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5 reasons you don’t need a car

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Good morning Loves.  I don’t actually have a car, I used to but I sold it and that was the best financial decision I ever made.  I bought a brand new Honda Civic in 2007 and I sold it three years later with less than 30,000 miles on it.  All that to say I didn’t use the car a lot; not only that but I didn’t need it.

Car payments are very expensive

BF and I live downtown in a big city and we bought the car for the sole reason that we didn’t have one.  We quickly learned that the benefit of the car wasn’t worth the $800 cost.  Yes you read that right.  With the car payment, and insurance costs along with the gas and parking expenses we were paying $800 a month for our car.  I admit it was nice to have when we wanted to take a weekend road trip to Boston, New York or Toronto but the overall benefits weren’t worth the monthly expense.

You can take the less convenient route

Some days I miss my car; I miss it when I have to walk home in the rain, I miss it when I need to get somewhere really quickly and walking there is going to take me more time than I’m actually going to spend at the destination and I really miss the car when I have a lot of groceries to carry.  Although the convenience of having a car is nice, I just can’t justify the costs and other headaches that come with the car.

There’s a cheaper option

I liked having the car over the last two weeks because we needed it for a specific purpose, it was super convenient to drive around town and the neighboring suburbs going to Target, Wal-Mart and grocery shopping.  The entire two week car rental only cost us $360 plus $140 in gas and $30 in parking; that’s a lot less than the $800 we were paying when we had the Honda.

Think about the environment

I’m a very impatient person and there’s nothing I hate more than wasting time.  I don’t like sitting in a traffic jam with the car running or sitting at a red light waiting for my turn to turn left.  Not only is it a waste of time but it’s also a waste of gas and it’s incredibly bad for the environment.  As I sit in a car with the engine running, not moving I can’t help but think about all the pollution I’m sending out into the air as well as all the money I’m wasting on gas.

It’s OK if you need it for a specific purpose

Don’t make the same mistake I did and buy a car just because you don’t have one and think you should.  With our move October 1st BF and I rented a car for two weeks.  Our new apartment is a lot bigger than our previous living space so we knew we’d have to run a lot of errands to run such as groceries, furniture and household supplies.  It was really nice to have a car over the last two weeks but at the same time I was happy to return it Sunday night.

Photo from Flickr

Go green: Save on your light bill

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Good morning Loves.  It’s been two weeks since we moved into our new apartment and I have to tell you I’m loving it.  I love absolutely everything – both inside and out – about our new living space from the neighborhood to the square footage.  We live in a quiet neighborhood, but a ton of amenities are within walking distance; downtown is about a 20 minute walk and Chinatown is just a few steps away.  For all you vegetarians out there you know that Chinese food never disappoints.  There are always several vegetarian meal options on the menu and the food is always fresh.  Can you tell I’m really excited about where we live?!?!

Turning over an eco friendly leaf

One of the best things I love about our new apartment is the fact that it’s green.  Not literally in color, but in functionality.  This new apartment has energy efficient appliances including the washer and dryer as well as the refrigerator and dishwasher.  Having an energy efficient home is great for helping the environment but it’s also great for your budget because when you save energy you also save money.

This new energy efficient apartment has me thinking about other ways I can save on my electricity bill.  Oh yes did I mention that?  In this new apartment we have to pay the hydro bill.  That’s a first for us because in all the other (there were only three) apartments we’ve lived in together we only paid rent; everything – and I mean everything – was included.  This makes me very nervous and BF is freaking out a little bit too because having a variable expense every month is unsettling.

BF’s paranoia about the cost of our energy consumption has us living in the dark, lighting a lot of candles and using more cold water than hot.  It’s not pleasant, but we’ll do anything to save a buck.

Save money on your hydro bill by going green:

Change your light bulbs.  BF is obsessed with energy efficient light bulbs.  When I say obsessed I mean we have a whole drawer full of light bulbs.  He scans flyers to see when and where energy efficient light bulbs are on sale.  They can be expensive, but the upfront cost is worth the savings in electricity over time.  A 23 watt energy efficient light bulb is equivalent to a regular 100 watt light bulb.  That can help save over $300 per year in electricity – or at least that’s what the package says.

Buy bedside lamps.  I know this may sound crazy but every time I flick on a light switch I hear the ching-ching sound of a cash register.  So I like to use as little as light as possible but enough to be comfortable.  The happy middle ground is a set of bedside table lamps.  They add decor to a bedroom, provide enough light to function and help save on the energy bill.  We even bought a table lamp for our living room – it’s Nate Berkus and we bought it on sale at Target for $29.  Did you know Nate Berkus has a home decor collection?

Photo from Flickr

Go shorty, it’s your birthday

3124008232_38625b8114_z (1)Good morning Loves.  This is my last morning as a 33 year old, tomorrow is my birthday and for the first time in four years I’m actually going to celebrate my birthday.   On my 30th birthday my family got into a huge disagreement which turned into the biggest argument I’ve ever been in then escalated into a physical fight.  Needless to say my birthday has never been the same.

This year all that’s in the past,  because this year I am going to enjoy my birthday.  Why? What makes it different this year?  Well after my whole world came crumbling down on my 30th birthday I have never felt the same.  I motioned through my daily life never really feeling anything but sadness.  I slept through the holidays and I wallowed in a ball of my own anger during my birthday.  But not this year.  For the first time in a long time I had a great year and thankfully I’m finally beginning to feel comfortable in my own skin again.   Isn’t that in itself enough of a reason to celebrate?! I definitely think so.

How do you celebrate your birthday?

This year I’m going to  celebrate my birthday by making it all about me because in my opinion I deserve it.  This past year I’ve made a career change, found an amazing new job, moved into a great new apartment and I’ve finally stopped being sad.

I’m going to visit all my favorite stores such as The Body Shop and Sephora to claim my birthday gifts for being a loyal customer.  I’m going to eat dinner at my favorite Mexican restaurant, get my nails done and of course end the day with a chocolate cupcake.  Yes that definitely sounds like a perfect day.

My birthday is a guilt free do whatever you want kind of day.  I’m going to eat cookies for breakfast if I want to and not worry about the calories or malnutrition.  I’m going to buy myself a little something special and I’m going to act totally surprised when I come home to a gorgeous bouquet of flowers from BF.  Although it’s no surprise because he buys me flowers ever year for my birthday.

How do you reflect on your life?

I know some people like to set goals and evaluate their past year on New Year’s Day, but not me, I like to reflect on my past, present and future on my birthday.  Why?  Because I think my birthday is way more special than January 1st.  I set my new goals on my birthday for a few reasons, one: Fall is my favorite season and I don’t really like winter and two: it’s all about me.  I like reflecting on my life on my birthday because it’s less pressure than the whole New Year’s thing and I’m not celebrating with the rest of the world when January rolls around.

My goals usually involve travelling, saving money and buying things for our apartment, but not this year.  This year I only have one goal and that’s to continue working towards total  happiness.  I am going to focus on my appearance, I know it seems selfish and totally materialistic but it’s true.  I am going to work hard, get active and change my eating habits so I can be happy with the way I look.

Is that a weird goal to have?

Photo from Flickr

A step by step guide to moving

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Good morning Loves.  Last time we chatted it was moving day and now BF and I are officially moved in to our new apartment.  Over our 15 year relationship we have moved three times and I’m happy to say this time our move was drama free.  We’ve had movers get into a fight and quit during the job, we’ve had movers disappear for two hours without telling us and we’ve had movers hold our television hostage until we paid them.  This time our movers came, told us they were taking a lunch break, came back and finished the job.  It was great.

I have to say moving is a lot of work and no matter how much we tried to plan there are always aspects of moving that are unpredictable.  If you are moving let me make your life a little easier by helping you expect the unexpected.

4 tips for a stress free move

Start packing at least two weeks in advance. I know the thought of living in boxes is unappealing, but planning your move will save you both time and money. Since BF and I only found our apartment one week before we had to move we didn’t have time to properly pack, but I wish we did.  When you take your time to pack you can throw out unwanted items which means you’ll have less boxes.  This saves money on movers because they work by the hour as well as the cost of boxes – if you buy them from U-Haul.  We did the opposite and ravaging through our stuff to throw out unused items is making our unpacking a lot longer.

You have to tip the movers. This was the first time I’ve ever tipped movers and to be honest I didn’t know we were supposed to. One of our movers mentioned it to us during the day so we had to shell out some extra cash.  Our total moving bill was $694 and we had $750 in cash so we gave them a $56 tip.  I’m not sure if that’s generous, but that’s what we gave them.  What do you think?

There are always unexpected costs. We based the actual cost of the movers on our last experience and it worked out well because it was exactly the same price, even though we booked a different moving company.  Other than the actual movers it’s all the extra costs that add up quickly.  We moved into a bigger apartment so we knew there would be extra costs but I had no idea exactly how much they would be.  We spent $136 at Home Depot, $270 at Target and $148 at Wal-Mart.  These were all necessary costs for functional items in our new apartment such as garbage cans and laundry supplies (because now we have our own washer and dryer), none of them were esthetic.

Decorating should be the last thing on your mind. I wish I could snap my fingers and all my boxes would be unpacked, my couch would be full of colourful pillows, all my vases would be full of beautiful fresh flowers and my paintings would be hung on the walls. But unfortunately this is not my reality.  BF and I both have full time jobs so right now we are just focusing on getting our boxes cleared away.  Then we’ll place everything exactly where we want it, this will also give us an idea of what other furniture we need to buy and finally we’ll decorate – but that’s a three step long term plan.

Photo from Flickr