Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Life Hack

Not only am I clearing out my pile of unfinished knitting projects, I've taken care of and finished filling in my budget. I track all of my spending in a spreadsheet, updating it twice a month, but I had let that go since mid November. So I took the time and filled it all in and while I was at it I made the new spreadsheet for 2014.

In making the new spreadsheet I rearranged my budgeted spending a bit. 2012 and 2013 I had $15 a month allotted for my home. That was just fine in 2012 but I failed at keeping it in 2013. That $15 a month is for cleaning supplies and things that are needed to keep a place up and running, however, in my heart, it's actually for making this place inviting and cute and a home so I do my cleaning with dish soap and white vinegar and spend it on other things for my apartment first.

I looked over the months and the reason I didn't make budget in 2013 was two incidents. In July the K-Mart next to me closed and I went to the going out of business sale then in October all five lights in my bathroom blew out and the specialty light bulbs to fit the fixture cost $41.19.

While the budget is to keep me from going to clearance sales it is not for me to live in the dark so I've increased the 2014 Household budget to $20 a month. I didn't magically make up the money but I had the electricity set at a $100 and for 3 months I did use $96.00 of electricity but most of the other months came in at $44. I lowered the electricity allotment adding to household and some to my food too.

Some people might think keeping a budget is a bit too much and I know mine is very tight, but it's what I have to do to live without a roommate and keep pets and I think it's worth it.

So, Saturday, when I opened my spice cabinet and things fell out onto my head, like it does every time, I just snapped and I wanted magnetic spice containers to put on my fridge.  I've wanted magnetic spice tins since I first saw them online in 2010 in a vague sort of way but this weekend I needed them and I needed them NOW.

That wasn't happening since the 2013 household budget is in a deficit but I looked online and read reviews and decided that they would be at the top of my list in April.

Most of the time needing something NOW is because I've told myself that I can't have it and I'm having an internal toddler temper tantrum. By setting a date I know I can get what I want, I just have to wait, and that NOW feeling subsides. After a few days normally I don't even want the thing anymore at all or if April rolls around and I still want it I get to buy it since I keep my word, even to myself. At that point I know I really wanted it and the item will make me smile every time I use it for years, unlike impulse buys. So I set the date and moved on with my day.

On Sunday I was lazing in bed and mulling over what I was going to knit this week and magnetic spice tins and how a few reviews said they leaked and the lids stick or fall off and would I even like spices on the fridge and surely couldn't I do something now to take care of the issue...

I have spices, I have magnets, I have glue, I'll just make my own with what I have.

Let glue set for 24 hours.

They are pretty sweet and I think just the cutest things ever.

What I learned from this.

1. The glue won't stick unless the spices are wiped off the bottom of the jars with alcohol. I used the Rum in the photo having no rubbing alcohol on hand.

2. I had almost no spices in my spice cabinet. The problem is not the spices but that cabinet shelf holds all of my baking ingredients, my rice, my pasta and anything and everything that comes in a smallish container. This is the smallest kitchen I've ever had and even after living here a year I still fight it everyday. Removing the spices did nothing to clear it up but at least I can cook with them without opening the cabinet door and facing the avalanche.

3. What I really need is thin, tall but not too tall, plastic storage containers for the rice, pasta, and flour. That is not in my budget at this time either and much less thrilling then cute tins. I don't see that going on my list anytime soon.

Maybe if I pull everything out of the kitchen and put it back in I can find a better configuration...

No comments: