March Already…

So, here we are, the first month of spring.  Or, if you’re a member of my family, or indeed, a friend, it’s birthday month.  Yesterday, I posted a birthday card to my cousin Debbie, who resides in my spiritual home of New Zealand, with the sheer optimism that it will arrive there on time.  Technically, Royal Mail and co. have just three days to deliver it.  As I say, I’m optimistic…

Anyways, that’s enough talk about birthdays, because if I continued to discuss them, it would take me right up to the end of the month, literally.  I’m going to chat to you tonight about my bullet journaling, a task I set myself in September, to keep a journal of daily/weekly activities and to try and keep track of my daily/weekly/monthly spends.  For the first two months, I found it easy to jot down the amounts I was spending on needless things.  And, quite frankly, it shocked me.  If you know me, I’m pretty much unshockable.  When I deferred my OU studies in November, I cut down on my stationery supplies from Wilko’s.  However, in December, I set up my new dog blog, and that was a complete and utter indulgence.  And then January came, and so did the new clothes for my wardrobe.  Oops, my bad.

Having said that, I haven’t needed to buy any toiletries or No.7 treats since Christmas Day, due to the thoughtful gifts off my parents.  But, as we don’t have a main library in St Helens, I have been doing most of my blogging in Costa Coffee.  Which is a cab ride away, not to mention my favourite cheese and tomato toastie, and a bottle of Diet Coke.  And more often than not, I head to the cinema afterwards, with my laptop bag, and there’s another bottle of fizzy pop to have whilst I’m sitting in my seat.

I will be the first to admit that I do spend on impulse, and most of it is driven by how I’m feeling emotionally.  I try to reconcile with myself that I don’t smoke, drink or do recreational drugs; but what I do spend my money on, is like having an addiction.  Whilst I have stopped buying notebooks and pens, I am not yet ready to give up buying books.  Right now, they are a source of education and entertainment for me, and I aim to read as much as I possibly can until A222 Exploring Philosophy starts in October.

Recently, I shared a photo to my Facebook page, @clairekatereynolds.  In this photo, are the three irreverent self-help books that I have purchased from Waterstones in the last six months: The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F**k; Get Your Sh*t Together; and You Do You.  They are written by Sarah Knight, and are fantastic to read, as well as laugh out loud.  And yes, I realise that I may indeed be lining the author’s pockets, a fact that Knight herself readily accepts in her second book.

On a separate note, I have also keeping up to date with my dear friend’s wellbeing and lifestyle blog, and her mission to live a life that’s more simple, intentional and sustainable.  This has included ‘No-Spend’ challenges for January, regular updates as to how she’s getting on with her goals, and a review as to what was bought in February.

With my new bullet-journal, the self-help books and the posts from my friend in mind, there’s so much in my life that I can at least try and cut down my spending on, and reduce my own disposable, single-use plastic footprint.  For example, my old bullet journal highlighted that I saw a total of forty movies within a six month period at my local cinema, as well as renting on Rakuten TV at home.  Now, I have an Unlimited Cineworld Card that I pay just under £20.00 a month for, so, by watching two movies, it has already paid for itself.  However, when I take into account what will be spent whilst I’m out, it all mounts up, big time.  From the tasty goodies to all of the empty bottles of Diet Coke that end in my recycling bins each week.  I can hear loud and clearly, the angel on my shoulder, Sarah Knight, shouting down my ear with a megaphone, ‘Get Your Sh*t Together’.

And, you know what, she’s right.  But first of all, I need to work through the life-affirming exercises from her first book before I can seriously tackle my finances.  I started today, and I am giving myself four weeks to complete them, and I will be updating you all as to how I got on.

Another thing that I have revealed on my personal Facebook page in the last week or so, is the physical activity goal I set myself in February.  I applaud people who go the gym week in and week out, but it really isn’t for me.  Nor is jogging or running.  Trust me, I have tried them all, and have never felt the endorphin rush that such people talk about afterwards.  So, whilst sat on my sofa scrolling through Facebook on my mobile phone, I came across an advert for a local ‘Burlesque Chair Dancing TM’ class.  And I ummhed and ahhhed about it for a while, and thought, nope, I will phone the instructor and find out more.  And you know what I’m glad I did.  I even found myself some exercise buddies to join up with me too.  Wednesday evening will be our third week, and the penultimate week to perfect the dance routine that we’ve been learning and practising.  I’m not at liberty to share just yet as to which one we’ve been doing, but believe me, it’s an intense workout.  And for £5.00 per session, I can’t argue with that.

Hehe, perhaps next month, I’ll be brave enough to share with the rest of you my Burlesque name!  Anyway tiddlypeeps, goodnight and sleep tight xxx