October has been insane. I have had ONE day at home, in my office working without the kids this month. Of the 22 days in October, I have been home for just over a week of it, and this twist in my “regular programming” has been a threat to my wallet.
My normal life, and normal schedule has me with time to cook, meal plan, and work from home. I don’t do coffee meetings and our kids travel to and from school via bus.
I live, work and play at home, and it is fabulous AND frugal.
So with multiple travel bookings this month, there was a drastic shift in life as I know it. Luckily I had signed up to support the Manulife #CentsAbility challenge this October so I had something to keep me on track and thinking about my expenses.
So, what did I do, and how have I fared?
I got to know our transit system.
I had 3 trips via Vancouver and I mastered our small island transit system. A regular trip to Vancouver would be 150$ return with the car via the ferry or a $120 trip 1 way sea plane flight. This month I figured out how to get myself to our small town, catch a bus to the ferry, and transit all the way to the airport or downtown as needed. On 3 trips my savings were HUGE! Plus, I had time to focus on getting work done during my travels.
Working from home I ALWAYS have access to food, drink and whatever I needed. Being away so much meant I needed to plan ahead to keep my coins in my pocket. Picnics were packed and snacks were brought from home to help me with my travel hunger. Books were taken from the dusty shelves and re-read and “that outfit” was worn again, and again.
The best part about this is I was reminded how great a turkey sandwich on homemade bread tastes! Especially when you have been eating out for days on end!
This also extended into planning for the family when I was gone! Lists were made (and followed) and I had to plan and prep a few additional meals ahead of time to help Hubby during the crazy days while I was away!
My gift is my Love
Three trips to three different places, and three kids giving mom hugs and kisses and the subtle hints of “Bring me back something good”
Except I didn’t.
I did NO shopping for my kiddos on my trips. No souvenirs, no treats. With so much travel on my plate this month I broke the habit of treating the kids upon my return. Funnily enough, they didn’t seem to notice. Apparently I AM the best gift of all (who knew)
Even in a chaotic month I was reminded of my long term goals. Even though it was easier to fly or drive, or upgrade on the plane, I forced myself to be resourceful and think of the small dollars adding up into something grand.
So, what does the rest of the month have in store for me? Back to my basics! I am back home, and getting back into routine, which means I can continue to watch our pennies, make meal plans and manage our budget.
There is still time for you to explore the #CentsAbility challenge as well! It might be exactly what you need to get on track. Start sharing your #CentsAbility tips on instagram under the hashtag and inspire those around you to take back their Paycheque!