Urban Adaptation

Sustainable urban living, rural dreams, and daily change for a homemade life.

Archive for April 8th, 2011

How low can you go – week one

with 2 comments

In an effort to keep costs down, I’m continuing to track my spending and now I’m reporting it here.  Basically, I’m trying to keep my variable expenses down as much as I can right now to save for next year, when I may not be earning much.  Rent, utilities, and my one recurring research-related subscription will get added in at the end of the month for the grand total.  I’ll have to see if I can keep track of groceries, since The Boy usually pays for those.

In the first week of my how low can you go challenge, I think I did pretty well.

Friday – nothing

Saturday – nothing

Sunday – nothing

Monday – 6 books for $15 (The Road – 2; The Fiery Cross – 2; The Rodale Encyclopedia of Organic Gardening – 3; A Minnesota Doctor’s Home Remedies for Common and Uncommon Ailments – 2; Blue Covenant – 3; World Hunger: Twelve Myths – 3).

Tuesday – toilet paper for $12.

Wednesday – nothing

Thursday – nothing

Total = $27

Not bad, I suppose.  In all honesty, as I’ve said before I don’t need more books.  I consider this a birthday gift to myself, though, and I appreciate their entertainment value (in the case of the novels) and having them around for reference (home remedies and organic gardening).  Happily, the ones on water and hunger will be reimbursed as part of a research project that I’m working on.  The toilet paper was found cheaper at a local store than where I usually get it, and will last us awhile.

Next week, I’m going to be more vigilant about staying away from the bookstore (and I won’t have a birthday as my excuse).  I need to get a birthday gift for my mom, and pay for a warranty on my computer (expansive, and totally worth it, in my experience), but other than that, I’m still aiming for reducing costs.  I also have a pressing desire to do some spring cleaning, so I imagine that will keep me busy (and hyper-aware of how much stuff I have), as will all the grading I have to do.

Advertisements

Written by Jenn

April 8, 2011 at 3:27 pm

Open

with 2 comments

With the state of the world, and I suppose also the state of my life (really, really not so very bad, but next year’s work situation shook me a bit), I’m feeling a little like shrinking away.  It’s not a great feeling, probably because it’s a survival mechanism, and I’d like to get away from the shrinky feeling now and out into the world again.

But, sometimes if you’re not open, I think life can pry you open.  I’m not so sure I’m up for prying right now, though, I think that giving in and opening up, rather than trying to get smaller and and further away and more closed off is the more productive way to go (and quite possible the most interesting and useful as well.  So instead of shrinking, I’m trying to be open.  It’s not always easy – sometimes it’s downright hard – but I think it will be worthwhile in the end, especially after this odd initial feeling passes on through.

Open means a few different things here, some of which are easier than others.

It means…

Open to opportunities other than those that I initially expected – smaller contracts, other cities, new countries.

Open to new ways of living – more frugality, less consumption.

Open to challenges – finding the best ways to manage in somewhat uncertain times.

Open to gratitude – looking for the positives anywhere I can.

Open to being open – I’m rather fond of control, and being open can be…well, a bit of a stretch.

No telling where I’ll end up on the other side, I suppose, but I’m looking forward to trying this openness out a bit more and seeing where I wind up and whether anything changes.

Written by Jenn

April 8, 2011 at 1:08 am