the murky depths [2]

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In Part 2 we’re ready to talk more about those other things on the list in my previous post, namely: clothing, takeaways (food/coffee), cigarettes/alcohol, car expenses, meals, hairdresser / hair products / mani-pedis, social events and growing-your-own.

So – lets get into it!!

Social Events:
Are you someone who regularly goes to the movies, or out to dinner with friends?
Why not have a look at your current ‘social life’, and see if there are ways that you could curb the spending bit, without curbing any of the fun or social interaction!

Why not have movie nights at your place, or at a friends place.
If they’ve got a bigger tv, and more ‘hosting’ space, maybe you could offer to make movie-munchies in exchange for them having a few people over to all enjoy a movie you’re all keen to see?

And – contrary to popular belief, that new movie your itching to see on the night it premieres, will still be just as good (or bad!) in 2 months time, when it comes out on dvd or iTunes, or stan or whatever your preferred method of movie streaming is.
And you won’t have to pay $25 per person to watch it!!

Dining with friends is a great way to unwind, and enjoy a social life – but not if its going to cost you $100+ a head…
Have an evening at home, where everyone brings their favourite dish to contribute.
Rustle up a shared picnic for the botanic gardens, beach, or have a bbq at a local park.

Its easy to think of ways to socialise that don’t cost a bomb. 😀

Clothing:
Ohhhhh don’t get me started on this one!
Do you have ANY idea on how much landfill is made up of textiles?
It would make even the most militant non-greenie cringe!!

Whether you work outside the home or not – you really dont need a jam-packed closet and drawers to not be taken as a homeless hobo.
Mix and match clothing can give a load of different ‘looks’ with only a few basic pieces.
Second-hand clothing stores are a goldmine of cheap options, and you can always swap clothing (especially kids clothing) with friends.

A good place to start if you want to minimise your wardrobe is to google “capsule wardrobe” or “project 333“.

Takeaways (food/coffee):
Do you buy takeaway meals?
Why?
Yep – I agree that every now and then a large portion of us feel the ‘need’ to eat something junk-foody.

And – of course – there are those times when we’ve just had a super-crap day and cant face the idea of going home and having to plan and cook a meal.

BUT – that shit is SUPER-EXPENSIVE!!!

And if you are amongst those people who regularly buy take-way coffee, then you seriously need to be doing a re-think on that, and maybe would like to jump on over and read my post about COFFEE and takeaways cups lol.

A little bit of forward planning can save you mega-money, help you be organised for those days when Life doesn’t go to plan, and make a huge dint in how often those days when you think its ‘easier’ to just go to the drive-thru, or phone in and order of takeaway, happen.

Meals:
Cooking from scratch is always cheaper than buying ready-made.
Cant cook? Learn!
Doing a tuna-bake, a mixed salad, spaghetti bolognese, or a frittata isn’t rocket science – and in no time flat – if you make the effort – your meal repertoire will grow really quickly.

And a lot of meals freeze easily to be used another time, when you’re not much in the mood for cooking.
Leftover can be taken to work / school – and avoid that financial outlay of buying lunch.

Growing-your-own:
There are so many easy-to-grow foods, that can be grown in super tight spaces – so whether you have a patio, a balcony or a yard – you can always grown something to supplement your meals.

And every piece of fruit or veg that you grow, is one less piece you need to buy.

And trust me when I say you are much less likely to throw away something that you’ve grown, than something you have bought.

How many times have you thrown away a lettuce, or a tomato, or a zucchini from the crisper draw that you bought who-knows-when, that has turned into a puddle of slime?

When you grow your own, you go out and pick it only when you need it – so you use it!

A couple of pots, a bit of soil or potting mix, and a few seeds or seedlings – and your on your way!
Get inspired folks 😀

Car Expenses:
Are you using your car sensibly?
Or are you making multiple unnecessary trips, when with a little planning you could do all your errands on one day, in one trip?
Could you car pool with another family? One week on, one week off?

Hairdresser / Hair Products / Mani-Pedis:
I’m the first to admit I am not a girly-girl, and none of the above has me swooning and feeling decadently spoilt.
I also happen think they’re a total waste of hard-earned money…

If you’re hair needs to be attended to by a hairdresser every 4-6 weeks, it might be time to rethink that hairstyle.

Same with your nails.
Do you not know to use clippers and a file?
If you reallllllly feel the need to do the whole mani-pedi thing, because you’ve convinced yourself you’re doing something wonderful for you – then why not spend a morning with a girlfriend, and do mani-pedis on each other?

Personal story time:
a year and a half ago, I decided to do a little experiment.
I stopped using body-wash, shampoo and conditioner, and any other ‘hair-care’ type products.

Instead, I started using soap for my body and for washing my hair, and a rinse of apple-cider vinegar in exchange for conditioner.
The product that I used to put in my hair each day before work, I stopped using, and just gave it a spritz with a water-spray instead.
(I also have a sugar-water spray if i really feel i need a bit of extra ‘hold’ some days).

In that time, no one has ever noticed any ‘unpleasant’ difference – and i’ve not looked back!

My hair looks (and IS) clean and shiny and healthy, and my body smells good.
And when I finally went for a long-overdue trim after almost 18mths of not being to the hairdresser – she was gobsmacked at the wonderful condition my hair was in.
Cant ask more than that! 🙂

I worked out the other day, that my version of “body-wash, shampoo, conditioner and hair-product” now costs me about $10 per year.
It use to cost me about $30 per month, and that doesn’t include haircuts – which were about $25-35 each time.

Cigarettes / Alcohol:
If your smoking, you already know you’re not doing your health any favours, so you don’t need yet another person lecturing you on the evils of it! lol
I’m also not a wowser non-drinker who is going to chide you on the evils of alcohol either.
I like the occasional tipple as much as the next average person.

BUT – have you ever stopped and considered just how much these little habits are costing you?

This is one of those areas I get pretty damn ‘passionate’ about…

Don’t be whinging that you don’t have any money – if you can manage to miraculously find the funds for these two habits in particular!!
(and yes, the same applies to gambling….whether its scratchies, horses or the pokies)

Ok, so you don’t go the the pub every evening, and you don’t go to nightclubs or the sunday-sesh every weekend – but you do like a beer or two, or a glass of wine or three, at the end of the day to unwind…

If you’re ‘hard-core’ and smoke every day, and drink most every day – chance are you’re spending about 400 plus dollars a week.
Thats $1600 +, a month!!

Personally…I could pay the mortgage on the Farm twice over with that sort of saving each month!

It just drives me absofuckinglutely mental how much money literally goes up in smoke, or down the toilet!!!!
😡😡😣

There are other ways you can use to wind down at the end of a day, or to deal with stress, or as a ‘reward’ for yourself.
And a whole load of them are FREE.
(and aren’t slowly killing you…)

And you don’t have to become a ‘woowoo meditating hippy wowser’ to find solutions that work for YOU.
Although it might well be meditating! lol 😀

Whether its a walk in a park, gardening, reading, knitting, working on a motorbike engine, cooking or making matchstick minitures, theres a way for you personally to relax, to reward yourself, to wind down, to destress, and to be kind to you – you just have to make the effort to try a few things and see what works!

Wake up and take a long cold honest hard look at whether your financial situation is being made better or worse by the decisions you make every.single.day.

I know that personally – I would much rather earn an average income and live on a budget — but love what I do, and have the freedom that comes from that passion – than earn a sizeable income and live in a house on a hill.

I’d take the freedom to set my own schedule over loads of cash any day!

Sarah

talk to me!