Stinky sports clothes

May 28, 2013

Let me guess, the title disgusts you before you have even read the post! Well fear not my friends, it will be worth a read, I hope!  Here is a little background info.  In my spare time, I play soccer and long distance run.  I have for most of my life and both are big passions of mine as well as keeping fit and healthy, which sometimes with my busy life in a binge habit. However, there is one aspect of it lately though that has caused me way more stress then should be allowed.  Finding the space/time to air out all my gear.

Obviously, sports clothes do not smell good when you are done with them and for me at least they are covered in sweat. Now I live in a small 1 bedroom apartment as well as share laundry.  So, you can imagine the elephant sized stress I feel whenever I come home from a run or game. Trying to go with my minimalism journey, sprawling all my gross clothes around my living room for the night until I can wash them is not my idea of a great place to be.

It's actually a hilarity at the same time, because I've started using my balcony too now that it's summer. (Sorry neighbours, I honestly feel bad for you).  But it makes me laugh every time I see a soccer sock flailing in the wind out my highrise apartment window!

The reason for this post though is to see what you guys do with your sports gear? Do you have a special way to store it or to let it air out? am I seriously the only one that finds it stressful? I wouldn't doubt that haha.

The troubles of traveling

May 24, 2013

“The use of traveling is to regulate imagination by reality, and instead of thinking how things may be, to see them as they are.” – Samuel Johnson

Throughout my life, I have traveled to a few typical places in relation to where I live. Such as Mexico, a few states in the US and other parts of Canada. Other than that, I haven't really explored the world, which I would love to do one day.  

Currently the BF and I are planning a small-ish trip to the other side of Canada, and as simple as it should be, planning trips is a lot of work.  Not only cost wise, but just the time it takes to get everything together. Now, maybe others out there are just better and more efficient than I, which could be totally possible but there are so many things you have to take care of.

First is flights.  I personally LOVE flying.  It's on my bucket list to actually have pilots license, but that's a story for another day. Booking flights are so frustrating to me, because the price can vary so much depending on where you are going, the day of the week you book, and the airline you book with.  It's just so tough to try and find a good deal. In my experience, I have always booked through Expedia which considers every airline and provides you with the cheapest options. But I do hate the feeling of booking a flight, checking the same flight a week later, and finding out that the price dropped. Not cool bro. 

Next is hotels.  I have had pretty good luck with hotels, but I'm not a fan of trying to find a hotel that a) is around the location you want to be in and b) in the price range you want.  I'm always scared to show up to the hotel and it look nothing like it did online. I have heard horror stories of that. But I suppose you can't go wrong with the big chain hotels.  Those are usually my go to anyways.

Trips are normally expensive regardless, but trying to make it as cost efficient as possible is definitely a challenge. Should be interesting over the next few days to see how much I can actually save compared to what I would normally spend on a trip like this.

Do any of you have tips on trying to be cost effective while traveling?


May 22, 2013

As I'm sitting here, watching How to Deal on Netflix, I noticed that I have a lot of books sitting on my shelf across the room. Fictional novels, personal finance books, even some books on how to train in the world of soccer.  Then I realized that I have an issue with buying books brand new.

There is nothing better than a crisp, brand new book. I swear I can spend hours at a time in a Chapters book store reading and exploring wide varieties of the unknown.  At the same time, I can spend a ton of money while I'm there.  Books can range from $15.00-$45.00 per book, which as amazing as they are, is a little much, especially if you buy books all the time.

One thing I've learned on this journey is that I need to shake the need to have new and untouched.  There is nothing wrong with amazon, the used/new online bookstore, as well as local libraries.  We can actually get library cards for free in my city right now, so I really should be taking advantage of it.

Just another way I can learn to save just a little bit more. Old or new, books are such a calm and relaxing thing for me. Definitely have to make that a priority.

Do you take advantage of used or borrowed books?

Wandering off the beaten track

May 19, 2013

With every kind of habit or task you are trying to conquer, there are always ways that it can get thrown out of whack.  This comes to be expected with every kind of journey you try to take, whether that be mental, emotional or physical.  This has been very true for me over this past long weekend.  The weekend isn't even over and I already feel guilty enough that I had to write.

With the journey of personal finance, or specifically trying to be a millionaire in my case (just a tiny goal.. haha),  it is very tough to remember the long term result sometimes.  I get caught up in the drama of life that I forgot where I'm supposed to be headed, but that is the challenge of anything isn't it; staying focused. 

Already this long weekend, I have gone out to eat on 4 separate occasions. Now that's only out of 7 meals so far this weekend. To me that's horrible. But as I was saying, I got caught up in visiting friends, going out for drinks, and picking up a quick meal as I'm headed out somewhere.  All which lead me to spend about $100 on just those 4 meals alone. Which is crazy in my mind when I normally spend less than that for a week and a half worth of food when I go grocery shopping. Just today I sat back and reflected on everything I've done so far this weekend. All the laughter that was had, the great times with cherished friends and the gorgeous weather was well worth it, but expensive.  I could have easily had the exact same experience all weekend, but paying attention to my spending at the same time.

I definitely went off track this weekend and I'm upset about it, but it's okay.  It's not easy to live on a budget all the time. Although, I'm not on an extremely tight budget and I have a bit of flexibility, that doesn't mean ruin all the success I've already had.  It just reminds me to tighten up again, remember what I'm trying to achieve, and get back on track.

Do you find yourself getting off track sometimes?

Minimizing my jewelry

May 17, 2013

Today as I was getting ready to take over the world, I came across my usual frustration in dealing with my jewelry.  Every day when it comes time to put on some sparkle, I cringe inside at the state of my jewelry 'area'.  It is clumps of silver and gold, with rings, earrings, and necklaces all intertwined, making the task of finding anything impossible!  Now I'm definitely no girly girl, I have very little jewelry compared to some women I know, yet I can't manage to keep it organized.  Going with my strive for minimalism, that was todays task.

As you can see, this area is messier than a 1 year old eating their first cake! I can't even handle it anymore.  I have learned a few things after doing some jewelry organization research (I'm a loser I know). So after 2 hours of throwing out, cleaning and organizing, my jewelry masterpiece was born! I normally only really wear about a quarter of the jewelry I own, so I organized it to get to my favourite things easiest.

I can now put my jewelry on in the mornings with ease, and I don't have a panic attack just looking at it.  I also got ride of quite a few things, because frankly, how much jewelry does one person REALLY need? (Don't answer that ladies...) Haha

To go along with my jewelry organization, I even picked up this very nice 3 drawer chest from Target for about $18.00.  I scored a sweet opening week deal or something, I definitely didn't complain. With that, I was able to have a place for all my rings, earrings and bracelets.

Do any of you have trouble organizing jewelry?


The downside of budgeting

May 15, 2013

Well did the title strike your attention? You definitely read it correctly; I am positive there is a downside to budgeting. I know I sound like a crazy person right now but hear me out! Throughout this whole process, I have changed a lot about my spending habits and learned to cut certain things out, which hasn't been a problem. However, if you take budgeting to an extreme, it can actually have a negative impact on your life.

I read something recently that talked about how budgeting can put a damper on your life in ways that you might not realize.  The things it talked about I actually resonated with me as I've experienced a lot of them.. When you first start out budgeting, or just trying to save money, some people take things to extremes. You NEVER go out to eat, you NEVER go to a movie, you NEVER buy that shirt that your desperately need, and you never see your friends.  Because as we all know, friends = money! So, where is the line? When do you start sacrificing your happiness and personal life for money?  Some people learn the hard way, as I have in the past.  

Budgeting to such an extreme can lead to binge shopping, binge eating, as well as ruining relationships in your life. Sounds harsh I know, but I've seen it happen.  Don't get mad quite yet, I definitely understand you can see friends without spending money. There are just a lot more triggers to spend money when other people are around, understandably.

Once you start budgeting and it actually makes you unhappy, or makes you miss important people and events in your life, then it's gone to far.  You have to just start small and work from there.  Create a realistic budget that doesn't fully stop you from doing things you enjoy, it will just be an adjusted version. Don't stop going to see movies with friends, just go less often and maybe suggest going for a walk or a bike ride one day instead.  You get a lot more quality time walking or biking then you do in a movie theater anyways. 

Do you think budgeting can be taken too far?

I choose to bike!

May 11, 2013

Does everyone remember that time I was on the fence about purchasing a bike? If you don't you can give that a read here.  Well my friends, I choose to buy a bike! I know for me, the expense had a lot to do with it.  But wouldn't you know, I got a bike at Costco for a steal and I'm so glad I did!

With us having such gorgeous summers here, why not spend my weekends checking out the beautiful river valley and getting some exercise at the same time.  I'm taking it out for the first time today and it's going to be fun yet entertaining at the same time; for the person going with me at least.  I haven't ridden a bike for years, so I imagine I'm going to look like a 3 year old on a tricycle. Bring on the bandaids!!

Living below the line - The finish line

May 5, 2013

After all is said and done, I lived below the poverty line for 5 straight days. Monday to Friday night, and I must say, it was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do!  I had to live off of $8.75 over 5 days, or $1.75 a day for food, which means anything I was ingesting.  I wasn't able to accept anything from anyone, and believe me that wasn't easy.  If I were to do it again, there are definitely things I would do differently.

Some may think it's crazy that only 5 days affected me so much, but it was two fold. The first was emotionally.  It is such a weird feeling knowing that others in the world were starving like I was, but for their whole lives, not just 5 days.  There are millions of people out there without the basic needs of a human being, yet most of us can spend more than $8.00 on one meal alone.  I don't think we really put that into perspective too often.  It definitely helped me change my spending habits and how much food I buy.  I really don't need as much as I thought I did.

The second was physically.  Turns out I don't do well on only 600 calories a day without my basic nutrients.  The first night alone I was a few minutes from passing out running half a field.  Through the 5 days, I definitely learned a ton about my body, in terms of what I can and cannot handle.  Taking in so few calories, I wasn't able to do much of anything. I had very little energy and sleeping seemed to be my only option in terms of activity.  By day 2 I was going home every lunch hour to nap/rest and it did wonders, when before I started this project, I never napped at home even once on my lunch hour.  I also noticed how moody I was.  I'd say I wasn't the nicest person to be around last week.  It's amazing how much your mood and attitude is related to the food you eat. I noticed I was snapping at people more than normal, and little things tended to bug me which normally wouldn't.  The third thing I noticed with my body was my brain function.  As funny as it sounds, I felt dumber.  Brain food really is a thing you guys! Along with a co-worker of mine, I noticed that I was stumbling over my feet more, I was forgetting what I was saying, and I had a harder time thinking in general.

All in all, I'm very glad I did it.  I raised over $250 and my team raised over $2000 in total towards poverty.  I had amazing support from all those around me, and I can't thank them enough for being there for me.  It also makes me feel proud that I was able to make even the slightest impact for others that are less fortunate.  We all need that sometimes; to step back from our daily lives and think about others in the world and things we are doing in our daily lives that would be easily be changing. 

Would any of you be willing to do something like this?