Jun 10, 2010

My Summer of Buying Nothing Challenge

I am giving myself a Summer of Buying Nothing Challenge, June 10th to September 10th.  The following items will be exempt from "buying nothing" but will be restricted to a budgeted amount:
  • Groceries and Jenny Craig food
  • Gas for Zoё
  • Maintenancefor Zoё
  • Pre-existing bills
  • Medication and doctor's visits
  • Yoga monthly membership
  • Magick and coven supplies
  • A small Father's Day gift and/or card
  • DMV fees for Zoё and new driver's license
Along with buying nothing, I will also be evaluating where I can reduce the things I don't need/don't use now that I have a clearer understanding of the items I use in my much smaller (but bigger than I hoped for) space--yah no more two bedroom apartment, hello shared house.  I will also be looking at where I can make changes in my current routine that will allow for me to make further reductions, such has using the communal microwave down stairs and selling my personal microwave.  Sadly I had to purchase a refrigerator because there was literally no room for me to even have a gallon of milk communally stored (but I did choose a small energy star fridge/freezer combo).

So what does this mean right now?  Well it means I'm gonna have to find a hair detangling option from what I got that doesn't leave my hair greasy and actually detangles.  I've tried ACV, lavender water and coconut oil and I'm still shooting blanks.  This weekend is DMV, Zoё maintenance and recouping from my reunion last weekend.

May 28, 2010

Unannounced Hiatus Over

There is light at the end of the tunnel and my unannounced hiatus is over!

For the last four months I've been working 12-13 hour days (not including travel time between jobs and home) and even managed to juggle three jobs for about a month. Speaking of work, I accepted an IT software development Project Manager position with the government. It's been a rough transition into the team, but the developers have finally realized that I understand what they are saying I just don't know the specifics of their applications (I don't hold a masters in IT/IS for nothing you know). As of this coming Sunday I will only be working one job and be able to get more than 5 hours of sleep.

In other big news I moved out of my apartment and into a shared house this week. In the process of down sizing and preparing for the move I had a small set back in down sizing due to some purchasing frenzies the move created. I'm working on taming that and trying to buy handicrafts or organic products. But I did make great strides in reducing my belonging.

  • ✓FreeCycled Couch
  • ✓Dresser returned to parents house
  • ✓Bed frame returned to parents house
  • ✓Desk returned to parents house
  • ✓Bedside table returned to parents house
  • ✓Cleaned out old papers from desk and "to be filed" jumbo box

Things that have backslide:
  • Homemade Shampoo/Conditioner -- I had a scalp issue that I tried to resolve with organic shampoo/conditioner, then the ACV stopped detangling my hair...looking for alternatives now
  • Make deodorant -- Currently using Tom of Maine’s deodorant due to coconut oil melting
  • Ban fast food -- Haven't been home enough to avoid fast food :(
  • Eliminate red meat from my diet – I haven't been sticking to :(

Feb 1, 2010

An Update of Sorts

Well it seems like forever since I've updated because frankly it has been forever.  A lot has been going on this last month.  This biggest news is I got a roommate halfway through the month.  This is a huge help.  I also started my second job which has me running around like a mad woman.  I've got a third job in the works which will become my full time job and the other two will just be part time jobs.  I'm hoping that I will still be on track with the new job for a move in May.  I've got my finger crossed.

Despite being incredibly busy this month I still managed to get some changes made.  Here's a recap of the COMPLETED challenged from January:
✔Clean desk and reduce to one desk
✔Get roommate
✔Reduce debt by 25%
✔Replace eco-laundry detergent with lavender castle soap
✔Replace toothpowder with pepperment castle soap
✔Switch to recyclable razors

I moved to the smallest of the three original desk.  I still have a few things hanging around in the old desk, but for all intensive purposes I'm using just the one small desk.  :)

I got a roommate!

My debt is slowly decreasing.  I'm proud to say that minus my educational expenses I've reduced my debt by almost 25%.  Things are still rough, but I made it through January and I will make it thorough February.

I've totally switched the lavender castle soap for my laundry detergent.  I love love love it.  All my clothes smell great now and not too perfumey.

Peppermint castle sap as toothpaste rocks!

I totally switched to recyclable razors and am thrilled with the results!

The plan is to get some challenges up for February by the end of the week, but I've got a lot on my plate for the next couple of days.

Jan 10, 2010

January Challenges...and Changes Already Made

Alright I've got some challenges up and ready for this month.  Here's the list so far:
→Clean desk and reduce to one desk
→Reduce debt by 25%
→Switch to recyclable razors
→Take unused dresser and bed frame back to parents
→Use up pre-packaged items in apartment
And as this post goes one I'm sure I'll be adding to this least as I've already made some changes this month.

First up, I've gone from three desk, one with a hutch to two desk with no hutch.  Now in the next 21 days I want to go from two desk to one desk.  This will require me to get some desk stuff I have stored in the closet out and continue to evaluate what I have and what I really need.

Next up is to reduce my debt by 25%.  Selling my car as me almost to this goal.  I have one more payment this month and then I can officially say I've reduce my debt (ignoring my student loans for the moment) by 25%.

I've really wanted to switch to recyclable razors for a while and I've finally made it down to my last razor.  So now this is just a matter of me making it to Wegman's to pick up the razor or checking in the Natural Grocer again for them.  Hopefully in the next week or so this can be checked off.

I talked to my dad over Christmas and he said to continue to harass him and he'll borrow someone's truck from his hunting club and get the dresser and bed frame.  I might even have a desk ready for him if he waits til the end of the month.  He claims he didn't know I was waiting for him to get the furniture.  Oops daddy had a senior moment.

As always I'll continue to use up the prepackaged items in the apartment.  Slowly but surly this is getting done.

I found two wonderful new (to me) uses for castle soap.  A drop or two of peppermint castle soap makes wonderful toothpaste.  I like this much better than my toothpowder which still taste pretty bad.  I also found that a 1/4 a cup of lavender castle soap works just as well as laundry detergent and doesn't leave any perfumery smell on my clothes after they're dry.

I'm Alive

Wow, it's already ten days into 2010.  Needless to say I've been busy, you know with the whole trip to Pensacola and then to Nawlins, but Honey I'm back.

First up, my trip back to P'cola was great.  I love getting to see my grandparents down there, and as a bonus my aunt and cousins got to see my mother can't stand up drunk.  Luckily my stay only overlapped with my mother's stay for two days and one of those days I took the car and left for two hours and then went over to my aunts for dinner to minimize the overlap.

Then I rented a car and drove to Nawlins.  It was a wonderfully pleasant drive, oh how I miss the south and can't wait to get back down there in May.  I stayed the same place I stayed last New Year's and as always it was wonderful to be a block from Canal St.  I rented a moped and drove over to Metairie to do some apartment hunting.

Seeing the studios in person really helped me to see where I can make more reductions in my life and even though I thought I was done decluttering, I'm happy to have a renewed spirit for my move which does include more reductions (hey, less stuff means an easier move, right?).  Sadly it was raining while I was apartment hunting and had a minor wipe out.  Thankfully it was just my pride that took the biggest injury.  I was more worried about whether or not my jeans where ripped than the fact that my knee was skid.  Since I only have one pair of jeans I need them for waitressing it was a very good thing that they weren't ripped.

I had to cut my Nawlins trip short since I'm waiting tables and couldn't get away with missing Christmas Eve, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day, so I flew back on New Year's Eve, which really isn't a big deal for me since I'm not a big partier nor do I live for fireworks (though they are fun if I'm not too close that they booms hurt).  I made it back to my apartment about 30 minutes before the ball dropped for the east cost.

While I was away I got two calls for interviews which I wrapped up on Friday.  The first interview was for CBP as government position.  It was actually with a bunch of people that I know so I feel really good about it.  I should hear back from that one in two weeks with a tentative selection offer.  The other interview was for Catherine's (same parent company as Lane Bryant, Fashion Bug, Petite Sophisticate).  I got the call yesterday and I got the job.  It's only part time, but they don't have a full staff at the moment.  I start training next week up in Springfield while the new store is being renovated from a Petite Sophisticate to a Catherine's.

Also one of the guys I'm waiting tables with is going to move into the master bedroom as soon as he gets his second job.  He's coming over today to look at it, but basically said he need to get out from his mother's and it's just a matter of getting the second job.

So while things are still going to be tough for the next month or so there is light at the end of the tunnel.