Way Harsh

Why can’t I sleep at night?
Don’t say “It’s gonna be alright”
I wanna be able to eat spaghetti bolognese
And not feel bad about it for days and days and days

In the magazines, they talk about weight loss
If I buy those jeans, I can look like Kate Moss
I know it’s not the life that I chose
But I guess that’s the way that things go

Lily Allen “Everything’s just wonderful”

I’ve been absolutely blown away by the honest way three of my favourite singers have described their experiences with body dysmorphia and the way harsh way that the public and media have judged them on their appearances.

In Lily’s Allen memoir “My Thoughts Exactly”, she openly shares how speculation and criticism about her talent, looks and relationships fuelled a cycle of addiction, starvation, anxiety and self-harm. Lily would go to great lengths to lose weight before a photo-shoot; binge-drinking to induce dehydration and therefore look more-defined or even knocking herself out with sleeping tablets for 3 days because if she wasn’t awake-she couldn’t eat. The skinnier she was, the more praise she seemed to get.

Likewise, Taylor Swift in the documentary “Miss Americana” talks about how comments about her weight and speculation about whether or not she was pregnant in the press, led to her overexercising and under eating.

“I remember how, when I was 18, that was the first time I was on the cover of a magazine,” she says “And the headline was like ‘Pregnant at 18?’ And it was because I had worn something that made my lower stomach not look flat. So, I just registered that as a punishment…. You register that enough times, and you just start to accommodate everything towards praise and punishment, including your own body.”

Singer-songwriter Clare Bowditch’s memoir “Your Own Kind of Girl’’ takes us through how childhood grief and loss played out in an eating disorder and in her early toxic relationships. She also introduces us to her inner critic and what it was telling her as she cycled through fad diets and breakups with her on-off boyfriend.

“From a very young age Clare was forced to grapple – explicitly – with the toxic idea that her weight was the major barometer of her worth. It wasn’t just that kids teased her for being big. Adults called her fat too. To her face. When she lost weight, her primary school teacher and mums of her friends asked for photocopies of her diet. She was treated differently. It was clear she was better liked when she was thinner. The warm glow of approval was intoxicating. But it was also unsettling for her young mind: she was the same person regardless of the number on the scales so why was it such a big deal? It set in motion a vicious cycle: constant dieting, binging, self-loathing. It went on for years”. Women’s Agenda: Clare Bowditch: Her own kind of girl (the kind of girl we can all learn from)

All three musicians share how healing it is for them to create and share music, words and projects that reflect their own experiences honestly and how these resonate with others. I can say that reading, watching and listening (I had the pleasure of listening to the audio version of Lily’s book in her lovely London accent) to these performers made me question why we are so harsh with our appearance based judgements, especially towards women. Instead, we should simply enjoy the art they create without being snippy speculators about who’s too fat or too thin. I applaud their vulnerability in sharing which will greatly help others with similar experiences.

Love and light and it’s hard out here for a b##ch xxx Yvette

Check out iweighcommunity.com for radical inclusivity and body positivity

https://genius.com/Lily-allen-everythings-just-wonderful-lyricsLily Allen, “My Thoughts Exactly” (2018) https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/40949782-my-thoughts-exactly“Hard out here” Lily Allen video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E0CazRHB0so

“Miss Americana” Official trailer https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=40RsbcFRwNAClare Bowditch,”Your Own Kind of Girl “ (2019)  https://clarebowditch.com/

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Why does the caged bird sing?

Freaky times hey with Covid-19 induced self-quarantine, social distancing and supermarket sweep style scenes. How can we keep our mind, body and soul healthy? As an introvert, frugalista and optimist, I’ve had a bit of practice at some of this. But as a casual worker in service industries and a gym-user-I’m realising the challenge of changes outside our control.  Here a few things I’m trying;

Sculpting my guns: With the gym closed, I’m trying a combo of YouTube vids/ apps and home equipment to try and bag a classy lady by giving her two tickets to the gun show to see if she likes the goods.* Pamela Reif’s YouTube Channel has a range of workout styles, lengths and intensities. She doesn’t talk and is German, blond and modelY and does the moves to music with a timer. Simple, effective and gut danke. The lovely peeps at Down Dog Apps have made their Yoga, Barre, HILT and 7-minute workouts free until April 1st as fitness classes close due to Covid-19. So, I’ve been doing a Pamela workout, some squats/lunges with dumbbells, kettle bell or resistance bands and then a Down Dog Yoga to finish. Don’t act like you’re not impressed!

Are we clear? Crystal. More time in introspection and reflection ain’t a bad thing. Life becomes simpler. Our priorities clearer: the health and wellbeing of ourselves and others. We are staying at home to flatten the curve and protect the vulnerable in our community. We have appreciation for the little things. Who can ever look at a roll of toilet paper again without feeling a swell of love, gratitude and abundance? Ditto pasta or rice.

I liked this take from Italian Instagram fashionista Chiara Ferrangi, “Even in this weird time, enjoy the ride and find a lesson for the next phase of your life. Make a list of what you’re missing and never take it for granted again. Life after Covid will be a new life for us all, and I can’t wait to experience everything with different eyes”. The Kindness Pandemic movement reflects the generousity of the human spirit and can be seen as Italians sing from their balconies, Spaniards applaud medical workers and many worldwide give/ help/ thank others.

Trad wife Goals.I’m pretty much a professional potterer. Days are frittered away doing a bit of this and that. It’s an ideal time to channel your inner traditional wife and get creative in the kitchen (with the random ingredients you can get your hands on), get decluttering your closets and get scrubbing everything. Make do and mend. Keep calm and carry on. We’re ideally placed for being under house arrest with so many streaming services, digital libraries and social media holes to fall down. Or look to your cat for inspo and catch up on a year’s worth of sleep.

The caged bird sings for freedom.This too shall pass and won’t last forever so look on the bright side, appreciate the small things and use your time wisely to sculpt your guns (ohh it burns) while catching up on every series ever recommended to you.

Love and light and elbow bumps xxx Yvette

*Anchorman: The Gun Show https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rVm-wrZG5qY

Pamela Reif YouTube channel https://www.youtube.com/channel/UChVRfsT_ASBZk10o0An7Ucg

Down Dog Apps https://www.downdogapp.com/

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Habitual

“The more pride you have in a particular aspect of your identity, the more motivated you will be to maintain the habits associated with it. If you’re proud of how your hair looks, you’ll develop all sorts of habits to care for and maintain it. If you’re proud of the size of your biceps, you’ll make sure you never skip an upper-body workout. If you’re proud of the scarves you knit, you’ll be more likely to spend hours knitting each week. Once your pride gets involved, you’ll fight tooth and nail to maintain your habits.” James Clear Atomic Habits: An easy and proven way to build good habits and break bad ones

Party girl Paris Hilton.

Wow-wee this book was a game changer for me. I thought about how hard it was for me to let go of the Party-Girl persona when I initially tried to give up the booze. I was wine. Regardless of the fact I was no longer working in bars or even really going out much and my hangovers were from hell, my inner Paris Hilton was stubbornly refusing to get off the dance floor. James Clear points out the difference in the mindset of two people who are offered a cigarette; one says “I can’t, I’m trying to quit” and the other says, “No thank you, I don’t smoke”. Even though the outcome is the same, neither take the cigarette, the person who identifies as a non-smoker has a stronger chance of not going back to being Smokey Smokerson as this is becoming part of their identity.

“The ultimate form of intrinsic motivation is when a habit becomes part of your identity. It’s one thing to say I’m the type of person who wants this. It’s something very different to say I’m the type of person who is this.”

As I developed new habits to replace the booze; ginger beer in the fridge, the accountability and support of friends in-the-know, the stability of a fixed routine, the satisfaction of chalking up another day on the calendar without a drink, I gained a new self-image as a sober healthy self-helpY type. I became more Yoga-Girl than Party-Girl and now drinking would be out-of-character for me. Ayahuasca perhaps more on-brand.

Yoga Girl Rachel Brathen

“If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead.”

The book explores how building new habits is all about systems rather than goals. Every athlete has the goal of winning the event but only the one who has put in consistent work and strived for continuous improvement will. I remember listening to an interview with Katrin Davidsdottir, an Icelandic Cross Fit Champion. She talked about how her friends would say, “can’t you just eat one cookie/ watch one more Netflix episode/ take Christmas Day off…” and she would reply, “No I can’t. Not if I want to be the best in the world”.

Katrin Davidsdottir is goals.

“Every action you take is a vote for the type of person you wish to become”.

Another helpful tip from the book was to ask yourself if your actions were supporting your desired identity. So before ordering lunch, for example, ask yourself ,“what would a healthy person chose?” and go for the salad rather than the cookie. To encompass my wishes to be healthier, braver, stronger and creativeR…I have been asking myself , “What would a leader do?” and then choosing actions that support that goal. A leader would…go to the gym, apply for that job, say yes/no, share with vulnerability, write daily etc. So far so good with this and you could always use the age-old WWJD (what would Jesus do?) or WWBD (what would Beyoncé do?)

I can highly recommend this book and will leave you with this nugget o’wisdom: “Professionals stick to the schedule; amateurs let life get in the way.”

Love and light and be a professional xxx Yvette

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Challenger Ready!

Monthly mini challenges: In addition to challenging myself to a low-buy year (big ups to my ‘2020 we have plenty crew) and some form of exercise daily (I like to move-it move-it), I’m attempting a daily healthy habit each month. Matt D’Avella, minimalist YouTuber, did this last year and tried 30 days of things like; intermittent fasting, cold showers, waking up at 5am and no caffeine with some interesting and funny results. So far, I’ve done Yoga-January and am doing Meditation-February. Other habits I’m considering trying are drinking celery juice first thing in the morning and keto-eating. What else do you think I should try? What daily habits do you find helpful?

 James Clear, author of “Atomic Habits”, says that the most important thing is to fall in love with the habit and not the result as the result may not be visible for months or even years after we begin the habit. You don’t notice your body looking well fit after 1 workout for example. Still, it’s a good idea to start with a manageable amount of time and give them a trial run one habit at a time. Some may even stick around for longer than a month and may led to other things. I stopped drinking initially for a Dry July and after I felt crap detoxing, I slowly felt better overall and got the confidence and energy to improve my diet and fitness. This is what Clear calls habit stacking.

The lovely Yoga with Adriene created and shared a 30-day yoga journey called Home in January on her YouTube channel. This was a great way to start the year and to track my progress as I was notified every day when the video was released. Ideally, habits are best built at a regular time but as it was the holidays, my schedule varied and some days I practised in the mornings and sometimes in the evenings.

The length of the videos varied from 15 to 40 minutes and were sometimes quite physical and other times more relaxing. I didn’t always feel like doing it, especially when it was super-hot or when I was tired after work but I always felt better for it. Adriene tells her community ‘to find what feels good’ and says ‘some days rolling out your yoga mat is enough’ which is encouraging and I reminded myself of this when I felt resistance but once I started, I was able to complete the video.

I am going to continue doing daily yoga but with the smaller commitment of 5 minutes a day using an app and mostly in the mornings and I’ve been stacking this with my (very well-established) coffee habit as I can do it while the brew-that-is-true brews.  Stay tuned to hear how my other mini monthly challenges go!

Love and light and challenger ready xxx Yvette

“12 Habits that changed my life” Matt D’Avella

“Habit Stacking” James Clear

Home – Day 0 – Welcome Home | 30 Days of Yoga With Adriene

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2020 We have plenty

I’ve been inspired by wonderful Frugalistas and Frugal-Misters to make 2020 a low buy year. I’m looking forward to being more mindful with my spending, basing my purchases on needs rather than wants, embracing minimalism and simplicity and strengthening my will power. Some things are in my no-buy category (clothes, books and homewares), some things are in a replacement only category (beauty products like my beloved Go-to skincare, holey-moly undies/ socks) and others I will allocate a budget for ($100 for experiences per month- massage/ pedicure/ theatre/ cinema/ restaurant etc.).  Before I buy anything, I will check in with myself to see if it’s something I really need, something I could swap for or borrow or if I have something at home I can use first (like all the shampoos, conditioners, shower gels and moisturisers in the bathroom cupboard).

Tak to Signe at Uselesswardrobe.dk for this vidunderlig Low Buy 2020 Challenge Checklist-tailored to clothing but applicable in other categories too. http://www.uselesswardrobe.dk/low-buy-2020/

Low Buy 2020 Challenge Checklist

  1. Secondhand + swapping first: can I thrift or swap my way into this item?
  2. Buying questions: do I already have something similar? Do I see myself wearing this at least 30 times or more? Can I wear this with what I already have?
  3. Basics & replacements allowed: basics as socks, undies, tees allowed, worn out items or similar are allowed to be replaced.
  4. Ethical brands only: Brands who are improving qualities and perform ethical practises, brands who have clear and verified certifications & high transparency, brands who make quality clothing that will last for years. No fast fashion brands (to save money, go 2nd hand instead).
  5. Grey areas: giftgiving/ receiving…do what feels right for you
  6. Stick to the lists: If you’ve got gaps in your wardrobe (or anywhere else) make a list and stick mindfully and consciously to it, while repeating the steps above before you purchase anything

January Report

Inspiration: This month’s inspo has come from watching some wonderful YouTubers who share videos about their experiences of no-buy/ low-buy years, budgeting advice savings challenges. Thanks; Use Less, Laura Joanna Jarvis, Hannah Louise Poston, Hailey Evans. I also loved the approach to money in Ken Honda’s book “Happy Money” where he encourages you to give and receive money in the spirit of joyfulness and gratitude.

Books: Lots of time for reading over Summer holidays and I have been enjoying books I was gifted (The Librarian), books on my shelf I was yet to read (Girl by Sea) and library books; e.books (City of Girls, A Man in Love, Happy Money) and audio books (Love, The Millionaire Next Door, Daring Greatly). The only challenging bit of the book category so far is when I can’t find titles I’m keen to read in the library or I have to go on a super-long waitlist but that’s no real biggie.

Clothes: Feel a bit like when you go on a diet and you suddenly want to eat everything, I’m hyper-aware of the clothes I don’t have even though I’m not a frequent fashionista shopper. Focusing on gratitude and the present-I’m so thankful for this juicy apple and these apple-bottom jeans. Trying the approach of ‘shopping my wardrobe’ where I put away non-seasonal items, put aside things to swap and pull out things I haven’t worn for yonks and trick myself into feeling good as new and good as hell. Replaced a few holey socks with ones purchased with gift card. Winning! Attempting to master the full-length mirror selfie.  

“I’ve been watching women in the department stores. They’re trying on clothes, and I’ve noticed that they do it differently from men. Women don’t try on the clothes, they get behind the clothes, you see? They take a dress off the rack, and they hold it up against themselves. They can tell something from this. They stick one leg way out ’cause they need to know, if some day I’m one-legged, and at a forty-five degree angle, what am I gonna wear?” Seinfeld

Giving: Giving any money left over in any category and more from my budget to the Bushfire Appeal-such a scary time for Australia and its land, people and creatures but such wonderful generousity and solidarity shown. Power to the people.  

Groceries/ Beauteries: I’ve been shopping at Aldi (the happiest place on earth) once a week with a list, a budget and cash and then ‘shopping the pantry’ when I’ve spent the week’s allocated money. Pesto tuna pasta is one go-to I seem to oft have the ingredients for. I was pleased to save some money doing things like making my own trail mix with almonds, sultanas and dark chocolate chips rather than buying the more $$$ pre-mixed one. I’m using my beauty products until empty before replacement (like my beloved Go-To Skincare) and using up all the travel hair-washing and body-washing products.

Good things come to those who wait: Had my eye on a Taylor Swift wall calendar since October. Purchased it Mid-Jan for $10 off! I mean, it was well into the new year but me and Miss Americana are happy together and I appreciate it all the more for the waiting, wishing and hoping I did!

Saving money is fun. How do you do it?

Love and light and live with less xxx Yvette

Use Less “How to buy less in 2020 | LOW BUY CHALLENGE”

Laura Joanna Jarvis “No Spend Year – How To Do A No Buy Challenge in 2020! 9 Tips To Get You Started!” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnADj2gjgDg&list=PL08DlzBiXr8HCx6ZwxtwJRcj9RhTITXYY

“SHOULD YOU DO A NO-BUY? MY EXPERIENCE AND ADVICE | Hannah Louise Poston | MY NO-BUY YEAR” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NwusUp7BRHA

“How To Do A No Buy Year // Hailey Evans // 2019 No Buy Year” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1O99yCL7EQ

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Words to live by

There is no shortage of inspirational quotes in our world; avalanches of them online, on fridge magnets and in books. Occasionally I stumble across one that gives me a moment of illumination, some comfort or a reframe of hope in this crazy old world in which we live…

Knowing me knowing you. Aha!

“Don’t focus on your competition, focus on your goal.” This one was written on chalk board outside a shop. “A-ha!” I said like Alan Partridge “This is relevant to me today”. You see I’ve started a job at the library, which I love, but there are many new casuals like myself standing by for relief shifts. Some of whom have qualifications or experience in Librarianshipness and I heard one’s even been to Harvard (what, like it’s hard?). This quote reminded me not to feel discouraged by my perceived inferiority or have a scarcity mindset about shifts but instead to focus on my goal of doing the best job I can and learning as much as I can. Thank you chalk board.

I object!

“Just do the next right thing.” This one was in the wonderful book “Bad Yogi” by Alice Williams. When she’s feeling overwhelmed by all the things she needs to do to change her life; deal with food addiction, get a job, study to be a yoga teacher-she reminds herself to follow the advice of her sponsor and simply ‘just do the next right thing’. This could be to write a job application, email off an article she’d written, do a meditation or go for a walk instead of eating doughnuts. This is great advice for staying grounded in the present and taking one positive action step at a time rather than get stuck in the overwhelm/ reaction/ guilt cycle. Namaste Alice.

“When one door closes, I just walk up the hallway-there are more doors.” Steve Harvey said this one on “Ellen” talking about his talk show being cancelled but all the other opportunities that have opened up for him. See? Watching daytime TV does payoff. I can tend to get outcome focused and fixed on how things should happen instead of trusting that there are many opportunities that come in different forms and the journey is as important as the destination. Be kind to one another. Bye!

“Say Arigato to your money all day long.” Japanese people just seem to get things just right. In his book, “Happy Money: The Japanese art of making peace with your money”, Ken Honda talks about happy money and unhappy money. Happy money is money given and received with gratitude and generousity while unhappy money is given and received with reluctance and stinginess. Sensei Ken says if we say arigato (thank you) to our money all day long, “You will come to understand that money flows like water and arrives like a guest. And you’ll transform your money from a tyrannical master or an unruly slave to a trusted friend”. I’ve been saying arigato to my money and random members of the public as much as possible recently and as well as being fun to say-it feels great! Domo arigato Mr Roboto.

What words have moved you lately?

Love and light and insert inspirational quote here xxx Yvette

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.

Oh bop, fashion!

Fashion! Turn to the left.
Fashion! Right. Fashion!

I’ve recently embarked on a clothes buying ban. It’s been 3 months since my last purchase. Which was a tie-dyed t-shirt EXACT MATCH for one Taylor Swift wore, in the behind the scenes video from the “You Need to Calm Down” video (for my fellow Swifties ). It’s funky and comfy but not exactly a bargain when you factor in the exchange rate and international postage and not exactly timeless when you factor in the tie-dye factor.

You need to just stop
Like can you just not step on my gown?
You need to calm down

Any-hoo…I’ve realised that I tend to wear the same things over again (‘you ALWAYS wear THAT dress’ a 4-year-old commented…eye-roll with the attitude) and that my purchases are often made on a whim or in an attempt to shift my mood. I’m tired and hungry…buying this $80 t-shirt will make me feel better… Delivery 6-8 weeks… WTAF?! It’s not great for the environment or the wallet either so I’m taking a break from buying.

And we see you over there on the internet.
Comparing all the girls who are killing it

Elizabeth Cline author of “The Conscious Closet” writes, “It might sound like deprivation, but many people, including me, who go on a brief shopping diet or just cut back on their purchases discover life-changing benefits: It can free up time and money to spend on anything from organizing your wardrobe or house, hanging out with friends or family, or even funding a more fulfilling hobby. Shopping less can be one of the easiest and cheapest ways to be more sustainable. By skipping a new pair of jeans, you’ve saved the planet 1,800 gallons of water, the amount each American drinks in THIRTY YEARS! By skipping a pair of leather shoes, you are cutting your carbon impact by 10 kgs, the same as NOT burning ten pounds of coal. A little bit of restraint goes a long way”.

Twinning with Hailey B.

But don’t despair dear reader, for the fashion parade that is my life is not over…I’ve been quite strict with my wardrobe in true Kondo fashion but there are still some things in there I had forgotten about or hardly worn. It’s actually a fun creative challenge to find something to wear for an occasion without giving myself the option of exclaiming, “I have nothing to wear!” and hightailing it to the shops. I started with an inspiration from a celeb (obvs.). For a festive lunch, I had a pic of ‘Hailey Bieber goes to the skincare clinic’ as inspo. While I’m unsure about her husband choice, I can endorse her style in a cream cashmere cardie and jeans. I didn’t have an exact match but I aimed to recreate the vibe of the thing with a pink button up top and jeans.

Is that you Drew?

For Christmas Day, I had the phrase “Drew Barrymore goes to a garden party” in mind. I rediscovered a polka-dot jumpsuit, ruffled shoes and a floppy white hat. I was comfy and happy in my celeb-adjacent outfits on these occasions. Deep bow Hailey and Drew.

I’m also looking forward to going to some clothing swaps, getting items repaired as needed, renting things if I really need to and pulling out more unworn gems from my wardrobe like my hippy cape or my Grandpa cords. Keep your eye out for some radical street style! Do you spend much on clothes? I’d love to hear your tips and tricks.

Love and light and turn to the left xxx Yvette

Elizabeth Cline “The Conscious Closet”: Clothing is one of the leading driver’s of climate change, responsible for 8% of all carbon emissions, more than all international flights combined. Clothing is also one of the fastest-growing categories of waste to landfills, with one garbage truck of clothes dumped every two minutes in the U.S. For the sake of humanity and the environment, we need to be more mindful about our clothes. As Cline reveals, being more intentional about our clothing choices feels better and looks better, too.

https://www.elizabethclinebooks.com/the-conscious-closet

David Bowie “Fashion” Video Clip

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A Little Something-Something

I got a little somethin’ for ya. (I got a little somethin’ for you. Na na na na na na na na na! MN8—I’ve Got a Little Something For You

I think we can all agree that something is better than nothing (and I’ll give you just three guesses to figure out just what it is). It’s possible to go from Couch to 10K but not all in one go. I’ve been recently inspired to bring back a little exercise to my morning routine which had become stumble-from-bed-to-couch-via-coffee-making. Then the lovely Paula Pant alerted me to the importance of marginal gains in her Afford Anything “Make Mornings Awesome” blog:

If you launch with an ambitious 20-minute goal, you’ll quit at the first inconvenience — before habit-formation. Instead, create marginal gains. If you don’t meditate yet, start with one to two minutes. You can’t scale unless you’ve cemented the habit first.

I spent years telling myself I “didn’t have time” to exercise in the morning. Then I discovered this routine: Stretch for one minute. I mean this literally. Set the timer on your phone for 60 seconds. When the timer finishes, try jumping jacks, burpees, or planking for one minute. Total time commitment: two minutes. What’s the point? You’ll feel better (even after two minutes). More importantly, you’re building a habit. Two minutes can later extend to four minutes, which becomes eight. Nice job.

I started renewing this habit with stretching while the kettle boils and then doing some basic exercises while the coffee brews. And now I’m using Apps to reach the dizzying heights of doing 5 minutes of Yoga and a 7-minute workout pre and during caffeination preparations. This is energising and makes me feel like I’ve accomplished something whilst still in pyjama mode and then I can read on the couch with a coffee like nature intended. Likewise, a lofty blog of 500 words like this can begin as random ideas in the notes bit of my phone or typed in a stream of consciousness as Kerouac intended; “So shut up, live, travel, adventure, bless and don’t be sorry”. *

What can you start doing a little something-something of friends? After all, Beyoncé wasn’t built in a day.

Love and light and take this tag, tear it off your wrap, cause the gift that I got ain’t goin’ back xxx Yvette

MN8-I’ve Got a Little Something for You (Video)

Afford Anything: Marginal Gains https://affordanything.com/one-percent-margin-for-improvement-aggregation-of-marginal-gains/

5-minute yoga app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=uk.co.olsonapps.fiveMinYoga&hl=en

Butt workout and fitness app: (prioritise the booty as Beyoncé intended) https://apps.apple.com/au/app/butt-workout-and-fitness-app/id869170275

*Jack Kerouac: Desolation Angels

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Frugal Friday Five Frenzy 2

I’ve been inspired by the FIRE Movement to save more money so I’ve been sharing some money saving tips each week with a Frugal Friday Five. Here’s the monthly round-up of them!

Building knowledge

  • A fraction too much friction: The Barefoot Investor suggests a 60/20/20 Budgeting Rule; 60% of your income on essentials, 20% on your financial goals, and 20% on wants or discretionary spending. FIRE people say try to save at least half of what you earn. Work out what percentages work for you and stick to them. Calculators are friends here.
  • Get your affairs in order: I’ve ensured I’m putting some extra pre-tax dollars into my super with salary sacrificing and also that I’m signed up to the tax-free threshold on my job where I earn the most money and not the others lest I get stung by the tax-man.
  • Before buying something: Mr Money Mustache (the OG of the FIRE movement) suggests you ask yourself, “is this eliminating a negative for me?” Some things will (e.g. milk frother means less café coffees) and a lot of things won’t (another pair of Kicks just-cos).
  • Invested: “My wealth has come from a combination of living in America, some lucky genes, and compound interest.” – Warren Buffett. Unsure about the first two but we can definitely take a leaf out of Buffet’s book by investing in safe shares and playing the long game while compound interest does its thang. Loving Canna Campbell’s tips for Aussie investors in her books and YouTube channel. Reinventing myself as the She-wolf of George Street.
  • Giver: ‘Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver’. Donating feels great and creates wonderful vibes of generosity and gratitude. The power of the people has been demonstrated wonderfully in the huge response to the Australian Bushfire Appeal.

(INSPIRATION- Estimated saving Priceless)

Foodiness-groceries

  • Walk it off: walking to the supermarket means you have to factor in carrying everything-you-buy home again. This way you think a bit harder about your choices and are less inclined to super-size things.
  • Fast days: Fasting is good for your health but also your wallet! 800 calorie days are cost-effective days. Thanks Dr Mosley for this idea.

(FOOD-GROCERIES-Estimated Saving $100/month)

Shop-bop-fashion parade

  • Get a uniform: Cultivate a classic look that frees you from choice, clutter and consumption with a basic daily uniform without the caveat of ‘a blazer being the outer-garment at all times to and from school’. Canna Campbell suggested picking a couple of brands whose style you love and sticking to them which means their clothing with mix and match well together.
  • Make do and mend: Instead of buying new things see if you can fix them or give them a spuce-up like they did in war time. I got a hole sewn up in a bag at the local tailor (one day I’ll master doing my own stitch-in-time) and cleaned my Nikes so they look (almost) box-fresh
  • Quality vs quantity: Investing in a pair of leather boots may be initially more expensive then purchasing the pleather ones but if they last multiple Winters rather than needing replacing every month, it’s better in the long run for your budget and the environment. Think about what things make sense to splurge on and what things can be scrimped.
  • Rent girl: Once in a blue moon I’ll have to look fancy at a wedding or the like. No point buying a spendy dress that I won’t get to wear much. Next time, I’ll hire from a cool vintage rent/buy store like Yarn Yarns in my hood. Bonus-they have a resident greyhound “Blazer’ who slumbers elegantly on a cushion.

(SHOPPING- Clothes-Estimated saving $80/month)

Shop-bop: Book and gifts.

  • E.Reader: Santa Baby was good to me this year and gifted me with a kobo e.reader. Now my minimalist and bibliophile dreams co-exist as I use it to borrow and read library books and download free/ cheap books that take up no space on my bookshelf and minimal space in my bag. Naughty AND nice!
  • Cash in the attic: The price is right for bargains at local fetes and markets. I got a steal of a deal on some crafty bits and books for myself and gifts at the school fete. Behold, the sacred scrunchie collection doth multiply.
  • Limited: Set yourself a budget and stick to it. Like I only take $20 cash to the markets to spend and so can’t physically spend more on shiny things I don’t really need.
  • Regifting: Obviously I appreciate what I have and receive all gifts with gratitude but if I think of someone who would enjoy that skirt I never wear more or if I have been given an excess of hand-cream and scented soap, I will regift them with love and light. Hopefully never back to the original giver!
  •  (SHOPPING- BOOKS/GIFTS-Estimated saving $50/month)

Behaviour Management:

  • Read the fine print: I almost hit the buy button on an online purchase instantly as it was advertised as ‘free shipping today only”. On closer inspection, I realised that the amount I was spending meant it was always free shipping so no need to be so hasty and fall for time-sensitive offers.
  • Unsubscribe: Ditch those pesky sales emails. Amazon almost reaches stalker status for the way it follows you after you look at something on their site ONCE! Then suddenly their ad is in you Facebook and Insta feed and you get multiple emails with deals and other suggested purchases. Stop following me!
  • Don’t go there girlfriend! Avoid money-honey traps like Kmart where things aren’t expensive but I’m compelled to spend at least $5-20 every time I walk in. Tanja Hester had a similar ‘Spending Trigger’ with Target, “But ultimately I realized that the only way to stop spending more than I meant to at Target was to stop going to Target”.
  • Add a barrier: It’s so easy to detach from the fact you’re spending money with one button buys on Amazon or Apple. Enforce a pause for contemplation by having to type in a password for purchase (and select do-not-remember it) for an extra hurdle.
  • Cold-hard cash: I collect my coins in a pretty bowl and then take them to the bank to be counted and deposited.  I try not to spend $5 notes but stash them in a jar for stockpiling and saving. Cash consolidation for the win!

(SHOPPING- ONLINE/ IN-STORE-Estimated saving $60/month)

I look forward to continuing to share Frugal Friday tips. Saving money is fun, how do you do it?

Love and light and a penny saved is a penny earned xxx Yvette

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Vetty’s Book Club-Money edition

I’ve been a bit of a bibliomaniac lately and have been sharing the books I’m enjoying on the socials with Vetty’s Book Club. Here are a few tomes on money I’ve enjoyed…

Your Money or your life by Vicki Robins. Non-Fiction: Money. Library audiobook. Finished 12.11.19. Key Takeaway: “You want more money as an expression of your self-esteem, of valuing your life energy”. Question to ask yourself when spending money: Did I receive fulfillment, satisfaction and value in proportion to life energy spent? Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and purpose? How might this expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living?” Fave bit: “As you take your eyes off the false prize (of more, better, and different stuff), you put them on the real prizes: friends, family, sharing, caring, learning, meeting challenges, intimacy, rest, and being present, connected, and respected. In other words, those best things in life that are free. Like all things natural, building this wealth takes time, attention, patience, and reciprocity (that volleying of giving and receiving that builds relationships).”

The Richest Man in Babylon by George S. Clason. Library book. Finished 14.11.19. Fave bit: “A part of all I earn is mine to keep.’ Say it in the morning when you first arise. Say it at noon. Say it at night. Say it each hour of every day. Say it to yourself until the words stand out like letters of fire across the sky”.

FU Money by Dan Lok. Non-Fiction: Money. Library audiobook. Finished 22.11.19. Key Takeaway. “Fortune favours the bold. The rich do what is hard; that’s why their life is easy. Poor people do what’s easy; that’s why their life is hard. Life ain’t fair. Business ain’t fair. People ain’t fair. Get over it! Hitting your daily income goal is your number one priority every day. Everything else is bullshit”. Lok says he’s too spicy for some and dishes out the tough love that getting to your FU (f**k you) money number is all that matters. He’s not driven by values and shuns frugality but I still enjoyed the spicy (peppered with swearing) delivery and millionaire mindset tips. FU if you don’t agree!

The Legacy Journey: A Radical View of Biblical Wealth and Generosity by Dave Ramsey. Non-Fiction: Money. Library Book. Finished 24.11.19.A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children” (Proverbs 13:22). Dave applies biblical lessons to how we can build wealth, give generously and leave a legacy for future generations. Even though I’m not religious and I don’t have my own kids, I could relate to the practical steps in this book and the values of gratitude and community that underpin them. Key Takeaway: “Live like no one else now, so later you can live and give like no one else. But what does that even mean? It all comes down to two words: focused intensity. If you want to live like no one else, you have to stay focused on your goal”.

Get Rich Slow: Start Now. Start Small. Achieve Real Wealth. By Sarah Riegelhuth. Non-Fiction: Money. Library Book. Finished 26.11.19. Awesome book by Aussie entrepreneur who gives clear and inspiring advice on how to understand your money and grow your wealth. “The main principles of slow money can be summarised like this (1) spend less than you earn; (2) begin saving and investing today; (3) set lifestyle goals, and link your wealth creation to these goals; (4) segment and track your savings and spending; and (5) evaluate your purchases and insist on value for money. By following these principles, using a little discipline and taking advantage of the power of compound interest, anyone can build wealth sustainably over the long term, and feel good doing it!” Key Takeaway: “If we can start to think of our money as a direct reflection of our contribution to society, we may learn to feel differently about it-prouder, stronger and happier to have it and to treat it with respect. “

What are you reading dear reader? What are your fave things to read about? Any recommendations for Vetty’s Book Clubbers?

Love and light and see you in the library xxx Yvette

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