Minimalism and me

I’m intrigued by Minimalism. I’m reading about it constantly.  I don’t really want to see and count how many things I live with – but to have a room not look cluttered and to love everything in a room is my dream.  Right now my home is filled with Ebay and Flea Market inventory.  The good news is, in just around 2 months we hope to be able to move most of this inventory into a pole barn and out of our residence.  Yay!

So my desire to finally have clean and clear surroundings may actually happen soon.

I’m also looking for ways to reduce my waste and overbuying.  I’ve finally got my budget sorted.  I started using an online budget tool which let me get all my credit cards and bills together in one place and analyse my spending.  With that done I’m finally looking at what I can cut back.  Right now I have no debt outside of the rental units I own with my sister.  And that makes me very relieved.  However I still don’t have a 6 month savings built up.  This is my goal now.

So to lessen how much I buy every month I’m starting a new plan. When I see something I want – I wait.  I’m making myself wait at least 2 weeks. Maybe a full month.  This will make me save for the item I want and also to see if I still really want it after that initial thought enters my head.

For example – right now I want a yarn winder.  I want you so bad!

But it’s in my amazon wish list.  And I’m waiting….

Embroidery and Budget Update

I went ahead and bought a cheap embroidery machine – a Brother PE-500. Its pretty nifty. I’ve used it a couple times. I’m waiting on some tea towel fabric to get delivered. I’ve been playing around with free embroidery files from the Internet. I keep having to remind myself I only have a 4 inch square. That’s 10 cm. Any larger and it won’t transfer to the machine, it can tell the size. So I’m playing with some free software to see if I can re-size the patterns. One thing I was looking forward to on the Ellure model is that it can do sewing and embroidery. At first that wasn’t a big deal to me since we already own a sewing machine, however on the table that I’ve got the two machines on it would be difficult to have both actually operating. The sewing machine is pushed to the back to give me enough room for the embroidery machine. And if I want to make the tea towels I would need to have both available. I envision being able to start one towel embroidering and then have another towel that I’m hemming. So I might get another little table for the other machine. Right now I’m using a drop leaf table in our dining room anyway and I could get another table and put it in my room, or I could expand the other side of the drop leaf… I’m still planning.

I’ve blown my budget for the month on that purchase. But I’m happy I bought it. I’ve still been not eating out too much. Took my lunch to work. Was home sick for 2 days so I ate at home those days. Today I’ve ordered in but that’s because I have to leave early and didn’t want to be starving all afternoon.  And its Friday… So quit judging me…

The dogs and cats (of which we have 2 and 3, respectively) also ate into my savings. I’ll be splitting the bill for their checkups with my mom and sister, so I think I’ll be out about $400 from my savings for them.  On a good note I finally hit $1000 on my savings account.  (it will be $600 now but its the thought that counts right?)

This month (January) I spent only $129 on restaurants – not counting what I paid in cash and debit.  For Gas I spent $114.  Not bad over all.

Weekly Project Update

Accountability.  I don’t generally follow through on things I say I’m going to do.  Look at this blog for an example.  I started it in September of 2012.  Then didn’t post anything for 4 months.

I overeat/don’t exercise – I say I will – then I don’t.

Well, maybe this blog will help me be accountable for something finally.  Here’s an update on my budget situation.

This week I brought my lunch 3 out of 5 days.  That’s better than 50% so I’m happy about that.  I ate out twice but made sure not to splurge.  Total spent on food out for the week was around $12.

Overall, I’m very pleased.

On the crafting front – I’m almost halfway through the second pillow case I’m hand embroidering. I’d like to have this done for the Belleville Flea Market.

On the Antique front – I have a bunch of milk bottles I bought a few months ago and I would like to get those cleaned up for the flea market too.

Lots to do…

What I’m saving for (right now)

I love arts and crafts – I have yarn and embroidery thread and scrapbook paper out the wazoo.

Here’s my new desire.

http://www.babylock.com/embroidery/ellure/

Image

I went to a local vacuum and sewing machine repair store (shout out to Fenton Sew and Vac!) and the sales lady gave me such a demo that I was hooked.  Of course the price made me choke a little. But they have in store classes and full support services and a package deal that really makes me drool a little.

As opposed to a comparableBrother model, the Ellure is a sewing and embroidery machine. The package deal includes a starter kit of full spools in a variety of colors, an assortment of stabilizers, and digitizing software.

I’m planning on monogramming and putting designs on towels, and pillow cases, and all sort’s of stuff.  I want to sell some of the things I make. We have a table at the Belleville Flea Market every month and I thought I could try to add a few items there and see if they sell.  I’m also thinking about Etsy.  I’ve also wanted to make wedding gifts before but usually don’t because I don’t have the time to actually sit down and do nothing but embroider.

Even though the shop offers free 0% financing for 24 months, I’m scared to just go out and purchase it and then not use it and regret it.  So I’m saving up. Not only will this give me the time to really consider if I’ll consistently use the machine, but it will also let me see if this desire dies out.  I get a lot of half brained ideas. A lot of buy it now and start a business ideas that never pan out, too.  So heres my saving schedule that I’ve figured out.

Out of each paycheck I already save $150 automatically (setup as an auto transfer through my bank) to my savings account.  Before I can buy the machine I decided I have to get $1000 in my account to give me a cushion in case of emergency (car, house, health, etc.) after that first $1000, everything on top is for my machine.

So I have $754 as of today.  If I keep saving $150 per pacheck I’ll have $3454 by the end of  August 2013.

However, if I start saving $250 per paycheck, I’ll have what I need by the first week of July 2013.  Seems like a significant improvement to me.

So I upped my auto transfer today to $250.  Lets see how it goes!

**Update** Inserted better link for the Belleville Flea Market.