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Feb Challenge Update #4


Basic Rules
1. Don't unnecessarily spend.
2. I have 163 580 won this week to spend. ($144.52 CAD) Bills excluded in this. 
3. Triple student loan payment this month (I ended up Octupling it!)
4. More information here

Sunday Night Chit Chat

A quick snap from the road. A Sunset in Stanley, Hong Kong

A Wrinkle in Time. I remember loving it as a child. I'm reading it again with a fresh new perspective, and I love it.

I don't normally watch anything =\ BUT! I just downloaded Downton Abby as recommended by my neighbour. It's suppose to be the highest critical acclaimed English-language television show ever! I haven't actually seen it yet - but I enjoy historical fiction, so I'm sure this will be great!

my first meal plan


I usually do some sort of meal planning - inside my head. But as I understand from reading around, meal planning has a number of benefits:

  1. You will EAT OUT LESS
  2. You will have a plan so you will be eating LESS PREPACKAGED MEALS

resealing a bag, on a budget


Feb Challenge Update #3

Basic Rules
1. Don't unnecessarily spend.
2. I have 147 580 won this week to spend. ($130.52 CAD) Bills excluded in this. 
3. Triple student loan payment this month (I ended up Octupling it!)
4. More information here

Feb Challenge Update #2b - changes made!

I'm not happy, so I'm going to make some changes.

Remember how I said I've give myself a 400 000 won allowance this month?  I confess, I set the bar way too high. I'm the kind of girl that would regularly blow
1 500 000 won a month. Even splitting that in half would be a huge feat for me. I shouldn't tighten the belt too too much. Yet. A karate guy doesn't start out by chopping pieces of wood in half, right?

I should take, as that Ramsey guy recommends, baby steps.

dave ramsey; who is this guy?


I'm really into saving money right now, but I'm terrible at it. I've been joining these money challenges in hopes to pay off my student loan as soon as possible, and so far I've failed all of them.

So instead of spending my Sunday afternoon ice skating with my friends, I've been reading other frugal/financial blogs. There's a name that keeps peppering the posts: Dave Ramsey. The first time I ran into Mr. Ramsey, the blogger was encouraging its readers to buy his books. I quickly dismissed it as a scam or a quick buck for the blogger.

But he popped up again. And again. Finally, I clicked on a link to read something he wrote about budgets. And he made me feel better instantly about my recent failed attempts:
Give it three to four months to start working. It won't be perfect the first time you do it.
He reminded me that it's normal to fail. That I should keep going regardless of my seemingly pathetic budgeting attempts. He flipped my lingering guilt around in seconds.

This guy is kinda cool, I thought. So I researched googled him to find an impressive resume; he's written books, hosted a radio show and all that jazz. What confirmed his legibility with me? He was on the Oprah Winfrey Show! 

Feb Challenge Update #2

So far, so good.

Here's a chart of my expenses excluding student loans, heating bills, and my child sponsorship from World vision.

I did quite a few things to save those extra couple bucks. For example, up until Friday, I walked everywhere. I had the option of taking the bus, but I'd leave 45 minutes earlier for a very cold stroll. On Thursday, my friend invited me to a French buffet - including all you can eat wine and cheese. Cheese. All you can eat cheese (a rarity in this country. I thought about it for a good four hours before finally saying no.

I gave myself a 100 000 won allowance, but the final total became 65 580 won.

My co-teacher failed to tell me that school would not be serving lunch on one of the days, and since I didn't pack a lunch, I had pizza with my fellow co-teachers.

my fragile...RICE COOKER!

I tried to make bread. It broke. And I can't buy another one without going over my allowance.

So I cooked up a plan.

my versatile...RICE COOKER!

One of the downs in living in a place provided you for free by your employer, is that you take what you are given, and asking for more is just a sign of no appreciation. So I have lived without an oven and all the wonderful baked goods that come with it for 8 months. I have considered buying a portable one, but there's no room in this dinky place.

However, mandatory in every East Asian household, my employer supplied me a rice cooker. I have been eating rice for lunch and many of my dinners. Frankly, I am just really sick of rice.

Feb Challenge Update #1

Basic Rules
1. Don't unnecessarily spend.
2. I have 100 000 won a week to spend. ($90 CAD)
3. Triple student loan payment this month

My Homecoming

I'm back from a lovely trip in Hong Kong.

Believe it or not, excluding the sunk cost of air fare, I might have saved money in the last ten days!

Fortunately for my awesome friend, I was provided with free accommodation.

In Korea, the Clinique Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel is about $89 CAD - double the price I paid in Canada. Thankfully, in Hong Kong I found the same thing for $42 CAD. The lady convinced me to buy two, and I got Toner for free! (I had been searching for the right toner price and effectiveness for months now.)

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