Tuesday, April 20, 2010

10 "No money ALOT-O-FUN" Things To Do!

I like being busy. I like activities and projects and schedules. However, a lot of times those things require money! With my gusto to pay things off and live frugally it has become second nature to turn to solutions that cost Zip, Zero, Zilch! Entertaining yourself with things you already have can be just as fun as spending money! For example....

  • Ride your Bike- Not only is this great excersise and gets those endorphines flowing for a happier you, but it also gives you a chance to cruise around your scenic neighborhood or city without burning any gas money!

  • Flip it for Free!-Rearrange a Room- Not every "Room Redo" requires you to spend money. Simply trying new angles for your furniture can give you that new updated look your space needs! Look around your house for items that would go better in one room than maybe the one you have had it in for the last few years! (The internet is a great source for this project- with endless sites on room redos and decor tips)

  • Lame Frames?-Make some new artwork or your walls!- Grab some old picture frames with outdated contents and get creative! Picnik is a great free source for editing photos, or you can go through old magazines for some inspiring arwork!. (I like using fabric in empty frames for an artsy look)

  • Get lost in a book!- There are too many selections in my library that are still untouched. But even if you don't have an expansive book collection, your local Library does! FOR FREE! Get a Library card and spend some time reading on your back porch you don't use enough.

  • Outside In!-Explore your yard for a textured centerpiece for your kichen table-Bunches of flowers, small branches, long grasses, rocks, etc. look great in anything from vases and bowls to christmas canisters. You can cleaverly conceled them with some leftover scrapbook, grocery, news, or comptuer paper!  This is a great one for fun experimental bouquets!

  • Pamper Yourself!-Transform your bathroom into a spa- Even if all you have is a small nail file and an old bottle of nail polish! Chances are you have some key items in your kitchen!  And the best part? No harsh chemicals!
*Soak your Tootsies in a hot bath and after giving them a good scrub try a equal mix of olive oil and sugar for a great moisterizer! (and scrub!) After rinsing/drying them off grab your favorite scented lotion!
*For your face I like a mixture of honey and oatmeal for a nice scrub/mask. Even if you don't have those, Baking Soda can give your face a nice clean feel if you mix about a teaspoon with an equal amount of water! *The Olive Oil/Sugar Mixture is fabulous for hands as well! After rinsing them, finish off your pampering with that old bottle of nail polish, it is sure to feel more like a treat now!  

  • Don't Throw it away Yet!-Take inventory of the foods about to kick the dust in your kitchen. Chances are there is a fab recipe out there you can save them with! All Recipes is a great resource for looking up recipes based on ingrediants you have on hand! Once you type in the ingrediants you want to use it does all the creative work for you!

  • Chill Out!- This one is simple...Relax. I am HORRIBLE at this one. Sometimes grabbing an old Better Homes & Gardens magazine from 2008 and watching episodes of your favorite tv show on HULU is all you need. Add a refreshing beverage from your own kitchen at no extra charge!

  • Ok now throw it out...Get rid of STUFF- Going through your house and discovering things you don't need/want can be both freeing and make you money! Even if you feel it is not worthy to list on a site like Craigslist you can always DONATE items freeing up more space for the things you love!

  • Get OUT!- Check out free events online in your community- Most communities have some type of calendar on their website outling events and happenings each month! Movies in the park, art shows, etc.
 What kind of things do you like to do when your budget is squeezed?

Monday, April 12, 2010

Progress not Perfection...

I love being able to cross things off a to do list...sometimes I think I make lists just to cross them off! HA (I know it's sick) But some pretty exciting updates on my Goals of 2010:
  • I'm buying a bike today for about half what the owner paid! (If it's a good fit, it's only been used a couple times!)
  • I've decided what items I will be posting on good ole Craigslist to begin getting rid of so many things I don't need or use! So far I got...a big oversized computer desk, a nice long 2 drawer file cabinet, a TV that doesn't work except for the DVD player on it (FREE), a microwave, some odds and ends, and a retired collector's item that should go for about $150...hopefully... GRAND TOTAL I am aiming for.....$210! That will put a small chuck into my car payment. YAY
  • The boyfriend paid for Netflix for the next few months for me, so even those small red box rentals that are only $1 will not have to be used for a while!
One thing I have been learning in this process has been PAITENCE! I cannot save up or buy everything I may want or need overnight! I may have to wait until I can afford it...*GASP* Yes...I said "Wait."   It has been nice to have a plan and see it in action.  Do you have things around your house you could get rid of?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Kroger and Coupons

I love saving money. I also love spending money on things I have thoughtfully considered. So when I am happy with a purchase I have found that expressing it to the company is often quite beneficial. I took the time a few weeks ago to write some comments to different companies of products I am pretty happy with. The result?


Mainly I got dollar off and free coupons, and some that were just thank yous, but the best? My Kroger sent me a $10 gift card! WOOHOO! So Helpful since me and my roommate shop there like clockwork weekly after we get their ad in the mail and plan our menu.

Another good way I have been getting good deals is checking out "Free Stuff" websites that clearly aren't shady. They hook you up with product sites to get samples. More often than not they also send decent coupons with the samples. Now when I get home from work its like getting a small present everyday in the mail!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Today is a good day.

Do ever have days that just energize you? A sun shining, windows down, stress managed, genuinely good day? Well I've definately had less than I would like over any period of time, but today is different. It is genuinely good. It is good because I'm healthy, employed, budgeted, relaxed, creative and genuinely excited about the future. Oh, and I have a great boyfriend, even if he lives 6 hours away at this point, it's not forever. I really like to sit back and enjoy these times in life, it makes everything else worth it. Don't you think?

I'm hoping to work on many more of my creative outlets this weekend. I'd like to get a few more things listed in my store on Etsy, figure out a unique wall filing system for my room, work on my garden, and purge the basement of things I dont' really need. whew..I'm sorta tired now thinking about it, but very excited about having time to get it done!

Update on 2010 Goals:

  • Pay off my car- My tax return will help immensly, On track, and looking for a second jobto speed it up!
  • Work toward my LPC- March 25th I was approved to begin counting hours inthe state of VA!
  • Buy a Bike- Almost saved up!
  • Maintain my financial goals- DOING GREAT!
  • Build a larger Emergency Fund- Ahead of schedule!
  • Stock my Etsy Store-Stocked! Just need to keep adding more inventory!
  • Read 5 books I have never opened in my library- 1 down!
  • Study at Least 6 books of the Bible Intently- 1 down!
  • Get Rid of things I don't need- working on this more Saturday!
  • Use what I have to make what I need when possible- yep :)
  • Container Gardens?- Planed my seeds a few weeks ago, hoping to put them in the ground soon!

Wow, I'm doing much better than I expected to be by the beginning of April! How are you doing on your goals for 2010?