<< Back to all Blogs
Login or Create your own free blog
You are viewing: Main Page

Challenges in No Spend Challenge

July 15th, 2012 at 10:24 pm

It seems that the only way not to spend anything is to stay inside your house all day. But that's not possible considering you have to spend money just to go to work. Good thing I'm not addicted to coffee so I don't even remember the last time I stepped inside a Starbucks. But commuting to the office everyday, meals for myself alone, bills to pay at the end (or start) of the month, plus the extra expenses like lunch outs or pizza at work, birthday and wedding gifts, etc. it gets extra challenging to save money.

I know I don't spend AS MUCH with unnecessary stuff such as purses, shoes and clothes but my biggest challenge so far are those little things that add up - magazine, soda, candy or chocolates by the cashier, and all those cute things that may be so cheap but I don't necessarily need.

I know I will be able to save money just by being cautious enough not to fall into spending "traps". And I promised myself that I will try my very best to not waste any of my hard-earned money in stuff which will be of no use to me in a few month's time.

I have already accomplished a no-spend challenge for 1 month last year and hopefully I'll be able to be successful again, longer and more lasting this time around.

Rewind and Restart

July 4th, 2012 at 01:12 am

Half way through 2012 and I'm feeling bad that there's no significant progress to me financially. Since January, there is an extra compensation that we used to receive monthly that was cut because of budget problems. But of course, I'm happy that I am blessed with a job that still brings me joy.

So I guess there's no use blaming other factors in my life for my financial mess. I wasn't disciplined enough and at times I still spent more than I earned (ouch!). But as Walt Disney said, "keep moving forward". So here I go again, dusting myself off with yet another batch of lessons tucked on my belt and restarting.


Goals Revisited

May 22nd, 2012 at 07:47 pm

We're almost halfway through 2012 and I guess it's the perfect time to revisit our goals. My financial life still needs a lot of work and I have to make new strategies to speed up my debt-reduction goals. Honestly, one reason why I haven't blogged in a while is that I have been taking it easy lately. But here I am again, more focused and determined to make this year the best one ever.

I think it was John Lennon who said that "Life is what happens when we're busy making other plans." We can set goals and make plans, and yet life will throw us something else. Take my goal of (finally) taking swimming lessons. I haven't yet because of scheduling conflicts but a friend at work introduced me to tennis and I learned to looove it. I found a talented young instructor who doesn't charge very much and have been really patient with me the past couple of months. I've been taking 1-hour lessons every 8am Saturday mornings and after my last lesson, the instructor complimented me that I have improved so much and I'm actually getting very good at it. Who knew?! But not only am I enjoying it so much, but I feel like I have more stamina and energy than ever.

Next stop... 10K Run

March 5th, 2012 at 09:23 pm

My friends got me into running a few months ago, mainly because we enjoy our brunch dates after every run (it's a weird reason, I know). I must admit, I hate the part of waking up very early and the body ache until days after. Most probably, I've joined about four or five 5K already which I've enjoyed immensely, but I haven't been inclined to go farther than that because I admit that I'm not the fittest person. But lo and behold, I don't know what came over me the other day when I agreed to move up to 10K on a charity marathon on April 1.

So I wake up this morning with the thought that if I don't want to embarrass myself, I have to push myself and work hard until April 1 - by working out more often, eating more healthily and cutting down sugar on my diet. Yikes! I still have a few weeks so I hope I'll do well.

Wish me luck! Who knows, after my 10K on April 1, I might push myself harder and try 21K next time. Here's hoping! =)

Goodbye 2011!

January 1st, 2012 at 05:52 pm

It's been a while, December gets really hectic at work.

How time flies, it's already 2012! I bid 2011 goodbye with much gratitude because it's been a good year - despite all the not-so great things that happened, it's been fruitful nonetheless.

For the first time doing my Christmas shopping, I didn't charge a single item on my credit card. That's really an achievement because year after year, there's always something I forget at the last minute which mess up my budget. But this time, because of careful planning ahead of time and having a mindset that I will make sure i give out meaningful gifts to my family and friends while sticking to my Christmas budget, I can breath easily that my credit card bill won't be mind-boggling in January.

And I have saved a little extra so when my CC2 bill comes, I think I can pay it off already. Whew!

Actually, weird as it may sound but I am really excited and hopeful for 2012. So happy new year everybody and cheers to a more peaceful, abundant and wonderful year for all of us!

Guilty Pleasure

November 9th, 2011 at 11:56 pm

I used to go to Starbucks a lot. Not because I'm that much of a coffee drinker but more because it's a great place to hang out to catch up with friends. Or, when alone, to collect my thoughts or read a good book.

Today, I went to a store to buy something I needed and found out it's still closed for about another 30 minutes. I eyed a Starbucks beside it so I decided I might as well stay until the store opens. As I ordered my frapuccino and peppermint brownie, I realized it's been a while since I last stepped on a Starbucks alone just to pass the time. I was so guilty for spending money considering I wasn't at all hungry anyway. And the worst part is that I didn't enjoy it as much because I was thinking of what I should have bought with the money instead. I realized that maybe, just like with addiction, my "impulsive" spending got me a bit scared that I might fall back to my spending ways.

Hooray for a Possible Business Venture

November 9th, 2011 at 06:44 pm

My high school friend and I had coffee yesterday and I really enjoyed chatting with her about life, work, family, etc. But one thing I love and appreciate about our friendship is how we have remained great friends all the years and how honest we can be with our financial lives.

We have been similar with a lot of things but we're totally different in just two things - she's a born salesman, I'm not. I'm creative, she's not. Anyway, she mentioned that she just started a buy and sell business selling novelty items. So far, it's been doing well although it's still break-even at the moment, but she said that it seems promising considering the overhead expenses isn't so big anyway. And then she remembered that there was a time when I got into chocolate and candy molding which I gave away to friends and friends' kids. It gave her an idea that maybe I can do a few pieces, package it as creatively as I can and she'll introduce it to her buyers. We've always talked about someday venturing into business and maybe this is the first step towards that goal.

I know it isn't much but I would welcome the extra income that I can put into paying off my debts. Tiny baby steps.... =)

51 Days Til Christmas

November 3rd, 2011 at 08:13 pm

I've never been into Halloween that much which serves me well since I don't have to spend too much on costumes, parties, decorations and stuff. But I must admit that I love everything about Christmas. I believe that it really is the most wonderful time of the year - season of giving and sharing. The downside is that it costs money to keep Christmas festive.

I'm thinking of making Christmas cookies and other goodies to give out to friends, which hopefully I can finally do since I'm not that much of a baker. No new Christmas decorations this year as well as I will just be reusing everything.

What I don't want though is to have all the Christmas spirit and still be haunted by the expenses left until the year after.

Goal #1

October 25th, 2011 at 09:59 pm

I'm new here on this site and I'm still getting the hang of writing down details about my financial efforts. Even seeing my "payables" on the sidebar is somewhat weird. But that is one of my financial goals - I can't wait for the time when I can put a "DONE/PAID" beside each payable. Eyes on the prize!

Delete Online Subscriptions

October 23rd, 2011 at 06:38 pm

I had a stressful week last week so I didn't have time to check my e-mails for a few days. I was surprised at how many junk mails I have in the inbox - some were just plain spam while there are also some from the online magazines, discount websites and other subscriptions I signed up through the years.

So to simplify my life a little and to resist distractions and temptations in the process, I unsubscribed to all of them. I actually never realized how easy it was to do so. Why would I need a reminder that there is a new bestseller or there's a new cologne scent out in the market?

The Journey Starts Now

October 20th, 2011 at 12:25 am

I have been very, very fortunate that practically most of my adult life, I have been employed and never had the horror of being fired or laid-off. So all I know is that I will go to work in the morning, work all day, go home after, then repeat for 4 more days in the week. Take a well-deserved rest on weekend, go shopping once in a while, dread Sunday night, then repeat the cycle all over again.

I met an older friend a few days ago and she made a very interesting point. She said that during difficult times, we cannot depend on other people but only on ourselves. She told me the story of how she got blind-sided when she got laid-off at 45 years old from an insurance company that she worked for for so many years. It took her by surprise and she wasn't ready at all financially. So she makes it a point to remind her friends to not make the same mistake that she did.

It got me thinking. What if there's no more cheque this payday, can I survive then? How long will my almost-empty savings last me? How will I be able to pay my bills? And I spent sleepless nights after that scared and worried all of a sudden. Come to think of it, I needed that wake-up call.

I need to take control of my money especially where each penny goes...

I need to save for the future...

I need to start investing now...

I need to pay my debts...

Too much to do, so little time. I just hope it's never too late. Keeping my fingers crossed.