Budget Life List

Live. Save. Explore. Repeat!

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I have not been immune to the current financial challenges that are impacting the world. In January, I started a 12-month challenge to save $5,000. This saving endeavor began because I have various expensive expeditions on my Life List. I’m looking at you Antarctica! If I want to accomplish these adventures before retirement I need to save a significant amount of money.

A few months later, things have not progressed as expected.

Chaos and mayhem are the jerks who disrupted my March saving challenge. But here is how I cushioned the blow of mayhem and his cohorts…..   

Budget or Bust

I am a strict follower of my budget. Since I make so little I must track every dollar down to the cent. I dived deep into my support of budgets with Finding Financial Freedom article. This month was easier on my budget because with social distancing in full effect I have visited fewer stores and shopped way less. This pandemic has made me realize that I am a master at social distancing and my inner hermit has been celebrating. 

An open computer with a budget spreadsheet displayed in the background. The foreground is emphasizing savings with change resting on the laptops surface.
Budgets are there for all your money saving needs!

If being social is your thing, have you tried Ambient Mixer? Its a way to make your quiet environment sound like a lively coffee shop, active train station, or bustling common area such as the Great Hall at Hogwarts. Pro Tip: it has no commercials and plays on repeat! Ravenclaw wins!

Pretend Saving Money is like a COVID-19 Vaccine (Too soon?)

Channel all your energy of angst, frustration, uncertainty into saving. All. Of. It. That is what I do or at least try to do, when I’m not wandering the house as Sweatpant Cortney.

Grocery shopping is a great place to save money if your looking for ideas. Let me count the ways to save on groceries is a great place to start. I cashed in my rewards from Checkout 51 this month. A tiny win is still a win.

While you’re enforcing social distancing you can shop online for nonperishable necessities. I was actively doing this way before it was mandated because there are many ways to save, from gift cards to websites it’s all mapped out for you in Online Shopping + Saving Money = Making Cents if you feel like kicking your saving habits into high gear. 

Nature is My Drug of Choice

Full Disclosure: My emotions have not been “normal”. During really awkward times (like waiting areas and lines at the grocery store) I have felt frustrated, depressed, and afraid. This leads to the salty damning of tears. I try not to display these emotions because WHAT IF SOMEONE WANTS TO COMFORT ME WITH A HUG?! I know this is normal. If you are a trained psychologist and this is not normal, please let me know! A big part of my life was going to the gym and I put all my adulting difficulties on the treadmill on level 6.8 for 20 minutes. Now my frustrations just build-up and release at real inopportune times.

I combat this with nature. I go for walks which is nice but it’s my weekend trips to the mountains where I hike eight miles that keep me from being a blubbery mess. Outside of gas and snacks everything else is paid for in sweat and steps.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.

John Burroughs

Go forth and spend your free time on free hobbies. If you need a little more direction, I got you – Surviving, Saving, and (I Daresay) Thriving During the Coronavirus was made especially for you! Cheers, avid reader!

Saving money with this free time by hiking the mountains in winter.
Maximizing free time with free hobbies!

Do the Hustle

Social distancing means no babysitting for me. All the events and outings that parents typically need an assist for are canceled. Instead I use my plethora of free time on professional enhancement.

Blogging involves so much more than writing! I learn more about this side gig to advance not only my blog but my professional career. Is there a career change or a side hustle you’re interested in? What a great time to look into it! 

Goodbye March 2020!

I am currently sitting at $1,341. My March goal was to save $1,200. I know if life was pre or post pandemic I would have hoarded more. Of course, I feel incredibly grateful that I still managed to hit my March goal. March has been full of challenges but I was still successful. 

That is my story of how March and its friends, Mayhem and Chaos, played into my 12-month saving $5,000 challenge. May my weapons of choice cushion the blow from these disruptive jerks for you too. How have you beaten off mayhem and his friends? 

You got this!

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