How to let go of things

A little while ago I wrote a post about minimalism which I was very happy about, however I realised that since posting it I’ve kind of changed my position around the subject. I still believe that minimalism is not necessarily about owning two t-shirts, but more about realising what’s important to you and surrounding yourself with possessions that make you happy rather than weigh you down.
When we moved into our Wellington apartment I felt satisfied with the amount of things I’d kept from London. I thought I actually needed all of them. However, over the past months, I’ve been feeling the need to downsize even more, and now not a day goes by without me going through my wardrobe and trying to get rid of one or two items.

I have to say it’s been getting easier and easier for me. However, as many other wannabe minimalists, I also have encountered the dilemma of the infamous bunch of things I’m emotionally attached to. My Grandma’s wool jumper, too big and itchy to wear; a pile of books I haven’t read yet and probably will never read; some prints stashed at the back of my wardrobe, because I don’t have enough walls to hang them; a bunch of old toys and knick-knacks that sit in a forgotten box, gathering dust. Basically, a whole lot of things that I never use or wear but that I feel too guilty to let go of.

In view of possibly travelling and/or moving at some point in the future, I decided I want to simply have less stuff. So here is my piece of advice I myself am trying to follow to let go of things.

  • The three piles
    If you have done even the tiniest research on how to become a minimalist, surely you’ve heard this one before. Gather your possessions and make three piles: things you keep, things you chuck, and things you’re not sure about. (This really works.)
    Now, you want to focus on the Things You’re Not Sure About pile. This is where I put all the things I’m emotionally attached to. Once they are all gathered, I make sure that this pile is hidden out of sight: under the bed, in a storage room, in the garden shed. If after a month I haven’t thought of or reached for any of those items, they get moved to the Things I Chuck pile, and they are out of my life.
  • Associate bad memories to things
    When it comes to something that I clearly don’t need or use and I do want to get rid of it yet I’m afraid I would miss it, I try to associate a bad memory to it. That way, I end up actually not being able to wait to get rid of that particular item, because why would you want to keep something that brings back sad memories anyway?
    (For me it normally works to associate ex boyfriends to stuff. If an ex boyfriend gave it to me, there’s no way I’m gonna miss it.)
  • Everything can be replaced
    Finally, if you do get rid of something and end up missing or needing it, remember that you can just get a new one. And if you think you really want that particular thing because it had an emotional value, try to dissociate the emotional value from it and see the item for its functional value instead. Do you miss that particular vase that your great-grand-auntie gave you? Surely you can find something else to put your flowers in. And the fact that you still remember your great-grand-auntie’s vase means you haven’t lost the memory of it.

How not to be lonely

Giac has left for Italy on Thursday which is five days ago, and he will be back on the 7th which is in eight days. This means I’m home alone for thirteen whole days. This is quite a big deal for someone like me, who jumps at every suspicious squeaky noise, switches one room’s light on before switching the other room’s light off, and generally is afraid of their own shadow.

I absolutely hate being home alone. My anxiety escalates to a whole new level. Plus, I feel lonely as heck (in spite of being a huuuge introvert). But mainly I have mini panic attacks over the stupidest things.

When I was younger and my parents went on holidays leaving me alone for like a month, instead of turning into a party animal, inviting all my friends over, trashing the house and getting smashed, I would pretty much never leave my room, envisioning the worst case scenario of me dying in the most horrible circumstances and nobody finding my rotting body for weeks. I would have a very hard time sleeping, ending up spending the night on Tumblr and eating cold pizza at 3am.

The things I’m normally terrified of include being murdered, being robbed, slipping on the bathroom floor and banging my head, having a heart attack, fainting, in fact having any medical condition that will lead to my death, leaving the gas running, setting the house on fire, chocking on food, locking myself out, not being able to open a jar and consequently starving to death, spiders.

Since I now live in Wellington I felt obliged to add “dying all alone in an earthquake” to the list.

These are all things that I genuinely believe could happen. And now I’m home alone with so much time on my hand and too much time to think and I haven’t freaked out yet but I know it will happen so how to cope?

I made a list.

  • Don’t oversleep
    I’m doing my best to get out of bet at 7.30 every morning, because if I snooze and snooze I end up wasting my morning and messing up my entire day. Being by myself doesn’t mean that I don’t have to stick to a schedule.
  • Stick to a schedule
    A.k.a. Carry on with your life.
    For some reason, the fact that Giac is away makes me feel like I’m on holidays a little bit. But the reality is that I do have things to do (job hunting, mainly), so I’m trying to stick to my regular schedule – which als0 means that I only have time to remember that I’m alone once the day is over.
  • Get dressed
    Even if I’m not going anywhere, the moment I get up I make a point of changing into something that is not my pyjamas. This helps me not to feel too sluggish and be more productive throughout the day.
  • Get out
    Even if it’s just for a quick morning walk, getting some fresh air is super duper important. I try my best not to be home all day. In fact, unless I’ve got something to do at home, I’d go to the library and get some stuff done there.
  • Shower
    It’s so easy to bask in my own filth for days since I don’t have to share my living space with anyone and I can avoid being around people. But showering reminds me how to be a functional human being, so I make sure I scrub myself head to toe at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth
    As part of the personal hygiene scheme, brushing my teeth after every meal is also something I need to remind myself. Again, not being around people doesn’t mean that you can neglect your oral care.

(I am aware that these are very basic actions that anyone with a grain of common sense would perform on a daily basis without the need of a reminder, but you have no idea how easy it is for me to let myself go when I’m home alone for longer than two days.)

  • Keep yourself entertained
    So important! There’s nothing worse than being bored when you already feel lonely. Since Giac left I’ve been out of the house almost all day every day, sunbathing, picking strawberries, making art … Plus I’ve been going to the gym/running/longboarding every single day. If I keep it up I’ll be fit as heck when he comes back.
  • Eat
    Food is a big deal for me, because when I’m home alone I tend to either forget to eat or eat too much, and when I do eat it normally happens not at a table but standing by the kitchen sink, shoving cold pasta in my face straight from the tupperware. Not good. So I’ve planned every single meal I’m having until Giac is back, and I also prepped everything so even if I’m starving I’m not tempted to just eat plain bread but I’ll make sure I have a whole balanced and nutritious meal ready to go in the fridge.
  • Be home when it’s dark
    Not that there’s anything to worry about in New Zealand, where the average of homicides per year is 72 in the whole country (it’s 137 in London alone). But when I do have my mini panic attacks, they always happen when it’s dark. So at least if I’m home I know I can just go to bed, or make myself a cup of tea, or watch some funny YouTube videos, and feel safe.
    (Plus I’m blind as a bat in the dark.)
  • Treat yoself
    What better excuse to make yourself feel special than thinking you’ve been abandoned? Of course that’s not the case, but it sure helps justifying the fact that you’re eating at Burger Fuel for the third time in four days.
  • See friends
    No boyfriend = more time to spend with your friends! I don’t have many but I’m seeing them as much as I can. Especially those who are also jobless, so we can keep each other company heehee.
    Also did I say boyfriend? I meant husband. (Or roommate.)
  • Explore
    So many new places! I made a list (duh) of all the places I want to walk to or eat at or shop from, and I’ slowly ticking them off. You don’t need an excuse to go exploring but for me it’s more of another thing to do to keep myself busy, and have new places to take Giac when he’s back.

Fun fact: The first night I was by myself I locked the door with an extra door chain just to feel safe, then found out the next morning that I’d left the key in the keyhole outside the whole time.

How to get shit done

For pretty much the whole time I was living in London, the inside of my wardrobe door was plastered with sticky notes reminding me of things I was dreaming of doing but I was never finding the time to do. Drawing, studying a foreign language, play the ukulele, take a singing class… I kept on telling myself that I would do all of those at some point, but I simply couldn’t at the minute because my job was taking up too much of my mental space.
Now I’m jobless, and when you’re jobless you find yourself with a lot of time on your hands. In fact, as soon as we were settled down in Wellington I thought, Great! This is my chance to finally tick all those wishes off my list.
Easier said than done, though. I went from having no time to having too much time and trust me, one thing is having a day off after a busy week, and another is having the whole day to yourself every single day. It can get intimidating. During my first week in Wellington I was far from productive. Because I felt I had all the time in the world, I ended up wasting most of it. Getting out of bed was getting harder and harder. I would drag myself to the library, stare at people for a couple of hours, browse through job offers without applying for any, go back home, and squander the afternoon on YouTube.
This made me feel awful. I wasn’t accomplishing anything. My art supplies lay abandoned  in a box, I couldn’t remember where I’d put my Japanese books, and Puke the Uke was gathering dust in a corner. Most importantly, I was completely ignoring my blog, which I’d put as top priority in the hope of turning it into something more professional.
I wasn’t happy with myself one bit. So I sat down and worked out an action plan.

  1. Make a daily To-Do list
    Write down all the things you want to do today. Not in your lifetime – just today. Keep it simple so you’re not overwhelmed.

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  1. Have lunch
    Make sure you include things that you’re obviously going to do, then cross them off. This will make you feel accomplished and will give you motivation to keep on going. I like to include things like peeing, reading, having lunch and taking a selfie.

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  1. Plan a schedule
    Give priorities  to your tasks and decide what to do when. Perhaps you’ll find out you’ve overestimated your time and there are too many tasks on your list – in this case, cross out anything that can wait until tomorrow. Don’t try to overdo!

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  1. Have a cuppa
    Even if what you’re doing is probably something fun, don’t forget to give yourself a break. Factor in some time for a refreshing walk outside or a tea break.

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  1. Pretend it’s your job
    Now that you know what you are going to do, do it. Take it seriously. No matter what, do what’s on that list. Even if you don’t feel like it. Even if you think there’s something more important you should do instead.

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Two weeks into it, I feel like a new person. I now alternate days dedicated to job-hunting and days dedicated to being creative. On job-hunting days I wake up early, go to the library, spend the morning applying for jobs online, go to the gym before lunch, hand out CVs in shops and cafes in the afternoon, and relax in the evening. On creative days I also try to wake up early, and I dedicate the morning to my blog. This can be either actually writing and posting something, or just doing some research on something I’m planning to post in the future. I also plan what I’m going to post and when, so I can keep track of what’s coming and it helps with time management too. If I feel inspired I also write in the afternoon, although not for my blog: I found a couple of websites that I would like to collaborate with so I’d try and write for them. I also do my best to draw as much as I can. Inktober is definitely helping although I have missed a few days, but I’m concentrating on trying on new drawing techniques and I’m definitely being more productive than I used to. I’m also playing around with Puke more and my goal is to learn one new song every week.

I hope this was helpful, have fun getting shit done!

Free the pits

I spend a lot of time on social media because I’m really 16 and I think you should all know that. Along with being aware of what “hunty”, “sus” or “being on fleek” mean, and gathering the majority of my knowledge on international politics and social issues from memes, this also mean I’m up to date with all the latest hot trends and what young people think is worth talking about on YouTube, Instagram and other digital platforms.
So today I bring to you: BODY HAIR!

(Disclaimer: Really? Why on earth is this even an issue? It baffles me that this is even a thing, to be honest. I mean, I can’t even. But hey.)

The first time somebody acknowledged the existence of hairs on my legs was  -ironically, if I think about it now- on the London Tube. I was around 12 and was spending three weeks in England on a study-holiday trip (that kind of experience your parents send you to hoping you’ll come back mastering a foreign language while you only come back mastering the art of rolling a spliff). It was summer so I was wearing shorts (although this is not such a logical cause-effect relationship in the UK). One day we were on the Tube, a gleeful group of pimply prepubescents, and this kid who must have been a couple of years younger than me pointed at my legs and announced, loud enough for the whole carriage to hear: Whoa, time you start shaving!
I looked down at my calves and simply shrugged. I didn’t know what to think about it. To be honest, I hardly knew what shaving meant.
This might sound silly but just think about it for a second. I was twelve. My main preoccupations at the time were finishing my homework in time for basketball training, and making sure no titles were missing from my Goosebumps collection. It’s ok if you have no idea what shaving even means when you’re 12. I have to admit I was pretty hair for a 12 year old, but at that age you’re still a kid.
On that occasion, that kid’s words slipped over me without permanently scarring consequences. The holiday came to an end, I flew back home and carried on with my life.
However, I then went back to my second year in Middle School, and it soon became clear to me that the hair topic couldn’t go on unmentioned for much longer. Girls were talking about it, boys were talking about it, and P.E. class was becoming more and more about taking notes of who was shaving and who wasn’t more than running laps and jumping ropes.
I started to become more and more aware of the silky layer of hair covering y skin. Because communication has never been great in my family, talking to my mum about it was out of the question. So at first I just did my best to cover up. For some reason, unshaved legs and pits had become something to be ashamed of.
I played basketball at the time, and our uniform consisted in short shorts and a sleeveless vest. The lack of sleeves was what bothered me the most. For some reason I had decided that hairy legs were ok but hairy armpits were not. As opposed to my friends at school, who were all in the same boat as me and were struggling with the same sort of issues, my basketball mates were older than me and very judgmental. If you didn’t conform with them, they would simply laugh at you. (This also taught me another important life lesson, which is to surround yourself with people that value and support you no matter what. I quit that team a few months after.)
So after the longest time trying to figure out a way to ask my mum the permission to shave (I even considered picking up swimming, which I’ve always hated, when a classmate of mine who was a swimmer told me that she had to shave everything because you’re required to be hairless when you swim at a professional level) and realising I would never have the guts to speak up, one day I just decided I’d had enough and I would just do it.
At that point I must have been 13. I remember sliding the mirror door of the bathroom cabinet open, reaching out for my mum’s razor on the top shelf, and letting the blade slide on my dry, baby-haired skin. It hurt and got red and bumpy straight away. I hadn’t even taken off my t-shirt.
My mum found out because I’d left the sink scattered with hairs. Yeah. She asked me whether I had shaved and I promptly denied the evidence; when she ordered me to show her my armpits I ran into my room. We never spoke about that again.
I was both annoyed and relieved when people at training noticed that my pits were hairless. There was this one girl I felt at ease confiding to, and I confessed to her that I’d done it on the sly. She replied: Sure, I do it all the time. My mum has no clue. So I told her I wanted to shave my legs too and she said they were no different from my armpits: You just sit in the bathtub, use your dad’s shaving cream, and there you go. The notion of using shaving cream had never occurred to me. I was so naive that my only vague attempt at removing hairs from my legs before that conversation had been with scissors (please do not. Say. Anything.)

So the heavenly doors to the world of smooth skin were open. And so many things have changed since I first stepped past them. Seventeen years (!!!) after brandishing my first razor, I now have a completely different vision of what shaving means.
First of all –as you’ve probably figured out by now – I’m much more open about the subject; in fact, I absolutely love talking about it. As it’s true for many other topics, I believe that talking about your position on the shaving argument is fun, beneficial, and crucial in order to feel comfortable with it. I went from pretending the problem didn’t exist with my mum, to proudly showing my before and after legs to every single member of my family.
I’m only able to do this because over the years I’ve got to know myself better, and I’m now very much aware of my own body.
To be honest, I wish somebody had told me the moment I hit puberty that those hairs are nothing to be ashamed of. I wish somebody had told me that whether I wanted to keep them or shave them off was completely up to me. Growing up I never felt like shaving was my own decision. It was always something I thought I was expected to do by virtue of being a female. I shaved because all my girlfriends shaved, because that’s what boys want you to do, because “hair on women is gross”, because “armpit hair is unhygienic”, because you’re supposed to. I shaved in spite of getting rashes under my arms every single time. I thought it was a waste of time and energies, but I still kept on holding on to the razor. I’ve also tried bleaching, waxing and epilating, experimenting with different levels of pain but always the same result: hairless skin for maybe a week, and then back to the start all over again.
And now I say: fuck it. My legs are covered in scars I inflicted myself while shaving (and I was only drunk maybe twice). I have spent hours painfully plucking, trimming and grooming, without never achieving that perfect smoothness that razor ads promised.
I’m not one of those Nordic pale blond girls who don’t shave but they hardly have any hair. My hair is dark and visible -let’s just put it out there. But I don’t care. Everybody has hair and that’s fine. The fact that man can be hairy but women can’t doesn’t make any sense. It’s just hair.
I’ve been on and off the razor for maybe a couple of years now. I’ve learned to live with my body hair and I’m actually starting to find it kind of cute. I only shave if I feel like it. And I’m not ashamed to go out in shorts and fuzzy legs if I don’t feel like it.
Part of my newly acquired self-confidence comes from travelling (man, travelling teaches you so many things!). Having lived in a van for the past three months, without regular access to a real shower/sink/anywhere to shave, has forced me (and Giac) to face the fact that my legs and pits would be hairy and we had to live with it. (To be honest, when you live in a van shaving is the last of your problems.) And you know what? I have met people along the road that have seen me in all my hairy glory, and nobody cared. I’ve been to the gym in shorts and sleeveless t-shirts and do you think people gave me awkward looks, or felt offended by my hairiness? Of course not. Nobody gives a shit!
This feels amazing. To do what the heck you want with your body. The times of presenting yourself the way people want you to look are over. (This might be TMI, but I even had an encounter with a dude who refused to get into any hanky panky because I was not completely shaved down there. HA!)
Now, I’m not saying you shouldn’t save. All I’m saying is: Do what the fuck you want. If you like shaving, shave. If it makes you feel beautiful and confident, by all means go ahead and do it. BUT DON’T DO IT BECAUSE YOU THINK YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO. And please, please do not feel ashamed of your body hair. It’s just hair. It doesn’t make you a less better person. If anything, it shows that you’re at ease in your own body (which makes it kind of sexy in my humble opinion).
I can’t believe this is even something people feel the need to talk about. All this fuss about something that we should merely accept the presence of and GET THE FUCK OVER IT.

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Real hair

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Not real hair

Ps. I was kidding about all that teenage slang. I hate teenage slang. I do say “like” a lot but I also know what “literally” means and I don’t use it in unsuitable contexts. I do my best to speak like a grownup (also because I’m mainly surrounded by adults who wouldn’t understand anyway).

Less is more (or is it?)

I used to be a disgraceful hoarder. When I was in high school I used to hang worn-out shoes on my bedroom wall and religiously treasure leaflets, tickets and receipts from holidays abroad (even empty tissue packets and cigarette butts sometimes). At the same time though, I always was meticulously organised. Within those useless mountains of junk, everything had its own place. Then over the years, for reasons I cannot explain, I developed a sick pleasure in getting rid of stuff. I would then systematically organise my remaining possessions, and create a space that reflected the clarity of my own mind. It made me feel incredibly satisfied to look at my room and see that everything in there had a meaning.
At the time I never gave too much attention to this behaviour – it was just something I did. Little did I know that in a few years the Letting Go of Stuff movement would become incredibly popular on social media and that I myself would have struggled to make up my mind about it.

A while ago I made a video on minimalism because it’s something I’ve been thinking about for a few months now. It all started when we decided to move from London to New Zealand and we had to face the fact that all our stuff had to go into boxes and then shipped in a container to the other side of the world. Although I have moved several times in my life, this time round I’d managed to accumulate a ridiculous amount of stuff in my London apartment, and it was clear that some of it had to go. So being the teenager that I am, I turned to YouTube for advise. After binge-watching all the videos I could find on how to get rid of stuff, none of my possessions had been brought to a charity shop yet, and I was left with the following conundrum: Why the fuck is minimalism so popular? It looked like every twenty-something American out there was on a journey to become more frugal and live on less. I was having mixed feelings about this, so I decided to sit down and try to figure out why this was the case.
In principles, I find that the idea behind minimalism is quite appealing: not getting emotionally attached to your possessions, valuing experiences more than material goods, donating superfluous items to people that might want them or need them more than you, only keeping what brings you joy – these are all values I resonate with one hundred percent.
I like to think that minimalism is such a big trend because of an increasing environmental concern. Minimalism seems to go hand in hand with the zero waste movement, which among other things promotes the idea of owning fewer, more durable items. This is great: I personally am all about putting quality over quantity (although this is a recent improvement in my lifestyle I have to admit, but I am really making an effort in that direction). So if more people are embracing this view it can’t be but beneficial for our planet.
But the main reason that minimalists seem to present when asked why they decided to make such a drastic change in their lives is that getting rid of stuff makes them feel like they’ve lift a burden off their shoulders. Owning only a few possessions allows them to focus on more important things in life: being creative, connecting with people, and basically do what you really like. Material things seem to be distracting from what really matters in life. We surely live in a society that constantly bombards us with advertisements of “things we need”, making it hard to recognise what it is that we want and what it is that they want us to want. In a world where everything seems to revolve around work and making money, minimalism becomes a way to escape the stress of everyday life. Transitioning towards a simpler lifestyle often involves reconsidering your career choices in favour of more relaxed, less frantic options. As a result you have more time to enjoy activities other than work. At the same time you might find yourself wanting to spend less money on material items and saving up for things like travelling to different countries, experiencing new cultures and creating memories instead.
There’s no doubt that all this sounds great. HOWEVER. If you look on YouTube you’ll find that the majority of these minimalism advocates literally live off a backpack and can count their possessions on the fingers of one hand. I will admit, when I first started doing my research on minimalism, I thought this was amazing. I immediately saw myself sipping coconut water on a tropical beach, in need of nothing but a bikini and a pair of flip flops, worrying only about getting my bum tanned.
Then I started packing for New Zealand, and although I did manage to chuck a good five or six big bags of crap, I also realised that I was going to fill up much more that one single backpack.
I mostly got rid of clothes and stationery supplies. But I haven’t chucked a single book. Here’s the thing: I’m a book person. I read a lot. I like buying books, putting them on a shelf and looking at them. I like admiring how many books I’ve collected throughout my life. Maybe I don’t need them, but I want them. They make me happy. I could never, and I will NEVER, get rid of them.

In the past three months I’ve lived in a car, in a tent, in Air B&Bs and in a van, all of which I’ve done with very few items of clothing, limited kitchen equipment and hardly no books (for my standards). I am in New Zealand now, all my stuff has arrived and I somehow managed to fit it all in the small apartment we are living in. The Letting Go of Stuff movement has surely kept my mind busy, and this is the conclusion I came to: Minimalism doesn’t mean that you need to get rid of all your possessions. It doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself to only owning a few things and then live in misery because you miss your stuff. You can be a minimalist and still live surrounded by things –as long as they make you happy. If something doesn’t bring you joy, get rid of it. If it’s something you don’t need, get rid of it.
I like owning things. All my books, my journals, my Grandma’s sweater that I never wear in fear of ruining it – these things don’t weigh me down. But at the same time, I enjoy clearing out the space I live in and letting go of items that don’t serve me right now. This helps me organise my mental space as well, along the same lines that you are more productive if you work in a clean, fresh environment.
Clutter doesn’t help, but if you only have what you need and want you can make space for other things in life that also makes you happy.

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A very happy me at the storage place in Auckland when all our stuff arrived from the UK

How to save money

Hi lovelies! Today I thought I’d write about how to be more aware of your cash flow and save some dough.
I live in London which is one of the most expensive cities on the planet, so obviously this is a recurring issue in my everyday life. Although I’ve got a stable job it’s still quite hard for me to be able to put money aside every month (especially now that we are moving to New Zealand, and trust me that costs a fortune).
So if you also struggle to balance being a responsible bunny but still enjoying all the amenities that your city offers, here’s a brief guide that might help you manage your finances so you don’t have to spend the last week before pay day living on beans on toast.

  1. Keep track of every single penny you spend

The best thing to do this is to write everything down.
I used to have an Excel spread-sheet where I would keep track of my cash flow. However, because it was hidden away in a dusty folder on my computer, I would often forget to update it. What works for me is something that I can constantly see. I now use a big piece of paper stuck to my wardrobe. It’s divided into categories (food, commuting, nights out, books…) where I keep track of how much I spend on what. This is very effective because I can see it every day and it’s a constant reminder of how I’m doing.

  1. Put money in your saving account the same day you get paid

This way you know you’re done for the month, and what you have in your account is what you can actually spend. If you wait till the end of the month before putting money in your saving account, by the time next payday comes you’re more likely to have spent it all. But you won’t be tempted to spend it if it’s simply not there.

  1. Set yourself a monthly budget

Decide how much money you’re allowed to spend and on what and try to stick to it. Be realistic though! Set yourself realistic goals and don’t be too stingy, otherwise it can be frustrating to see you can’t stick to what you’d planned but this might only be because your original plan was too ambitious.

  1. Plan your meals

Obviously one of the things you need to consider in your monthly budget is food.
With food, what I found really works for me is meal planning. I tend to cook all my meals myself for various reasons (not only because it’s cheaper, but also because this way I know exactly what I’m eating), so this is what I do: on the weekend I sit down and plan what I’m going to eat throughout the week. If I can I plan every single meal Monday to Friday, but sometimes I’ll leave a couple of meals out and I’ll have lunch at work (we have an amazing café in the office and the salad bar is pretty much all vegan, it’s very cheap and healthy but this is my only exception, I don’t really eat out for lunch other than that). Then I would go grocery shopping and buy only the things I need to cook for the week.
I can easily get by for a whole week with no more than £20 on food, sometimes even less. (Obviously this is based on a vegan diet.) Remember being vegan doesn’t have to be expensive. Most of my diet is based on potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, legumes, and lots of fruits and vegetables. I would advise to buy in bulks if you can, and don’t forget fruits and vegs can be frozen (without losing any nutritional value) and they’ll last you for a very long time.

  1. Can you do it yourself?

Everything you do, think whether you can do it at home. If you get Starbucks every single day on your way to work, this can cost you up to £15 per week –only on plain black Americanos. That’s £80 per month, excluding weekends. Why don’t you get yourself a reusable thermos, and enjoy a cheaper caffeine experience by making coffee yourself? This will save you money, avoid queues, be more environmental friendly, and your coffee will never ever come with your name spelled horribly wrong.

  1. Carry cash

Carrying cash instead of paying by card is also a good idea. I’m not very good at it because I tend to spend cash if I have it but also with cash you know exactly how much you have so it’s easier to keep track of what you’re spending.

  1. Have free days

We all know how hard it is to go even one day without spending a single penny, especially if you live in a big city. But it’s very satisfying when you manage to. Giac and I often have free weekends, when we don’t allow ourselves to spend anything at all. (This doesn’t mean we never leave the house for two days. There are plenty of things you can do in London for free –I’ll write a separate post on this.)
I’m also a proud survivor of a whole free week –I managed to not spend anything from Monday to Friday a couple of weeks ago. I promise I’m not this stingy normally, I just wanted to prove to myself that I could do it (also I bought a wedding dress on Saturday so I pretty much spent in one morning what I would have spent in an entire week anyway).

  1. Don’t be fooled by the brand

Being a little woman myself, when it comes to makeup or beauty products I know how easy it is to buy something just because the packaging looks pretty. But remember that more often than not expensive products contains exactly the same ingredients as their cheaper counterpart, although they come in a more fancy-looking box. Don’t be fooled by the packaging! Expensive products often are not worth the money, you can have the same benefits with a dupes.

Alright guys, this is it! I hope you found this helpful, stay tuned and speak soon!