where could I get this for free?”.

One good example is a bible that I wanted to buy a couple of weeks ago. I’ve decided to read through the bible chronologically in a year and we have a really nice bible in the bookshop for £15.99 which splits it all into day by day readings. I wanted to buy it but after I thought about it I realised that there are reading guides online that give you the references for each day. I have printed it off and now I’m using it with my own bible for free.

I’m going to do a post later in the week about the rest of the stuff that I have managed to get for free this month, so check back for that soon.

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2011

8 Jan

I’m very excited about my New Year’s resolution for 2011 and I’m glad to be finally in the thick of it.

So, my resolution for this year is:

Not to buy anything unless I ‘need’ it – and if I do feel like I need it I have to wait for a month and pray about it before buying it.

[This obviously doesn’t include food or day-to-day items. However, I am trying to consider all my purchases and decide whether they are necessary.]

Point 1
Although it will (hopefully) be an added bonus, saving money isn’t the aim of this resolution. It’s actually about discipline and learning to live on what I need and not what I want.

During the last year I have de-cluttered my house A LOT. I’ve learnt to be less sentimental about what I need in my life. However, there is still a long way to go. I wouldn’t say that I’m a spend-a-holic by a long way, but I do love to have pretty things about me and I’m sometimes bad with impulse buys for the house, or in buying snacks or take-away drinks on my way home from work.
I’m not saying having nice things around you is bad at all. I just feel like I need to discipline myself a bit more and learn to go without.

For example, for the last few months there have been several items that instead of buying straight away I waited to put on my Christmas list. Now, whenever I look at, or use those gifts it brings me so much joy! I’ve been making do without and now they seem like a luxury!

Point 2
I want to use this resolution to help make me trust God more. God is amazing! He provides for us in so many ways and most of the time I totally take it for granted. There have been times in the past where God has provided amazingly for us – I’m talking thousands of pounds completely unexpectedly just when we needed it.

Instead of rushing out and buying everything that I think is my ‘right’ I want to try and live more simply and enjoy the blessings that God gives us.
And that’s where the waiting for a month and praying comes in. Take a couple of examples from last month: 

–          I really wanted a cozy white cardigan for the winter. I looked at an expensive one in a local shop, prayed about it, but thought that I would wait as it was just a want and not a need. Then in a swap party we had the next week I found one which was perfect, for free!

–          I was also looking at some embroidered hearts in a craft shop a few days ago. Totally useless but oh-so-pretty! I didn’t get them because of my new year resolution, but then the next day these arrived in the post as a late Christmas present!…

 

God provides for us and he blesses us with things we don’t even need just because he loves us!

I hope it doesn’t seem like I’m expecting God to ‘grant all my wishes’. That’s not what all this is about at all.
I just look forward to being able to continue to testify how amazing God’s provision is, while having the extra money to spend in more creative and generous ways which will glorify him, rather than continue to tie me to our materialistic culture.

Oh yeah, and my other resolution is to get fit…but we all know that that will turn out!

Updates and some money making schemes

26 May

Firstly, hopefully this will be one of the last times I have to stay late at work to use the internet to update my blog because we should be getting internet in the new flat when we move in next week! Horray! We figured that we can afford it with the new lower rent, and it’s also getting really annoying not having internet at home and having to remember to do everything after work and in my lunch breaks. PLUS, we can watch BBC iplayer which will mean we don’t rent so many films!

Secondly, Josh didn’t get his ideal job. If I had written this 3 hours earlier I would be ranting but I have just about got over the disappointment now. They wanted him to work Sundays, and he didn’t want to work Sundays. We have already been told we are being too picky, but he doesn’t want to be missing church. That’s the decision he has made and he’s sticking to it. I feel frustrated as nothing seems to be going right for us but all we can do is keep trusting that something will come up soon.

In the meantime I have been coming up with some handy moneymaking schemes and as long as we keep to our (tight) budget we should be okay.

As I have mentioned before I would love to be able to make a living by selling my pictures, cards and other crafts. When I was at university I began selling my cards under the name ‘Just Original Creations’. I sold enough cards here and there to make a bit of pocket money for uni but stopped making them during my finals and when we first got married due to lack of time.

justoriginalcreations

Now, as money is tight we are thinking of every way possible to make money and so I decided to revive Just Original Creations and put some items for sale in the bookshop I manage.

I have started off by producing a couple of seascape themed photo-frames each containing three photos with a chunky plain black frame. I have only made two so far because we didn’t have the money spare to buy loads of frames but I sold 2 within 3 days of putting them out in the shop and already have another on order. I really need to get round to making up some more as I seem to be onto a winner!

Also, have you ever heard of fotolia or istockphoto? I hadn’t until last week but apparently you can upload your photos and then companies or individuals pay around 60p to buy each print. There are loads of really good quality photos on there so it’s not a dead cert you will make any money but we have loads of really good hoverfly and butterfly pictures which seem like they could fit into a fairly untapped niche market. If we don’t try we’ll never know!

Frugal Meals #1 The easiest tomato soup you’ll ever make

16 Apr

Now I’ve managed to pull myself out of my winter stupor enough to be interested in cooking decent meals again I’m determined not to break the bank with organic food. Therefore, as always I’m on a mission to buy and cook good, wholesome, healthy, organic meals each day on a budget.
It’s not going to be easy as food prices have gone up noticeably in our local shops (I paid £2.69 for one organic red pepper the other day!) so that means I have been busy rummaging through my emergency ‘frugal meals’ recipes, and thought I would let you in on the best over the next few weeks.

soup

More…I want to know how to make this soup!

Money, Money, Money

1 Feb

Unsurprisingly everyone is blogging about money. Well, I just wanted to give you an update on our ‘frugal January’, so you’re getting it from me too, horray!

 

Well, I’m happy to tell you we were within our budget this month. We had a few unexpected LARGE pay outs which would have normally meant we would have spent well over our budget but because we really cut down we were still within the budget which is great!

 

So what did we do? Here are some of the things that really helped us save the pennies…

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Frugal January

17 Jan

We are having a frugal January, which means cranking up our simple living and spending as little as possible.

This isn’t the same as the buy nothing challenge we did last year because I found that incredibly difficult – as soon as I’m told I can’t have something I just want to rebel and buy lots. It just makes things difficult if you are invited out by friends but you feel guilty the whole time you’re there because you’re spending money.

 

So instead we are just spending as little as possible, and we’ve done really well so far – even having spent a hideous amount on new glasses we are still well inside our budget for this month.

 

We’re taking little steps to help us along the way. For example we’re eating veggie this week because we want to buy a joint of meat for a dinner party we’re having on Sunday. On Wednesday we ate before we went out to meet some friends in a (casual) restaurant and just shared a cheap starter when we were there, and we’re staying at home or playing games with friends instead of paying to go to the cinema.

 

oixvcala3u0ccafo4b4mcacbit7acamhvsyaca661hvfcat9uobqca81yco0caki4mqbcal53kg8cai3bulacacmw4aqcae4shafca3vfh2vca13bhu2cauu2d4hcak6eue4caf1muc5caa2sfljcav95vtd1The key for me to not buy things is just not go near shops. I don’t have a particularly materialistic attitude and don’t covet things unless I actually see them! Having said that, even when in a stationary store yesterday I managed not to buy the amazingly beautiful pink suede organiser/ diary.

I saw, I coveted and I conquered!

2009 Resolutions

4 Jan

newyear1

This time last year I was blogging about my resolutions for 2008. We were still fairly new to the idea of simple living then and my resolutions reflected that. There were big changes to be made and as a result, our eagerness made some of our resolutions a bit naïve.

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Proposal

12 Dec

Our office is probably the best example of a non-ecofriendly work space around. Although it’s a small space we leave both our copiers, all three computers, two printers and a scanner on all the time, even when they aren’t in use.

We are paper eaters too– I don’t even want to think how many trees we consume each year. If the church congregation need to know something, why just tell them once? Instead we could print it out on several different leaflets and drum it in that way. Lights and heaters are left on everywhere too.

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