Thursday, 10 January 2013

Beating the January Blues



Doesn't January seem like such a long month? Christmas and New Year are well and truly over, the sales are reduced to the bits and bobs that have been picked up and left behind, and the bank balance is looking decidedly low, yet there's still much more month left after the money! January can be a sad and depressing time for many people, as the reality of the money and debt accumulated over Christmas finally comes home to roost, it's still dark in the mornings and evenings and by now all the good diet/healthy lifestyle intentions appear to have gone out of the window. So, I wanted to inspire you with some thrifty ideas to get you through to the end of the month. 


FASHION

We all like a good fashion pick me up, but shopping is probably the last thing we should all be doing right now. I don't know about you, but I have the worlds biggest washing and ironing pile that I only occasionally reach the bottom of, but when I do I always discover a little gem I've forgotten about. Try tipping your washing/ironing upside down, and starting from the bottom for a change, and re-discover something you may have forgotten about.
 
Your probably thinking what's fun about washing and ironing!?! Well aside from the above mentioned reasons, ironing is a good excuse to take over the TV for a few hours. All those recordings on your planner or DVD box sets you've got, work your way through those whilst working your way through your laundry! A few hours can fly by and you'll have an empty basket before you know it! (If you're dieting, this will also stop you mindlessly munching in front of the TV!)
 
Another cheap fashion idea is the good old charity shop trawl. Make an agreement with yourself/thrift buddy, that you can only buy second hand goods on your shopping trip. Put aside an agreed amount, say £20, and make a day of it by going somewhere different to usual. Never suggest sales shopping when your skint - high street stores are clever at putting their full priced items near their sale ones to tempt you to their more expensive wares! Sneaky!
 

BEAUTY

How many times have you quickly slicked on nail polish before going out only to find it chipping less than two hours later? As your now broke, your not likely to be going out for a couple of weeks, (and your probably detoxing/dieting/starving yourself) so why not spend Friday or Saturday night having a good old pamper, with a soak in the bath and a full home mani and pedi. And don't give me that rubbish you haven't got any nice bath bombs/bubble baths etc. Spend a Sunday afternoon having a good old clear out of your bathroom cabinet, and again, rediscover what you had forgotten you had! I did this the other weekend and found so many samples I had not realised I had got! There's also loads of places on the internet that will give you home-spa ideas that can be made from items you probably have in your kitchen cupboards.

BLOGGING

Obviously having a blog and being able to spend an afternoon writing and editing a post can while away many an hour, but often as a blogger you feel you need to always be buying something, or have the latest "it" item. Don't feel pressured into spending cash you haven't got why not blog about other things in your life, even if its only to talk about how under pressure you feel to spend money for example! If, like me, during your purge of the bathroom cabinet you discover a new wonder product, blog about that instead! Even if it's rubbish, blog about that! A new blog post, and all for nothing.
 
Many bloggers often complain about their lack of camera skills. Whether you got a fancy DSLR for Christmas or you're still using your old point & shoot, take the time to read the manual - I mean the full manual, not the scabby bit of paper that comes in the box. This may mean downloading it online, but it's usually free, and you may find a myriad of features you weren't aware of. Then take your camera for a walk (I don't mean literally put a lead on it or anything) but instead of just "going for a walk", take your camera with you, and learn how to use it. Taking pictures of scenery/animals/people/or whatever randomness floats your boat, will help you get a feel for what settings do and don't work. There are then a number of free picture editing sites on the Internet you can use to make them better - Pic Monkey is one for example.
 
Read blogs - sounds obvious huh? But how many blogs that you follow do you actually read? Have you started following some and only read their recent posts? I find it really inspiring to read some of my favourite blogs first few posts. It often helps me remember that we all started somewhere, and there is some great content hidden in the archive depths!
 
 
BOOKS

Re-discover your inner bookworm. I hear so many people saying that they just don't have time to read anymore, and I'm exactly the same. Without even realsing it, some days, I've spent an hour catching up on my bloglovin feed, an hour on pinterest, an hour watching TV, an hour cooking and eating my tea and before I know it, whoops its bedtime! I'm making a conscious effort to try to read for at least half an hour a day where possible. I used to be such a big reader, but my boyfriend bought me the most beautiful set of Twilight books for my birthday which I haven't even started! If you are a reader, I'm sure you've got lots of books that you just haven't got around to reading yet. If not, try it! My partner isn't a big reader, but he enjoys autobiographies of sports personalities he is fond of, or you could try a book based a film you enjoy. Most people have a local library within easy reach of them, and many are now open on Saturdays and allow you to renew online or return your books via a safe box when the library is closed (to avoid those costly fines!) Reading is the ultimate cheap/free activity. Its a great thing to get your kids into as it helps them in every area of their education, and many libraries are not the silent stuffy places they used to be, and have noisy children's sessions in them instead. If libraries really aren't your thing, books are very cheap in charity shops and often start at around 20p. Bargain!

FOOD
 
Most people start January on some sort of diet or another, but those good intentions often get forgotten when we are feeling a little bit sorry for ourselves because we are broke, and that bar of chocolate will make it all better. One thing you could try is meal planning, not only will this save you money, as you will only buy the food you need and be less likely to buy takeaways, but it will keep you on the straight and narrow diet-wise. Spend an evening surrounded by recipe books (see my tip about libraries if you don't own any) and similar magazines, and be inspired by all the new recipes you could try. Don't be daunted by something that may take a few hours, that's a good thing, as it's keeping you busy, stopping you spending, and making the hours to payday come ever closer.
 
If you really want to have the feel of a night out or a get together, why not arrange a small house party/Come Dine With Me party. You could arrange to provide the food - which can also be done very cheaply, if other people bring the alcohol. With the Come Dine With Me type scenario, agree a budget to be spent on food. You could take it in turns to do a full 3 couse dinner, or you could agree to do a course each to keep the costs down.

 
 
Hopefully this post has helped you realise that just because your bank balance is looking a bit bleak, not everything is, and you can still have fun for next to nothing!
What activities do you enjoy doing that don't cost alot?






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14 comments:

  1. Great post!!! And so timely because I am feeling super broke too.

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  2. really useful, inspiring post. i am going to go to the library for some free book fun!

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    1. haha i love that phrase! let me know if you find anything good! I'm always looking for new reads!

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  3. learned a lot :)


    www.katvaldez.com

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  4. I love this post! I've got to say I've always got a soft spot for these types of posts - just little tips to make life easier or to keep you happy :) xxx

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  5. Lovely post! It's nice to be mindful of small happy (free of charge) things as you count down the hours to payday :-) x

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  6. this is a really good post! im so glad louise linked this via twitter :)

    i need ur charity shop skills... i get overwhelmed and stressed in them!

    xxx

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! She's such a sweetheart for doing that! It got me so many page views and followers and I found lovely people like yourself to follow!

      I tend to go charity shopping either on my own or with like minded people - I don't really go looking for anything in particular I just see what I find! Stick with it and you'll find a gem!

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  7. Great post :) I am such a book worm and have so many books that I have yet to read so could actually be saving a lot of money if I read a book every time I fancied a trip to Boots hahaha

    Tanesha x
    www.tanesha-marie.blogspot.co.uk

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  8. Brilliant post.
    Some very useful tips. Thanks :)

    Chloë
    http://ioncehadthisdream.blogspot.co.uk/

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  9. Thank you so much for this! It's the middle of January and I'm like I CANNOT SPEND ANYMORE MONEY! But your post just definitely inspired me and helped a lot x

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    1. I'm the same - yet someone it keeps falling out of my purse! I need to practise what I preach more lol

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  10. wow.. this is so inspirational, thanks.
    I've just come across your blog before I found that post and I really like it and I will be checking out more of your posts after becoming a member..
    Fancy helping me about and doing a member for a member? xxxx

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  11. Fab post hun :) This has really cheered me up especially as money is so tight atm x

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