Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 in a Jar

 This is how I save my receipts from month to month- I stick them in a jar. I always keep my receipts in my wallet and then I just toss them in the jar. Then at tax time, I can claim all of my business related items. This system works! It is easier if you spend less money on things and it makes you more aware of what you spend your money on.

I separated them into 4 sections: groceries, thrift store, work expenses, and other. The "other" section consists of: going to restaurants, hardware store, liquor store, gifts/shipping, etc. Thrift stores have spoiled me- you can buy good quality for cheap. I always try to buy used before new. I've been watching a full season of Clean House on Netflix the last couple of days- still not finished(30 episodes!). Everyone has so much crap- there is no need to buy so much new. The government figures Americans between 35-44 visit the mall 8.7 times within 3 months spending $81.70 per visit. That's $2941.20/year- $245.10/month

The Break Down:

Groceries- $2676.49. That's $51.47/week for 1 person. Brendan doesn't eat over much- we eat most dinners at his place. I mentioned to him that I only spent $100 on groceries one month and he said,"you didn't see my expenses that month". He's my meat and potatoes.

Thrift Store- $621.97. That's $51.83/month. 98% of my wardrobe purchases were used. I get bored with clothes and want something new often. I buy thrift and give it back in my pile of donations. It's for a good cause, good for the planet, and I get to be stylish for a year. I also buy home goods- that's not all clothing in my monthly expense. Considering I was throwing down $300+/ month when I worked retail, I'd say this is a drastic life change for the good!

Other- $1289.21. That's $107.43/month. This amount would be a lot higher if I didn't have a man who treats me so well. Thanks Brendan for the dinners and shows- you're the best!

Work Expenses- $1190.05. Supplies $178.42, Vacuum $479.99, Bike $531.64. How much does your car run you in a year? Oh, it does? That sucks.

That's it. There are a handful of things I bought online that I don't have receipts for. It took me about an hour to sort through all my expenses- so easy!

TGIF!: Classics IV - Stormy

Monday, December 27, 2010

Puzzle 2010

 I love to do puzzles during the holidays but once I start, I drop everything until I am done. Last year was Kiss, and this year was Cycling.

1000 pieces- it took about 2 days and lots of bad movie watching. Bad Movies: The Pick Up Artist, Only the Lonely, Christmas Vacation, Something Wild.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Painted Plastic Toys

  Great Idea- painting plastic toys for ornaments or gift toppers. I dig the necklace. Check out how to make on Papersnitch.

Nice Color Palette

Photos from Creature Comforts

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Bigger is Better

 This is Brendans' gift. It is huge- 38x28. I used kraft paper and twine from an estate sale, ribbon and bird flashcards from the thrift store, and packing tape that was free because it wasn't selling from a job I had. So for the most part, I recycled everything.

  I wrapped the lid in kraft paper first then applied the packing tape (just in case he had to return it, I didn't want to damage the box top) then I added the green ribbon. The top of the box just slides off so I tied it with twine.

 Mmmm! It turned out better than I had planned. I usually make a card but the package is my card this year.

Merry Christmas Baby

  What do you get the guy with every art tool under the sun? One he doesn't have.

 It's a 24x24 Ingento Paper Cutter. He loved it!

  Brendan is going home to New York to see his family for the holidays so we went to dinner and exchanged gifts last night. I got an Ipod Nano that clips on with a picture screen so now I will know who sings the songs instead of guessing with my Ipod Shuffle. He filled it up and we charged it last night. I am wearing it right now- I love it!

 We both gave each other gifts that are going to make our lives more enjoyable. Change is good!

Thursday, December 16, 2010


 I saw this retro lamp on etsy. It sold for $85. It is amazing what photos can do to coax you to buy. This is a five dollar thrift store lamp but the photos make me want it for $85. Consumer eye porn.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Hand Printed Gift Wrap

 I've been reading a bunch of books on using less and they say not to wrap your gifts. Put a bow on them or hide them in a closet and have them find it. I do love my gift wrap and this paper is recycled. Being more aware is a start.

 Field Guide Design on etsy. $10 for 2 sheets

I do love it.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Reflective Buttons

 I posted this picture a couple of weeks ago of these reflective buttons only available in the uk. I said I wanted to make my own and I did.

  Bought a few buttons at the thrift store and covered them with reflective tape from the hardware store.

 Ta Da! Just a few on a scarf and I threw my Pee Wee button into the mix.

 Just a little added safety to my ride. I am tired of replacing the batteries in my lights- this might be a better substitute.