Friday, 13 February 2015

Changing Our Lifestyle While Upping Our Savings Game

As I try to stay warm on this blistering cold day sitting in our office dressed in my thermal everything! I reflect back on what's been new and happening with us the last couple months. And I wanted to give you all an update!

I hate making New Year's Resolutions. I think they never work. If you want to change something, do it now and not wait until the new year. Winton thinks different and enjoys making resolutions, so I jumped on his bandwagon, hoping I'll encourage him and we can keep the momentum going. We both decided this will be the year where we both lose weight, eat healthier/eat at home and save money. I was pretty sure this will be the hardest decision I make in my life. I love eating convenience foods! I love picking up a pizza on the way home and going out for dinner with my friends. I love not working out and instead sitting at home binging on the next popular tv show. I love picking up a package of cookies and other junk foods to snack on when I'm sitting in front of a screen. I'm also a notorious hot chocolate drinker, it's my version of everyone's coffee. It was a brutal decision! I'm lazy and I like clipping coupons and save money on everything I can, but if some dessert went on sale then I'd cave. It's a pretty bad addiction.

In our second month, I have to say we are doing a really good job. Better than we both expected. We are spending more on groceries, getting more food and more quality food as well. We save so much by not eating out anywhere near as much as we use to. We did indulge and went out a few times but even so I've noticed that everything at a restaurant is so incredibly salty and I hate it. It actually turns me off from going out to eat.

I've also been getting up earlier and practicing some yoga in the mornings before work. I'm far from buff or anything but I'm working on building the habit of getting up early more than working on killing myself with exercise in the mornings. Hopefully and slowly, I can increase the intensity but it's pretty hard as it is to wake up while it's still dark and cold out and you are freezing doing some planks on a mat. I'm happy to say I've lost a few pounds right off the bat but have since kind of been stuck for the last couple weeks. I'm trying not to deprive myself as much as I try to substitute my cravings. I've been spending a lot of time chopping and filling tupperware of ready to eat fruits like cantaloupes, grapefruits and oranges. I like to leave them at the top level of the fridge in plain site. I'm taking a note out of grocery store logic, those at eye level are purchased the most. So, if I see a box of oranges and not the slice of chocolate cake in the back bottom shelf, I'll be more likely to eat the oranges and forget the cake is even there. By no means, never not reach and eat that cake in the back. Eat it and enjoy it, maybe try to just eat half? I'm trying to portion control, so I will eat until I'm satisfied and not stuffed. Makes a huge difference, since it's so easy to overeat all the time! If I don't satisfy my cravings after a long time and force myself to go without, it doesn't end up well and I end up binging on a tons of junk foods and I just can't stop.

It's sort of an oxymoron when I say we are spending more on groceries while we want to save money, but it's not. Because we eat at home we save a ton more money as opposed to going out to eat. It all adds up! The amount we spend buying better groceries is only a fraction of what we would have spent at a restaurant. Not to mention, the gas, parking, and tips we'd also have to pay for on top of our meals. We also love making our own pizza's at home instead of getting delivery. We can throw on all the topping we love and substitute the dough for pita bread. Less carbs but we also can make it in a few short mins. It's so simple! Cooking food at home means you get way better lunches! Leftovers are the best! I hate eating boring cold sandwiches at work, but with left overs I can bring in and nuke some curry from the night before or toast up my own pre-made pizza. I make a point to never buy lunch at work. It's not really feasible where I work and we have a microwave, a toaster oven, and a hot plate. I even leave a small pot and my own cleaning sponge at the office. Personally, there really isn't any good reason I'd need to leave work and buy lunch unless it's a special occasion, which is probably once or twice a year. If I'm every desperate for food, which happens sometimes when I can't get to the grocery store I can easily make instant noodles or heat up a canned of something. Even without doing groceries we always have a of various canned food, dry pasta and sauces, and even frozen food.

It's never too late to start a budget, lay out a financial plan and start saving. This article comes at a perfect time as a day ago our kitchen sink trap rotted through. Attempting to replace it ourselves we discover the damage is bigger than we thought and might have to replace more of the piping. I'm not worried, I'm happy to say I'm not losing sleep over it as the old Julie would have. We have a home maintenance fund and it'll easily take care of the cost of a plumber. I'm not particularly happy about spending the money but I know it's the cost of living and has to be done. Impossible to avoid stuff breaking down and having to be repaired or replaced, but at least we are ready for it.

Stay Warm!

Eros and Pookie

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