Monday, December 31, 2012

A Happy New Year

As the new year is fast-approaching, I thought I'd take a moment to write a bit about some important decisions that my husband and I made this year that have made a big impact on our happiness and overall well-being. While we didn't set these as New Year's resolutions (those always get broken, anyway), they are very relatable to some of the most common resolutions people make. I hope that our experiences can help you better understand some ways that have worked for us to save money, have more time, and be healthier.

1. We saved big time. This year, we easily could have splurged on several things like a new car, dinners out, and more vacations or weekend getaways. But we didn't. When I was hungry after a long day of work and desperately wanted to pick up In-n-out Burger, I came home and cooked something instead. We allowed ourselves one meal out a month (at about $50) and strived to do the rest of our eating at home. When we felt like we needed some time to disconnect and re-charge our batteries, we could have booked a hotel room at a nice hotel, but we went hiking instead. When birthdays came around, we went out to dinner and kept gifts out of the celebration. Oh, and in case you forgot, I did not buy any new clothes all year. We did not keep a specific budget but just aimed to spend as little money as possible. And I can't tell you how satisfying it is to see that number representing net worth grow and grow.

It's so easy to spend money and our culture does a good job of making you feel like you can't live life to the fullest if you're not spending money. But I've learned that that's not true. It's easier than you think to have fun while only spending money on gas, rent and groceries.

2. We cut cable. Around August, we started to notice that a lot of our free time after work was being spent "clearing the DVR". It was a never-ending battle to get the "space being used" number down to 0%. So we decided that once our current contract was up (in October), we would not renew. Our choice to get rid of cable TV was not a money-saving decision, but a decision about time. Since limiting our cable and thus, greatly reducing our TV-watching, I've found that we talk more at home, we have more free time and we get more sleep. In short, I don't miss having cable TV. Not one bit. (Disclosure: we do have Netflix, which allows us to enjoy movies and other great featured shows, on our time.)

3. We bought a juicer. In October, I caught wind of a documentary called "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". Since we had cut cable earlier that month, I had the time to watch it on my laptop. The hubby heard sound bites of it while I was watching and, by the end, we both decided that juicing might be a great way to get more nutrients in our diet and, ultimately, get healthier. The hubs was looking to lose some baby weight and I had been battling little headaches which were getting seriously annoying. We decided to purchase this juicer (which we love) and made a trip to Costco to stock up on produce. We've since purchased large Mason jars which we use to store, transport and drink our juice.  I drink one every morning (along with a small breakfast) and hubby has replaced breakfast and dinner with juice.

In short, we feel great!

18 comments:

Tina Barros said...

nice blog :) do you wanna follow? let me know

xx Tina

ririst chan said...

that's good job for you..
happy new year..

http://ristlicious.blogspot.com/

Bani said...

great post! i've been doing #1 as well, although i have to admit i splurged a bit on boxing day haha. but i usually wear the same clothes anyways, so when i thought i about it, i don't actually need more.

my fam never really had cable, but we do get around 20 stations... the past year though, i decided to spend my TV-watching time doing other things instead, and I noticed I've been happier and I've actually lost weight, bcause I'd always be snacking while watching TV.

I definitely want to try getting a juicer... I looooove juice.

Anywho, thank you for the follow! I really like your blog so I'm going to follow you too xo

Happy New Year!

http://bl4q.blogspot.ca/

Stamp in My Passport said...

As I graduate in this next year and have to start paying all of my own bills, I'm definitely going to have to find creative ways to cut costs. Glad to know that doesn't mean you have to cut fun as well, though! Have a happy new year!
-Jess

aliceinbo said...

Thanks a lot! I folow your nice blog too!
Happy 2013!

Besos

invisiblefashion said...

Happy New Year!!!

invisiblefashion said...

I follow you :)

lauren claire | rebuild said...

We're aiming to tackle #1 this year. Your paragraph about it inspired me!

Constance said...

Happy new year gorgeous!

http://bamostwanted.blogspot.com.ar/

Introverted Art said...

You go!!! I lived without cable and internet for years. Never missed it and read some amazing books. Happy new year.

Idea Interiors Mtl said...

What a great post, learning to live with less and picking what you want to spend your money on is a challenge in todays' consumer world.

Loving interiors - which is what I blog about is a real challenge. I want to change things all the time.

I have learned to do a lot of things on a dime as you pointed out - and even rent out my spectacular home when I can, to make ends meet and also to afford me some other things I'd 'like to have'. In the mean time

I spend time living with friends, eat in A LOT, have coffee out instead of dinner, do my own pedicures and refinish junk finds that I sell as well.

Always a challenge, but there is a great sense of accomplishment in knowing that you can do with 'less' and that the choice is always yours in the end. Not being dictated by the Jones's.

Great post!

Elena - www.ideainteriorsmtl.blogspot.ca

Caroline said...

Very glad you guys were able to make such great decisions! Happy New Year - hope 2013 is amazing!

Mimi Finerty said...

Great post - congratulations on all your achievements in 2012. Saving money and not buying as many (I dont think I have the strength to cut out shopping completely) clothes is my mission for 2013.

aperfectflake.blogspot.com said...

Your first goal about saving money is inspiring and very practical. I don't often think about all of the little (or semi-little) purchases I make all the time...especially on food and clothes. My boyfriend and I said goodbye to our tv this past year too though! But as for juicing, I got a juicer a few years back and found that while delicious and nutritious things came out of it, it got super super expensive to buy all that produce!
-Sarah V
P.S. I'm loving your blog!

Daliene said...

Ok so I am nervously starting the Fest challenge today. I confess I went to Loft yesterday to buy the pants for work (both 50% off so both pairs only cost $38 which I was proud of) and I bought a new black bra (not to give TMI but the old one was a little too boobalicious since I've gained so much weight. bummer. lol SOOO here goes my first month without shopping. Now if I could just go one month without eating out too and I would be set. lol :)

EMILLANA said...

cool resolutions! i should do the same!
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SH said...

My hubby and I cut the cable last year, partially for wasted-time reasons, but also for financial reasons! I don't miss it at all. Whatever shows I do want to watch, I can find online. Good luck with that change!
thehartungs.blogspot.ca

Mode a'Portee said...

Amazing tips... Love this post!! I am also into juicing maybe yeah to get a juicer is a good idea...