32 years old



The beginning of the year always brings with it a new energy and time to reflect and realign my goals – and it always coincides with my birthday – well sort off.

In 2018, my main focus was my business. Learning how to be a good boss, managing my business finances and balancing client care with the needs of my business. While all of these things are still important to me now, I want to use 2019 to focus on self care.

This, perhaps, may sound selfish and counter intuitive to good business practice, yet I have always been of the belief, that by caring for yourself, you are also caring for others.  So what will self care look like for me in 2019?

  1. Decluttering – Anyone who saw my post in 2017 on how I decluttered my closet will know that I am a huge advocate for Minimalism. This year, my focus will be on decluttering other environments. Some of the things I want to declutter significantly are:

    My Office: 
    After running my business for a year I feel a lot clearer about what I want to do with the space in my office and I feel more comfortable about throwing out some resources that a year ago I wouldn’t have dared to.My Schedule: In order to have more time to grow my business I will need to take some time off work from client care so that I can start building other aspects of the business. I have lots of ideas, that, to be properly executed need time and research.My Makeup and Bath Products: I use these every single day and they are part of my daily routine. I would like to feel more polished at work, but I am unhappy with my current selection of beauty products. I’m hoping to do some research and build a collection of make up and beauty products that I truly love and will use on a daily basis.
  2. Setting Clear Goals – Like most girls, many of my past New Year’s Resolutions have been to “Lose Weight”. While I am not skinny I am generally in a healthy weight range. Having a fitness goal has eluded me mainly because I’m not really sure what a fitness goal is or how to set one. This year my fitness goal is to start pole again and be able to do an “Inverted V” straight from the ground. It looks like this:



    As well as setting clear fitness goals, I want to be setting clearer financial goals as well. Some of the things I am doing for this are:- Reviewing my regular business and personal expenses ensuring that they are the right choices for me.
    – Reviewing my financial products; e.g. savings accounts, credit cards, insurances
    – Setting up clear savings targets for what I am saving for
  3. Becoming more mindful
    For me this means:
    Eating Slower and with fewer distractions
    – It’s so hard to eat without doing something else! My goal this year is to eat my meals without looking at my phone and to chew my food slower.
    Practising gratitude – I find myself constantly comparing my life to others especially on social media, I know I have a beautiful life, even though it is not always photographable.Purchasing mindfully – I’ve gotten rid of so much junk this year already and to be honest it has been really difficult to find environmentally friendly ways to get rid of the things I don’t need anymore that I am making sure that when I do purchase something I really, really, really want it.
  4. Not worrying about being perfect
    While decluttering at my parents house last month, I found a whole bunch of artwork that Jess and I had intended to send to “Saturday Disney” when we were kids. We never sent it, always striving to make it perfect, but perfect never came. I’m going to be braver about sharing my progress when trying new things, instead of waiting until things are perfect before sharing 🙂

August Budget Challenge

For those of you who know me well, you know that every Tuesday fortnight is budget night. I’ve been budgeting my money since I turned 25 and I love budgeting. It is one of the most empowering habits I have and it is a skill that serves me well as a small business owner.

I haven’t always been a successful budgeter and even now, I still go over budget once in a while (I do have a safety net though – but I don’t like to use it often.) Usually, I spend 80% of my pay packet on living expenses with the other 20% going straight into savings – Mostly, I am successful and don’t spend the money I have earmarked as savings. This month I’ve decided to challenge myself even more and only spend 50% of my usual pay packet. I’m actually quite nervous about this, but I’m excited because I think there will be lots to learn.

That being said years of budgeting have taught me many valuable lessons that I think will help me out in this challenge.

Lesson 1: Know my day to day living expenses

Budgeting became a lot easier after I learned to log and track my expenses. I use the app “TrackMYSpend” which is an app developed by the Australian Government – so it’s a little buggy – but I love it. It allows me to see where I spend my money the most.

This simple task is a lot harder to complete than you think, not because you need to remember to “write down” what you spend – you can fix that by keeping receipts on everything you spend and logging it later – but because of the emotions that come with keeping track of your money. It was hard at first because I couldn’t help but judge myself as I put what I’ve spent into the app – especially when I ended up going over budget, which was often.

That being said, even though this is a hard thing to do there are so many benefits – but that’s a blog for another day

Lesson 2: Make sure I don’t feel deprived.

Usually, the word “budget” is associated with self deprivation. For me, budgeting means making better choices about how and where I spend my money.

For my challenge to be successful; I know I can’t cut out some of the things I love doing and having – like having a meal out with friends. I have to make sure that I account for social occasions too such as birthdays. This is where Lesson 1 comes in handy. Knowing how and why I spend my money means that I can identify areas in my spending that can be cut. This means becoming more creative with how I spend my money. Here are some of my bigger categories of expenses that I’ve noticed over the last few pay cycles ands some of my ideas to reduce my spending:

  • Gym/fitness – I’ve recently finished a 3 month run of TiffXO – I really like this program and I think it’s a nice one to stick to if it suits your lifestyle. The program costs approx $39 a month – which isn’t much but I also pay for a fitness passport and studio sessions at a local pilates place (which I’ve paid for in bulk because it’s cheaper). I’ve downloaded some TiffXO work-outs and recipes for my budget challenge.
  • Beauty and Cosmetics – Instead of spending my money on someone giving me a manicure or a massage – which admittedly I don’t do a lot but I know if I’m on a tight budget that I’m gonna want – I’m gonna start fishing out some of those bath products that I haven’t used and schedule in some me time.
  • Drinks – Gosh, I could spend $60 a fortnight on drinks. Chai Lattes and Kombucha have been my recent weakness. For Chai Latte’s I’m thinking I might get a box of special blend chai from T2 to keep at the office. The Kombucha – I know I like for two reasons the first is it’s probiotic features (which I’m going to replace with a daily apple cider vinegar tonic each morning – as I have a crap load of ACV at home) and the second is it’s fizzy sensation – which I will replace with mint and soda water.
  • Bought Lunches – This is a huge expense for me – which can be managed by doing more meal prep; I’m also going to try and challenge myself to work with what I have in the pantry and fridge to help reduce the grocery bill – I’ve also decided that I will only eat out if I have someone with me. Recently, I’ve increasingly begun to eat out alone which has blown my budget more than I’d like to admit.
  • Books, Music and Movies – This year I’m participating in the Popsugar Reading Challenge. In August I’ve decided to not buy books and to focus my attention on the books I already own but haven’t read. I’ve also registered for a free trial with “kindle unlimited” so I have some other choices, also I have a library card.

Lesson 3: Set a Time Limit

I think mentally this helps when looking to complete any kind of budget challenge. I’d love it if I could always save 50% of my pay packet every month but I know that’s not going to work out in the long run. That being said, a lot of the good habits I have now developed came because I set myself small financial challenges. My financial goals have changed their focus from “saving $X” to learning to develop better habits with money.

So there you have it, my plan of attack for my August Budget Challenge!

Wish Me Luck!

Two Arrows

On Good Friday my whole family agreed to stay completely offline for the whole day. It’s actually easier than one would think it would be. It is after all, only one day.

I decided to use the day to relax and read one of the books I have recently read called “The Book of Joy”. If you follow my instagram and facebook account you’ll find that I thoroughly enjoyed the read. It was recommended to me by my little sister and my friend Eric.

The book discusses how to be joyful and how to tackle things that are difficult and how important it is that we respond mindfully to our circumstances rather than just reacting. To help the reader understand what is meant by this, the Dalai Lama related a tale of a man hit by an arrow. He discussed that no doubt, the man will feel that pain, but he can choose how to respond. If the man gave into his fears, these would cause him more pain, it would be like he was hit by a second arrow – of his own making.

It got me thinking – how often do I hit myself with that second arrow after I’ve been hit by the first? More importantly, what is my role in creating my own suffering? And how do I respond to my stress triggers in a more positive way – so to avoid hitting myself with the second arrow. One thing I found, that worked, was just going through the 8 pillars of joy – and weirdly – or perhaps not so weirdly – i found myself – happier. I think perhaps the first thing one should do to stop themselves from reacting badly is to identify what it is that stresses you out. Here are my 5 common stress triggers.

Stress Trigger #1: Something unexpected comes up on my to do list/ and unexpected change in routine

Stress Trigger #2: Fatigue

Stress Trigger #3: Overwhelm – Too much to do.

Stress Trigger #4:  Disagreements with others

Stress Trigger #5: Clutter

My Last 5 Purchases

As you can see on my home page, I am participating in a minimalism challenge. One of the challenges is to evaluate the last 5 items I have purchased – I suppose the idea is to be more thoughtful about how often and what I buy. I assumed that by last 5 purchases, the challenge didn’t literally mean the very last 5 – which were petrol, nachos, a scoop of ice-cream, sushi and two fifths of the fee for an escape room activity. I took this to mean bigger items – less consumable items – that were bought using my personal account. Here they are:

24/02/2018 – T2 – Sweet Dreams Tea

No regrets buying this tea. It is literally the only tea at home which has no caffeine, so there’s no guilt drinking it at night.

27/02/2018 – Skull Candy Headphones and a Headphone Jack

I am FOREVER losing my headphones. I’m glad I have them and I am doing my best to look after them. It’s gotten more expensive to buy headphones for my iPhone because of the unique headphone jack. Also I feel like I could be getting more out of my headphones if I got my act together to actually create more playlists.

02/03/2018 – Kindle – Book of Joy

I bought this because I finished my last book “A Spoonful of Murder” by Robin Stevens. I’m not reading this very quickly but I’m generally enjoying it and loving the quotes.

09/03/2018 – Cute food shaped pencil erasers from Daiso

This technically should’ve been a business expense, but it was so cheap that I decided to buy it from my personal account. I think the kids enjoy the novelty of playing with it. I bought it because one of the kids broke one that I got from Hong Kong last year. Sadly, another kid broke it again – ALREADY! I’m not buying another one.

24/03/2018 – Tiff XO Membership

Basically bought this because I finished listening to the “Crappy to Happy” Podcast and I liked Tiff’s philosophy to weight loss. Haven’t really used any of the stuff I have access to yet (as I don’t have access to much), but I will try as I’ve spent money on it already.

Anyway that’s it. Another challenge done and dusted. I don’t think I regret any of these purchases, I feel like they all add something positive to my life. I’m wondering if this might be a useful exercise to complete with my business hat on.