Living on a Writer’s Budget Part 2 – Feeling Good
This is my 120th post! 😀
This is a continuation of my ‘Living on a Writer’s Budget’ series. Here is part 1: Ways to Spend Less & Bring in More.
And something to make you laugh: I have my notes for this series saved in Word. It automatically titled the document ‘Living on a Writer’. I feel a little cannibalistic every time I read it.
This post was supposed to be up yesterday. I got distracted and forgot to write it, so it’s going up today instead :D.
Today’s “Feeling Good” topic will cover things like grocery shopping, and taking care of yourself physically.
Also, one thing I thought of that I forgot to mention in the last post – one very good way to save money is to give up cable. Now, I’ve had the distinct advantage (at least I consider it that) to have never had access to cable television growing up. The only reason we have it now is because it’s included in our already cheap rent. I will have to give up Covert Affairs *sadsob* when we get a house.
I will never recommend a writer give up the internet, though. That’s just not possible in this day and age. But if you have the internet, use Hulu or Netflix if you MUST have access to some shows. Networks like CBS and ABC also have the latest episodes of shows available directly on their websites. There really is no need for cable these days.
Okay, now on to the REAL post . . .
Feeling good is tough sometimes. We writers abuse ourselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. If you’re reading this and you say “But Rebekah, I’m not abusing myself emotionally when I write”, then you’re not writing for the right reasons. That’s a post for another day, though.
Think about it – we spend most of our day hunched over a computer. We’re not moving, except for our fingers, and we’re straining our eyes.
We write indoors. That means we’re getting no sunlight exposure to develop that oh-so-important Vitamin D.
We tend to get lost in our own little worlds. Literally. And then we forget to eat. By the time we do remember to eat, we’re so hungry we grab the first thing we can find, usually something processed and full of sugar, and repeat the same occurrence for the next meal.
Or we like to eat out, because we’ve spent all day writing and really can’t handle the thought of figuring out what on earth to make for dinner.
There are some solutions. I’m a huge advocate of eating healthy, but even with my penny-pinching habits, I still can’t afford to eat organic all the time. You can still do a few simple things, though, even without eating organic.
If you have the resources and the time, grow some of your own fruits and veggies. They taste ten times better just because of the sweat you put into them. Save the seeds. You’ll be able to get more from spending $50 to invest in some basic garden supplies and seeds than you can spending $50 in the produce department at the store.
Buy in bulk whenever possible, but only of items that you use up frequently.
Baking mixes are easy to make – simply mix the dry ingredients in a Ziploc bag, and write the wet ingredients and cooking directions on the outside of the bag. Buying the ingredients for things like pancakes, muffins, etc, will give you a greater yield with more savings than buying pre-made mixes.
Learn how to coupon. Seriously. It’s one of the best things that you’ll ever do.
Invest in a good multivitamin. I use Liquid Life Complete Nutrition. It’s the best I’ve found for myself, since I tend to regurgitate any multivitamins in pill form. This one is also very affordable. I personally don’t buy it online, though, because it’s locally made and available in one of my local grocery stores :). Stimulating the economy and all that . . .
The best way to feel good while living on a smaller income is to simply be content with what you have, though. Things that the world considers necessities really aren’t. I want a Kitchen Aid or Bosch mixer, but I still have two arms. I can knead bread dough the old-fashioned way if I need to.
Make sure you know the difference between a want and a need. It may require thinking through your priorities.
Also, if you have a gym membership, I’d say really think about whether you need it or not. In some cases, you do. But, if you’re just going there to use the treadmill, try running outdoors. There’s nothing else like it!
Therefore I say to you, do not worryabout your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? ~ Matthew 6:25 NKJV
You are so right about the cable. Had to give that up a while ago and Netflix streaming is great. Some of the other things you mention, well, I hadn’t really thought of it that way before. So true though. I’m sitting here now, typing away, hunched over my laptop realizing I better get up and stretch a bit 🙂
We have only some cable channels right now. I do have to say that’s one thing I plan on buying again as soon as possible. BUT….that’s because I miss the history channel, national geographic, Turner Classic Movies (yay old movies!), and the like. All the reality and game show stuff and whatnot I can do without.
Then there’s this: “But Rebekah, I’m not abusing myself emotionally when I write.” Oh don’t worry. You know I am! LOL
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I feel much better when I go to the gym. Much as I enjoy walking outside when the weather is nice, it’s too easy to tell myself “Oh, you can’t run today, it’s too cold/rainy/windy.” The gym, I have no excuse. Plus, it’s great to run on the ellipticals and read. Two birds, one stone!
And making the decision to cut the cable cord is one of the better ones the roomies and I have made. We got rid of it in November 2010, and haven’t looked back. Sadly, I think I watch more television thanks to Netflix streaming than I ever did before. (Not that I’m complaining too much. Netflix introduced me to Doctor Who, and for that, I will be forever grateful.)
I have never gotten much into using coupons because it always seems that they are for items that I rarely, if ever, purchase. Got any tips for those of us who don’t know what we’re doing?
Are there really people who don’t abuse themselves when they write? Because I’m pretty sure that’s the relationship that I have with the month of November…
haha, my major excuse is always ‘But I don’t want to drive!’ Whether I go to the gym or go to Riverparks, that doesn’t matter. It’s the physical act of getting in the car and driving somewhere that I have to overcome. I can’t wait to live in a good neighborhood, lol!
There’s hardly ever coupons for items that I purchase, either, but I keep some basic ones on hand for when I know I’m going to cave. The best thing you can do, though, is go to the manufacturer websites for the items you do use. Many brands put their coupons online, and often if you call in and ask for coupons, they’ll mail them to you.
Giving up cable would be easy for me, but try to take it from the Hubs and you’ve got a fight on your hands. He’s a techie geek and loves his gadgets, so I let him have cable and find ways to save in other areas of our lives. I love the part about being content with what you have. That is always so hard for people, but if you’re always dreaming of having something better, by the time you reach that goal, new things will be along and you’ll want even better than what you have. It’s a vicious cycle. I have finally learned to be content with what I have and if I want to buy something, I put it on a 3-day time out. If I think about it in that time frame, and have a compelling reason why I need it, then I can get it (after the 3 days). If I don’t think of it, well, then I didn’t really need it, did I?
Hi Rebekah – Chipper Muse suggested your blog, and I was thrilled to check yours out. You’ve got some amazing resources for writers (like me). Now subscribing!
I liked this post about living on a writer’s budget. Since I’m a fitness fanatic, I could not give up my gym membership. Learning to cut in other ways was key for me.
Thanks for stopping by, M.E.! I do understand that sometimes a gym membership is what someone needs to stay fit, and when it’s something you love, you have to learn how to treat yourself :). For me, the nearest outdoor running park is a mile away. I can’t justify a gym membership when I have it that close . . .