Friday, January 28, 2011

TWFT: Everyone loves a bargain!

There are some great emailing lists to get yourself on if you like a bargain - and seriously, who doesn't like to save a few $$!

While getting on more emailing lists does mean the inbox gets a little overwhelmed at times buuuut the big savings can be worth it. It's our generation's version of cutting out coupons.

Sorry lads - most of the bargains are aimed at women (perhaps a reflection of our shopping habits?) but at least you know where to look for pressie ideas (Valentine's Day hint hint).

For Hong Kongers make sure you check out the following:

Butterboom (join the VIP list to get Perfume samples and exclusive early news of Sales)
DimSum and then Sum
Kelly England

Happy (Shopping) Saving!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Low-spend foodie

So No-spend January is almost over and I'm proud to say - so far so good! Not a cent has been spent (ha, it rhymes) on personal items. But more about that once the month's over.

I came across a great article in today's The Age online about an Aussie mum, Sandra, who on becoming unemployed set herself a challenge to spend only AUD120 per fortnight on groceries. Now that's 14 days worth of 3 meals per day for 1 adult and 2 teenagers! No mean feat.

Her blog is gorgeous and full of fantastic meal ideas/recipes nom nom nom :) Perfect inspiration if you're on a No-spend January and want to take it a step further to reducing your overall spending habits.

If you actually read The Age article you'll notice a lot of nasty comments, mainly referring to the fact she quit her job and was receiving Unemployement (Centrelink) benefits. While I really wanted to let you know about her fantastic blog, 120dollarsfoodchallenge, so you can get her great tasting & budget friendly tips (please check it out - very yummy), I have to say I'm absolutely disgusted at the comments made in response to her situation.

It's revolting that people use the annonymity of the web to spew forth venom onto an individual trying to make the best of a bad situation. Yes, she chose to quit her job and ended up on welfare. But few people have taken into consideration the circumstances surrounding why she quit her job (she was bitterly unhappy) and what she's done since (working temporary positions).

From a financial perspective, we can learn from Sandra's example that perhaps if your job is your sole source of income and you hate it, it's time to start a stockpile of cash to give you breathing space to find something new. And if you DO end up in a position where money is tight, her blog is a great example of how to stretch your food pennies further.

At the end of the day - while money is important, life is too short to do something you hate.

Sandra from

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

no-spend January

In January 2010 I placed myself under a self-imposed shopping ban - no purchasing clothes, shoes, makeup, magazines, toiletries or accessories. And rather than being the hell I thought it would be, I secretly got a massive kick out of the mental 'I've saved this much!' calc I did everytime I DIDN'T buy something.

So to prove it wasn't a fluke, guess what I'm doing again this January. And surprise surprise, almost half the month is over already and the world hasn't stopped turning because I can't shop. In fact, my soapbox chest-beating has influenced a few spend-weary gf's to get on the bandwagon too. So proud! It's heaps more fun when your buddies join it; you can all be tight-Sallys together. We're looking at organising a DVD-swap party and maybe even a clothes-swap party too - that way everyone gets something new without spending any $.

Another trick is simply to avoid hitting the shops altogether - don't wave temptation under your nose, it's cruel. Instead of window-shopping I'm heading to the gym, cooking dinner and spending more time with the h2b. And you know what? There's at least 30 half-read magazines stacked up in my spare room ready to be dug out and properly read - no need to buy new ones at all. Fashion's pretty cyclical - keep magazines for long enough and they're bang on trend again away ;)

Shop your wardrobe, this trick's an oldie but a goodie. Go through all your clothes to rediscover forgotten items and create new outfits. Perhaps get a gf to help - she might come up with an awesome combination you've never even thought of.

And finally - get your jewels out on display. If you can see all your accessories easily, you'll remember what's in your collection and be able to resist adding to it unneccesarily (plus it saves heaps of time co-ordinating in the morning and keeps everything in better condition if it's not all tangled).

That's my tip for January - leave the credit card at home and put yourself on a money diet. Come at it from a positive fun attitude though, wow I'm saving $$$, don't see it as a chore - otherwise you'll be binging like mad come February.

my organised 'jewels'