Ideas/Advice · Me & My life · money · My Budget Project

My Budget Experiment

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My budget experiment or as I love to call it; project is something I have wanted to do for a while now. Once I even attempted on doing it without all the paperwork as they say but it turned out my willpower wasn’t strong enough for it. Let’s see, maybe it has grown since then.

So the whole idea of this project, unlike the realization of it, is very simple. You spend as little money in a month as possible.

You buy only the things you really need and can’t live the month without it, and then you buy the cheapest version of the product.

And I know that there are quite a lot of people living that way day to day for years, but I’ve been lucky enough not to have the need to buy the cheapest possible coffee for home even never really swimming in money either.

But this project will test me in more than just one way. That’s why I mentioned it sounds way easier than it’s done and that’s why I am pretty unsure of the result whether I’ll be able to stick with it or not.

Three most difficult factors of it are the most obvious ones.

  • You buy everything at it’s cheapest, therefore you will buy a lot of products that might not be as good in quality as you’re used to and might not taste/feel/affect you so good.
  • For a whole month you don’t go hang out with friends to cafés or other activities that maybe you’re already used to, you don’t drive around or go shopping just for fun.
  • But the biggest one – You have to be very strict on yourself to define what you really need vs what you really want because more often than not I’ve seen people misusing the word of “need” in this case. In so many cases there are things we find as our daily products or something we just automatically buy or refill but perhaps we should not consider it as a necessity.

But we can’t forget that there should be some rules to this project as well, because spending as little as possible can mean so much to so many people so here are some basic rules :

  • Buy the cheapest version of the product, no matter how little is the difference
  • Don’t buy any books or clothing
  • Stick with the “not a necessity” list
  • Buy product only when there is literally nothing left from the previous package
  • Write down every days update
  • Have a limit that can be spent per day
  • Don’t eat outside or drink alcohol

Rules can be added or taken away as well as adjusted but the main idea should be clear by now.

Also of course, there are things that should be considered dearly like the fact that I am from Latvia, where moneywise things are quite different from for example England. In addition, this is regarding the money you have after you pay your bills (and by that, I mean rent and things like that, not your Spotify subscription)

So there you go. This is the way I chose to walk into this new year of 2020 and even if the first days haven’t been so bright for reasons that will be mentioned later, I am full of hopes and determination.

Books · Ideas/Advice · To Be Read

New “book to read” method

Lately I have been trying to find the time and energy to read more and even if I haven’t read much for the past couple of days I have read couple of books. But what has helped me to slowly crawl out of my slump is this method that I saw on KitKatsCanRead youtube book channel.

She has a lot of different ways she chooses how to pick her TBR list for the month but one of those books is chosen randomly by a number in an interesting manner. So I took that idea and applied it to all my books.

So here is how it works for me: (although, I have only done this with the books I have in my apartment currently, and not to the ones at my parents place.)

I wrapped every book I have in wrapping paper and wrote different numbers on them starting from 1. After I was done with that I had already forgotten which one is which in most occasions. Then I took a small container and put there little pieces of paper with the same numbers on them. So whenever I finish a book, I take a random piece of paper and get to see what I will read next.

This is really intriguing and it got my attention, it helps to read the books you never felt like you had the time for, and you are more eager to finish the book and get to surprise yourself with the next one, and of course the unwrapping part is quite satisfying as well.

So far this year I’ve read 6 books from which 3 were chosen by this method and truth be told I think this is the way to go for me and I’m definitely going to stick with it for a while.

Have you tried something like this before? Maybe I’m the last one to hear of such idea, but everyone I’ve told this about were pretty interested and found it to be an exciting idea. But what are your thoughts about it?

Wishing the best for the best,

Dana

Me & My life

My Pet Story #2

Past couple of weeks have been very difficult and eventful therefore I apologies for my lack of writing. Can’t say that I’m back in the game because on top of everything I fell a quite ill, but I’m here with some good news to brighten our day, yes, with pictures as well.

So last time we talked about pets I was quite indecisive regarding hamster or guinea pig. Well that topic has been closed since I got myself a pygmy aka dwarf bunny.

Meet my new baby boy Brownie.

06.02.2019. Brownie came in this world and 12.03. I took him home with a cage, food and everything he might need, but let me tell you one thing. As my friend said straight away when she saw him ‘he is a little kamikaze’ and she was not wrong.

He is a little devil that will do everything he is not supposed to do, he will refuse to eat everything that was supposed to be good to him and overall he really is a baby.

Still need to fully bunny proof my apartment since he seems to be in love with the idea of trying to get into the most dangerous corners, but I can’t deny, he is a one adorable lil’ munchkin. Here are some more pictures, but more on this once we get a bit more settled in. Have a nice day,

Dana & Brownie

(sorry about that glitch. Happened when uploaded the picture here :/ )

Opinion · Review · writing

Shout-out to all them reviewers.

Today I’d like talk about one skill that I lack incredibly while others make it so simple and also, let this be a reminder post about the fact that just because someone makes it look so easy, it most definitely is not so, at least not for everyone.

Reviews. You might say that it’s not that hard, right? You buy, watch, read or whatever other activity you might find to do with a thing and then you express your opinion on it. Sounds simple enough, especially if you are one of those people who can talk about everything, right? Well, if that’s so, then I must be an exception.

For this specific post let’s make an example of reviewing a book that you’ve just read. For a review to be a good one you must include other things as well, for example, the author, and perhaps once in a while there will pop up the names of some characters. Simple enough, but for me? I remember the story and I will do so, but if life gets in a way and I would be about to write a book review a week after I finished it, there is a pretty big chance I would have already forgotten the main characters names. Authors name? Most of the time when I read a book, I don’t even know it, afterwards, 99% I will never be able to name it for you. (And that can get awkward when somebody who has acknowledged that I love to read asks for my favorite authors and I can barely name one.)

Let’s move on. Beautiful expressions. For example, you’ve bought yourself some ear buds. All good. But then in the review you go on and on about how the sound is splendid, the cord is ecstatic. You know, if somebody would ask me to review something like that I believe my first response would be: “well what can I write? They work great, five stars, thank you, next?’’.

You’ve got yourself some new running shoes. They are great. What do you write? They are beautiful, went for a run, feeling fantastic, I’m sweaty as fuck right now but the shoes fit perfectly. Great seller, great shop, they will have a discount next Friday. Thank you, next.

It’s good to express your opinion, but this is not enough for a good post, well at least in my own subjective opinion, so what do I know. But that is exactly why I always read review posts with quite an admiration, because yes, for some people it’s way easier than for me, but I still think that it’s a different kind of writing skill so shout-out for all of you reviewers out there and I’m just going to try to improve that skill myself as well. It’s good to have it and if you have it naturally, don’t take it for granted.

Sending you my cheeseballs and love always,

Dana

App · Opinion · Review

App Of The Week

As a person who might have spent a bit too much time on her phone I have come across some applications that has made it on my “let’s suggest this to random strangers” list.

Ironically enough I’m not actually that active on this app at the given moment but I’d still like to tell you a little bit more about this app called ‘Level Up Life’.

This is the ‘About’ part.

This app was released in 2016. It has over 500 000 downloads and its average rating is 3.9

So long story short; the name of it is pretty self-explanatory. Level Up Life is an app that has been created to help you improve the quality of your life and to help you stay motivated by accomplishing all sorts of quests that will give you points for one or more of the 6 given categories (strength, culture, environment, charisma, talent, intellect), as well as getting XP, leveling up and unlocking new interesting goals.

Internet connection : needed.

And here comes my opinion.

I can’t say that I’ve tried them all so if you have any other suggestions, please do tell, but as far as I can tell, this is one of the best general lifestyle motivational phone applications I have used.

Especially for someone like me for whom, to be honest, the simple goal of being a better person ‘just because’ sometimes isn’t enough.

There are plenty enough goals to choose from, so if you don’t want to do a specific task, it does not mean that you will get stuck in this so called game.

It has quite interesting old-schoolish design but I wish for it to have a bit more freedom of communication. Either way if it’s to have an easier and wider access to this games society and if not then to make it optional if you’d like for others to see your posts or not, since you can attach photos that maybe you do not want the whole world to see.

Overall this app has a great thought and quite simple yet beautiful representation.

Even though I think that for me this will end as one of my seasonal entertainments I do advise everyone to give it a try. A little boost never hurt anyone, right?

But what about you? Have you ever heard of this app or anything similar? How do you remind yourself to improve your life?

With the warmest hugs ever,

Dana

Books · Ideas/Advice · Opinion · To Be Read

How I Read

So I’m here today to tell you a little bit more about my reading habits. (Yeah, I know, obvious because of the title of the post.)

Let’s start with the fact that I was a weird kiddo that used to read multiple books at the same time. Not like one book in each of my hand and three more in my lap, no. I could switch between five books at the time. One night I read something from one, another I realized I am in a mood for something else so I took the other one. I never really had any issues with forgetting the plot because since I was mood reading, I remembered exactly where I left off when I was in the mood, but I guess the two biggest issues I had with such choice of freedom was that, first of all, some books I never returned to because I was never in the same mood again, second; some books I never started at all.

I used to buy books I found interesting, especially if they were on sale. I used to save up all of my money just to buy new books. I have over hundred books at my parents place, and what a shocker, most of them are unread.

So even though I knew that I should change something about all of that for a while, last year I actually started doing something about it.

How I Choose What to Read

First of all, I made a list, like a TBR (to be read) in my planner. One book for each month, since I’m an extremely slow reader, unfortunately. Actually, that kind of list I started more than a year ago, but I was getting there…slowly. I never really sticked to it, but now I am more strict with myself in that subject.

Either way. So when I moved out of my parents place I also made a list with books I wanted to read. No particular order, just list of random books that fit into my planner, to be more precise, eighteen books. Then I figured that I need to do something about the oldest ones on my shelf, because some of them have been gathering dust for ridiculously long time without being touched. So I let my current list of books as it was, but I made a new list as well, which I’ll have to read once I’ll be done with the first list, and as you can predict this one has books starting from the oldest one (added, not written) on my shelf.

Why not throw out or giveaway the books I found no interest in reading for so long, you might ask. You see, I have never on purpose left a book unfinished (that’s a bit of a lie, I did it with one, but then I figured I’ll give it another go another time) and I don’t really plan to do it. It’s like an experience; even the bad ones gives us something good, first of all. Second, I have never bought myself a book that I didn’t find interesting, maybe it’s just my luck. Third, I know that if I will give it away, I will always wonder if maybe that could have been one of my all time favorite books, since you know, sometimes you do or try something and then wonder where were you sooner and how much you’ve missed out on.

How I Manage My TBR Growth

Let’s just make one thing clear straight away. My TBR list is not the same thing for me as for most people. Usually on the list are books you’d like to read, including the books you’d like to buy. For me; my TBR list consists only from books I own either in physical copy or on my Kindle app. If you look at my Want To Read shelf in Goodreads (this amazing website every reader must be on) you can see all the books I have and might be able to lend you.

The way I’m dealing with this part is actually quite common in readers society since a lot of us get overly excited about getting ourselves some new shiny books. And that would be, my dear ladies and gentlemen, book buying ban.

Whenever I see a person who is talking about this on booktube it usually is made with ten books, but the idea is pretty simple. To buy one new book, you must read ten of the ones you already own. Since I’m a slow reader and overly high goals tend to discourage us I made my ban with five books instead of ten, but the idea still remains. I have a page where I’m marking what have I read, which one from the five that would be and once I’ve read enough to buy a new one, what exactly do I buy.

This is a great idea, it helps to get rid of that huge TBR pile, you are saving tons of money and you are disciplining yourself. And once you have read everything on your shelf, it’s still a wonderful way to save yourself a lot of money; read five books from library or get some free ones online until you’ve earned yourself the reward in form of getting yourself a new book for your shelf.

Of course I’m not saying that this works for everyone and why should it? You can buy as many books as you can afford, you can have a hell of a library at home, full of unread books as far as I care. Books are priceless treasures as my mom thought me, and they can be passed on, their worth doesn’t die and if that is what makes you happy, just do it, go and get yourself a new book right now.

This is just something that I’m doing right now. That is something that works for me. But don’t you ever, ever try doing this if it takes away your joy of reading because that’s what it’s all about.

But pictures of all of this will be shown in another post I would like to make someday about my new planner.

And what about you, though? What are your reading habits? How do you choose what to read or buy and when to do it? Let me know, sweetcheeks.

With bit of a geeky love,

Dana.

p.s. Photo by Patrick Tomasso

Haul · Me & My life

Tiger Haul

So yesterday I forced my lazy backside out of the door and managed to make myself to go and get some of the things that I needed, and also food, yeah.

I was thinking about trying something new for February in terms of planner and instead of my weekly spreads try to survive with only one monthly one. Of course, I’d still have other things in the notebook but not the weekly ones, at least for the month. Then I figured if I wish to keep it like that I should get a new notebook since mine is already more than halfway in, also, it’s already quite messy, could use some freshening up. Also, a I try to do every day but end up doing twice a month, I was making a diary entry that morning and realized that my notebook for that is coming to an end as well. After little talking and advice from my friend Anna I went to this store Flying Tiger Copenhagen, store with all kinds of some useful, some not so useful stuff, but overall wonderful for presents and people who loves to get themselves things they don’t really need such as me, or a.k.a. Tiger and here is what I got.

GOLD & SILVER MARKERS [ 2€ ]

Not that I needed them of course, but I sure as hell am going to find where to use ‘em. You know, I am like a little kid who just saw a candy, I must had it, especially as a wannabe productive person and wannabe bullet journal creator and wannabe artist and creative person and I am so not going to keep going on with this list…

BLACK A6 NOTEBOOK [ 1€ ]

So this is a present but not really for someone who hasn’t yet received their Christmas present. It’s like a little bonus for the big present. It is a bit harder to explain because the person might actually read this before we meet. Small chances, but there are. So the main thing is that it passed the test by having absolutely white pages.

TWO CARDS [ 1€ ]

Actually I was buying one, again, didn’t really needed but thought it would be cute to give it to Mr. Demon and then at the cash register they told me that it’s actually two for one’s price so I ran and grabbed another one that was just in time for one of the only colleagues I sincerely like at my work who is about to have her name day in February. (yes, we have name days here, we celebrate everything we can here)

NOTEBOOK FOR MY PLANS [2€ ]

Oh how I love the oldschoolish vibe of school supplies and I fell in love with this as soon as I saw this. It was even better because it was a little bit taller and wider than my current planner although this one has very small checkers which is not bad but could be a bit more time consuming.

Also only when I got home I realized that the pages are really thin and that means they are easily breakable and see through which is not good at all especially for a bullet journal. Any advice with that? Also having a bit of an issue with my patience since I want to start it in a monthly way straight away but I already did a spread for February in my old planner. Should I re do it in my new one to check out if it’s even possible on those thin pages or bite my fingers and wait for March to come?

NOTEBOOK FOR MY DIARY [ 4€ ]

Last but not least here is the notebook which is not close to being the best one I’ve seen so far, the design also might not be my favorite one but the style it’s made in got my attention and I just figured why not, when I’ll go through my old diaries one day, it could stand out a bit since for that I’m always trying to pic interesting or beautiful ones. Forgot to put a picture with the insides of it in the collage but basically just and empty striped notebook hides beneath those covers. Plus, if I’ll get tired of it and will find a new one, much prettier one, this will motivate me to write in it more constantly to actually finish it sooner.

Managed to get some other things too but they were from other places and after this beautiful haul, who cares for them anyways, right? Please tell me that I am not the worst case of school supply addict, do you know anyone else with such problem? (I have more than 500 pens at home, I counted once). But everything for 10€ ? I believe I could’ve done worse.

That’s all from me for now,

See ya’ next Friday.