Budgeting Is a Lifestyle

I’ve been budgeting with my partner for just over a week now, and I can honestly say I’ve fully bought into the mindset of not spending any money unless you need to. Of course, we have allocated funds for entertainment and “blow” money each month, but it’s an absolute fraction of what we used to spend.

The thing that’s so fascinating to me is how easy it has been making the transition from not budgeting at all to being on a rather strict budget. I think the biggest factor in accepting this lifestyle change is working together with my partner. If it weren’t for her giving it a try as well, I think I would be far less inclined to change my ways. But since we can hold one another accountable, we’re more likely to stick with it and succeed.

Another thing that has goaded us into spending much less is looking back at our spending habits over the course of the last month. Seeing the ungodly high amounts of money we spent on alcohol and eating out was the perfect scare tactic into never doing that again.

So, we’ve started to see minor changes in the way we look at things. Heck, it’s made us want to keep our apartment more tidy and clean as well. I’ve begun organizing things in cardboard boxes (especially storage items). I never knew how useful cardboard boxes could be until now, and I find myself wanting to keep the boxes we end up with just in case I need them down the road.

Ultimately, budgeting is a way of life. It’s not a temporary thing that needs to happen for a few months until you’ve saved what you need. No, it’s something you commit to in order to live better down the road, save more, and treat yourself when you truly deserve it. If you’re out spending money all over the place, all the time, you’ll never really know what it means to treat yourself because 1) you’ll have less money later on to treat yourself with and 2) you’ll always be splurging, meaning you never really appreciate what spending a little extra looks like.

I’ve never been more sure of something in the way I live until now, and it’s great that we made the change now before looking to buy a house next year. We’ve already projected a budget plan over the next year that should help us immensely in closing on a great house for us before our wedding, and I can already get excited for a great honeymoon too!

The Appeal of Vinyl Albums

I’m a big fan of vinyl records ever since my girlfriend’s father gave us his old turntable. I knew that records were popular back in the day and even gained a resurgence as of late with more hip crowds, but I never quite understood why until I owned one and bought my first few albums from the local record store.

If anything, it all takes me back to collecting CDs when I was in high school and early college. There was something real about purchasing one of my favorite bands’ new albums on CD and playing it in my truck while driving around. The whole experience had a meaning to it. It had weight. It became an experience.

Nowadays, if I want to listen to something new by someone, I can hop on Spotify and go to their new album right away to quickly cycle through different tracks until I like what I hear. It’s definitely convenient and faster than anything else out there, but it also doesn’t carry the same sort of weight as making a trip to buy a new album and then listening to it on the way home.

The only problem I seem to have with getting a new album, though, is that my first few were of records I had already known inside and out. Now, is this a bad thing? Well not at all. I wanted my first three or four albums to be of artists I already love, and I wanted those records to be of absolutely complete albums from the first to last track.

What I’m saying is I was predispositioned on the first few albums I got. I wanted what I already liked because I wanted to make those first few records special.

From here on, however, I think I want to do it differently. I want to still purchase records from my favorite artists, but I want to listen to their new music on record first. No more hopping into Spotify immediately to make sure I like the new stuff. If it’s an artist I highly support and follow closely, there’s a reason for that. Their past stuff is already amazing, so there’s no doubt the new stuff would be too.

And if anything, the whole point of records back in the day was to listen to the next great record as soon as it drops and experience that music for yourself. To listen to it before anyone else could and then own that record for good.

To me, that’s what I’m looking forward to. I have such an expansive taste in music lately that anything goes, so all sorts of artists will be dropping new music year in and year out for me to like. While going after new music all the time will likely mean my two cardboard boxes of old albums will grow to four cardboard boxes, it’s all worth it simply because they are timeless so long as turntables are still considered vintage and can be repaired or bought like new.

Valentine’s Day for Single People

It’s officially February, marking the dead center of winter (didn’t mean for that to rhyme) and the onset of heartache, butterflies in the stomach, and all things lovey dovey.

That’s right. It’s the month of the groundhog, Valentine’s Day, and leap days. February is, to put it simply, one weird month. There’s no longer that rejuvenated feeling that January gives you at the beginning of the year, but it’s not quite March, which brings excitement of warmer weather and signs of life. February is kind of just . . . there on the calendar.

So, it comes as no surprise to hear more people commit self harm during February than any other month. This is a sort of depressing statistic, but don’t let the mid-winter blues get you down. February is home to Valentine’s Day, and that’s a day to look forward to even if you’re single. Celebrate the holiday as a reminder of self love even if you don’t have a partner to celebrate it with. The road to finding love begins after you’ve learned to love yourself, after all.

Speaking of V-Day, so many stores and businesses love to welcome it in, because it means extra sales thanks to all the sappy couples who feel the need to overspend on items for their significant other. You should be expecting to see plenty of pink and red, a lot of candy boxes, and tons of stuffed animals the next time you’re walking through the store.

As for what you should do for yourself, though, that’s up to you. A local arcade bar near me is hosting a blind speed dating event for all those people out there who don’t have a partner. I, myself, think it’s a wonderful idea to include those who are typically excluded on Valentine’s Day.

Just as well, a lot of places have meal deals for any couples going out for dinner on the big day. Well, why not seize the moment and take a friend to dinner so that you can both capitalize on savings. (It’s not like the restaurant will know if you’re dating or just friends, no matter your friend’s gender, so what are they gonna do?)

There’s also the prospect of getting a few of those aforementioned candy boxes from the store and chowing down on them with a bottle of wine on the 14th. I mean, what beats chocolate, wine, and Netflix? Nothing, that’s what.

Ultimately, you should do something on Valentine’s Day, whether you’re single or not. If you’re in a relationship, do something with your partner to show you really do care. If you are single, well, hopefully we’ve given you a few ideas on how to enjoy the day with friends or even by yourself!

Simple Ideas To Reduce The Stress Of Moving A Big Family

A big family is a lot of fun, but it also comes with big responsibility when things come up. If you ever plan to change homes with your 5 or more family members it may be overwhelming to realize all that will be involved. How can you manage a hassle-free relocation and make sure everything is checked off the to-do-list and still guarantee that everyone in the home is taken care of, pets included?

The reality is, moving with a big family will involve challenges and stress, you can’t avoid that. However, you can make it a little hassle-free and efficient by making sure your belongings are secure, making sure your family is doing ok and get everything done. You just need to be aware of the best practice for this type of process before succumbing to the stresses. Here are some easy and effective ways to move a large family and make it fun and adventurous at the same time.

Make A Plan
Of you know, moving requires quite a bit of planning as it is. Moving with a big family actually requires more than the average move planning, plus picking the best date, creating a calendar, budget, getting good affordable movers. You will also have to coordinate the plans with your household and make sure the plan works for everyone. Hold a meeting when you have the main details ironed out, the where the why and the when. Give as much information as possible to keep everyone’s stress levels down.

Include The Kids
Make the children feel included in the decision. While you’re communicating with them push the point of why your decision is better for them and how they can enjoy the area and setting up a brand new room.

Pick The Best Moment To Move
The time has to be workable for everyone so you have to consider all things such as, leaving jobs, starting new jobs, deadline to leave home if there is one, when new home will be ready, mid-school year or summer better break better for children, which season is best to move, any previously planned family events that need to be rescheduled.

Prepare For Your Plan To Change
Even though you have planned ahead, you must keep your plan flexible in case anything comes up, which will most likely happen. If you’re prepared, it won’t be such a disaster if things needs to change direction. There are apps available to help you keep track of your inventory and stay organized as well as help you calculate moving costs.

Perfect Organization
Have a detailed checklist, create a moving inventory, hire the best movers for your situation and book them ahead of time. Make sure you have the supplies you need including cardboard boxes to pack up your house but also coordinate with others. Give everyone a clear understanding of their responsibilities and timeframe in the moving situation. It may be best to assign tasks and deadlines to help you stay on top of things as well. Look at what needs to be done and assign it according to who would be best at handling the specific task. Meet weekly if necessary to keep everyone up to speed on where you are with the process or any changes.

Intelligent Relocation Tips

Relocating and Dealing With Hassles

Relocating to a new property is never a simple thing. It can usually be pretty complicated, exhausting and frustrating. Don’t assume that there’s nothing that you can do to make moving a lot more efficient and hassle-free, though. If you plan for a move intelligently, you can streamline the project. If you want your future move to go perfectly smoothly, these suggestions can be a major help to you.

Clear Out Your Entire Life

If you want your move to be a hit, then you need to do a lot of spring cleaning work in advance. Do away with anything and everything you no longer use, require or want. Look inside of your closet. Do you have a jacket that hasn’t seen the light of day in close to a decade? Throw it out, sell it or donate it without delay. Check your basement. Do you have a bicycle that you haven’t been on even once? You should say adios to it and give it a better life with someone else who will actually use it.

Take the Opportunity to Get Acquainted With the People in Your Neighborhood

Getting used to a brand new community can be anxiety-inducing. If you want to make big progress with your relocation, then you should get acquainted with the people who reside in your neighborhood prior to officially moving in. You never know. One of the people you meet may just offer to give you and the rest of your household an in-depth community tour.

Give All the Professional Movers You Hire Respect

Professional movers have tough and demanding jobs. If you want to be a considerate person, you should show the movers you hire ample respect and care. Provide them with cold water that can keep them hydrated. Ask them if they want any snacks or food items in general while they’re working.

Set Up a Schedule for Your Packing Duties

Packing is among the most headache-inducing tasks around. If you want to make your packing project as painless as possible, however, it can always help to do a lot of planning. Follow the schedule you make diligently. Don’t make any excuses or put things off.

Focus on Your Boxes

Strong packing techniques are essential for relocation achievement. If you want to avoid all kinds of packing mishaps, you need to focus on your boxes. If you observe any openings inside of your boxes, take care of them without a minute of delay. Put towels or attire in any and all of these spots. Doing so can encourage hassle-free mobility and transportation overall.

Select the Ideal Moving Day and Time

Certain times of the year are particularly busy for relocations. People who are interested in saving big on their relocations, though, often prioritize the winter or autumn seasons. Note, too, that weekdays can make for more budget-friendly moves. It doesn’t matter if you want to save on professional movers, top-quality packing supplies or anything else. You need to emphasize selecting the ideal time for your big job.

Do Some Labeling

If you want to be able to monitor your cardboard boxes, label use is wise. Put box locations on labels. Boxes that carry kitchen appliances should have labels that read “kitchen.” This can decrease wastes of time considerably.