A picture a day for 30 days

There’s a Life Coaching challenge I’ve been attempting where you create a folder; either on your phone, social media, computer… wherever. And then, of all the photos you may have taken that day you can only put in it only one photo. Something positive to represent your day. The idea is that you can find something positive no matter what and also to try and limit the amount of meaningless photo’s we take.
My son last tried to upload to his Facebook page 10,000 photographs in 2016. He’s a photographer so the huge number isn’t so bad. He fell short by 1500 photo’s. I had a lot of respect for him attempting it last year even more so now as I’m struggling so much to take just 30!
It’s not that I can’t find something positive every day but some days while you may have moved mountains clearing your paperwork or studying or cleaning the house or whatever it isn’t really photo-worthy. I’ve ended up with a stockpile of pictures of food, coffee, trees and flowers for those days where I just had a really nice day doing jobs on my to do list. I’ve already posted a photo of my To Do list with the jobs crossed out so I’m sure my friends don’t want to see it again.
Has anyone ever tried this and found loads to photograph? I’m thinking that under my old job where I worked in the community I may have found lots more pictures to take being constantly outside or travelling. Due to a travel ban in my new job my days are spent tied to a desk. I’m sure no one wants endless photos of that either.
So with 15 days to go I may be back to creating a diary full of food and flowers
Has anyone tried it to do this? How did you find it? Let me know

 

Ruled by money

I heard a story the other day about a relative who always has the latest technology, a nice house and car and doesn’t ever seem to worry about money. I wondered how I can learn from this so asked him how he does it. The answer I got was that he ”doesn’t let money rule me. If I want it I buy it. If it needs replacing I replace it. I just do it and don’t worry”.
At first this seems amazing. I should just let go. But then how do you let go when you have a debt plan and a limited monthly budget of what money is left after the debt money and bills have gone. Debt plans don’t take into account the need to upgrade a washing machine because it’s 10 years old and not the most economical. Or to save the cash to move house to a nicer area (which I would love to do). So how do you not let it rule you but still cope within the confines of having no cash.
It’s not easy and is going to be a work in process for me. I’ve gone back to the envelope system of diving my money up into weeks. I fell out of the habit and have noticed if I pay by card I spend without thinking and have a tendency to go overdrawn a lot. If I divide my cash into weeks and accept that I can only spend that I pay more attention. For me I worry less – if it isn’t there I can’t do anything about it. It also helps clarify just what you spend your money on. Take out drinks and coffee shops seem to be my downfall. But also going to the supermarket for a loaf of bread and coming out having spent £5 on sweets, fizzy pop and other random things I didn’t need.
What it doesn’t take into account is emergency trips to the vet. So on the one hand I stopped worrying as I was spending within my means and not letting having limited funds bother me…then the cat got sick and I had to borrow from future weeks. Now I know though my spending habits I can learn to cut down on certain things. Do I need a take out drink daily or can I just treat myself on a Monday when I have a late start at work? If I do that I save £6 a  week. Not enough to pay the vet but it’s better than nothing to start an emergency fund.
The other theory is does this relative have an emergency fund? Or is it just leftover money at the end of the pay period?  If they’ve never worried about money and have been lucky enough to have never struggled and got into financial trouble do they actually know the value of money? Are they then actually in a better position than me? Is it better to have had a struggle and learned lessons than never having to worry or be ruled by money at all? Interesting thoughts from a throwaway comment.
I think then by having my debt plan, leaving the cash in the bank for direct debit bills and then the rest as cash in the envelopes I am starting to let go of being ruled by  my bank balance but I think my struggles will make me stronger overall.

 

Getting out there Part 2

A while ago I wrote about how I needed to get out more and the things I’d been doing and what the term could mean. Are my travel trips enough – should I spend more time in a bar?
I made a list of the things I could do to get out more so thought I’d give a little update.
One of the things I’ve noticed is how over the last 2 years I have developed a bit of social anxiety. It started as being worried about money and how going out would mean spending and as someone trying to pay off debts should that money be spent paying off bills? I was going to start small and go to some coffee shops. My original post mentioned upgrading from the supermarket to an actual coffee shop but I seem to have without thinking stayed exactly where I am – in the cheaper options. Today I tried a new place and really enjoyed it so much make a conscious effort to get my feet walking to somewhere that is designed for a relaxed experience rather than the get ‘em in, chuck ‘em out fast experience of Maccy D’s.
I also attempted  a few other things. Firstly was my first music gig in about 4 years. And because my plans to start small went out of the window I ended up at a  festival. Thankfully an indoor one as February isn’t the warmest month! I spent the run up to the event in a state of stress. My anxiety levels were sky high, I hated everyone, I was quite prepared to fall out with all my friends. Somehow I got there and guess what? I loved it. We did have a VIP tickets so we could sit upstairs overlooking the barriers rather than be in the crowd and looking down at the moshers that was probably a good idea. But I had a brilliant time so much so that we have tickets for next year already and I’ve also paid to see Green Day later in the year. So major result despite the initial panic.
The next event was the pub. I’m really not into the whole going into the city centre and clubbing to the really hours any more and neither are my friends. So we decided that we would go local. The actual plan went completely wrong but in a funny way and we still ended up having a nice time. Possibly because I wasn’t involved in the planning of the night I was happy to go along with whatever happened.
And the last stresser was a wedding! I knew the bride. I’d met her best friend for 10 minutes the month earlier and that was it. This time I took my anxiety out on my wardrobe. I bought 2 dresses which I hated as soon as I’d paid for them, I had nothing to wear, everything made me look fat. My end choice was a dress I’ve had for years that I used to really love but for some reason had stuck at the back of the wardrobe. Again I had a lovely time and once there had no anxiety at all.
So it seems the build up is the worrying part rather than the event. I need to work on how I can learn to enjoy a build up and actively look forward to things. Easier said than done and when I figure it out I’ll let you know!