Goals

Ok, folks, being at home all the time is terribly, right? We all whine about having nothing to do. But now is the time to do all the projects you never really have time to do. One of those is setting goals and thinking about dreams. It is very practical, useful and might help lift your spirits.

My husband and I are hoping to visit Hawaii for our ten year vow renewal. We are putting pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters in a jar and hope to fill our savings with just enough money to stay for a week.

Today, I added a page to my Happy Planner with our trip ideas, so far. I love these stickers! It is like they were made for this page.

Here’s an older post by me that I like!


February 2019

Some of these tips will be fairly obvious. Others, maybe you didn’t know about. Either way, I hope this post will inspire you to use your local library! It is a shame that most people don’t know what a gem public libraries really are.

1.  Books

Well this is a pretty obvious one, right? I often dream of a house with wall-to-wall bookshelves, loaded with lovely hard-bound copies of the great classics and all the art books I studied in college. Alas, that would be an epic waste of money and only for show. Very rarely will we re-read the books we have already read and chances are we run out to the store and pick up books we need to projects or inspiration, then they just collect dust. Unless the item is a hot best-seller in high demand, you can most likely get it at the library in-house or via interlibrary loan in under a week. My library has a system where I can request books or other items I can’t find on the shelf and receive a text message when it arrives and is ready to be picked up. WOW. How is that for convenience? Let’s say I am an avid reader of novels. A hardcover novel averages about $27.99 in the store. If I read a book a week I would be spending over $100 a month! That doesn’t include other fun books I might like to check out like DIY books, travel guides and whatever new inspirational self-help book is all the go. Sweet!!

2. Digital Books: e-Books & e-Audiobooks 

I love to read. I am obsessive about wasting time when I could be reading. I often carry a book in my purse, but that can get heavy. I wish I could read while I walked my dog – OH WAIT, I CAN!!!!  My library offers free digital downloads. Often I will download an audiobook to my smartphone so I can listen while I walk the dog, clean the house or even in the car.

Also, e-Books are great for traveling. If I am away for a week or two at a time, I cannot possibly lug around 4-5 hardcover books through airports and on the plane. I have an old Nook e-reader that I try and load e-books on that way I have one slim and light item with all my books in it for the plane.

3. Museum Passes

I live in a small state, but it seems there are so many good museums here! Most admissions range from $5.00-$30.00. If I went to a new museum every weekend at $30.00 that would cost me well over $100.00 a month! Yikes. I can borrow library passes and present them at the admission counter at these museums and I will receive the discounted rate of the pass. Sometimes if I am lucky, this means free admission. But that isn’t always the case. Sometimes it will be a percentage off or even just $5.00. But that is $5.00 I can save or choose to spend in the gift shop OR if I like the museum that much, I can put that $5.00 toward a yearly membership which always includes perks like free admission and discounted admission to events.

4. Learn a New Skill

Libraries have so many programs. I can take one (or a series of) classes to learn writing, drawing, painting, sewing and so much more. Libraries also have talks and seminars about financial literacy, health care and cooking! Why would I pay Joann Fabrics or Michael’s Stores to learn a craft when I can learn at the library for free?! And most times, they will supply all the items you need. Holy moly!! A sewing class at Joann’s costs $35! Library = FREE!! Free learning?! WHOAH!!

5. A Quiet Space

Sometimes I need to get out of the house to do creative work. There are too many distractions here. I used to head over to a coffee shop, grab a drink and a muffin and stay a while, much to the owner’s dismay. Instead, I go to the library. I find a cozy corner and dig right in. Price – FREE!

6. Judgement Free Zone

It is scary to say this but I have worked at the library for over a decade. I have learned a ton along the way. But one thing I notice is that all libraries are judgement free – the patrons, the staff etc. There is no shame at the library like there might be at other places.

7. Freedom

What could I mean here? Freedom to educate yourself on any topic. Freedom to learn. Remember – many countries don’t allow such luxuries like freedom to learn!! I can go into the library, take a book out on any topic (or even a banned book) and read it because I feel like it!

Well, I could go on but I think at this point you should be running to the library!

Frugal AF.

Super excited about my library 24/7. But this just made my day. This is just ONE check out, by the way! I would be interested in knowing my total savings for the year!

 

 

Every year I try and find last year’s resolution blog post, repost it and see if I actually did what I said I would do. Usually of the five I list, I get to at least three items, which isn’t bad! Seems I cannot find those old posts, so I will recap what I remember and look forward!

2019 may have been my least favorite year so far. While it wasn’t the worst I have ever had, it was not the most fun and there were some pretty stressful events that happened. Boo. What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger. Right? Right.

So, for most of December, I have been psyching myself up for 2020 being a really good year. I’ve started to reflect on last year. I am a little disappointed because I did not read (or listen to) as many books as I usually do. I didn’t walk as much and didn’t photograph (document) life enough!

I recently sold my wedding photography equipment and bought myself a nice little camera for vlogging. I want to dip my toe in the world of video. I dabbled in it briefly for my Youtube channel, but found I didn’t enjoy being in front of the camera. I think I will try and film what I capture as stills. I would like to compare the way my eye works with stills versus filming. I am excited about that.

I also really want to write more this year. I’ve been saying for years that I want to publish a book. I have lots of notebooks with sloppy, handwritten stories but none are complete. I always try and envision what kind of book I want to write. Perhaps, instead, I should just write write write then examine the content to see what kind of book I can make. I feel like with my photography and writing, I would write some kind of inspirational book or journal. Maybe this year will be there year?

And finally, the dreaded financial goals. Unlike every Youtuber out there, I will not share my finance goals here, so use your imagination. I am a pretty frugal girl in general. I have my weaknesses – Starbucks, Michaels and books. But this year I will try and hold myself back! I stocked up on sales and have a few gift cards from Christmas. Hopefully that will get me through part of the year! I’ve made a promise to unsubscribe from retail emails and immediately throw away retail coupons in the mail. That way, I avoid any temptation to go to the store.

OK 2020, I am ready for you.

-IBG

 

Top Five Tuesday – Mindfulness

This is a repost from long ago.


Mindfulness

It seems like the word of the decade is MINDFULNESS. It is everywhere- books, Youtube, Yoga class etc. MINDFULNESS can apply to so many aspects in one’s life! This year I have been reflecting a lot on finances. I’ve set some pretty tough financial goals for myself so I have to be mindful of certain things in order to achieve the goals. Much like the rest of America, I have certain retail weaknesses – Starbucks, clothes, stationary or pretty much anything at Hobby Lobby. So in my Happy Planner I have inserted a little unofficial manifesto to remind myself to save money. Here are my top 5 –

  1. Reading, writing and learning are all FREE (and will enrich your life!)
  2. Rearrange or repurpose. Don’t buy new.
  3. Look around – you have so much already.
  4. You have everything you NEED (most consider WANT over NEED tisk tisk)
  5. Saving money feels better than buying something.

 

Saving Money

This is also from an older post on this blog. Trying to get inspired about saving money before the holiday madness begins!

If I have to read one more article about broke Millennials I might just lose my mind. We are not all broke, irresponsible consumers. I am not. Then again, I do make one too many visits to Michael’s & Hobby Lobby. BUT nothing says I have to buy anything when I go in. This has prompted me to make a list of ways I save money.

This may be good news or bad news, but your foundation pretty much shapes most of your spending habits as an adult. Luckily I had those parents who didn’t like to spend money. If any of the following ring a bell with you, then you have parents just like mine:We can’t have that this week, it isn’t on sale.I can sew the same kind of shirt at home for less, and besides, it will be out of style soon anyway.

The generic brand tastes the same.

Do you WANT that or do you NEED that?

They all ring true but the last one especially I think is what is wrong with those “broke Millennials.” Do you really need a home delivery service with pre-prepped meals or do are you just too  lazy to make a shopping list? Really, though. I am embarrassed for anyone who does that. “I am so busy.” If you spent less time on Facebook you would realize you have the time to drive to the market for food.

I visit retail stores a lot but I don’t spend a lot of money there. Know why? I am a thief. Whoah hold on –  I am not a real criminal! I am stealing inspiration for ideas. Between my husband and I we can build, sand, paint, and deconstruct/reconstruct almost anything. Why should I pay $50 for a trendy wood sign at the store when I can make it at home cheaper? Not to mention, if I make it here, it is unique because, well it is mine and it is one of a kind. Before I buy I ask myself can I make this at home with the tools I already have at a better price. Now I also consider time in this equation. If a project will take me hours upon hours then forget it, I will just buy it (with a coupon or on sale of course).

What the….? In case you were wondering, that stands for
Use it up, wear it out, make do or do without.
What’s that mean, really? Use up what you have until you absolutely have none left. Once it is gone, can you use something else you already have in its place? Otherwise, can you make do without it at all? I admit, there are times when I haven’t finished last season’s body wash and I am ready to dash to the store for this season’s scent. But alas, I will finish what I have! *SIGH*

    Do I need to explain this? We spend $50-80 a week on groceries for breakfast, lunch and dinners. As a couple, if we had lunch out everyday (say, $20 per visit) we would spend $100.00 a week just on lunch. That is twice as much as I spent on the ingredients to make everything from scratch. I cringe at the thought.

The struggle is SO real for me. That is not a cliche. That foamy hot cocoa from Starbucks is heavenly. Not to mention the cake pops and the bacon gouda sandwiches are delightful and addictive. People – STARBUCKS IS EXPENSIVE. I love the
staff, the mobile order-ahead app and the atmosphere but a hot cocoa and bacon gouda sandwich cost $7.49. That breakfast sandwich is good but it is tiny and doesn’t last long enough for the price they charge.