Friday, December 31, 2010

xmas 2010 post-mortem

Happy New Year everyone.

I have been working on my budget for 2011 and I am confident that I will have the last of the credit card debt gone by the end of the coming year. I can't say I will be debt-free because I will then have the $30 000+ student loan debt to tackle, however I am feeling pretty ecstatic to see the end of the credit card era of my life.

It was nice to receive my paycheque on the 28th of December and be able to allocate it entirely into my new budget. I didn't have any credit card bills to pay since I managed to use some savings for all my xmas gift purchases. I also bought way less this year than in previous years. My sister and I agreed to buy nothing for each other and instead got together on xmas eve for a nice visit. I also didn't buy for any of my step-siblings' kids (of which there are now 6) because they keep multiplying while I responsibly keep my number of offspring to just one :)

I kept my traveling to a minimum this xmas and when I did have to drive a distance to visit family I was lucky to have my sweetheart step in to take the wheel so I could leave my car at home, saving me quite a bit of gas money. Next year I hope to travel even less.

I didn't succumb to the temptation of the boxing day sales, even though I found myself in a fancy shopping mall on the 26th because I had received a hoodie that was a bit too tight and I wanted to size it up. I couldn't return it until the 28th so I found myself in the mall a second time. The hoodie had gone on sale since its original purchase so I was able to get the size I wanted plus a gift card for $25 that I'll use later on when I can brave the mall again. I like that I'm able to walk through and just look, and am now able to easily talk myself out of spending money on things I "need." My money does not burn a hole in my pocket anymore.

For 2011 I would like to read more, meditate more, and get to the gym more. More more more. I want to register my son in karate and soccer. I want to find a new place to live, something cheaper, cleaner and quieter.

I hope you find and get what you want this year too.


Seriously, Karissa

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

confession time

I have been trying to wean myself off the internet, and it's not quite working. I took a two-week vacation from my Google Reader and it helped a bit but I WAS still checking facebook several times a day. I try to filter as much as I can by refusing to click on external links and this helps a bit.

However I realized that I feel like an ostrich with my head stuck in the internet, and I am avoiding everyday, real-time life by spending more than five minutes on the internet each night. This is especially not fair to my beautiful four-year-old boy who is growing up so quickly.

I thought, how ironic that I read all these sites about minimalism and quality of life, but I don't put them into practice. An hour online goes by, and my dishes are still piled up on the counter. I am overwhelmed by all the "stuff" I have to do but I avoid it by checking what someone from my life ten years ago is doing.

It reminded me of how I first got into meditation, and I would read and read and read about it, but rarely sat down and DID it. Same for yoga. I would buy a DVD and WATCH it, but not actually practice! Silly me!

One good thing I have done in the past few weeks is refuse to use the internet on my phone. Now when I am standing in line at the coffee shop I use the time to look around me and check out what's going on. I am going to cancel the data service on my phone now that I don't "need" it anymore.

I have been thinking about how necessary this blog is to me since I have such a hard time updating it (same goes for my livejournal and my tumblr). I realized a while ago that I keep a Blogger for me, not for an audience. I find the sidebars to be so useful for tracking my debts and savings. I was thinking of making the blog private but I couldn't figure out how to :)

Seriously, Karissa