October 27, 2015

Burnt Out...

For the last 7 years, ever since I convocated College,  I have worked jobs that didn't require work on weekends, aside from the weekend conference here or there. Then in August of this year I started a part time job where I work every Sunday in 'the city', a 45 minute drive from O-town. It was necessary for me financially at this time (because budget y'all) and I LOVE my jobs but I've just been feeling a little burnt out lately with only one day off every week. I know that I shouldn't complain because there are lots of people who don't get any days off throughout the week but I was so used to always having my weekends free and then all of a sudden I only have Saturdays to get everything accomplished and it makes my head spin a little bit when I think about everything that needs to get done in that one day. 

I have a to do list at home a mile long that just isn't getting accomplished and I have a lot on my plate at work at this time of year and things just keep coming up that require me to put my work to the side to take on other duties and my anxiety over not getting these things crossed off the list both at home and at work is super high. 

When I do start feeling burnt out its so hard to get any motivation going. It's dark when I leave my house for work in the morning, which makes getting out of bed as early as I did during the Spring/Summer way too difficult, and its dark about an hour after I get home from work and most nights I'm ready for bed by 7:30 because of how dark it is outside. I obviously have time at nights to be getting things done around the house but the motivation just isn't there right now and I just don't know how to find it!

Things I should be doing

Running on my new treadmill
Scheduling blog posts
Getting started on Helene's Quit Your Job to Blog course
Organizing the laundry basket full of junk that's been on the floor of my bedroom since August
Uploading pictures from my iPhone and DSLR to my laptop and ordering prints 
Meal planning 
Getting started on Christmas shopping
Crossing things off of my October Goals
Replying to blog comments (I'm terrible y'all)
Playing catch up and commenting on blog posts 
Decorating for Halloween
Taking Krickit for morning walks before it snows and we don't get to anymore
Yoga to centre myself

What I've actually been doing

Binge watching episodes of Once Upon a Time on Netflix
Eating all the Halloween candy in my house
Eating Pop Tarts for supper
Budgeting, budgeting, budgeting
Counting down the days until April when the 2016 MLB season starts
Going back and forth on what I should be for Halloween. Right now its between Robin Sparkles from HIMYM and Karen from Mean Girls (as a mouse, duh)
Falling asleep at 9 pm with all the lights on, with my contacts in and the tv still going, while Krickit is still upstairs 
Only leaving my house when absolutely necessary
Thinking up Halloween costumes for my nieces
Drinking all.the.caffeine
Writing blog posts last minute

I'm hoping that a night out with friends this weekend combined with my love of Halloween can also help me out of the funk that I've been in. A group of friends and I have started a monthly Wine Club and our very first get together is on Saturday, on Halloween and I'm SO excited for it! I also have my earned day off of work this Thursday (though I do have to work in 'the city' in the afternoon) and I'm hoping for some productivity to get a bunch of things crossed off my list!

What do you do when your feeling burnt out? 
And what should I be for Halloween?!

October 21, 2015

Breaking My Budget...

Last Friday I posted about life on a budget  and then the very next day I bought a treadmill AND made last minute plans for supper and drinks with friends. Sometimes I do SO good with budgeting and then sometimes, like last weekend, I epically fail. In my defense I've been wanting a treadmill for a long time now and there was a used Livestrong treadmill on an online garage sale site on FB that was in mint condition and had hardly been used and I just couldn't pass that deal up. A $2,600 treadmill for $500? Yes please

Then yesterday I was sitting at my desk at work and I looked down and realized that my one and only pair of jeans (if we're being technical they're Silver brand jeggings - I hate jeans) had finally kicked the bucket - the wear on the inside left thigh had finally started to tear.  I cried a little inside (ok, a lot) because that is now the THIRD pair of pants to do this and I paid over $90 USD for them new.  I have three pairs of jeggings that I rotate throughout the winter months, my Silver jeggings and maroon and black American Eagle jeggings and now they ALL have holes in them from the constant wear and I'm not ready to replace them. I sewed my black ones a month ago and already there are new holes. I'm not ready to send them to the clothes graveyard y'all. Mostly because I love them and know I won't be able to replace them with the exact same ones but also because BUDGET.

Due to the strict budget I've had myself on I haven't been shopping for clothes in a long time. I've bought a few things here or there, nothing over $20 per item, but haven't actually done a clothes haul in a long time. Obviously it's long overdue when I'm wearing out clothes from constant wear. But I just don't want to spend the money right now and go completely off budget. The struggle is so very real. 

Yesterday I filled up an online shopping cart from the Gap and American Eagle before I remembered BUDGET. I get sucked in with the promise of discounts and before I knew it I had a shopping cart filled with $200 in items. I'm not going to be able to avoid shopping for much longer though considering I'm now down to three pairs of yoga pants. I could proclaim every day of work Pajama Day until January....

My sister and I are going away November 2&3 for a little getaway and so she could do some clothes shopping since she's in the same boat as me with nothing to wear for Fall/Winter. Obviously I'm now going to have to rework my budget a little bit to allow for some shopping of my own, even though it pains me to have to do so. I'm still waiting on that money tree in my backyard to start growing...

October 16, 2015

Life On A Budget...

I started babysitting when I was 12 years old and treated it like it was my full time job - even back then I was extremely money conscious. I would take every single babysitting opportunity that I could and I kept a spreadsheet on a piece of looseleaf of the date, how many hours I spent with each family, and what I made each time (I actually still have it in a box at home). I was pretty spoiled as a child, I'm the first to admit it, and yet I hoarded my babysitting money away like I was living during the Great Depression. My family constantly made fun of me for it but I didn't care. It should come as no surprise that I still keep track of every single cent that I make and spend in a little notebook that goes everywhere with me. 

Last year was a hard year for me financially - Krickit cost me over $1,800 in medical testing (the joys of being a pet owner!), I had two wisdom teeth extracted and my insurance only covered a portion of the $2000 cost, I (finally) got braces and had to pay a $1,200 down payment (and not a single cent of the entire $6,600 is covered by my insurance), and also had to have three other teeth extracted after my braces were put on. It was just NOT a good year financially. I've been saving to buy myself a house for a couple years now and it started to feel like it was just never going to happen. 

On the flip side, since January of last year I have been to Minneapolis 4 times, Las Vegas 3 times, and Texas once. You may be scratching your head right now, thinking that I'm a little bit crazy and thinking 'how does she still travel so much when she's supposed to be saving to buy a home?' My response when I'm asked this is always the same. I REFUSE to keep travel out of my life - it's just not an option. I would rather have to rent for the rest of my life than not be able to travel. I live in the middle of nowhere and travel is my only escape - I would actually go crazy if it weren't for the trips that I take. There is just no way that I will cut travel out of my budget. Period. (I  posted back in April about ways that I save money while traveling - you can check it out here). My Grandma had a saying that has stuck with me since the first time I heard her say it 'You can't take it with you when you go'. After hearing that I let go of my tightwad tendencies a bit and loosened the purse strings and let myself use my hard earned money to enjoy life, not to just look at it in a bank account. 

So, when it comes to my budget, travel savings is a HUGE part of it. After another tight year financially thanks to being MOH in my brothers wedding coupled with adding in another payment each month for my braces I decided to take on a part time job in 'the city' in August to offset the cost of my braces and allow me some extra income each month. Everyone thought that I was crazy since its a 40 minute drive to 'the city' but I am loving it and having that extra money each month lets me breathe a little easier each month!

How I Work My Budget

I have a travel fund, emergency fund, and savings account set up through my Credit Union, along with my chequing account. I get paid biweekly at each job so it works out that I get a paycheque every week. All of my part time job earnings goes towards my emergency and travel funds, as well as towards Christmas 2015 savings.  Normally I like to start saving a little earlier for Christmas but since this was another tight year I didn't start until I got my first paycheque from my part time job. 

I have a braces payment, car payment, car insurance payment, & cell phone payment that are my largest payments out of the month and equals to one paycheque from my full time job. The other paycheque goes towards smaller payments, things like Netflix, some blogging expenses (PicMonkey, Rafflecopter, etc.), groceries, fuel, and then a large chunk goes to my savings for my down payment. Any leftover money after all of that gets taken out of my account and I pay with cash for things like eating out, coffee stops, etc. I also follow the $5 savings plan and save each $5 bill that comes my way. Last year I saved $735 dollars in $5 bills and I hardly carried cash at all at that time!

Some months I go over budget and have to move some money around from account to account but I find that having everything budgeted out each month has really helped me stay on track most of the time. I put myself on a really strict budget in September, with hardly any extra money leftover each money for things that aren't necessities, in the hopes to boost my savings my quite a bit by the end of December. Living on a budget can be hard sometimes, and there are definitely slip ups here and there, but it is so worth it to me. Knowing that I have money in savings in case anything were to happen with my health or my job and I wasn't able to work also lets me breathe a little easier.

Support System

I also have to say this: my parents are the absolute BEST and let me and Krickit take over their basement so that I can save money that I would be spending on rent to go towards my down payment savings and I owe them SO much and will probably never be able to repay their kindness. They bought me my first car, paid for my college education so I didn't have to take out Student Loans, and are now letting me live with them and take over their entire basement so that I can save. They rock and are my rocks.

Come January 2016 I will be revamping my budget a bit - I like to use Gail Vaz Oxlade's Interactive Budget Worksheet when doing up my budget to help me figure out what percentage of my income I should be spending on certain things, what percentage I should be saving, etc. I'll be doing a report on my progress in early January so make sure you stop back then to see how I did!

I'll stop now because this has already been long winded and there is still SO much more I could write about. Let me know in the comments what your number one budgeting tip is - I'm always looking for new ways to save!


October 12, 2015

I'm Thankful For Wine...

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone in the GWN! My long weekend has consisted of rewatching all the Scream movies, eating my weight in turkey and all the fixings, trying out some makeup tutorials on YouTube, watching the Blue Jays beat the Rangers, and even a little time spent at work. 

My brother had the great idea for us to do a shot every time the Blue Jays scored a run during the game last night. Kelsey always says that Kenton and I are a bad combo and shouldn't be allowed to make decisions together. She's usually right. A word of advice: don't ever do shots of Root Beer Schnapps that have been in your fridge for at least 5 years. Just don't... Also, don't ever play this kind of drinking game ever. There might be three run home-run that will have you doing three shots in a row and that is just never fun the morning after...

I am thankful for the Blue Jays win, keeping them alive in the playoffs, just not so thankful for the stomache ache I still have from mixing four different kinds of alcohols for said shots. There's NO way that I'm going to play that game again today - I'm hoping for even more than 5 runs from the Jays during today's game and my stomach (and liver) couldn't handle even one more shot. 

Before the game this afternoon I'm going to make some Turkey Noodle Soup and Turkey Fried Rice with the leftover turkey (so.much.turkey!) and then relax with some wine while I watch the game. I love long weekends!

Happy Thanksgiving!

October 9, 2015

I Have No Willpower...

I've been rewatching Friends on Netflix obsessively lately and just last night rewatched a Christmas episode - The One With Christmas in Tulsa - which flashbacked to all the different Christmas episodes. I've always wanted to go to NYC around Christmas but after watching that episode again last night guess who now NEEDS to go to NYC around Christmas this year? That's right, me, the girl on the super strict budget until the end of December. Doesn't exactly correlate now does it? Neither does the plethora of online shopping carts that I've filled up with items over the last few days
American Eagle 
Lululemon Skinny Groove Pants/Sweatshirt/Mug/Donaldson T-Shirt

Isn't all of that stuff great?! It hurts my heart that it's not currently enroute to my post office box. I need to winner the lottery y'all. 
Can somebody please send me some willpower before I start inputing my credit card information?! My budget depends on it since I have absolutely no willpower right now. Sorry for the short post today, I'm off to look up flights to NYC...

October 7, 2015

#Hashtag Humpday... I Live For the Weekends...

Is it just me or has this week seemed like the longest week ever? Yesterday seemed like it should have been at least Thursday - it wasn't until someone brought up today being Wednesday at a meeting that I was at yesterday that I actually processed that it was only Tuesday. I think the fact that I work every Sunday now is completely throwing me off #ilivefortheweekends #cantrememberthelasttimeisleptin #thinkitwas2012

Yesterday I saw in my FB feed that Gilmore Girls is fifteen years old and it took awhile for me to process it because I swear I was just thirteen years old and wishing that my small town even remotely compared to Stars Hollow. Over the past year alone I've been compared in looks to Lauren Graham more times than I can count on two hands AND have also been compared to the Gilmore Girls, along with my sister, because of our love of reading, our fast talking ways, and my love of coffee. #thanksforthecompliment #iwishiwasagilmoregirl #takemetostarshollow

I picked up the mail yesterday afternoon and found a bill from an oil change for Eleanor from May 2014. Almost a year and a half ago and they JUST sent me the bill. Ummm... what?! Due to their terrible bookkeeping they are going to have to wait even longer to get their money because I have my budget figured out until January #allaboutthebudget #someoneshouldbefired

I'm off work on Friday to use up a vacation day before the end of the year (I still have so many days and no actual vacations planned - its so sad!) and Monday is a Stat because of Thanksgiving - I am sooo looking forward to an extra long long weekend, even though most of it is going to be spent catching up on life #sobehindoneverything #cantwaitforturkey #actuallymorexcitedforwine

I'm having a Scream movie marathon on Saturday with my siblings and I'm super excited. Kenton and Toni are scary movie lovers and Kelsey and I are the wimps who hide behind blankets during the 'scary' parts. I haven't watched the Scream movies in forever - I can't watch scary movies alone because I'm a total baby, but I can watch them as long as there is someone watching with me #makesnosense #justgowithit #imthereforthepopcorn #andwine

There hasn't been any baseball to watch since Sunday and I've been completely lost without it. I'm so glad the Blue Jays made it to the Post Season and now I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that they make it to the World Series so there's even more baseball to watch before the season is over #isitthursdayyet #worldseriesherewecome #idontknowwhoiamanymore #iblamemybrother

#Hashtaghumpday @ Life with Lolo

October 2, 2015

October Goals...

Is anybody else having a hard time believing its already October?! I feel like I just got used to writing 2015 on paycheques and pretty soon it's going to be the new year! September was a busy month and like busy months do it just flew right by. When I looked at my schedule at the beginning of the week I couldn't believe that it was already time to write out my October goals and I started freaking out a little bit that I only had a few days left to finish up my September goals. However, I was surprised to find that I had crossed most of them off without even realizing!

September Goals Progress
1. Complete a 5K
DONE! My work hosted Run the Ox on Sunday and Jayden, Krickit, Maddi and I completed it. We may have walked  half of it but it still counts! 

2. Create a coffee budget for myself
Done! I've given myself a $10 a week coffee/muffin budget for the days that I work in 'the city' and I don't think I'll even spend that each week 

3. Stick to my monthly budget!
I tried SO hard y'all. I was doing really good, only buying what I had budgeted for, but then I had to order new contacts because I'm still wearing ones I ordered two years ago, then I convinced Jayden to do Run the Ox and she would only do it if I did it with her so there went $45, and then Krickit needed her vaccinations and my budget for the month was completely blown.  In my defense it wasn't on clothes, or shoes, or jewelry, etc. so it's not so bad

4. Get back into a fitness routine
It may have taken me until closer to the end of September for me to start making this a priority again but I'm back on the right track and feeling so much better now that I'm making it a priority again!

5. Have a freezer meal making day
Not yet, but I honestly haven't had a single Saturday that didn't have something already scheduled (and I work every Sunday so they're out) and I've found that it takes me a FULL day when I'm doing freezer meals 

6. Create a Fall Bucket List
Done! And I can't wait to cross all these awesome fall themed things off my list. You can check it out here

7. Finish setting up Phase 1 of my new bedroom oasis
Phase 1 is pretty much complete, now on to Phase 2 (the most expensive phase...). My number one priority now is getting a new TV for my space. My sister gave me my belated birthday gift last week and one of the items was Pitch Perfect 2. We watched it in my bedroom the next night and my sister said she needed a magnifying glass to see anything on my tiny 19" tv/vcr combo...

8. Set time aside for connecting with friends and family
Done! I met up with the Beaver Cove ladies in 'the city' for supper and drinks, Mallory, Nikki, and I enjoyed a delicious supper at the Olive Branch, my sister and I watched Pitch Perfect 2 together (though I may have fallen asleep... whoops), I've been getting my nails done by my friend Millz so we're able to gossip and catch up, AND Jayden and I did Run the Ox together. I can't believe I got together with all of them in one month - I don't think that has ever happened before! During Run the Ox Jayden and I also discussed creating a monthly Wine Club with our group of friends to make sure we get together at least once a month and we are SO excited to get started with it! We didn't even leave our friends a choice, they were just told they had to be a part of our 'club'. Jayden is hosting in October on Halloween and Jayden and Millz have already appointed me as the host for December because of my Christmas obsession. I already have so many ideas!

9. Check off the remaining items on my Summer Bucket List
I chucked this one in the *uck it bucket and moved on. Next Summer!

10. Practice, practice, practice with my new camera AND take some fall themed photos of my nieces
I've been practicing like crazy, though auto mode is still where I'm comfortable. I also took individual fall photos of my nieces for their birthdays but I'd still like to get some of them together before the snow falls

1. Send out three forms of snail mail
It's been awhile since I've sent out any 'just because' snail mail and I want to get back at it. Keep an eye on your mailboxes snailmail friends. And if you want to be snail mail buddies just send me your mailing address - krmathison@hotmail.com

2. Make a homemade cheesecake for Thanksgiving 
Yes, Thanksgiving is in October here in the GWN - its actually only 10 days away! I usually make the desserts for Thanksgiving and since I've wanted to take another whack at making a cheesecake from scratch for awhile now I figure what better time than Thanksgiving! 

3. 10K steps every.single.day in October
I haven't set any step goals in a few months so I want to get back at it. I found that when I wasn't setting the goal for myself I wasn't caring if I was only getting 8K steps a day, but when I had the goal I would walk circles around the island in the kitchen to make sure I got my 10K steps in, so setting the goal for myself definitely helps. I had been setting the goal at 5 days out of the week but I'm challening myself this month. Having a second job where I'm on my feet the whole time will definitely help me achieve this

4. Get back into blogging consistently
I took part in Helene's free (yes, free!) 'Get Noticed Now' webinar on Wednesday night and my brain was SO full of information, I'm still processing some of it. It lit a fire in me that's been missing for awhile and has me really excited for what's to come on this space of mine! Helene is also offering a course called 'Quit Your Job to Blog' and though I don't have any plans of quitting either of my jobs I still think the course will be very beneficial and help me grow this space. I've added the cost of the course to my monthly budget (I SO wish the exchange rate wasn't so bad right now though. Ughhhh) - and Helene was SO awesome to make a payment plan option - I can't wait for it to get started!

5. Comment on at least five blogs per day
I mentioned in the chat during Helene's webinar that this is something I'm terrible at. I tend to stick to consistently reading the blogs of the same 5-8 people and just comment on their blogs only. And I usually go a few days without commenting and then flood their inboxes with comments when I finally get around to reading. Lo (yep, I gave you my own nickname - I do it for all my friends so you should be honoured! haha) commented that she strives for 5 a day so that's going to be what I strive for as a minimum but I'm really hoping I'll be able to work on connecting more with new bloggers, while also working on not taking forever to comment and flooding everyone's inboxes. So if you have a couple of blogs that you make sure to read on a daily basis let me know so I can expand my horizons!

And that's it for my October goals. I'm keeping them short and sweet this month since I have a Fall Bucket List that needs to get worked on, mostly in October since the snow will most likely be falling by November (if not earlier- ughh). 

What are YOUR October goals?