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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No shame and no blame

We waste so much time lamenting things we wish we didn’t do or say or wear or buy. This is unhelpful and floods your body with negative ninny neurones (it’s science). When I was giving up the booze, I felt attacked by my thoughts and hazy memories of shame and blame. Idiot! Why? Why me? Oh me! Oh life! Instead of going down this shame spiral which is more likely to see you crushing another cup of wine, Louise Hay suggests we think about our past selves with compassion (and imagine your child self for EXTRA perspective) as ‘simply doing the best you could with the knowledge and understanding you had at the time’.

Now I’m on my frugalista journey, I cringe when I remember the money frittered away on wine, woman and song or clothes, cofeees and self-helperY. I’m trying not to feel guilty and cross at the things I spent money on that could’ve been saved instead. Like ordering all 4 Taylor Swift Deluxe Journals individually in American dollars with separate international postage. I mean, I love them but surely there was a more economical way. Eek, “I’ll be the actress starring in your BAD DREAMS!”

In her excellent book, “Your Money or Your Life”, Vicki Robin says, “Look at how your financial life has gone so far, with no shame and no blame. Here’s the first big practical step in this program. Before we can improve our financial situation, we have to see it accurately and make peace with our past”. So, no point raking yourself over the shame and blame coals but simply make peace with the pennies dearly departed and hopefully making different choices moving forward. Moving on Swiftly like a Swiftie…

A belief is just a thought you keep thinking. Abraham Hicks says to ask yourself, “Is this belief serving me?” If not, “why keep beating the drum of what-is, if you don’t want more of “what-is!” An example they give is people who repeatedly say, “I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough money, I don’t have enough money…” when they would like to have enough money!”  So change the record, make peace with your past by accepting it and forgiving yourself with no shame or blame. Then move on and start beating the drum of what you want. It’s a SICK beat!

Love and light and look what you made me do xxx Yvette

Louise Hay, “You were doing the best you could with the knowledge and understanding you had at the time”. https://www.louisehay.com/

Taylor Swift, Look what you made me do. “I don’t trust nobody and nobody trusts me. I’ll be the actress starring in your bad dreams” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3tmd-ClpJxA (4 minute music video).

Vicki Robin “Your money or your life” https://yourmoneyoryourlife.com/book-summary/

Abraham Hicks, “Money Drum and Lackful Thinking”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZU1yp__zZJI (4 minute video).

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Frugal Friday Frenzy

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

  • Building my financial literacy through; Documentary ‘Playing with Fire’, Blogs ‘Mr Money Mustache’ and ‘Afford Anything’, Books ‘Your Money or your Life’ and ‘The Joyful Frugalista’, Podcasts like ‘ChooseFi’ and ‘This Abundant Life’ and watching YouTube Channels like ‘Our Rich Journey’. I used to think that I wasn’t good at ‘money stuff’ but now I’m finding it fascinating and inspiring.
  • Knowledge is power: I liked Grant Sabatier’s tip to ‘spend 5 minutes with your money a day’. I check my bank balances, transactions and budget and like the user friendliness of Apps Pocketbook, Raiz and Everydollar.
  • No shame/ blame: “Look at how your financial life has gone so far, with no shame and no blame”. Vicki Robin “Your Money or Your Life”. I’m trying not to feel guilty and cross at the things I spent money on that could’ve been saved instead. Like ordering all 4 Taylor Swift Deluxe Journals individually in American dollars with separate international postage. Bygones! Pausing and wait-listing items before purchases will hopefully help with this in future. Moving on Swiftly like a Swiftie…
  • (INSPIRATION- Estimated saving Priceless)

Foodiness-groceries

  • Shopping at Aldi, the happiest place on Earth, and aiming to keep weekly food 🥘 budget under Fiddy bucks. 
  • Using up my freezer food with ye olde slow cooker.
  • Semi-carnivore: I’m aiming to eat less meat and more veg which is cost effective and apparently healthy. I heard a tip to think of meat ‘as a side-dish or condiment rather than a main’ so a little goes a long way.
  • (FOOD-GROCERIES-Estimated Saving $120/month)

Foodiness-out and about

  • The Latte factor: I’ve been guilty as charged as buying fancy $5 café coffees. Now I’m DIY-ing it with a bag of Aldi coffee, a plunger and a 2 buck K.mart Milk frother and loving every minute of it.  When I do have a café coffee, I will savour and appreciate it more as an occasional treat. 
  • BYO: Being prepared like a cub scout when I leave the house armed with water and snacks and ‘brown-bagging’ it at lunch time means less spent money on provisions when out and about.
  • (FOOD-EATING OUT-Estimated Saving $80/month)

Let me entertain you

  • Oversubscribed: I realised I don’t really need ALL my subscriptions like Netflix AND Stan AND Spotify AND Amazon Music AND Audible. I’ve kept Amazon Prime which is a bit cheaper than the others and Apple Music for now… I’ve discovered the CloudLibrary App where I can borrow library audiobooks for free. This saves money and I don’t have time to watch/ listen to EVERYTHING anyway.
  • (ENTERTAINMENT-STREAMING-Estimated saving $50/month).

Wealth Creation

  • Side-hustle: Dave Ramsey says, ‘Your biggest wealth-building tool is your income’. I’ve been saying yes to relief teaching and babysitting and looking for things I no longer use to sell off. The cat is safe…for now.
  • Consolidate: I got a bit over-excited with multiple online ING savings accounts (home, holiday, dreams, other) and have now merged them into 1 ‘buffer’ account. I’ve also shifted any Superannuation left in previous funds into my main fund.
  • (INCOME-Estimated Saving $300/month)

Nails, hair, hips, heels.

  • Getting off the SNS manicure roundabout and giving my nails a break✨.
  • Vouch for me: Have you used all your vouchers and gift cards? I found ones for a $30 discount at the beauty shop and a free pedicure at the nail place. I also took advantage of my free fringe trim in between cuts at my hairdresser. You beauty! I do my hair toss, check my nails. Baby, how you feelin’? (Feelin’ good as hell)
  • Purse full, big bills, bitch I’m a big deal (BEAUTY-Estimated Saving $70/month

Shop-bop

  • Free stuff: I made out like a denim bandit with 5 new pairs of jeans from a clothes swap.
  • Buy Nothing :  I also got 2 new pairs of jeans from my Local Buy Nothing Group including my new fave TopShop Mum jeans.
  • Keeping eye out for bargains like three $1 books bought at Darebin library book 📚 sale (and borrowing books 📖 too obvs). (SHOPPING-BOOKS-Estimated Saving $10)
  • (SHOPPING-CLOTHES/ BOOKS-Estimated saving $10 per pair/ book)

Behaviour Management:

  • Energy Conservation: I love my washing machine and dishwasher but am now trying to run them only when full rather than on-the-daily. I’m investigating the potential savings that switching to a metered plan and using them at off peak times could bring. I’m conscious of turning off appliances at the switches, using my blinds to keep heat in and out and only boiling as much water in the kettle as you need-I learnt this one recently.

 (BILLS-UTILITIES-Estimated saving: I’ll keep you posted via next bill).

  • Wait-list: A tip I heard on “This Abundant Life” podcast was to waitlist items you want to buy to see if you still want them later-like in 72 hours time. Buying things (especially online for me) can be a compulsion so the waitlist gives you space to decide if you really want it or were just seeking instant gratification (by the time the online purchases arrive I’m often WHAT IS THIS?!)
  • Karma: In exchange for a few hours of cleaning the yoga studio, I get vouchers for yoga classes. I find this surprising enjoyable to be ‘of service’ in my community. What goes around, goes around, goes around, comes all the way back around.
  • (HEALTH-Yoga-Estimated Saving $20/class)
  • On Trial: I’m giving a month’s trial to not buying clothes, books or accessories. If this is too tough, I’ll allocate some future budget money to it. So far, I’ve enjoyed re-discovering items in my wardrobe and on my book shelf and leaning into the library and swaps. 

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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How’d I do?

So, this year, I’m surrendering to being the most me I can be, let the chips fall where they may. I’m leaning into my interests more and letting the rest go. I hope there will be more and more writing, reading, dancing, walking, exercising, studying, Taylor singing, comedy quoting and wig snatching to come this year. After all, I like my friends very much, just as they are. Why shouldn’t I extend that courtesy to moi?! New Year, more me (WFM blog post Jan 19 2019)

Oh, the innocence of youth. These were my grand plans for 2019. How’d I do? More;

Writing: I’ve continued to enjoy writing and sharing my weekly bloggy with dear friends and online randoms. Sitting on the couch in my dressing gown with my lap-top is my happy place. I bit the bullet and created a Mailchimp account to send an email out with it weekly. I resisted this for a long time as I thought it would be like ‘hassling’ but (most) people signed up of their own volition and I enjoy this extra ‘rainbow’ connection. The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Thank u, next! I’d like to grow my blog community and try writing some different things-articles, fiction, longer self-help stuff. I’d also like to build some daily writing into my morning routine.

Reading: I’ve rediscovered my library card this year and I am not afraid to use it. I’ve been reading each morning with my coffee and each night before lights out. A book is the perfect way to bookend my day. Some of this year’s favourites are; Vicki Robins Your Money or Your Life, Alice Williams Bad Yogi, Rachel Cusk In Transit and George S. Clason The Richest Man in Babylon.

Thank u, next! As I learn to live with less, I plan to Op Shop more of my books, look into an e. reader and borrow audiobooks from the library.  I also want to share my reads on the socials with Vetty’s Book Club and record the title, date and top takeaways from each book read.

Dancing: While I haven’t attended as many 5 Rhythms sessions as I’d hoped, I have shared some Vetty vs. dance videos on my stories.

Thank u, next! Check out Ecstatic Dance and share vids more regularly.

Walking: I’ve been doing a Merri Creek walk once or twice weekly. Fresh air and frolicking doggies spark joy.

Thank u, next! Walking the creek more and also to and from shops/ library/ local places for local people more oft as have been guilty of driving Grace (beloved Toyota Yaris) short distances.

Exercising: I leaned into Yoga (2-5 times weekly) and walking and occasional Pilates and out of the gym this year.

Thank u, next! I do miss the flexibility of the gym and the freshness of the swimming pool. Next year I will re-activate my gym membership and use my ClassPass account for yoga and look out for Community classes to attend too.

Studying: I decided that Kinesiology study wasn’t right for me. While that was sad to realise, I’m getting better at tuning into what is right.

Thank u, next! Yoga teacher training?! Maybe…watch this space.

Taylor singing: I’ve pretty much been a walking Taylor track this year. You’re myyy myyy myyy myyy…lover.

Thank u, next! Swiftly continuing my Swifty status. Darling! You’re myyy myyy myyy myyy…lover.

Comedy quoting: Yep….chilled out entertainer.

Thank u, next! This be big boy stuff. Cheers!

Wig snatching: I’ll get back to you on this one when I figure out what it means.

Thank u, next!  Ooh girl…what did that girl just say girl?

Looking forward to being even more me in 2020. How about you dear reader?

Love and light and you’re myyy myyy myyy myyy…lover xxx Yvette

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