video: Happy Planner & Budget Tracker – 2 month update

I’m finally getting the hang of the Happy Planner mini (particularly the vertical layout). An updated review of the Happy Planner mini, how I use it, and how I budget using the Budget Tracker insert.

Do you use a Happy Planner? How do you make it work for you? Comment below! 🙂

Want to learn more? Watch my original review.

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5 things: habits

five things

We’re well into the new year by now and I’m making some serious progress on my 2019 goals or, rather, habits. That’s right. I’m making ch-ch-changes this year, especially when it comes to spending.

Here are 5 things [habits] I adopted in 2019:

budget tracking and cash flow

I’m not a huge spender, but I’ve become a bit lax when it comes to being accountable for my spending. I decided to change that and adopted a new cash flow app (EveryDollar), combined this with a paper tracker (the Happy Planner budget insert), and returned to a system that worked for me a few years ago: cash budgeting. I don’t use cash for every purchase, but by sticking to a budget, I have a better sense of where my money is going and the purchases that serve me well.

not buying coffee (unless I make it worth my while)

I mentioned this in a previous post, but I’m brewing my own coffee while at work. There’s a Starbucks in my building. The temptation is real and one that led me down the debt rabbit-hole when I was a low-paid college student with a caffeine habit and a credit card for “emergencies”. I’m not saying lattes will destroy your credit, but it’s such an easy habit to adjust. At home, I have a milk steamer/frother and all the coffee-making implements I need for a bougie blended drink. At work, I have a french press, a pack of instant (for when I’m lazy), and my favorite creamer. If I really want a latte, it has to be worth the $5 for the non-dairy milk.

meal prepping

Meal prepping comes with an added benefit: time-saving. I was a big meal-prepper when I was working on food intolerances a few years ago, but I fell of the wagon. Hard. Food is one of the areas where I spend the most money and it’s another one that’s easy to change. Part of my cash budget includes restaurant-spending, so I’m setting a limit that covers me for a few meals/dates each month. All other meals are prepped at home, usually with the help of my InstantPot (a life-changing bit of magic). Going mostly plant-based has also helped because cheaper, faster meals.
re-finding a fitness routine

Much like the meal-prepping, I fell off the regular fitness habit. I have reasons, mostly physical, some mental-health related, but overall, I just felt too tired and achy to workout much when my hormones were out of whack. Now that I’m feeling better (better, not perfect), I’ve started walking longer distances, running (occasionally), and reviving my relationship with yoga. I’ve also been doing the LoveSweatFitness Daily 10 routines on days when I only have enough energy for 10 minutes of physical activity.

outfit tracking

@lifeingminor is a project with a purpose – to document how I use the pieces in my wardrobe and develop a conscious relationship with the clothing that I own. I’ve been posting consistently for the last two months and recently started adding my project pan  updates. It’s another way to take control of my spending and better appreciate the pieces I bring into my home.

 

video: hair + hypo

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I have hypothyroidism. I was diagnosed when I was around 17 years old, but I suspect it started around the time I was 15. I’ve had years to deal with the symptoms and side effects of my illness, and the medication I take to manage it, so I’ve started sharing my experience in an effort to raise awareness and help others.

Today, I’m talking hair. My hair was one of the first indicators when I was diagnosed: it was falling out in major clumps. The kind where my fist was full of strands whenever I ran my fingers through my hair. It’s also one of the first indicators when my hormones went out of balance and I needed to have my meds adjusted: it dried out and refused to grow.

It’s growing again, but I’m still dealing with dryness (especially after an ill-judged color experiment), so today I’m sharing what I’m doing to deal with the aftermath of hormone imbalance and bad decision-making.

Products below the break. 

Continue reading “video: hair + hypo”

project pan: 2019, #1

Project pan 1.png

Friends, I’m doing it… I’m hopping on the #projectpan train.

If you’ve been following me for a while, you know I’ve made some serious strides towards adopting a more conscious, minimal lifestyle (note: my minimalism may not look like your minimalism and that’s ok). I’ve been posting regular empties and “project use it up” updates, but this is the first time that I will be committing to a Project Pan.

I recently posted a makeup capsule where I shared all the products I currently own (give or take a couple of products that were in my bag at the time), and I’ve selected 4 items to use up, or make a serious dent in by the end of the year.

The project

  • Besame’s 1946 red velvet lipstick (aka the Agent Carter lipstick): This is a perfect shade of deep red on me, but it’s starting to go off and I want to use it before I lose it. I’ve been saving it like it’s a rare, precious thing. No more!
  • Kosas Rosewater: I love this lipstick. It is the best “your lips but better” shade. Unlike red velvet, I’ve been wearing on a regular basis from day 1. I’ve never used up an entire tube of lipstick *gasp*,  so this will be an easy victory.
  • Tarte’s tartelette tease eyeshadow palette: So far, so good on the eyelid dermatitis issue… If all goes well, I see myself hitting pan on first kiss, wink, and bff in a few months.
  • Nest Fragrances Midnight Fleur: Yes, I’m including fragrances in this pan. Scent is an essential part of my beauty routine (I was spoiled by parents who love wearing fragrances), and this is a lovely floral that doesn’t make me want to gag. Originally part of a duo, I used up the other scent last year. While I have several other fragrances to work my way through, I can see myself returning to Nest in the future.

I believe in SMART goals and this seems doable. Want a glimpse at the other products in my collection? Check out the video below.

Are you a recovering makeup junkie? Working on your own #projectpan?

Let me know in the comments 🙂

loves & latest: February 18, 2019

monday musings

Goals edition

Loves

Reads

Personal finance books 

2019 is the year when I focus on building wealth. Yep. That’s the plan. I have a solid relationship with money and live relatively debt-free (which means, I pay off credit card debt within a reasonable amount of time, generally 1-3 cycles, depending on my budget). I have an emergency fund and committed to using a cash budget for regular expenses; now it’s time to focus on investing, so I’m reading all the things.

Video on my favorites coming in March.

Beauty

Project Pan 2019

More on this to come, but if you watched my makeup capsule, you’ll know that I want to use up what I own and pan at least 2-3 of my products. I have two lipsticks that I’m rotating at the moment (about 80% of the time), and a small eye shadow palette that I would like to hit pan on in the coming months. My goal is to use up what I have and repurchase what I love.

Habits

Using my French press at work

I’m a millennial. I’m destroying my future one latte at a time. (ha!) Jokes aside, $5 a day for my latte habit is not sustainable. To make up for it, I’ve been brewing my own coffee and adding an indulgent creamer (because this is also the year I stop caring about ingredients and start living my best life). Being on a cash budget certainly makes it harder to part with those $5.

Project management

In library land, I always say instruction doesn’t make sense until the point of need. That’s also how I feel about project management tools. I tried to use Trello a few years ago and found it incomprehensible. Now that I’m trying to balance blogging, youtube, podcasting, and writing, it suddenly makes sense. I am addicted and the customizable backgrounds make me happy.


 

Latest

Podcast

bluestocking-circleWe’ve been busy with a season of sci-fi favorites 🙂

Our most recent episodes include:

If you want to hear three lady nerds talk about their favorite books and movies, give us a listen on Podomatic, Apple Podcasts,Google Play, or Spotify. Also available on YouTube.

Follow us @bluesoxcircle on Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

video: current makeup capsule

My current makeup capsule and a preview of what I’m planning to pan in 2019. My goal is to learn is to fall in love with what I own and curb future beauty spending…

Sorry about the noise in the background. I live on a noisy street.

Are you on a no-buy or project pan? Comment below!

video: Happy Planner mini and budget planner – 1 month review

A look inside my Happy Planner mini (vertical) and Budget Planner sidekick – 1 month review.

I also have a review of the full-size Happy Planner [Girl] + other planners I used in 2018.

A note:
In the video, I say I’m using the “Jordan Sparks” method, what I really mean is the Jordan PAGE method. Whether or not Jordan Sparks has a budgeting method, I dunno.
You can learn more about her method here.

Have you used a vertical planner? How have you made it work? Let me know!

In case you’re wondering, I bought my planners at Michael’s.

life: January – month in review

Month in review January.png

I started a cash budget and managed to stick to it. I also learned that I needed to be more realistic and budget for expenses beyond groceries and outings. The result is a much better sense of where my money is going.

I was insanely busy! Between work commitments, writing goals, working out, and making time for blogging, podcasting, and going out, it’s a miracle I had any time to myself.

I read. A lot. Mostly because all my library books came in at the same time and I had a review to write.

I started documenting my outfits in an effort to get a better sense of my closet and find new ways to pair my clothes. Follow me @lifeingminor (this is the most curated I will ever be)

I started wearing eye shadow again. There is something my skin does not like, but I think I’m closer to finding the culprit after nearly a year without eye product.

How was your January? 

If you want to learn more about any of these projects/goals/etc. and how I manage them, let me know.

video: The Four Tendencies

I became aware of Gretchen Rubin’s The Four Tendencies during the summer of 2018 and was fascinated by the idea that people respond to internal and external motivations in different ways. The Four Tendencies is not about changing your habits or personality, but about learning what drives you and how to work with people who respond differently to internal and/or external factors.

Gretchen Rubin offered a Four Tendencies course last fall and I was quick to sign up. I find the whole concept really interesting, and am looking into ways to apply the Tendencies in a work setting.

If you’re wondering, I’m an Upholder. My partner is a Questioner.

Have you heard of the Four Tendencies? If so, what are your thoughts? I’d love to know.