Currently | January

STARTING | the new year on the right foot by collecting my first running miles for 2022 and celebrating with coffee and a sweet yeast pretzel (a Rhineland tradition) on New Year’s Day. And speaking of coffee, I’ve been

ENJOYING | a cup (or two) of post-holiday gingerbread coffee that I picked up at Trader Joe’s. It’s never too late for gingerbread coffee.

LOOKING FORWARD TO | my 5-10 minutes of morning meditation on the Peloton app (my favorites are Kristin McGee and Aditi Shah). I started a more regular routine at the beginning of the month and I think it’s a good thing to keep up.

USING | lentils in everything. They’re really good for you and super-filling, so I try to add them to as many meals as possible. This week, we made a Lentil Bolognese (loosely based on this recipe) and it was so good. Highly recommend!

EATING | loaded (with chia, hemp, and flax seeds) overnight oats with berries.

DRINKING | coffee out of this beautiful new mug that I won in a advent calendar giveaway. I told myself I am not going to buy any more mugs for the foreseeable future (wish me luck!), but I cannot prevent anyone from gifting me one, right?

FEELING | accomplished after participating in my first PeloFondo, a long-distance spin cycle event, last weekend. I really thrive on a good challenge right now.

a little FRUSTRATED BY | work tasks that are technically “easy” to execute, but take way longer than anticipated – by me (who tends to overpromise) and my project manager (who underestimates the task at hand). Sound familiar?

THRILLED | that I finally figured out who sent me the awesome ‘ride and shine’ workout shirt. It was part of a Secret Santa gift through my Peloton Streakers group, and now that I think about it, it totally makes sense! My Secret Santa had sent something else though and the package with the shirt didn’t include a note, so I couldn’t make the connection.

READING | Voyager (Outlander #3) by Diana Gabaldon. Completely enamored, is all.

BAKING | another perfect sourdough rye bread. My sourdough starters have become really stable and are super-easy to handle. I don’t produce any more discard (I feed as much as I take away for baking once a week) and what once took a lot of effort and experimentation is just a regular weekend routine now. I love it.

BUYING | nothing. I kind of attempted a no-spend month in January. YNAB* was putting on a no-spend challenge after the holiday and claimed that people on average save $1000 during a no-spend month. Well, we didn’t eat out (except for once, and we used a gift card for that) and I only bought what we consider ‘essentials’ and pushed a couple of non-urgent purchases to February, but I also did not save $1000. Not even close. If people spend an average of $1000 on non-essential things each month, they need the no-spend month more than I do.

DRAFTING | a few blog posts. I usually write down immediately if I think of something that I want to blog about and then I start a draft for it, so I can work on it when time allows. Do you do the same? Or how do you come up with and write your posts?  

What is currently going on with you?

* This is not a sponsored post. I have not been compensated by YNAB for mentioning their product. I just share it for transparency’s sake. However, the post does contain an affiliate link. If you feel like you need a budget software in your life, download the fully functioning trial version and give it a shot! If you like it, you can use this link to activate the software and we’ll both get a month free!

  1. I’m with you on the no spend experience. I felt like I was just changing the timing of my expenses rather than eliminating any. I think it’s always worth trying these things and if it ends up not making much a difference, that’s a good sign.

    1. Totally right – it was a good to try and yeah, I guess it doesn’t make a huge difference for us ;)

  2. How do people save $1000 a month ON AVERAGE? I imagine that is some bimodal data with most folks saving some, but a little ($100 – $200) and a few folks saving thousands. I’d be interested in the median and mode, not the average here. The only way I’d save $1000 is if I literally did a no-spend year!

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who’s mind-boggled by the $1000 savings. I agree, the “average” is probably not th right statistic here.

  3. $1000 on a no spend month? What in the world. That is a lot of excess spending and doesn’t seem like the ‘average’ amount you would save! I haven’t done a no spend challenge because it just seems like you are changing the timing of what you would purchase otherwise. But I wouldn’t say I do a lot ‘frivolous’ spending in general. When I look at our transactions in mint for the month, frivolous things include a few coffees at Starbucks, a new love your melon hat (which was essential after I misplaced the winter hat I had before – I think I lost it in the shuffle during one of the kids’ doctor appointments) and a race registration for a 10 mile. There just isn’t much to be cut from what we spend, though. We barely eat out. Phil gets lunch when he works in the office but he is not a ‘bring your lunch to work’ person and tends to spend about $5-7 on his lunch which is not much! Other than that, pretty much everything we have spent is for things we can’t cut out, like utilities, daycare, etc. Our fireplace conversion to gas was a big line item for the month but I view that as a good investment in our home and it’s something I’ve already used nearly daily!!

    I’m currently sick with another cold virus! My covid test was negative so it doesn’t appear to be that. But I am wondering if there are any cold viruses left that I haven’t gotten? I’ve been sick so much since mid-November!

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks $1000 is a strange number… I mean, there might be people out there who are huge, frivolous spenders, and we just can’t relate to it since we’re not (by nature).
      Of course, everyone’s spending priorities are different (that’s the beauty of budgets) and some bigger expenses make total sense (like your gas fireplace or my Peloton), if they’re worth it to you.

      I hope you’re feeling better!

  4. Wow, $1000 for a no-spend month. That’s mind blowing.

    I really like Aditi too, and Ross for meditation. Denis has some great breathwork sessions that I also enjoy. My 16-year-old son uses the app for meditation every night, I am very proud of him!

    1. Yes, I really like Ross and Aditi, too.

  5. $1,000 for a no-spend month? Wow. That is… a fascinating data point.

    Love the tidbit about your sourdough habit — I was interested in trying it back in 2020 but was so intimidated by the process, so I love hearing about it from people who figured it out!

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who is mind-boggled by $1000 savings…. but maybe “average” might not be the right statistic here.

      The sourdough habit does take a bit of practice, but it’s like most people say: if you just stick with it, it becomes easier and easier!

  6. That mug is just so…lovely. A good cup of tea/coffee really can feel like a warm hug.
    I always love looking at these posts – the pictures look cozy and I just want to reach through the screen and sip the coffee and chow down on those overnight oats.
    Thanks for making this a happy place to come during these cold, dreary winter months!

    I write most of my blog post ideas down on a piece of paper and have little pieces in various spots. Too many ideas and too little time! If only I’d started earlier – haha.

    1. Thanks Elisabeth, I am so glad you like coming here for these “random” posts. I enjoy them too as they give us a glimpse in somebody else’s life ;)

  7. Saving $1,000 during a no-spend month sounds excessive, even to someone like me! But I guess I could see it, especially if you eat out a lot. Those purchases add up! I would say that I probably save a couple hundred during a no-spend month.

    I don’t draft my blog posts immediately, but I do keep a log of blog post ideas in my Notes app. I’ll write down the idea and then some extra details to make sure I can jog my memory when I come back to the idea, hehe.

    1. I agree, I guess there might be people who spend a lot more frivolously than I do and they might spend a lot of money on things that are not a priority for others… I am just thinking “who has $1000 every months to just “waste”?

  8. I’ve been thinking about doing a no-spend February, though I guess I should decide soon! I agree, though, saving $1000 seems pretty wild. I’m definitely not overspending by $100 a month!

    1. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks $1000 savings in a month is a bit out there…

  9. I always have WAY more ideas for blog posts than I have the energy to complete them, ha. My draft folder is out of control.

    Drinking coffee in the morning out of a mug that makes you smile is one of life’s better pleasures!!! I have one that always reminds me of a fantastic day trip to Santa Cruz with my sister and we bought matching mugs at the end of the day from a store downtown that no longer exists.

    1. Isn’t that the truth… I wish I had more time to write all the blog posts that are in my head LOL

      I am happy to hear you also appreciate coffee out of a pretty mug – it does make every morning better! :)

  10. I feel the “easy” work task thing so much. I have a lot of people who think it is really easy for me to continuously update data… but everything is self reported and manually updated, so nothing is as easy as people think it is. Like you, I’m a bit of a perfectionist and always want to get it right… thus, it takes SO. MUCH. TIME.

    I have a lot of ideas for blog posts and I try to write them down…. I don’t write nearly as much as I want to. Trying to get better about that though.

    1. I feel like you completely understand about the “easy work tasks”… you and I might be very similar in how we approach our work!

  11. Ugh- I should have done a no-spend January! i agree- I wouldn’t have saved $1000 though. I wonder what these people are spending their money on?
    I feel like it’s allowed in January to let the holiday flavors linger- I’ve been eating gingerbread oatmeal still, but my cutoff is tomorrow! No more gingerbread flavors in February (February is chocolate month- everyone knows that.)
    I like the idea of lentil bolognese and that recipe sounds delicious EXCEPT for the mushrooms- I have an issue with mushrooms. But you’ve inspired me to find a good (mushroom-free) lentil bolognese recipe now!

  12. I wouldn’t be able to save 1000€ in a no spending month. I dont spend that much really. But I think I will try to save up a bit more over the next month with a move coming up and all the new necessary investments.

    I usually have a few drafts for blogpost. When I know I will write them sooner than later they immediately get started. Otherwise I have a list in Evernote where I collect possible ideas for the NaBloPoMo. I never check there though when I feel low on ideas during the year. Funny how that works out.

  13. Oooh, thanks for sharing the lentil bolognese. My mom has a similar recipe – the challenge for her is mincing the mushrooms. Did you use a food processor, or do it by hand?

    Also, who has $1000 in extra spending a month? That’s… a lot of money.

    Finally, I share your difficulty with accurately estimating the time required for tasks/activities. I’m great with things like how long it will take me to get dinner together. Work-related tasks, on the other hand, ALWAYS take longer than I estimate. I’m not sure how to fix this, unfortunately!

Comments are closed.