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At the beginning of this month, Jordan and I very casually decided to try to not eat out for the month. Not because I think eating out is horrible, but because we had fallen into the habit of eating out too much. And, most importantly, we didn’t really enjoy it. It was our default. And it’s kind of a bummer to spend so much money (and time) on something you’re meh about.
While I didn’t think we would make it the whole month, we’ve done pretty well. And, it has been easy.
No, scratch that. It’s been fun.
We’ve had to get more creative while looking for things to do, but that’s been the best part. Instead of our usual routine, we’ve done a night hike to the pub, we’ve braved new recipes at home, we’ve gone to museums, and invited friends over for Sunday lunch. I’ve done yoga with a girlfriend and picnicked while visiting a historic home. This weekend we’re going to a festival along a river to watch boats and listen to the orchestra play. And yes, we still go to the pub because it’s basically a requirement for living in the UK.
Have we saved any money? To be honest, probably not much. But I’m passionate about getting the best enjoyment out of each dollar that you spend. And we have definitely done that.
Cheers to the weekend and spending money and time on the things that you value most.
we’ve got you covered
Expat woes. There are endless things I love about our expat experience in the UK. Pubs. History. Walking. Italy is a 2-hour flight away. But there was one thing that really threw me for a loop when we got here: money. We have paychecks, bank accounts, and bills in multiple currencies. The exchange rates have been less than stable (hi, Brexit). And we are never not doing our taxes. But a few months after landing here we put together an automatic system that works for us. And rid ourselves of excessive transfer fees that our bank was hiding from us – shady. For all current or future expats, here’s a glimpse into how we make this work for us.
Skip the dinner and drinks. If you’re ready to switch up your routine and try something other than eating out as your default activity, I’ve got you covered with 20 unique things to do on a night out. Do them with your significant other or a friend. I had the best time coming up with this list and I’m patiently waiting for a clear night to try the SkyView app.
Make Me Smart
smart-ish reads from around the internet
My Disneyland. We’re heading home next week and high on my list of places to visit is Trader Joe’s. I know, I have a problem. But between their Everything But The Bagel seasoning and the $2 sheet masks, I will be returning back to London with a bag full of supplies to keep me stocked until the next trip. I’m not the only one who loves a good TJ’s run. Domino has a list of 16 secrets to make your shopping experience better (I will be trying #4). And if you’re looking to cut your grocery budget while still being healthy, The Everygirl shows you how to get a week of healthy food for $50.
Apparently, I’m all about deal shopping this week. I’ve had an eBay account for years, but I didn’t put it to good use until recently. I’ve discovered a treasure trove of baby things and when Jordan and I cleaned out our flat a few weeks ago I sold a few things – until I realized just how time-consuming it can be. But I’m still an eBay novice. This article has great tips, including how to score the best vintage furniture and homewares.
But remember, sales make you do dumb things. Skip the bad choices.
Travel plans? Travel has always been one of my biggest priorities – and my biggest expense. I love a good deal and Jordan and I have just started to really get into the whole credit card points game (I know, we’re so late to this party). I’m well versed in some travel truisms – like you can get amazing flight deals in the dead period between Thanksgiving and Christmas during late November/early December, but I’m always eager to learn more. This old-ish article lists out the cheapest places to travel by month both within the US and internationally. Get booking.
I should’ve paid more attention in math class. This story of a professional gambler who has won over $1 billion and cracked the code in horse racing is fascinating.
Make It Good
because life is about more than money
Leave a message. This morning Jordan sent me this podcast from Invisibilia. It’s so heartwarming, I cried real tears. You’ll be glad you took the 10 minutes to listen.
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