Monday, February 22, 2016

This Week...Beyond Money 2/15 - 2/21

For me, a life beyond money is making choices so that you can live the best possible life, regardless of your income level. Obviously, you have to make a living, but there are many ways to improve your quality of life without increasing your income levels and correspondingly your expenses. This regular post will be some of the ways that we improve our quality of life beyond just trying to make more money.
* I have aphids in my indoor lettuce garden. I harvested what I could, then threw it outside since it is going to freeze later this week. I can't let them get to my overwintered pepper plants.
* I fed the bunnies dried carrot leaves from last year's garden. They loved them.

* Trucker made BLTs one evening when I got home from work.
* We made dinner together when I got off work one afternoon. We had roasted veggies (asparagus, carrots, onions, brussels sprouts, and peppers; polish sausage and a small portion of homemade mac n cheese.
* I bought asparagus at a loss leader sale for $1.25/lb.
* I bought a bag of clementines on managers special. They cost $.02 each. Can't beat that.
* I made goldenrod eggs one day. I chopped in a leftover half polish sausage to up the protein and use up leftovers. I served over mini bagels that I had in the freezer so I could avoid going to the grocery store another day.
* I bought a few basics at the grocery stores in the store brand: tortillas, bread, coffee. I got a pound of broccoli on sale for $.99/lb. I plan to make broccoli cheddar soup later this week. Milk was on sale for $2/gallon.
* I cooked the rest of the Brussels sprouts for my dinner one evening while Trucker was at work.

* We went out for a long coffee date one evening. $3.18 with our travel mugs. Another day we went out for coffee and got one coffee for free with our rewards card.
* I took my sister out one evening as a belated birthday celebration. There was a free Happy Hour at the local theatre downtown. We got all dolled up and ran out the door. We didn't have time for dinner, so we swung in the the local donut shoppe to get the best donuts in town. In hindsight, maybe we were too formal for the location. There were free light appetizers at the theatre and we got to catch up a bit. The Columbus Symphony Orchestra played three pieces. It was a wonderful show. Afterwards, we walked down to a coffee shop for more talking and cafe au lait. It was a lovely night, and, everything in, was around $10.
* My friend and her daughter had their birthday party at a restaurant nearby. I ate a little before I went so I wasn't ravenously hungry. I ordered a small appetizer for $5 instead of ordering a $15 meal.

* We went for a couple walks around the neighborhood to enjoy the fresh air and sunlight.

* We are decluttering in a major way. I keep going through closets and drawers and pulling out lots of clothes to get rid of. I am also wearing each pair of shoes I have. If they are unreasonably  uncomfortable by the end of the day, they go in the box. I have a problem with buying adorable shoes at thrift stores that fit okay, but aren't comfortable for real-life wearing. However, I have a hard time getting rid of items after I purchase them, so the closet has gotten full. I have 130 items so far. I plan to stop at a consignment store to try to pawn some off, then offer to friends and family, and then donate the rest. We are going through items on the Amazon store and deleting anything that has dropped in value. Those items we take up to the used book store. It pays terribly, but it is something. I am also planning on taking a load up to the household consignment stores. So far we have made $37 selling clutter.
* I have put all consignment money into savings. I also saved my writing check. We have been more mindful of spending the last few months and it has paid off. When I got my first check from the new job, I looked at my accounts. Despite working 50% less over the previous two weeks at the regular job, I had enough to cover all my bills for the period, so the entire check went into savings as well.
* I am concentrating my debt repayment on two debts in particular. One has a ridiculous interest rate (I'll call the bank to ask if they can drop the rate, as situations have changed in the 5 years since I got the card). The other was a promotion for buying tires and if I pay them off by the May, I don't pay any interest, so it will save $30. I only have $50 left on that card, so that is not an issue whatsoever. The other card I have made 5 payments in the last 3 weeks of various amounts, but each time higher than the minimum payment. It's nice to see the interest charge drop each month.

Waste Reduction:
* I composted weird things.

* Worked 1 hour overtime at my regular job.
* I packed lunch each day I worked. Steve ate for free at his job.
* I got a job offer at the place I temped last week. I get a decent hourly wage and a set schedule. This is really nice. I enjoy the work (it's kitchen work, but very pleasant) and the coworkers and manager are nice.

* I got my very first check for writing (First time getting paid for writing ever, except for a writing contest in high school, where I got $3 for a first place, $2 for a 2nd place and $1 for a 3rd place It was for $73. I was too excited. I took a photo before cashing it. They asked if I wanted to have a check mailed or a deposit into my Paypal account. Even though I would have gotten the money quicker by having a direct deposit, I wanted to physically hold that check in my hand. I'd been dreaming of that moment for a good 20 years.
* We went picking together one afternoon. We had $5 off $10 coupons, plus got some items that were half off. We did really well and got some good, fun items to bring up to the booth or list on Etsy.
* I focused on getting items listed on Etsy this week. I'm making good sales and it was nice to get the pile of to-list items knocked out. I only have a couple more items unlisted.

* My blood pressure and heart rate has stayed at a good level. I've lost 3.5 pounds in the last two months. I'm not actively trying to lose weight, exactly, just trying to be healthy. If I lose too quickly, it always comes back, so this slow and steady pace is good. I'm feeling so much better lately. Now that the weather is getting nicer, I need to get back into my regular running schedule and I'll be even better.
* We went for a few walks to enjoy the weather.
* I realized that I have improved my tastes over the last year. My new job involves dipping loads of fruit into chocolate all day long. I don't even crave the chocolate, whereas when I was a baker, I'd mindlessly nibble on baked sweets all day.
So maybe I am obsessed, but how could one not be?

How was your week?

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