Hey guys! I'm on Spring Break but yeeeah haven't been writing much. I haven't been writing much and POSTING, actually, because I have been prepping, writing, picturing, and getting about 8 posts ready for the next two weeks so it's going to be busy here pretty soon!
Anyway, Steven left on Wednesday which is why I've been kind of MIA. He moved to California and I'm excited for him but blahhhh obviously very upset because, well, five year relationship officially over and I'm having all the feels, if you know what I mean. Actually, to make myself feel better I have been responding to people who text me asking if I'm OK with this picture:
I seriously think I'm hilarious. No, really. If you text me asking if I'm OK or how I'm doing I will absolutely respond with this picture.
Anyway we spent a few days packing and RZR riding for the last time and just hanging out, and now I'm spending a few days figuring out my life and adjusting to life in this house by myself. FYI if you are going through a breakup with someone you live with, try to move out either before them or at the same time because honestly, I'm doing OK, but hoooooly hell this empty house is depressing. That's just truth.
So! I have a wordy post for today but it's fine! I actually wrote this and didn't plan on publishing it because I just wanted it for myself but publishing things on the blog holds me more accountable so I figured I would share. I came across a blog post a couple of weeks ago that literally made me think and think and think and evaluate my life, my habits, my problems, and made me come to a conclusion.
I have problems with money.
I don't save well. I spend more than I should. And me moving and getting my own place for the first time is literally the first time I'm being forced to figure these issues out and change them. In this way, I'm scared. But in this way also, I'm excited. I'm ready to get my shit together, if you know what I mean. I've been really, really lucky that Steven invited me into his home and let me live here. I haven't been forced to pay for much, and therefore, I spend too much, because I took that for granted. Well, no longer. When I started looking at apartments in Chicago online I literally just sat and cried for awhile at first because, oh my God how am I going to pay that much for rent and groceries and gas and LIFE? But people do it, and I will too. But that means I really need to figure out what I need vs. what I want. So I did just that this week.
When I leave here, I have to make everything I own fit into my Nissan Rogue SUV. It's not that big. At all. That means I am literally going to have to purge my stuff and cut what I take back with me in half. Seriously. That's crazy for me to think about. But this is an opportunity for me to start over, and only with the things that I really NEED.
Here is the post: How To Live a Great Life Without Spending A Lot of Money + Saving Some Too. Seriously, this woman's life is adorable. Her family is adorable her house is beautiful she is beautiful it's all just lovely. And this post really spoke to me and forced me to sit down and write a list and figure out how I can save some money, but still be happy. Which is 100% doable, it just means I have to actually DO it, ya know?
NEED VS. WANT
So here are the things that I want, but need to cut out. Some are ideas from her post and some are my own. Without further ado, I show you my problems and things I waste money on. Please try not to judge...this post was really hard and raw for me to write, because like, who wants to tell the whole world (ok not the whole world but a large group of people who follow me) their issues?
I have a lot of clothes. Like, it's gross. I spent a lot of money on clothes. Do I need to? Nope. Do I want to? Yep. I've actually been doing really well with this lately...I decided around Christmas time that I needed to stop buying so many clothes. So, I have been going through getting rid of stuff and even selling some of the nicer stuff on Ebay. I can only take about half of what I own with me and clothes are a HUGE portion of what I own, so it's time to get serious about cutting back.
Pre Workout Drinks
Steven and I are HUGE on pre-workouts. Why? Because they work. They energize you and my Green Apple Cellulor literally tastes like a jolly rancher and is so super delicious that I want to drink it about 6 times a day. However, that 30 scoop container costs $30. Do I need it? No. Do I want it? UH YEAH. But I don't need it. I used the last scoop of my container this morning and threw it out. I also deleted my Bodybuilding account because they have my debit card stored and it's tempting to just jump on the website and one-click buy my new order.
I'm a HUGE bar fan. I seriously go crazy for any kind of healthy "bar". But reality? These cost $1 apiece, which doesn't sound like much, but it adds up, especially when there are a million homemade bar recipes online that would cost me about .10 cents per bar when it's all said and done. So I will be finishing my last two bars and then making my own. Which I used to do a lot before I got lazy about it, actually.
I actually have a LOT to say about this, and I've been writing and re-writing and editing a nice, long, emotional post about why I gave up drinking last December. It should be done in the next week or so. But seriously, just looking at this money-wise, alcohol is such a huuuuuge waste of money. To quote Drea's blog, she says to ask yourself these questions about every purchase,
"Do you need to go to a salon? Or do you want to? Do you need to go out to dinner instead of having a romantic night in? What else could you use that dinner money on? To save for a house? Pay off your bills? Save for a vacation? How happy will that new purchase make you feel now? In a month? In a year? Will this new product even be around in a year? Will you tire of it? Will it break? Will it benefit your life? Your health? Your family? Will it benefit and grow your business? Or will it just be another thing."
OK so pre-workout, clothes, and bars might make me happy and benefit me in a few different ways, but they're still things that I can give up. Alcohol? Alcohol does nothing for me in a healthy way, actually.
(Just to be clear I'm not talking about having one cocktail for a special occasion, or one beer every now and then after dinner, etc...I'm thinking about going out constantly, every week, and spending a large amount of money on alcohol. I'm not talking about being 100% alcohol free and sober for every day of the rest of your life. Just want to clear that up!)
Alcohol is a depressant. It is added sugar and calories that your body doesn't need. It makes me bloated and feel unhealthy. Does that mean I'm never ever going to touch alcohol again? No. But last year I was drinking a lot. Way too much. I haven't been drunk since last December, and that last time was a huge wake up call for me. No, I'm not an alcoholic. Yes, it's important to me that I'm giving this up. Yes, I spent way too much money on drinking. Yes, this portion is getting way too long and I can save the rest for that post I'm still working on :)
We have a ton of rags here at the house. We have towels. We have dishtowels. Why are we/am I wasting money on paper towels and napkins? No more. Also, I am not going to buy Ziploc baggies anymore. We have SO MUCH Tupperware here because, well, I have this thing for Tupperware. I love it. Seriously. I don't need to buy Ziploc bags for anything, really. It can all go in Tupperware. I will still buy toilet paper. Just want to be clear about that :)
So for just two people (and now one), I wouldn't say that our house spends a toooon of money on cleaning supplies, but did you know that almost everything you use to clean (laundry detergent, soap, cleaning spray, dishwasher detergent, toilet cleaner, glass cleaner, furniture polish, etc) can be made organically/green with no chemicals? I didn't. But good lord Pinterest is a godsend! Here are some great links for going green with your cleaning products, and every single one of them is a HUGE money saver as well!
**These are my favorite ones that I'm excited to try out, but if you check out my Pinterest board here you can see about a million more that I have clogged up my followers' feeds with!
This one's easy. I don't need it. I have Pandora on my phone. I can plug my phone into my car. Problem solved, and for free. I canceled SiriusXM about a week ago and feel very free and light after doing so. It's saving me about $275-300 a year. I don't want to talk about it. It's done, it's over, they won't take my money anymore.
So these are the things that I am purging, cutting back on, giving up, saying good-bye to, and doing away with, in the interest of saving money, my dignity, and my sanity. However, there are obviously some things that I am OK with spending money on, because they are a necessity.
I love Trader Joe's :) Healthy food for a reasonable price. Food is our sustenance and we are what we eat, right? I don't mind investing just a little bit more money on good food. Let me be clear though: Whole Foods will never take my money again, unless it's a super rare item I can't get anywhere else. I think what they're doing with organic and healthy food is kind of just ridiculous, and honestly, there's no way I could ever shop there regularly. And I don't. So when I say invest money in good food, it doesn't mean I have to spend a whole paycheck at Whole Foods for the super unprocessed organic gluten-free hand-picked and trimmed veggies. It just means that if it's not too much more expensive and is good for my health, I want that choice over the chemically ridden and processed choice. And honestly, most of the time buying whole, good foods is way cheaper than the processed foods anyway. But the organic banana bunches at TJ's that are 75 cents more than the regular ones at Fry's? I'll pick those up. The Ezekiel bread that's $1 more than the gross white Wonderbread? Well I don't eat bread that much anyway, so if I can get a loaf every 2.5 weeks that is grain free, well, I'll do that. Also, since I'm going to be making my own bars I'm saving a little money that maybe can be put toward the cage-free eggs instead of the eggs that make me feel morally wrong to buy because I know what was done to the chickens that made them. And that's all I have to say about that.
Piggy-backing off of that, good food for Rodney
Rodney is what he eats, too. Rodney is my best friend. I don't care that he's a dog!! He loves me unconditionally and never judges me. I want him around for as long as he absolutely can be. So, I buy him the nicer dog food. I'm not going to lie, dog food can be expensive. But seriously he's 7 lbs he barely eats anything, so that $40 bag up there will last about 2.5 ish months (give or take a little), so to me that's 100% worth it. Same thing goes for his treats, but I actually try to make his treats a lot of the time. That way I know exactly what is going into them! That saves a lot of money too. So, only the best for my little man.
This is my "indulgence" that I completely justify, especially when I think about how much I'm going to be saving each month by cutting out the things above. I thought about getting rid of it, but I use Yogaglo every single day. I'm not exaggerating. Every single day, whether it's for an hour or just 15 minutes, it gets used. I dropped my gym membership to save money. I pretty much just work out at home now. And Yogaglo is how I get it done. I also have a few weights and do a lot of bodyweight HIIT workouts, but the Yogaglo membership is the one that I can't get rid of! I have tried other free YouTube yoga channels but Yogaglo is the best fit for me, especially since I am so in love with Kathryn Budig :) No this is not a sponsored post, no Yogaglo has no idea who the eff I am. I just really, really love this program and think that it's worth every penny, at least for me. Also, yoga studios in Chicago run about $15-20 per class and up to $100 for a monthly membership. I'd much rather chuck out the $18 a month for my personal emotional, physical, and mental health and just work out at home.
So here it is! These are the steps I will be taking to get my life in order. I have made a lot of mistakes, especially in the last year, and especially money wise. Even though I am hurting during this breakup and I miss Steven SO SO SO much, I think this is actually one of the best things that has happened to me. I'm getting a chance to start over and be a better person. I am going to be more independent than I've ever been and am only going to have myself to blame for both the good and bad things that will come. I'm ready to grow up a little. I am hurting, but I'm so so excited to work on myself, inside and out.
What things do you think you could give up to save a little money?
P.S. I do highly suggest reading Drea's post above. It is really insightful and even though nothing in there is ground-breakingly new, it's a wonderful reminder that things are things and that's all, and that having more and spending more does not make your life more, if that makes sense. It's really wonderful. Read it :)