March, unlike the other months, seemed to just inch along. It felt as if I was running on a hamster wheel full speed, but at half battery power. Probably not a huge surprise that I’m glad to see the back end of this month and ready to jump into April.
1. After my rather indulgent trip to Melbourne in February, I decided that I really needed to make more time (and money) for travel. (PS- I still have a few blog posts about my trip, so come back next week for those!) To kick start that goal, I implemented two new savings plans: The first one is the 52 week challenge, and the second one is the 52 day shopping ban. The 52 week savings challenge has been floating around the web for years, and this is actually my second year doing it. The first year, I wasn’t AS successful because I kept forgetting to transfer the money weekly. This year, I made it easier on myself, and just transfer 4 weeks worth of savings as soon as I get my paycheck. I also reverse the savings amount, by starting with the highest amount, which mentally seems a bit more motivating to me. I usually deposit it into my long-term savings account, and try to forget that it ever exists. In addition, I automatically transfer a certain amount to an account earmarked for travel. I’ve observed that if I never see the money, I don’t usually miss it.
2. The second savings method that has really affected my life this month is the “52 day no spend challenge.” For 52 days, I can’t buy things unless I truly need them, or run out. I keep a running list on my phone of all the things that I would have most likely bought, purely out of impulse or convenience. I have to admit, it’s a pretty long list. This is such an interesting exercise that I think it deserves a blog post all on its own when I reach the 52 day mark. (Currently, I’m about halfway through… wish me luck!)
3. One day this March, I “had to” attend this workshop that was supposed to help further my career. I signed up and showed up with notebook in hand, ready to gain nuggets of wisdom. Instead, it was the most depressing workshop on the face of the earth, with the undertone “if you don’t do this… then you will never be this…” I felt annoyed, until I suddenly I realized… wait, I don’t have to be here! I wasn’t being paid to attend and I was certainly not getting anything out of it. So I just picked up my things and left. Right in the middle of the session. I’ve never done anything like this before. I’ve always been that person who stayed until the bitter end, because I didn’t want to be rude. But. Rude to whom, really? Why should I be rude to myself, and my professional goals and stay and listen to something that made me feel this much frustration? Long story short, I took myself out for a nice lunch and decided that I would figure out a plan on my own. And I did.
4. Also on the subject of food, this past week, I was gifted with some beautiful cabbages from a family in Alishan. They grow organic vegetables in their backyard, and every season, without fail, they share some of their harvest with us. At first, I was a bit overwhelmed by the huge heads of cabbage, until I learned how to make “golden kimchee,” where the cabbage leaves are combined with a combination of pumpkin, ginger and garlic. I’ll share the recipe soon~ I think it will be a light, yet flavorful side dish to kick off spring.
5. Lastly, we get a long weekend during the first week of April. YES! It will be a stay-cation the year, and I’m looking forward to some catch ups with friends and of course, some spring cleaning.