How to do Mother’s Day on a budget. Or without one.

1. Find a recipe on your favourite blog that you just so happen to have all of the ingredients for.
2. Make a card instead of buying one. Bonus points if you use craft paper you collected off of Freecycle.
3. Make amazing scones.
4. Put all three together and deliver to your mother in law for a yummy cream tea.

Total cost: £1.38 for ingredients for scones.

Month 1 Totals

Month 1 totals:

I’ve been waiting all stinking month – and at moments it has felt like a lifetime – to total up the savings we’ve made and find out how much we would be able to pay off of our debts and the moment is finally here!!!

Ready?!

This month Terry and I have paid the following:
Terry’s credit cards: £736.37
Mandi’s US credit card: £330.43 ($550)
Mandi’s student loans: £570.74 ($950)
March’s Grand total: £1637.54

Not a bad start, considering that this is more than my monthly salary! Bring on next month 🙂

Today I spent money. And it was delicious.

In England all Year 10s (9th graders) go on a work experience placement in a local company. Teachers are required to visit students to make sure everything is ok. This afternoon I visited a student at an elementary school and then two who were at a local bakery.

Originally I signed up to visit the bakery intending to buy cakes. And then I stopped spending money. Both girls were really enjoying working in the bakery and their favourite project was making minion cookies. They then pulled out a tray of cookies that were also minions. Both good and bad minions.

These adorable minion cookies were three for £2.50 and now they are mine. Ok, ok, I bought a lemon tart, too, but it didn’t survive long enough to be photographed.

The weird thing is, I don’t feel guilty about spending money. There have been other times this month when the mere thought of buying something invoked feelings of guilt, but I love these cookies too much to feel bad about it.

I was so happy with my cookie purchase that I walked right past the charity shops and their temptation and drove straight home.

Total spent: £3.15

Confession: I drink my feelings away. Not in whiskey, but in Frappucinos.

Today was a bad day at work. I have an amazing job dealing with children, but I see some really horrible home situations and today it reduced me to tears.

In a previous life (last month) I would have driven straight to Starbucks and bought myself a caramel Frappucino to drown my sorrows. Then I might have taken a walk around some shops to take my mind off of things. To distract myself. Without any money to spend I am forced to find new ways to deal with my emotions.

So today I came straight home from work and I cried. I didn’t avoid my emotions or put anything off, I just sat there and dealt with the sadness I was feeling. It wasn’t nice. I think I prefer avoiding my emotions. Thankfully, the hot chocolate with marshmallows did help a little.

How do you deal with your emotions?

photo credit: mixedbrunette via photopin cc

I went to Starbucks to have some coffee ground. I debated going in and not buying a coffee, but I am only human after all and I did have a gift card, so I picked up a vanilla latte while in the shop. As I was ‘shopping’ I popped into Lulu Guinness to have a look at some purses. Bad. Decision. They had the most perfect red leather bag that I promise you would improve my quality of life. I explained this to Terry who quickly escorted me to the exit.

The good news is I did not buy the purse – but only after repeatedly chanting to myself ‘I want to be debt free more than I want that purse. I want to be debt free more than I want that purse’ and now I feel like a recovering alcoholic who peeked into his favorite bar just to see if they still sell Jack Daniels.

Is there a word for what I’m feeling besides insanity?

photo credit: sebastien.barre via photopin cc

My twin is better than your twin.

If you do not have a twin, this has always been true. If you do have a twin: game over. My twin brother just mailed me a Starbucks gift certificate. My first reaction was to run straight to Starbucks to enjoy it, but then I thought that I will save it for a special occasion.

Day. Made.

This is an actual conversation that I had today when my college from Oxford called me:

St Cross (STX): Are you interested in donating towards our new building fund?
Me: I’m really sorry, but I’ve actually just given up spending money.
STX: *Awkward silence* For lent?
Me: No. For a year. So now’s not a really good time for me, but if you call me back next year I may be able to help. Goodnight!

Unforeseen advantage of stopping spending money: I am a telemarketers worst nightmare.