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Thursday, 8 February 2018

Cash Budget for January..month one under my belt!



Month 1 of cash budgeting! I did not die! These are the 6 areas I generally overspend on so these are my cash envelope categories. Now. Let’s chat & do a recap of categories, shall we? 
1. Groceries
This one is at the top and is the biggest most impactful change to me. When I look at my total which I have circled in red for all six categories… That is the amount that I typically have spent on average per month, on groceries. So I budgeted $500 for January and I went over by $11.68. I am impressed BEYOND! 

2. Fuel
So because this was my first month travelling for work I really had no idea how much it was going to cost me for fuel. Clearly it’s been a while since I have been on the road and when I was, my fuel was paid for by my previous companies so I had no idea and I budgeted $150 to start which was super low. This was an eye-opener as to how much fuel really is.

3. Dining Out
To be honest I do not eat out very much so I budgeted myself $80 and I still had money to spare. There are days that I stayed late after work and had to buy something for supper so that pretty much takes care of what I spent. 

4. Clothing
I budgeted $100 for this because hello, I work at a clothing store with amazing pre-loved items and I thought $100 would be a great starting point. I also had purchase a bra which was that extra $55.79. Two things… GOOD Bras are not cheap which we all know. I need to keep adding to my wardrobe because my clothing for work has been limited simply because my wardrobe falls between yoga wear and super dressy. But fortunately I have options where I work. 

5. Creative Team & Thrifting
This one is a new category...sort of. I am part of a creative team with lady that I admire and it involved be having to purchase a few things up front, but it will pay for itself AND this will not be a recurring amount. I expect next month will be around the same and then after that it will be reduced greatly. This is a bit of a new career opportunity so to me it’s an amazing investment.

6. Starbucks
OK no let me just preface this by saying just because I am on a budget does not mean that I will be eliminating my Starbucks bevvies. It just means that instead of going a few times a week. I will just be reducing that down. Also, I did purchase egg bites twice, which I left in this category instead of moving to dining out. Next month I want it to be less.



I also want to mention that I was not perfect in this month one. Nor did I expect to be. I actually had to purchase fuel and a few other items on debit because I did not make it to the bank in time and just wanted to literally get the hell home after a long day of work and snowy crazy weather. But for 99.9% of the time, all my purchases were cash and that impresses me.

To be honest, a few years ago I thought that this would never be for me… Ever! But I want things to change and I don’t want debt to be holding me back. I want to be in control of my money instead of it controlling me.

I’m not sure why this is not taught in school because this is a life skill that everybody needs to know starting at a young age instead of when they are like me and in their freaking 40’s. But hey, better late than never. And if I can do this, really, there is hope for all mankind. 

Also in the past month my husband and I have paid down a substantial amount on our credit card, which right now is our goal…to get rid of that. I have also paid off one other debt early with extra cash from taking this job.

This is definitely a work in progress and this is the first time I have ever been excited to look at my bank account and make entries into my YNAB tracker and have all the numbers down on paper. Before it terrified me, so literally I ignored it a lot, which is the WORST thing ever. Ignoring doesn’t fix shit...it makes it worse.

It’s been challenging for sure, but being in debt is way more challenging. So I am choosing my hard. And funny story, even through the challenges (Winners, Marshalls, Michaels & all the shiny things) I still have very smartly made some incredible purchases that were part of my budgeted amounts instead of buying ALL the things. And I learned to give myself a breather and consider if this was something I just wanted in the moment or if it was something that I really needed to have. That made the decision easier. 

This is a bit of a novel, but I wanted to share my first month with you. Maybe it will inspire you to make some changes to your finances if that is what you are aiming for. 

I am still a newbie, but each month, it’s going to get better. That excites me BEYOND words!  😀


Two books that really helped me get a grip on things (and I HIGHLY recommend) were:
1. The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey
2. Love Your Life Not Theirs  by Rachel Cruze 

If you have any questions, totally just ask!!  I am learning lots along the way but am happy to share! 

Stay weird,
Wendy 












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Monday, 11 December 2017

Cushion Covers in 10 Minutes


Feeding my Buffalo check addiction has been SO gratifying with these super fast & easy cushion covers. It literally took me 10(ish) min from start to finish, and once you make one, your next one will be faster.  Let's get started!


First things first, you are going to need fabric.  I just eyeballed it and grabbed a yard of this gorgeous teal flannel buffalo check.  If you want to be sure, measure your cushon sizes first. I knew from making the cushion cover for my Front Entry Reno that I was definitely good with one yard for 2 of these covers.

You will also need:
*scissors
*pins
*measuring tape
*iron & ironing board
*your cushions or inserts to cover (I have these GORJ cushions from Urban Barn that I am covering just for the holidays)
*matching thread


HOW TO MAKE COVERS:
Hold your cushions taut from corner to corner and measure across the top (width).  Do the same down the sides (length).  This will give you your base height & width measurements.
My cushions are 22" wide x 12" high.

Height - Add 1" to the height. (Mine: 12" + 1" = 13")
Width - Multiply the width by 2 then add 6 inches (Mine: 22 x 2 = 44, then + 6 = 50")

This is the size of the piece of fabric you will be cutting. Mine was 50" x 13".
NOTE: My cut fabric in pic below is folded in 1/2.


 With fabric right side down facing ironing board, press shorter ends in 1/4", then press them over again 3/4'.  Pin in place.  Repeat on opposite end. Stitch both ends.
With the fabric right sides together, overlap your hems about 4 inches.  I really just eyeballed where the center would be, but if you want to be precise, measure the halfway point.  After you have this overlapped, pin together, and your total width should match your first initial pillow measurement, as you can see below in pic.  Pin the other side as well.

Stitch across uppper and lower raw edges with a 1/2" seam.  Clip your corners, turn cushion cover right side out, and press.


Here is the back flap once pillow is inserted.
 Annddd, again, full view.

This is a really FUN way for me to add a bit of fuzy warmth in my living room on the cheap.  Plus, I will probably keep these up all winter, just because there can never be enough Buffalo Check in my life!


I freaking LOVE how it looks with my vintage ochre velvet cushion covers.
Have you made these? If so, did you find them easy?

Stay weird ;-)
Wendy

PS: I got my inspo from My Childhood Treasures




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Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Pompom & Pinecone Garland DIY


OK so let me start by saying, technically these are NOT pinecones, but they are cones from my daughter's Hugh Jass evergreen tree, which I think is a blue spruce.  They are cones...they work.  Where I live the pines are few are far between, so I subbed in the next best thing! Real pine cones would be FAB!! 

Let's carry on shall we?
Ok so I have been obsessing over all the Pompom things this Christmas and everything is RE.DIC.U.LOUS.LY overpriced for my budget, so when met with a challenge...Martha comes out to play in the sandbox.  

I am feeling over the top creative this holiday season and because we all need a bit more glitter and fuzzy things in our lives, I decided to make this garland.  My kitchen window was looking sad and lonely and this was the perfect accoutrement. 

I bought this yarn a few years ago at Michaels and found it in my stash and throught it was about right for the task.  And Ohhhh, those pompoms are sooooo fluffy!

I didn't resort to rocket science.  I wedged a piece of thin jute between my center fingers to tie the pompom, then wrapped my hand 40 times (It sounded logical in my head) and then tied it off, cut the loops, then gave it a good jhuzzing (aka: fluffing) and trimmed it into a pretty shape.  




Onwards to the bling.  Glitter...the glue that hold my life together.  #notkidding
So I dug in my craft box for glitter I already had and found my Martha stash.  I got this a few years ago, and honestly, I am not even sure it is still in stores.  Since copper is the hot trend right now and the perfect compliment to the teal yarn, the choice was easy.

 *CAWWWW, CAWWWW*
 I simply brushed on some white paint...I had Behr Swiss Coffee for another project so I cracked open the can, brushed paint on the bottom half(ish) of the cones and then while the paint was still wet I sprinkled the magical glitter over the paint.


 I propped the cones up on a little piece of wood I had to dry.  

So here is the deal on assembly:  I made 7 pompoms and 6 pinecones.  I roughly measured the length of garland to my window so it went across the top and down both side. I used a thin jute string.  I spaced out the pompoms evenly on the jute, and simply tied them to the main piece of jute string I cut. I grabbed some thread from my sewing box for the cones, because jute was too heavy to tie around these as they are more delicate.  I tied the thread around the cones, knotted twice, then tied one cone between each pompom.  EASY, PEASY! That's it.  

I hung it above the window, giving it a little bit of a drapey swoop in the centre.  I think it is a fun addition to my holiday decor and it really took no time at all.  Because I had all the materials in my stash, this project cost me nothing, which to me is winning!  :-)



Do you love to create your own holiday decor?  I'd love to see what you are making.  If you have a blog post, drop your link to your creations below in comments.

Stay weird,
Wendy







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