Sunday, 31 May 2009

Had a very productive day today - managed to achieve first month of task 26 - talked to my friend on the phone as she just bought a house. Also worked on 17 - painted my back yard, then plastered the front of the house where it was dampproofed and there were a couple of cracks. Went to the diy store for a new door handle for the kitchen door - I plan to paint it to match the walls -and some filler to fix the gaps round a couple of the internal doors. Then task 39 - I took a picture of my dinner because I made four portions of turkey red curry for £1.05 each.

I had been meaning to organise my craft room for a while because I had a lot of stuff just lying on the floor in piles. So I took an old shelving unit I had spare and used one shelf for all the new fabrics I've gathered up. Then another shelf for my sewing stuff, and the other shelf for art materials, all neatly boxed. There's even space for my sewing machine at the side of the shelves.

This coming week I'm going to get all my books and DVDs organised as there were some in this room, some in the spare bedroom, a few more in boxes, and two shelves full in the living room. Definitely time for trip to the charity shop!

Friday, 29 May 2009

I haven't got any further with my list yet, it's on my To Do List lol. So I said I would explain more about me and what motivated the huge changes I've been making 6months ago..... I'm 31, married since September, and work full time in an admin role. I live in an urban area, and own my own home - out the back I have a 70foot by 14foot patch of land that needs to be fenced in (part of my 101 list)

I used to be very career driven, I was at the top of my high pressure fast moving corporate environment and commuted for 2 hours a day. I was earning about 3 times as much as I do now but I didn't ever have any time for myself and was constantly under pressure, whether from work or of my own making to overachieve. Then I was forced to be at home for a few weeks and realised that I needed to change. I was miserable, I had to get help from my GP to get through the day, I was comfort eating and gaining weight, and my relationship was at risk from all the stress.

Then I found Moneysavingexpert and became fascinated with the concept of saving money. When I read the "Live on £4000 a year" challenge I immediately dismissed the idea - how can anyone manage that? But I knew I had to find a new job and that would mean a lower income, so I thought I would give it a go. When I was younger my parents weren't well off and we used to dress in hand me downs from my cousins and my mum knitted and was always sewing and home cooking everything. My childhood was happy, I don't feel that I missed out on anything and if I'm lucky enough to have children I would want them to have a similar upbringing.

Because I've had more free time being off work on leave for a few months and now not having such long days I've had time to explore more creative pursuits - I've made a mosaic for Mothers' Day, made my own handbag, and learn a lot about cooking. I make my own lunches for work every day - this week there's been king prawn stirfry, lentil and bacon soup, and tuna and salad wraps. I'm aiming to keep up this interest and expand my creativity to learn more crafts.

In the last 6 months I have repaid my credit cards in full, reduced my mortgage balance and organised my finances so I'm in control and able to save regularly for the things I enjoy and want to achieve- travelling, creative pursuits, educating myself and finishing the improvements to my home. There'll be more about my finances tomorrow and how I got my budget in shape. This weekend I'm going to organise my new "creative" room and I'll have to get some pictures on here to liven things up!

Thursday, 28 May 2009

My name is skint chick and I'm just made some huge changes to my life the last 6 months. I'm taking part in a the Day Zero project to achieve 101 goals in 1001 days. I have a few ideas already and I'll keep adding them as I come up with ideas, I wanted to add the usual see the world but the rules are that the tasks need to be specific and easily measurable (see the website at )

I love list making so this project is ideal for my nerd tendencies, but it's really difficult to define my goals. I've achieved so much the last few months thanks to the support of my friends and family - especially Nyk and her fab band of merry frugallers over on the Live on £4000 for a year challenge at

So here goes, my first selection of aims for the next 1001 days;

1. Make myself items of clothing that I'm pleased with
2. Learn to knit and make someone a gift
3. Get my BMI under 35
4. Be able to go on a 10km cycle and enjoy it
5. Grow my own veg and eat them
6. Take part in a skydive
7. See penguins in the wild
8. Bake my own bread
9. Learn a new language and use it
10. Take more photos of friends, family, and activities
11. Keep an ideas scrapbook for creative plans
12. Read a newpaper and watch the news at least once a week
13. Be able to swim 2km without stopping
14. Successfully complete the "Live on £4000 a year" challenge
15. Develop my career further
16. Write a journal regularly
17. Finish decorating my home so it's "magazine shoot" ready
18. Only buy and wear clothes that fit me and I feel good in
19. Go to a new country at least every 6 months
20. Indulge myself in at least 3 at home beauty treatments a week
21. Save every month into a new car fund
22. Save every month into emergency fund until I have 6 months salary
23. Reduce mortgage to below £140,000
24. Repay loan
25. Do something romantic with my husband at least once a week
26. Keep in touch with old friends at least once a month
27. Read a new book at least once a month
28. Learn to cook a new dish twice a month
29. Eat out at a new place 6 times a year or more
30. Listen to more new music and update my ipod regularly
31. See a new film at least once a month, with a focus on foreign language and non mainstream films
32. Set up and stick to a proper home cleaning routine
33. Volunteer for something charitable regularly
34. Talk to my parents about their childhoods and memories
35. Try and walk instead of using car at least twice a week
36. Complete course of laser treatment on armpits
37. Finish my garden, fence and plant it
38. Hike to the top of local hill - it's huge!
39. Take a photo a day every day for a year
40. Send a postcard to Postsecret
41. Go on a winetasting course
42. Get my diving certificate
43. Learn to surf or snowboard
44. Scan all my photos of family and friends and share the memories with them
45. Spend a weekend at a spa
46. Cut my hair in a different daring style
47. Learn to ice skate
48. Go to a baseball game

So tomorrow I'll tell you some more about the changes I've made and how they fit in with these plans. But for now I'm off to watch the final episode of ER!

My ideal view

My ideal view