July 16, 2018

Currently Reading // July, 2018.

Heeello, everyone! 

It's been a hot minute since I lasted updated you guys on what I'm reading and today I thought I would do just that. Actually, I haven't been updating you guys because I haven't had time to read - like at all. With a full time job and studying, it's hard to make time to do much else. When I get home from work and I'm done studying, all I want to do is lay on my bed and watch Netflix. I know it's not productive and yes, I miss readind, but it's the truth. However, that needs to change! So, I'm hoping that by making this statement on the internet and sharing with you guys the books I'm planning on reading, this will kinda hold me accountable because I really don't want to get to August and not have read anything. 
It Ends With Us - Colleen Hoover // This book has been on my TBR for quite some time. There was a time when I was really into Colleen Hoover and I bought like 5 of her books, right after reading Maybe Someday - that was 4 years ago and I still haven't read any of them. I've seen a lot of people raving about this book online and since I bought it, I might as well read it, right? I have no idea what the story is about and honestly, I don't have high hopes for it. So, if you've read this one already, let me know on the comments if it's good or not. 

Everyday - David Levithan // Another book that has been on my TBR for way too long. I watched a booktuber talking about David Levithan last year and for no other reason other than that I bought a bunch of his books and now I kinda have to read them. I'm never doing that again, but I'm happy I have this one now. It sounds like it will be right up my alley. I finally decided to pick this one up because the movie is coming out. I know, I'm basic! Once I see the movie, I know I won't feel like reading the book anymore and I really want to read it. I saw the trailer and I'm intrigued! 

Love, Life and the List - Kasie West // This one was on my last Currently Reading - from two months ago - and I'm ashamed to admit that I still haven't finished it! Like I said, I haven't had time to do anything, specially reading. Hopefully, this will change this month because I remember really enjoying this book. I'm a big Kasie West fan and I have high hopes for this book. It's set on the beach, during summer break and it's a romance. There's no way I won't enjoy this!

That's it, guys! These are all the books I'm currently reading. I've only read 16 books so far this year and I'm super behind on my Goodreads Reading Challenge, but I'm gonna power through till December to hopefully catch up. Let me know of any book recommendations you might have! I haven't been watching as much booktube as I used to, so I could really use them! Wish me luck!

What are you currently reading?
Have you ever read any of these books?

Let's chat!

Thanks so much for stopping by and come back soon!

July 8, 2018

Things I Don't Buy Anymore // Minimalism + No Spend Challenge.

Heeeeello, everyone!

Like I said on my previous post, this is the month of getting my shit together, specially when it comes to my finances. I've been very free with my money these past few months and that's not good. I fell completely off track on my No Spend Challenge in June, I bought things I really didn't need (but that I really wanted) and I went to dinner way too much. I'm giving myself some grace and I'm making July my fresh start. I created a budget (you check that out over here) and I'm planning on sticking to it ! 

My big goal with the No Spend Challenge is to save up as much money as I can. I started out the year with a very strict budget and set of rules that I planned on following, so I had to get creative this time around when it came to things I could cut out of my budget completly in order to really save up - since I spend so much money the last two months. After being on this money saving journey for a few months, I've discovered even more things I could save money on by completely cutting it out of my life. I know these might not work for everybody, but at least it will give you a chance to reevaluate how your spending your hard earned cash!

CANDLES // I see soooo many youtubers and bloggers sharing how many Bath & Body Works candles they have on their backstock or how many they've bought on the latest sale that it literally makes me sad. When you're burning a candle you're literally burning away your money. They last for what.. a couple of days and sure they smell nice, but is it worth it? Plus, they're bad for the environment. I never have a candle burning in my room and it always smells good. When you clean your space regularly, there's absolutely no need for air fresheners or anything like that because it will always smell like the cleaning products you use. 

HAIR OILS // I used to have so many hair oils cluttering up my drawers, it's not even funny. When I think about all the money I wasted on them, it makes me want to cringe a little. Now, I've minimized my hair care routine so much that I only use shampoo, conditioner and coconut oil when I feel like I need it. You can basically replace all of those different bottles that claim to do different things with the real natural thing. 

DEEP CONDITIONERS // Again, so much money going literally down the drain. Now, whenever I feel like my hair needs a pick me up, I just use a blend of coconut and olive oil and leave it in for as much time as I can.. maybe even overnight. After, I just wash my hair regularly. It makes my hair super soft and moisturized.

For more coconut oil uses, you can click here!

FOOD CONTAINERS // Instead of wasting money on plastic containers that are bad for the environment and for your health (BPA and shit like that), you can simply use glass jars that come with your normal groceries, like tomato sauce, pickles and olives. I even replaced the containers I used to use to take my lunch to work with those and it works amazing. It's just a bit heavier and you need to be more careful because it's glass and it can break. 

TISSUES + PAPER TOWELS // Try using cloth napkins instead! Tissues and paper towels come from trees and if you're at least minimally informed about what's going on in the world, you know we kinda need trees for oxygen in order to survive and stuff. So, using trees to blow our noses and wipe counters is probably not the best idea. Because I didn't want to spend extra money on cloth napkins, I just cut up some old t-shirts that were too beat up to donate in squares and made them easily accessible in my kitchen and bathroom. Now, I still use toilet paper. However, I've seen a lot of people on the internet taking that extra step and completely replacing toilet paper with the cloth system.  

If you'd like to see more things I don't buy, you can click here and here. I love doing these types of posts. I'm always thinking about how I can improve my budget and save even more money, so I'm constantly reevaluating my daily habits to see if there are any unnecessary steps I'm taking when it comes to my haircare and skincare routine - as well as my makeup and wardrobe. 

What about you?
What are you currently not buying?

Let's chat!

Thanks so much for stopping by and come back soon!

July 4, 2018

Am I Still Doing The No Spend Challenge?

Heeeello, everyone!

Well, the short answer to that question is: kinda. I'm still trying to do it, but I feel like I've failed completely on the last month. June was not my friend guys. And that's not to say I had a bad month, I actually had a pretty amazing month.. It's just that I kinda lost track of some of my goals and just lived at the moment, you know? I ate what I felt like eating, I worked out when I felt like working out and I didn't pay close attention to my finances.

So, this month has to be the month of getting back on track. I'm not sure how I want to do it in other aspects of my life, but when it comes to my finances I desperately need to put together a budget and make sure I'm sticking to it. I'm sure that everyone's budget is going to look different.. We all make different incomes and we all have different expenses. However, I thought it would be helpful to show you guys the how I'm doing my budget and the steps I'm taking. Here we go!

STEP 1: Track how much I spent last month. 
I spent so much money last month is not even funny. I ate out practically every Friday and Saturday, I  took advantage of some end of season sales, I had to get a gift for my boyfriend, ubered pretty much everywhere and then it was all downhill from there. You get the picture. The one good thing that I did for my finances last month was to put some money in my savings out right when I got my paycheck - which is something I believe everyone should be doing. So, the first step is going to be painful. I opened my bank app and I went through aaaaaaaall of my spending, writing them down on a piece of paper in different categories, such as food, clothes, gas, uber and gifts. 

STEP 2: Take it all in. 
After writing everything down on a piece of paper, take some time to take it all in. Really evaluate how your spending your money, check if there are some categories you can cut down on or cut out completely. For example, I realized that I was spending money on Spotify when I could just add another device on my dad's account for way cheaper. This is the part where you need to be really honest with yourself in order to figure out how you can actually improve. If you're not honest with yourself, you'll just set yourself up for failure when you reach the next step. 

STEP 3: Create your new budget. 
I like to create new budgets based on my previous month. I'm paid monthly and my goal is to save as much money as possible - I'm not trying to pay off debts or anything like that, so to me that makes sense. When I set goals based on my previous month I feel like I'm more successful because I'm not fooling myself. I can't go from eating out every weekend to only eating at home, you know? However, there are some categories I completely cut out from my budget this month, like "clothes" and "uber". 

STEP 4: Put money aside as soon as you get your paycheck. 
Seriously guys, the day you get your paycheck put some cash towards savings. It doesn't have to be a lot, it just has to be something. You can always add more to it at the end of the month, but taking that first step is super important. To me, this sets the tone of the month and I like to challenge myself to add just a little more every month. 

STEP 5: Stay motivated. 
Staying motivated to save money is the hardest part. The beginning is super chill, you're feeling pumped, you've watched budgeting videos on youtube and seriously, how hard can it really be, right? Just don't spend the money. But then, you see the sales signs going up, your friends invite you to eat out again and it's your boyfriend's birthday.. That's how all your money basically disappears from your wallet. So, I find that the best way to keep the motivation up is to watch youtube videos and read books about saving money and budgeting. I'm one of those people that needs to keep being reminded of why I'm doing something and how my everyday steps add up to something huge at the end of each month. 

These are the steps I'm taking to get back on track, guys! This is just what has been proven to work for me, my lifestyle and the amount of money I'm currently making. Hopefully, it will work for you too or maybe this post will just serve as motivation for you to keep working towards your financial goals. Like I said before, I'm trying to ease myself back into the No Spend Challenge, so this is not a "zero spend hardcore let's not waste a dime" budget. I've given myself some wiggle room because I know that's what I need, I can't go from not caring at all to hardcore saving mode. Anyway, let me know on the comments how do you budget for the month and what are your overall financial goals!

Do you have a budget?
How do you create it?

Let's chat!

Thanks so much for reading and come back soon!