I am broke. Skint. Penniless. Bankrupt. On my last legs. Over a barrel. Anyone who knows me will know that shopping comes second nature to me, but I am definitely feeling the pinch this month.
January might have 31 days, but it currently seems to be the longest month of the year. After the splurge of the Christmas holidays, January is normally a time for cutting back, becoming healthier and reevaluating your life. For many, this is a choice. For me, this is a requirement. With my last pay day being before Christmas, and my next pay cheque not arriving until the last working day of the month, I have had to rethink spending habits, and find new ways to spend my time (rather than browsing http://www.notonthehighstreet.com.) Therefore, I have drafted a list of ways to Stop The Splurge this Janaury!
1. Get Active
I’m not going to lecture you with this “New Year, New Me” stuff. With Operation Transformation back on our screens, the footpaths are full of high-vis vests and newly bought runners. I can’t deal with the crowds because they make me feel bad. Not only am I broke, I now have to keep up with the power walkers racing down Milltown Road. So, I’ve decided to head for the hills and start walking in the mountains. There are less people up there, and there is the added bonus of no shops! The views are amazing, and although it can get pretty cold, I would recommend it to everyone.
2. Listen to “Serial”
“Serial” is a podcast series which gripped America just before Christmas. There are twelve episodes, ranging from 30 minutes to an hour. The series details the 1999 murder case of Hae Min Lee, a 17 year old girl from Baltimore. At the time, her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Seyd, was charged with her murder. His legal team reached out to a journalist, Sarah Koenig, in the hope of finding new evidence to clear Adnan of the charges. “Serial” will keep you on the edge of your seat, as Koenig keeps the “Did he? Maybe he didn’t?” excitement going through every podcast. You can listen to the series for free here.
3. Become a Culinary Genius
I don’t really have the money to be eating out this month, or buying mammoth amounts of food (besides – since Operation Transformation started, Lidl can’t keep fresh vegetables in stock!). Therefore, I have retreated to the back corners of the cupboard to see what I can find. This month, my meals have consisted of a lot of honey (we had four unused jars!). So far, I can tell you that honey works well with salmon and chicken – not so well with mince. Mushrooms can be eaten raw, and have a very long shelf life. Green tea is also another money saver as it doesn’t require milk or sugar! (I know, I’m wondering what happened to me too….).
4. Plan Holidays
I was back in the office about five hours before I started planning my summer holiday. So far, I have three trips planned, with another two prospects in the works. Some might say that I’m wishing my life away, but I like to think of it as having an “organised approach”. When the nights are dark and gloomy, why not research what it would be like to be in Cape Cod in June or to go on safari in South Africa in October?
5. Increased Productivity
This is actually a valid point. Working in the city centre, it can be very easy to succumb to the pressure of having a browse in H&M, or popping into Butler’s for a white hot chocolate. My new plan is to work until the shops are closed, and then go home without temptation from the sale in Topman. So, I’m working until about seven every night. My work is getting done, and my wallet is staying safely in my pocket. I don’t feel as much stress in work, and I have more time to spend time on projects and be creative.
6. Start a Blog
This really is my favourite new hobby. It gets the creative juices flowing, and it’s free! Although it does require some effort, it is an alternative from watching five back-to-back episodes of “Say Yes To The Dress”. I often found that if I had an opinion on something, nobody would listen because I couldn’t put it into the right words. Now, I can spend time about getting my message across – and so far people seem to like it (I hope I don’t jinx it!). Vlogs are pretty cool too, but just thank you’re lucky stars I don’t have a decent camcorder.
These are just some of the ways that help me get through January, and with pay day over 9 days away, there may be a second part of this blog coming soon!