How to Make Mindful Purchases

How to Make Mindful Purchases

Living a life with intention means being more thoughtful when it comes to making decisions. Making mindful purchases can mean less buyers remorse. I can't tell you how many things I bought on a whim that I really didn't need but in my impulsive moment, thought it was the best thing since sliced bread. So recently, I made a more conscious effort to make more mindful purchases. I’m going to do this by following these 3 steps:

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How to Save $1000 by Christmas

Hello Lovely,

We officially only have 8 weeks until Christmas. Hopefully you've already started saving for your Christmas plans, but if you haven't, don't fret. I found an amazing 12 week savings plan from How Does She. I know what you're thinking. Liv, you said 12 week savings plan and there's only 8 weeks until Christmas. You can automatically deposit the missed weeks if you want, or just skip them. You may not make it all the way to $1000, but at least you'll have a pretty penny saved for the holidays. Here's a look at the chart.

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As you can see, as each week progresses you'll be asked to save more and more. But some weeks require less, so you won't feel the pinch too much. This CAN be done. If you don’t have a budget yet, take some time to create one with this goal in mind. Get rid of the small expenses that add up over time! Living a balanced life requires saying “no” more than saying “yes”. This applies to finance and fitness. It is not about deprivation, it’s about self-control.

Below are a few suggestions to help you reach your goals:

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Limit eating out to once per week (or none)

  • When you do eat out, choose a restaurant that is inexpensive.Value meals are your best friend!
  • Not only will only eating out once per week help your wallet but it will also help your waistline. You will be in complete control of what goes into your food and how much you eat! Try a few of our most popular recipes
  • Skip the drinks – water is free at most places.
  • Skip the appetizers and desserts. If you must have dessert, limit it to once a week and buy it from the grocery store. It’s much less expensive to go to the grocery store and buy ice cream (or make your own using frozen banana and peanut butter!) than it is to buy dessert at restaurants. 

Skip the pampering (manicures, pedicures, massages)!

  • I know this one might sound harsh but it has to be done. These extra expenses add up very quickly. Do your nails yourself or let them have a break for a few months! 

Stay at home for entertainment

  • Do you go to the movies or to sporting events frequently? Cut back on those for the next 12 weeks. Rent a movie (there are many different low budget options for this!), cook dinner at home, and have a great family night! If you enjoy sporting events, instead of going to watch a game, have your family join in on the fun and go play baseball, tennis, or golf together. The weather is also great this time of year to go hiking!

Eliminate unnecessary errands

  • Not only do unnecessary errands add to your gas budget but when you go to run errands you normally end up buying things that you don’t need. Keep a weekly list of things that you need to do and/or buy. Try to stick with the list and keep your errands to only a few times per week.

I hope these tips help you reach your goal of vacationing debt free. Keep in mind that you can always adjust to what your budget allows. If this is truly too much for to you save each month, half the amount. If you are able to save more, double it! I can’t wait to hear your success stories!

How I Saved For My European Trip (and you can too!)

Hello Lovely,

Imagine your dream vacation. Maybe you see yourself trekking in Australia’s Outback, relaxing in a hammock on a beach in Bora Bora or taking a six-month cruise around the world.

But here’s the thing: Your dream vacation will remain a dream unless you begin saving for it. I recently travelled to London, Amsterdam and Switzerland this summer. The entire trip (transportation only) cost me just under $1300. And it would've cost me a lot less if I had purchased my tickets further in advance. There are a lot of ways you can save for a European getaway. Here's how I did it!

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1. I Opened a Dedicated Vacation Bank Account

One easy way to save for a special trip is to open a dedicated vacation savings account. You can set up automatic payments into the account, and, with a little restraint, leave that money there until it’s time for your trip. If you choose an interest-bearing account, your money might even grow while you’re looking forward to your trip.

I opened a Christmas Club account with Commonwealth Bank and it's one of the best decisions I ever made. I would deposit anywhere between $50-200 every month. I have been able to withdraw from this account twice since opening it (the first time was to pay for my trip to St. Croix). The beauty of a Christmas Club account is you are allowed to withdraw once per year any time of the year for free. This month also gains interest, so the more I have on it, the more interest I get.

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2. I Cut Back on My Monthly Food Budget

The biggest waste of money is eating out. By limiting fast food and restaurant expenses, in favour of cooking and eating at home, I was able to have money to put in savings. Sure I still treated myself occasionally (I didn't eliminate just cut back). This teaches important resources on how to make groceries stretch and how to enjoy leftovers. Truthfully, there were many days that I ate ramen noodles, so once I was on vacation, I ate well!

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3. Cutting Back on Entertainment

I already had to limit my outings because I was paying for school out of pocket, but I had to be extra wise because of my savings. I'm not saying I didn't go out at all. I'm sure if you follow me on Instagram, you could see I still found time (although very little) to socialise. I became the master of finding free entertainment. I paid attention to Facebook events. I found free wine tastings, started having dinner parties with friends at home and went to almost every free event I could find. Check Facebook events and other social media outlets for local events that are cheap or free if you're looking for a good time on a budget.

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4. Plan ahead and pre-pay as much as possible

Stretch your vacation savings a little further by finding deep discounts on trips using websites such as LivingSocial and Groupon. I used Expedia to book all of my tours and realised that I saved a lot of money when I looked at individual entrance fees to the tourist sites and how much landed I would never have been able to cover on my own.

5. Pay attention to the time of year you book

Had I booked my trip earlier, I could have saved about $200! My round trip ticket to London, connecting through Toronto cost just north of $1,100. Had I purchased my ticket in March instead of May I would have only paid about $980 round trip. Obviously the closer to your trip, the more you'll pay. And the more you monitor prices, the more the price will actually increase. Try to book on particular days during low demand hours. Naturally some places will cost more to travel to depending on the time of year. Certain festivals or national holidays can make your ticket much more expensive so pay attention to these little details when booking.

Saving up for a big trip isn’t easy, but these strategies should help you save a little bit faster and have your trip already paid for before you leave home.

Your Turn: How do you pay for your vacations?

DIY Homemade Febreze

Hello Lovely,

The first time I ever used Febreze was when I checked into my dorm in college. The room clearly had mould in it so I bought the Febreze for allergies. It worked great but there was just no way that I could afford to buy it every month. While I feel there is no substitute for that specific kind of Febreze, if you're considering buying another bottle just to freshen the room, I think you should listen up and put down your wallet! Got your attention? Great!

You'll be surprised how simple and cheap it is to make your own Febreze!

What you'll need:

  • 1/8 Cup of fabric softener (I used Suavitel)
  • 2 tablespoons Baking Soda
  • Hot tap water
  • Spray bottle (I used my empty 27 oz. Febreze bottle)

 

Preparation:

Using a funnel, pour fabric softener and baking soda into your spray bottle. Fill spray bottle with hot tap water and shake well. Now go spray every fabric surface in your house and take a nap on your very comfortable and now non-stinky couch. :)

 

Store-bought Febreze: $5.59

Homemade Febreze: $0.15

Total Savings: $5.44 OR  97.3%!

I love and appreciate having my blog shared with anyone and everyone, I only ask that you credit the source of what you post back to my blog if you decide to share. Thanks! 

Original recipe from http://fakeitfrugal.blogspot.com/2011/07/fake-febreeze.html