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Where Bloggers Live: Budgeting Money, Time, and Energy in 2024

Welcome back to the monthly edition of Where Bloggers Live! I am lucky to have joined a terrific group of bloggers who give a peek into the places and spaces where they spend their time.

Where Bloggers Live

Today's topic is How I Manage Budgeting/Savings. When we discuss budgeting, we often focus solely on the financial aspects of it: distinguishing between wants and needs, allocating income to various expense areas, putting aside money for big-ticket items, paying down debt, making decisions about retirement investments, etc. Those dollars-and-cents decisions are obviously very important, but I am finding that as I get older, decisions about budgeting of other (perhaps even scarcer) resources become increasingly impactful on my quality of life. Today I'm going to discuss five areas where I want to budget more or less of my money, time, and energy this year.


My Home: Budgeting More


While I am very pleased with the bunnification process in my domicile, there are two related areas where I am distinctly less happy: (1) the amount of clutter, which makes me feel frazzled and distracted, and (2) the amount of dust, which makes me congested and headachy (nearly all the time). Both of these issues have gotten worse since I started working from home about 4 years ago and no longer escape to a different environment 8+ hours a day. Things came to a head when I recently had a monster headache and realized that with winter coming to an end, I was reaching the end of the supposedly "good" season for my allergies and that the next 9 months were going to be even worse.


We have been in our current apartment for over 7 years, which is the longest we've lived in any one place. We really did not expect to still be here after all this time (not this apartment, not even the state of Minnesota). We also thought that the work from home period that started with the pandemic would be short-term. But here we are, and here we will likely to continue to be for a long enough period that it's definitely worth making the place neater, cleaner, and less dusty.


So my husband and I are undertaking an effort to minimize dust traps in our apartment and make it easier to dust/vacuum effectively on a regular basis. This involves:

--Purging/de-cluttering/consolidating

--Buying more organizers

--Switching to enclosed/covered bookcases/shelving where possible

--Buying a new vacuum cleaner


Actually, my husband has already handled buying a new vacuum cleaner. After a lot of research, he found a brand that is highly recommended for people with allergies, which is sold in certain vacuum cleaner stores. I was like, What do you mean, vacuum cleaner stores? But apparently there are indeed stores that exist only to sell vacuum cleaners, like we're living in 1950. He came home with a plain black SEBO FELIX Premium vacuum cleaner, and after its debut sweep, I declare it a very effective appliance and a joy to use.

SEBO FELIX Premium vacuum cleaner
Source: sebo.us

My Clothes: Budgeting Less


My wardrobe is in great shape (and I am really running out of storage space), so to simplify my life in 2024, I am doing a No Buy/Low Buy year in which I plan to purchase only essential replacement clothes items. Otherwise, I will shop my closet for outfits. Obviously this is a recipe for spending less money, but not shopping will also free up time and energy that I can use elsewhere. I have done a lengthy No Buy/Low Buy period before (I broke that in 2023) and really enjoyed it, so in a strange way, I'm looking forward to seeing what I can do with the clothes that I already have. I'm not sure yet whether I will do another capsule wardrobe for spring/summer as I am doing (part-time) for this fall/winter, but I definitely know that significant re-wearing and re-mixing are the cornerstone of my plan. I always get a lot of enjoyment from watching my wardrobe metrics, so seeing the number of wears go up and cost per wear go down over the course of the year will be satisfying.

Not my closet
Source: wix.com [NOT MY CLOSET!]

My Beading Hobby: Budgeting More and Less


I have a change of focus/priority for my bead purchases in 2024. My frugal default is to buy beads when they are on sale and to make a purchase that is large enough to get a volume discount and be worth the shipping cost. This made a lot of sense as I was just starting out but I have built up a pretty decent bead stash in the past year...to the point that I am running out of storage space in my main stash (yes, just like with my clothes and scarves).


So I'm cutting way back on purchasing beads and other supplies on spec. Instead I am going to focus on buying things for specific projects I am actually planning to do. If you are not a crafter, that sounds like the obvious approach; if you are a crafter, you know that limiting yourself to buying supplies you have clear upcoming plans for is not the norm! I will also continue to get my monthly subscription boxes (for which I have a separate storage system that is working well and has room to grow) so it's not like I won't have any new items coming in. I have also identified an exception to the nothing-without-a-plan rule: I fully retain the right to buy rabbit-themed supplies at any time for any reason! Spring is Peak Rabbit so if there is an adorable Easter Bunny themed bead bundle available in my price range this month, I will probably buy it!

Green bead soup
My green bead soup

Self Care: Budgeting More


The less cluttered, more easily dusted apartment that will (I hope) improve both my restless mind and congested sinuses could fall under this category as well (because we all know I don't make home décor choices to impress others). But I want to increase time and effort in two specific areas to support my psychological and physical health: sleep and physical activity. I actually already have made a start on improving my sleep by sleeping on a wedge pillow that has resolved my sleep apnea symptoms and by waking up later in the morning (which is easier to do now that my commute is to another room of my apartment). I also have started (a couple different times, haha) incorporating more physical activity into my day.

Avana wedge pillow
source: amazon.com

And finally...


News/Politics: Budgeting WAY LESS


It's only March of an election year and I am just DONE. I know that political disengagement is seen as a negative, but I'm not planning to not vote. I am simply paying less attention and making myself less emotionally invested in day-to-day political theater to save my own sanity. If you know, you know.


Thanks for joining me in sharing where I'm budgeting more or less money, time, and energy in 2024.


Next month's topic is My Favorite Season...and I have two possible options to decide between.


In the meantime, visit these lovely bloggers as they share their budgeting and saving ideas:


Bettye at Fashion Schlub


Where would you like to budget more or less of your money, time, and/or energy in 2024?


Blogs I link up with are listed here.

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17 Comments


Gail Hanlon
Gail Hanlon
Mar 19

Interesting post. I'm buying fewer clothes, mainly because I don't have room, and operate a strict 1 in, 1 out process. I call Friday "freshen up Friday" and do a lot of tedious dusting, vacuuming and cleaning. Thanks for linking

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Mar 20
Replying to

1 in, 1 out is a very smart approach when you're running short on room!

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Suzanne Chickenruby
Suzanne Chickenruby
Mar 12

I think I have a fairly good balance with work/leisure budgeting and have only been buying clothes for the past two years when absolutely needed. I need to work on household items and gifts next. Thanks for linking with #pocolo

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Mar 12
Replying to

Yes, household items can be difficult to resist, so I hear you on that one, Suzanne - thanks!

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Joanne
Joanne
Mar 11

Oh I am right there with you on the last one! Right now we're pretty much tightening all our budgets to make room for college tuition. :)

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Mar 12
Replying to

LOL, it's one of those "glad my kids are going to college but man, college is expensive!" situations that does wisely involve tightening up the budgets. Best of luck navigating this.

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Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Mar 11

I absolutely love this idea of budgeting for all aspects of life--where we need more, where to cut back--to manage all the things that come across our paths. This is wonderful advice and such a good way to look at things. I work as a memory-keeping consultant, giving people tools for preserving photos, memories, old family videos, and such, and one of the biggest things I hear is "I don't have time." Technically, we all have the same amount of time, 24 hours every day, and although caring for Littles or aging parents or working 2 jobs are significant, I think for many people it really comes down to "budgeting" time. I am Pinning this post to save and s…

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Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Jennifer's Memory-Keeping
Mar 16
Replying to

Thanks, Sally!


I'm stopping by again with congratulations! This post was one of the most popular at the Will Blog for Comments #29 linkup and will be featured there all next week (starting today). There's a "this blog post was a featured favorite" image there that you can save and share with your readers here to celebrate, if you like. Hope to see you at #30 (starting Monday) with more posts, old or new. Have a great weekend!

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Bettye L. Rainwater
Bettye L. Rainwater
Mar 09

Ooh, your new vacuum is so visually appealing! That's why he bought it, right?? Cuz it's cute??


Seems that low/no buy season is really upon a lot of us. I feel like I haven't bought anything in AGES. And my current very small wardrobe is showing that. I've actually come to the other side of the fence where clothes are literally wearing out because I wear each item so often because there are so few items! I never thought I would have THAT problem!


Ah yes, the political/news budget. Sheesh. I don't want to get political but....SHEESH. I've heard just about enough from ALL of them :-(


Rabbit-themed bead collections?? Do tell!!!


Bettye

https://fashionschlub.com

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sallyinstpaul
sallyinstpaul
Mar 09
Replying to

Isn't it strange to be experiencing that phenomenon where clothes actually wear out?? I am not quite at that stage yet, but it will be interesting to see how many wears things get before they go kaput.

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