As SH will tell you, I have long stuck up my nose at McDonald's coffee. I guess it's because I associate McDonald's with fast food and fast food with not being healthful. Here's the thing - I've been indulging in Starbucks, Coffee Bean and Illy which are all about $2-$5 depending on what type of drink you get. Multiply that by multiple times a week... or day... and you might be spending $50 in one week on coffee. $50! That's crazy, right?
The obvious solution is to brew your own coffee at home. But if you're on the go, as we often are, stopping at McDonald's for a coffee that only costs $1.09 seems like a pretty good money saving on-the-go coffee switch. The craziest part? Whether you get the small or the large coffee, it still only costs $1.09. I got the large yesterday and sipped on it all morning and into the afternoon.
It doesn't taste like the most amazing cup of coffee I've ever had, but for $1.09, I'll take it and put the money I'm saving toward something I really want in the future.
Thursday, March 23, 2017
Friday, March 17, 2017
Does anyone else ever get overwhelmed by the amount of stuff they have accumulated over the years? I know that I'm not alone... but it seems that clutter isn't something people really like to talk about.
Clutter used to be a source of shame for me. I felt bad that I had so much in my life that I wasn't using, appreciating, or enjoying. I felt burdened by my stuff. I felt overwhelmed. Tired. Ashamed. Constantly bombarded by reminders that I wasn't using the things that I already had and that I had become a slave to papers. I wasn't really hoarding, and my room wasn't dirty. But... it wasn't the epitomy of cleanliness, either. And who needs calendars, gifted lottery tickets, and receipts from six years ago?! Honestly. Finally one day, enough was enough. I tackled the clutter with the tremendous help from my mother. In fact, I highly recommend enlisting another person to help you tackle your clutter, because things that feel sentimental to you, ("how can I throw out this calendar from 2014? It shows me exactly what I did that year!") are seen as trash to the other person, and are discarded accordingly. (I took a picture of the calendar to reference whenever I need to. Though honestly.... I doubt I ever will!)
Clearing the clutter out of my life has been incredibly freeing. I got rid of that chair (lovingly nicknamed, "crap chair") in my bedroom that housed unpacked boxes from my move for nine. months. Nine months! We moved it to the downstairs living room where it can be actually used... ya know, for sitting on. What a concept!
|I'm going out on a limb here... and showing you my very real "crap chair" More like, crap corner!|
It felt so good to gift things to people who would actually love and use my stuff!
In addition to my "crap chair" I also moved my desk and desk chair out of my room. This created SO MUCH SPACE. So much space! My room is now empty enough that when you stand in the middle of it, it sort of creates an echo when you talk. I also have an empty drawer in my dresser, completely void of anything. Oh how liberating it is to have an empty drawer!
All in all, my spring purge has lifted me mentally in SUCH a big way, I feel freer, calmer, more organized and in control. I felt so weighed down CONSTANTLY by my clutter that it had become part of who I was and how I felt on a daily basis! I can now enjoy my room as the oasis it is. It was very important for me to move my desk out of my bedroom because quite frankly I don't like working in my room. My desk was another "crap pile" gatherer, housing clothes I'd worn earlier in the week, discarded jackets, papers, etc. It was an eyesore!
I know that I'm not alone in feeling down in the dumps because of my clutter. So, here are some helpful tips I have for anyone looking to clear the clutter and do their own spring purge:
1. Just start.
You will always come up with excuses on why today isn't the best day to start. I recommend starting say, on a weekend when you have nothing else going on. That way you have two full days to dedicate to clearing the clutter. My mom and I spent about 8 hours a day (no joke) last weekend unpacking boxes, moving furniture, ripping apart rooms and then putting them back together. The end result was so worth it!
2. Have trash bags and boxes on hand.
Get your trash bags ready. You'll need some boxes for donations, too. I made a few different piles - trash bag for trash, box for donations, pile on my bed for things to give friends, etc. When a trash bag is full, take it out immediately. That will help clear up the limited space on your floor or in your living room. Also take the donation box out to the car immediately once it's full. If it's already in your car, it will be more likely to make it to Goodwill as opposed to if it just sits in your garage or hallway for six months. It worked out nicely for us because trash day is Monday. Our trash bins were overflowing by the time I was done but it was okay because the trash trucks came the next day.
3. Figure out what the source of your clutter pain point is.
Mine is/was paper clutter. It was everywhere. As mentioned previously, I had 6 years worth of old paper that I didn't need. I had never really needed a paper filing system before because I wasn't an adult doing adult things like paying credit card, car, and medical bills. Once you've identified your pain point, move on to step four...
4. Create a system to tackle this pain point.
I needed a filing system. We got out an old filing cabinet and a bunch of folders and I started labeling away. I got a handle on my papers by setting up a filing system and creating folders for things like manuals/instructions, taxes, health, self-improvement, etc. Now when a paper comes my way, I know exactly where it goes, or it goes straight to the shredder.
5. Touch (almost) everything you own.
This might seem like a daunting task and it's probably because it is. Try to touch every item of clothing in your closet and remove anything that a) doesn't bring you joy any more b) brings you negative emotions, like that expensive shirt you bought that still has a tag on it, that you're regretting buying c) doesn't serve you d) doesn't FIT! I got a handle on my closet by combing through what I own and sorting into donate, give away, sell, toss. I had to touch every single item of clothing I owned for this to be effective. Same thing with jewelry. If you aren't ready to part with something, that's okay. Try putting it in a "not sure" box, and then seal it. If you don't miss it in three months, get rid of it! This applies to almost anything you own!
6. Identify the problem and then pivot.
I had to rearrange furniture for me to feel fully comfortable and free in my downstairs living room space which has now essentially been turned into my office. Here was the problem: The teeny little desk in my bedroom wasn't serving me. So what did I need? A large table that could serve as a desk and craft table. How could I make this happen? I had to pivot and think outside the box. Instead of using a traditional desk I would use an Ikea dining table (without the leaf) for my craft table/ desk. Now I have a space to work that serves me and brings me joy.
7. Work with joy in mind.
I took every single book off of my bookshelf, picked out the ones to donate, and then rearranged them all by color. Now when I walk into my living room I feel so. much. joy!! Looking at the books so beautifully organized on the shelves makes me happy. It's the little things, people! Do things that create joy in your space and in your life.
|My amazing joyful bookcase that I love so so much!!|
I hope you enjoyed these 7 tips to help you clear your own clutter. What will you get started on today?
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Disclaimer: I am not a financial advisor by any means. Use this strategy at your own risk!
Today I'm sharing a ridiculously easy money saving strategy that I use. I like to call it, the "Transfer Strategy."
Here is the way the Transfer Strategy works:
You go to purchase something, whether it's a $2 cup of coffee or a $17 top, and instead of swiping your card and spending money on a purchase, you transfer the exact amount of money you are saving by not making the purchase, from your checking account into your savings account.
If your checking account is too low to make the transfer, then you probably shouldn't be making the purchase anyway because you would have had to use your credit card, right? If your checking account isn't too low to make the purchase, then you've given in to your impulse to allow money to exchange hands, but instead of letting it exchange from your bank account into a business', you've allowed it to exchange from your checking account to your savings account.
The Transfer Strategy encourages you to be more resourceful. Yes, I would love to have a decaf Americano twice a day, 5 days a week. But this would end up costing me about $24 a week (at $2.39/ drink.) At $24 a week, I would be spending $1,248 per year on coffee alone (and that doesn't include any coffee beverages purchased on weekends!) I could just as easily purchase an 80 count of instant coffee packets for $14.16 and my yearly cost of coffee goes from $1,248 to $92. (I figure if I have 80 instant coffee packets, and use 2 per day, 5 days a week, I'll need 6.5 boxes to fund my coffee habit.)
I want to buy a $2.39 cup of coffee? Instead, I'm going to transfer $2.39 into my savings account (or maybe $3 just to make it nice and even.) You will be blown away by how much money you can save in a short amount of time with the Transfer Strategy. What I like about it is that it becomes a fun game. How much money can I add to my savings account today? This week?
What do you think about the Transfer Strategy? Is this something you would like to try? Comment below!