I'm sitting on the porch of my in-laws cabin in north Washington looking over the still lake while a fresh summer breeze brushes over me. I can't count how many times I've looked at my partner and said “Life is so great”. There's something about living here that just makes me feel so serene and satisfied with life.
I've been back in Canada for just over a week and am settling in to this so called “New Life”. This includes learning to drive, re-igniting my love and dependence for the gym, finding a job, finding a house, finding friends (so much finding) and much more. The first thing I've noticed is that I have a lot more motivation to improve myself and my life. I've come back from an amazing 34 day trip to a magical country and it fueled my passion for not just traveling but many other hobbies that I haven't touched for a long time. A lot of this is quite hard while sharing an apartment with your in-laws with limited space and while I'm exceedingly happy here I'm itching to find a place to live so that I can dive into these many hobbies that I'll have so much more time for now that I've moved out of the big town.
There's a document on my desktop simply labeled “Goals”. At one point I felt as I never really had my goals and dreams in writing, so I decided to write down anything that came to mind down. Here are a few of the things I listed:
Sometimes life trudges on and you almost forget that time passes. I hate getting stuck in a rut and waking up realising I've missed doing all the things I loved for the past few months. I've kept my savings machine going through all this and now I can take a step back and replenish.
Around the holiday season we often increase our thankfulness and gratitude. We're often grateful for our family and loved ones that we have around us. For those of us that are exposed to ads we're constantly reminded of how much we have by being told what someone else doesn't have. We are then asked to buy more, "treat yourself", "buy this for your mum", "buy this for your friends", "treat your family to this". It easily gets exhausting.
Were you surprised with how little was spent on groceries in our household last month? Because transparency is important to me I thought I'd give a rundown of what our grocery spending looked like. For two people we managed a total of $108.91. We're going to look at the prices of the individual items, areas where we saved, areas where we probably should have saved more as well as techniques we use to shrink our grocery bill.
This month has gone by in a whirlwind. With a string of misfortunes and bad news making it hard to stick to the sober part of this month. Thankfully I'm not the type that tends to drink away her sorrows. I didn't touch a drop of alcohol from October 23rd until the eve of December 1st.
November is normally a rainy, dreary month. I like to spend it cuddled up inside playing boardgames and watching movies. This is what makes November the perfect time for a challenge to shake things up a bit!
In my household we call it Frugal Fun Sobrember. A month where you have lots of fun while staying frugal and, wait for it, sober. This is a great time to find free events, play boardgames, hold movie nights or in other ways enjoy life without spending money.
Money tends to be tight after the summer, with parties, eating out, travel, and general adventures it can sometimes feel like you're hemorrhaging money. Getting your food budget in check can be a great way to feel better about your finances and quickly whip your spending in to shape. I average out between $100-$150 per person in terms of food (including eating out as it's rare) for the month. I've noticed that this is fairly low in comparison to a lot of other bloggers, so here are some tips I'm a huge fan of that help me keep costs that low.
Now that you can sleep properly it's time to bring your focus to Step 2. This step will require a lot of energy and perseverance as you are preparing for all out war between you and the bed bugs. Thankfully you are not alone and whomever is doing the pest control will be treating your apartment and giving you specified advice along the way. Resist the urge to get up and leave as you'll most likely just take them with you.