Tag Archives: saving money

FREE FLEA MARKET

Two weeks ago I went to a free flea market for the first time. A free flea market is  just like at a normal flea market, but everything is of curz-free. Some of the market stalls are run by free shops, but anyone can come and participate and put up their own stall. People can come and just take things or if they wanna give something away, they just put it on one of the tables.
It’s like a spontaneous free shop.

bbb

I took the pictures a bit late, almost no sun anymore.

The last market was held outside on a nice, sunny day at the backyard of “Kunst-Stoffe” in Pankow, which is in the north part of Berlin.

shirts

What projects am I gonna make with these?

Kunst-Stoffe is also an interesting place, it’s like a recycling yard in a building. People and businesses can drop off materials and resources they don’t need anymore.

linen stack

Got a nice stack of fabrics!

They have fabrics, haberdashery, wood, old electronics, foams, wood, tiles.. all sorts of stuff. You have to pay for the things, but you can probably get them at a decent price.

steckdose

A splitter box, also very useful!

The market was very small and lots of fun. I met some of my friends and we had a blast looking for things and hanging out.

books

Got one book on wild plants, the second one that I’ve got for free! And one on storage solutions.

One woman even gave me a free green smoothie.

kitchen knife

Ah yeah, a knife. You always need a knife.

There weren’t many stalls, but people brought really cool stuff, no rubbish. And some people even like “rubbish”, I would still use ripped clothing and sew something with it for example. And everyone was really lovely!!

Some eccentric coat hangers!

Some eccentric coat hangers!

Very awesome!! I will be there again next time!
Is there something like free markets where you are? If not, maybe you feel like organizing one?

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Discretionary Spending

What is discretionary spending? Looking it up I just found there is quite a difference between disposable income and discretionary income. I always thought it was the same. I like learning new things..

Anyway, I think discretionary spending is kind of a flexible term. What counts as a necessity probably differs a lot between different people.

To us, it’s personal spending, that’s how we do our books at the moment. What each of us spends after we have paid rent, energy, water, petrol and food and stuff like that. The real basics.

I think once you set yourself up, with homewares and kitchen crap, clothes, shoes and furniture you don’t have to buy much stuff. I mean, what do you need?! If you don’t replace items just for a different style or for the sake of Keeping up with the Joneses and the latest gadgets, you just need to replace items if they are broken or become irrelevant. And you really don’t have to spend that much.

So now we are doing our spending diary, we can really see what we are spending exactly. We were never big on shopping and spending money on a whole lot of crap, but it’s really interesting to see what’s happening. I hardly spend any money on extras.

I got shoes, I got bags and I make my own clothes, not all of them, but it helps. I don’t buy shitty cosmetics. We hardly ever go out to fancy events, we are better at creating them for ourselves. Now that we are moving, we stopped buying homewares. But considering we are doing the minimalist thing, we would have done that anyways.

So yeah, I’m thinking hard, but I can’t come up with anything else people would “need to buy for fun”. I know some people have hobbies or like going out and that’s cool. What I’m saying is, you don’t always need the latest things or new things and you can have great experiences without spending a whole lot of money on them.

What do you spend your “extra money” on? Do you really need the treats you buy for yourself?

Saving Time, Killing Time, Wasting Time

As i said yesterday, i’m pretty good with saving money. Which is funny coz i’m not that good at saving time. I do work 40 hours a week, so that does take up quite a bit of it.

Often you can hear people talk about saving money, but then some are talking about killing time, while others again are complaining about how all their time gets wasted. So why would anyone kill time, that’s like saying, “Let’s go out and totally waste money!” or even worse, “Let’s totally waste our lives!”. Because once you finished killing your time, you’re probably dead.
Where are the priorities here?

Most of my waking hours i either spend at work or on the net, especially on facebook. I’m planning on halving my working hours, but I can’t do this at the moment. So that’s a thing for later.

What i can do is get off facebook. It’s hard, coz i find the internet so fascinating! There are so many interesting links and articles out there and you can find some nice people to chat to.

But i have to prioritize, and i don’t think being on the net should be a priority for me right now. What works quite well for me is “distracting” myself with better, more exciting things. Lately we have been going on drives through the country, one of my favourites, picnics in the parks, where we saw lots and lost of kangaroos, and you know things like baking bread or making plans..

Better off wasting my time with the roos!

It’s not so hard when i have interesting things to do, it get’s hard when i try new ones and they don’t work out and i get frustrated. When i have some spare minutes, that all of a sudden turn into hours on facebook and by the time i get off the computer i wonder “What happened to my day?”

So the plan is to save time, i’ll try and stay off facebook for the rest of the week, i might even manage to shrink the amount of tabs i got open on my screen from 200 to something manageable!

This is what i will figure out over the next days.

How do you prioritize time when you don’t have a whole lot of it? How do you deal with easy distractions?

Spending

Money is one part of my challenge. I decided to have a good look at it and that’s what i came up with.

I wanna stop using my credit card. It’s good to have a credit card for emergencies, like if you’re out of a job or something and have to pay the grocery bills, but you gotta make sure you’ll be able to pay it off. I used to use it when i wasn’t working, before that i left it at home.
If you have control over your spending you should be alright with using it.

Some people seem to be really into impulse purchases and buying crap.
I’m not one of them, so i don’t have to worry about that. If i don’t totally need an item i will think about it for days if i wanna get it. I will think about it for ages.

Some people use the interest free days on their credit cards for investing, paying off their mortgage quicker for example, that might be handy and if you wanna do that you should speak to an expert about that and do some research.

I’m still unsure about debit cards. Is using cash better then using debit cards? What do you think? I think i will stop using my credit card and only use it for emergencies and use a mix of cash and debit cards. I don’t like being in debt, mortgages are freaking me out, coz they are so expensive and i don’t take out loans for cars or furniture or shit like that.

Happy Cash

We spend a massive part of our wages on rent, which is the biggest part, food, utility bills and petrol.

We normally don’t spend money on anything else. Nevertheless, to find out where exactly our money goes and where we can make cuts, we started a spending diary. Good idea, right?! Which means for us to write down everything we spend money on for 3 months.

I don’t wanna do this for ever. And i hate budgets, i don’t think they are necessary for us as we always pay our bills first anyways. The plan is to sum everything up by the end of each month and have a good look at it. Figure out what’s happening. And then do it again after the 3 months are over, decide on changes and implement them.

Another thing we write down is where we buy stuff, for example groceries, which supermarket, farmer’s market. That gives you an idea where your money goes and you can then decide where you do or don’t want to spend your money. I mean you can do this anyways, that’s just gonna make it clearer for us though. Definitely wanna use more farmers markets, see if we can spend more money on them after we saved it at the supermarket.

Have you got any cool savings/budgeting tips? How do you get your finances under control and spend less?