budget living

songsandeyeglasses  asked:

How do you redecorate without breaking your fragile bank account??

I love this question! Everything on this list is under $30, and most of it can be purchased from the safety of your dorm room couch.

Decorating on a Budget

1. Plants: Plants are my personal favorite decor (apart from Xmas lights). They’re inexpensive and look great in any location. If watering a plant every day doesn’t work for your schedule, get a cactus! I water my cacti twice a week.

2. Xmas Lights: I try to distance myself from people who say that Xmas lights are just “seasonal”. I have three different strands of lights up all year long, one in each room and one on my outdoor balcony. These lights are perfect for parties, romantic evenings, etc. 

3. Candles/Incense: Dorm room or apartment landlord permitting, candles and incense really help an apartment feel more homey. They also help stave off the smell of your cat’s litter box, which is always a plus.

4. Posters: Posters aren’t as expensive as you think they are, but poster frames are ridiculously expensive. And you can’t buy the cheap ones, they fall apart instantly- you have to buy the $40 ones. My advice to you, buy posters and hang them up carefully with pushpins or tape.

5. Clocks: Buy a cool clock off Society6 or RedBubble for $25. It’s my belief that the right clock can help brighten up an otherwise dull-looking room. I bought my boyfriend this Bob’s Burgers clock for his birthday last year.

6. Shower: You don’t need to use the low-grade weak shower head that came with your bathroom. You can buy color changing shower heads and spa quality shower heads on Amazon for $25. Go forth! Always keep your old shower head somewhere safe, and put it back on when you’re ready to move out. There are lots of great and truly unique shower curtains out there on the internet, but they’re expensive. You’re better off buying one from Target or Walmart.

7. Night lights: I am the sort of person who always needs to pee at 3am. I have always used night lights in my bathroom and kitchen because they’re so much better than blundering around in the dark. Similar to the Xmas lights, they help create that “mood”. I have these cute little lava lamp night lights.

8. Glow in the dark stars: Just trust me on this.

9. Chalkboard paint: Dorm room or apartment landlord permitting, chalkboard paint can help turn your room into a perpetual canvas. A friend of mine from college did this to his incredibly small room, and it looked so good.

10. Beaded curtain: Beaded curtains help make small spaces appear larger. We have a beaded curtain hanging in our hallway currently, and it’s great. You don’t need a super expensive one that was handmade by the indigenous people of wherever. Just a simple one to put in a doorway or hang on the wall to change your space.

Things You Can Definitely Buy From the Dollar Store: A Guide to Being Poor


Band-aids- You can probably get a box of 100 or so for a buck
Light Pads- Not tampons, because you really shouldn’t skimp on tampon quality, and if you have a seriously heavy flow, I would consider a sturdier brand, but for just some just-in-case panty liners or your last couple days, a 20 pack of liners for $1 is pretty sweet
Pain Relievers- it depends on how many are in the bottle and what your local prices are, so check what it costs for a big bottle at Walmart with 100 in it, vs the 25 in the dollar store bottle. It takes a little math, but sometimes it can save a lot of money to by 4 (25ct) bottles for $4 instead of 1 (100 ct) bottle for $7
Nail Polish & Makeup- If you aren’t picky about brands, Dollar stores have some good ones sometimes. LA Colors is a makeup brand that Dollar Tree sells, among other stores, and most of its makeup is pretty good. ELF is something common at dollar stores, as well, and is pretty darn good for $1-3. I would stay away from Dollar Store foundation and concealers if you haven’t tried it out before or seen good reviews though
Dishes- A dish is a dish is a dish, man. Don’t waste $50 on your first dish set after moving out of your parent’s house. It really isn’t worth it—moving for college, a new apartment every year your lease is up, roommates, parties, exploding in microwaves, soon-to-be-ex throwing them at your head and whatnot: they’re going to get trashed. When you have a steady job, your own house and want to entertain, then go to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and buy the nicest set of dishes you can find. Until then, Goodwill  and Dollar Store dishes are for you. In my opinion, it’s actually more fun to have miss-matched dishes, but if it’s not for you, you can totally buy matches from Dollar Tree. I’ve actually seen some pretty nice ones.
Books- Find something interesting? Go for it. Book is a Book is a Book. Sometimes they even have pretty good ones, it’s worth checking next time you’re in the store
Pregnancy/Ovulation Tests- It’s been proven that the cheapos are just as accurate as the $10 apiece ones. If you have a late period or are feeling paranoid, don’t waste huge money on name brands.
Food- Dollar stores have really evolved when it comes to food. Some even have frozen sections! Be careful, as sometimes the almost empty boxes are actually MORE MONEY per oz. but all in all, you can get some good deals if you look for them. Keep an eye on expiration dates though—there is a reason it’s in the dollar store. Do NOT buy spices from discount stores! If it’s a name brand, that’s fine, but the cheapo brands make spice “mixes” and “Blends” that are usually full of salt to make them cheaper to produce—this is unhealthy for you because if you are seasoning something and want more flavor, you use more spice mix, but you’re adding more salt. Total high sodium risk
• Cleaning Supplies: It all depends on what you can find, of course. But dryer sheets, sponges, toilet bowl cleaner, etc. are all pretty standard and aren’t going to be very different if you spend $1 on it or $10. If you buy one and it doesn’t work for you, or feels ineffective then spring for a more expensive version, but the cheap is always worth a try.
Candles + Incense: some of them actually smell pretty good and you can find a good deal every once in a while. They have pretty nice candle holders sometimes, as well

Things you SHOULDN’T buy from the dollar store
• Spices: As noted earlier, Spice “mixes” usually contain a lot of salt and other filler, so when you go to add more seasoning for more flavor, you just end up with more salt. It’s really unhealthy, over all, and being a low-income or likely in college person can already put you at risk for unhealthy eating. Spring for the real stuff, I promise it’s worth it
• Office/School Supplies: Okay, this may just be personal experience, but I have to be honest, I have not had any kind of luck with pens, pencils, or even the paper. A lot of the notebooks are actually cheaper at a regular store, especially in the fall, and it’s better to stock up on $.20 each then than pay $1 per notebook later. Your individual stores may have better options, but I’ve never found discounted office things (especially pens, ugh!) to be worth the slightly lower price once you factor in the ease with which they break, how quickly they run out of ink and whatnot.
Razors: No. Just, just don’t do it—your skin will thank me later
• Candy: most small snack and candy items are old, from bad batches, or are mostly empty boxes—as well as usually being overpriced. If you need your chocolate to indulge, do it right and spend the same, if not less, amount of money on better candy.
Anything you find questionable: use your gut. It something seems too good to be true, or doesn’t feel right, don’t bother with it. Use your judgement!

Masterposts

10 Gift Ideas for The Broke Person: Gift giving can get expensive. Here’s how to work it into your budget. Click here.

Adulting: I make weekly “Adulting” posts that cover food, cleaning, saving money, and living on your own. Click here.

Balancing a Checkbook: How to balance a checkbook (and some relationship advice). Click here.

Budgeting on Minimum Wage: Some tips/tricks to living off a minimum wage budget. I also offer example budgets based on full time and part time minimum wage salaries.  Click here.

Car Insurance: Looking into car insurance but unsure where to start? Click here.

First Apartment: Learn how to look for apartments, set up your utilities, plus general first apartment advice. Click here.

Gym memberships: My weirdly popular post about gym membership. Click here.

Jobs: My post with helpful links to cover letter and resume writing. Click here.

Living on Your Own: Transitioning from a roommate situation to living on your own for the first time? Click here.

Living on Your Own (With Cats): My personal favorite post, detailing how to live on your own with cats and not loose your mind. Click here.

Long Distance: Advice on long distance relationships. Click here.

Meal Tips: My quintessential guide to feeding yourself on a student or small budget. Click here.

Paper Organization: Learn how to keep your important documents in order. Click here.

Renting vs. Student Housing: Weigh the pros and cons of renting off campus and living on campus. Click here.

Storage: I get so many storage related questions. Here are some thoughts on storage in small apartments and dorm rooms. Click here.

Tomato Sauce: Here’s a post entirely devoted to making tomato sauce. It’s cheap, easy to make, and so delicious. Click here.

Just a heads up: Today only (March 7) Michael’s is having a 60% off strung bead sale. Some of the beads are decorative, but others include stones like howlite, amethyst, jasper, and rose quartz.

A lot of strands are under $3, so it’s great for budget witches who want crystals but can’t afford the more expensive stuff

anonymous asked:

Hello, I'm the anon who's freaking out about being thrown into adulthood, and thank you for your previous help. 1.) How do I mamage/budget a minimum wage salary? 2.) I've never been great with any sort of organization, but would you mind teaching me about home organization and important paper organization?

Okay, so this post will be about budgeting on minimum wage, and later in the day I will also post about paper organization. Enjoy!

Budgeting on Minimum Wage

Overview

The average minimum wage in the US is $7.25/hr. Even working full time at 40 hours a week, that’s only a profit of $290 before taxes. This is not a fair living wage! You are worth way more than this amount! I strongly encourage you to start looking for another job that pays better, look for something around the $10-$15 range. 

While $7.25 is atrocious, thousands of people around the world support families on much less. If they can do it while supporting children, so can you! To live off a minimum wage budget you need to declare yourself independent. If your parents are still claiming you as a dependent YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO DO THIS. I also recommend that you have the highest amount possible taken out of your taxes so that you get money back from your state at the end of the year, instead of being in debt to them.

What I’ve done is come up with a budgeting plan based off some made up factors and my own personal experience.

Housing

1. City life. Forget about the city! Apartments located in cities can be three times as expensive as apartments in small towns or villages. On top of the extra expense, they’re much smaller and have less amenities included. I’d much rather live in a one bedroom apartment with a dishwasher and a conveniently located Laundromat, than a literal closet with no windows on a fifth floor walkup. Look for apartments twenty minutes to a half hour outside of your closest city. Now you have the close conveniences of a city, with none of those pesky city prices that your budget can’t handle.

2. College towns. Shop around and look at apartments by local colleges. Large colleges with have apartment complexes within walking distance of the school grounds. Landlords know that college students have less money (you might even be a college student yourself) and adjust their prices accordingly. Even apartments next to ivy league schools are priced this way, so don’t be discouraged by the institution’s “prestige”.

3. Locale. Your safety is more important than your bank account. It doesn’t matter if you live in Section 8 housing or in an affluent suburb. Some apartment complexes and neighborhoods are just safer than others. I live in a heavily populated and upper middle class suburb, and the first year I moved in, a drunk woman tried to throw a beer bottle at my car. Thankfully this is the only time this happened to me, but it made me feel unsafe in my environment. Before signing a lease, walk or drive around your prospective home’s neighborhood at night. Take in the atmosphere, and make sure it’s one where you could comfortably run to the local supermarket at 10:30pm and pick up toilet paper.

4. Roommates. Living on minimum wage requires that you find one or two roommates to help split the rent. The more the better! Get together with your more responsible friends, so at least you’re living with people whose company you enjoy. There are lots of “roommate wanted” forums and message boards for you to browse on the internet, but always bring a responsible adult with you before meeting a stranger. Please. Bring your mom if you have too.

Food

1. Low-spoon food. I created this post a few months ago which offers lots of suggestions about cooking and shopping on a budget.

2. Online recipes. Here are some of my favorite online Tumblr cookbook resources. 

3. I also regularly update my cooking on a budget tag. 

Misc Expenses

1. Gas. Shop around and find the cheapest gas in your area. Avoid gas stations next to colleges, highways, and in touristy areas. Look into getting as gas rewards card from your favorite supermarket. I get 10 cents off a gallon with Stop & Shop every time I do a big shop. 

2. Dollar store. Get to know your local dollar and bargain stores. You can buy everything from pots and pans to bed sheets there. These stores often sell bulk ramen for $1 and large cans of crushed tomatoes for 75 cents. That’s enough food for you to live off of for several days. When shopping, I make three grocery store stops to ensure that I spend the least amount possible on my pantry needs. I go Dollar Store, Stop and Shop, and then to my local organic grocery store. I’m going to make a list of things that I buy at Dollar Stores and things that I don’t buy at Dollar Stores soon!

3. Cable. We are living in the digital age- you don’t need cable television. Use Netflix or Hulu or whatever. It will save you tons of $$. 

4. Internet. As far as internet speed goes, if you’re living with roommates you will probably need a higher speed. Living by yourself, choose a lower one. Most internet companies offer large discounts to new subscribers. These typically only last a year, but will save you serious money. Make sure to take note of when this discount expires, and contact the company before it does. If you don’t, they’ll begin charging you the full amount without notice.

5. Verizon. I just want to take a moment to talk about how much I love Verizon because they have literally saved me so much money in the three years I’ve been with them. After you sign a contract with a new internet company, they charge you a bunch of ridiculous fees like “activation fees” and “installation fees”. I called Verizon and was like “I’m a poor college student, I can’t afford this” and they were like “don’t worry, we’ll waive the fee”. I signed a two year contract with them that saved me $80 on a high-speed internet bill per month (my price being only 50.99 a month). After the contract expired I call them and they put me on a month to month, keeping the price absolutely the same. TLDR- get Verizon if you can.

6. Utility. Get on a monthly budget with whatever utility company services your new apartment. Although it may seem like the cheaper option, paying the actual amount of electricity you spend per month is the more expensive. It’s also unpredictable, and a minimum wage budget won’t allow for it. See this for more info.

7. Amazon. I buy a lot of my beauty, cleaning, and cat products online. Amazon offers Prime shipping free for a year with a student email address, and then offers it at a greatly reduced price after the year. If you are a student, snap up that free deal ASAP. If it’s in your budget, I’d greatly recommend investing in Amazon Prime.

8. Saving money. It’s so important to attempt to break way from the “paycheck to paycheck” vicious cycle. Living this way does not allow for emergency expense money, and trust me, sometime soon you will need emergency expense money. Your cat might get sick or your car may die, whatever it is, it’s always smart to have at least $500 squirreled away. I’m gonna level with you, things have been tight for my budget and I haven’t been able to save anything for the past three months. But this month I will!

Example Budgets

Full Time

Working with the $7.25/hr and 40hr/week model, here’s an example budget for living on minimum wage. That’s $1,160 a month without taxes.

Housing: Let’s say you’re sharing an apartment with two close friends, the rent being $1,500 without any amenities. That rent split three ways is $500 each.

Gas I commute twenty minutes every day, and I drop about $20-$25 a week on gas. That’s $100 on gas a month.

Food: I do one big shopping a month with my boyfriend. We drop around $180 and that’s including toiletries and soap and stuff. So maybe you’ll spend about $100 a month on all your shopping needs.

Cable/internet:  Hopefully you took my advice and skipped cable. Let’s say you’re paying around $50 per month for internet. Split three ways that’s $17 each.

Laundry: Hopefully you’re not like me and are only spending around $20 on laundry per month.

Random expenses: Because there always are some. Let’s just tack on another $100.

With everything added up, you still have around $290 left before taxes! That money can go into a savings account, and after several months, you’ll have that $500 worth of emergency money saved.

Part Time

Working with the $7.25/hr and 25hr/week model, here’s an example budget for living on minimum wage. That’s $725 without taxes.

Housing: In this case, you need to look for apartments in the $800-900 range. In my area, one bedroom apartments go for around $1000, so you may need to get creative with your roommate (I don’t think you could have more than one roommate in this situation). Buy dividers to split the bedroom or studio in half! Let’s say your rent is $850 with nothing included, that’s $425 each.

Gas You’re still looking at a large gas bill per month, so it may be more inexpensive to ride a bike or use public transportation. Let’s say you use public transportation, and spend around $50 a month on that. Or maybe you and your roommate can split gas expenses and share a car?

Food: Pinch those pennies! Use some of those budget cookbooks I linked above to help you cook healthy and delicious meals for under $4 each. See if you can only spend $80 a month on groceries.

Cable/internet:  Hopefully you took my advice and skipped cable. Let’s say you’re paying around $50 per month for internet. Split two ways is $25 each.

Laundry: Hopefully you’re not like me and are only spending around $20 on laundry per month.

Random expenses: Because there always are some. Let’s just tack on another $100.

That leaves you $25 to put in your bank account, if that. This is a paycheck to paycheck situation, and you will probably need to get another source of income to feel secure. But you can still do it!

things you should have at your first apartment.

Keep in mind, my advice is to get most of these things at the dollar store/second hand if you can because if it’s your first apartment you’re probably broke as shit and it’s way cheaper to replace even if it is not as “luxurious” or comforting as you would want. 

I’m sure that there are people who will look at my list and declare half of these unnecessary luxuries but everyone’s experience is different. these are the most useful items based on my experience. 

  • Dish soap - because clean dishes keep you healthy and you can’t use all purpose cleaner on dishes.

  • Laundry detergent- because if your clothes are clean and well taken care of, people think better of you. people thinking better of you= better job opportunities= more $. If push comes to shove you can wash them in the bathtub and hang them to dry. 

  • All-purpose cleaner- use this for everything. Yes, even your non-carpet floors. it’s a pain in the ass but it works.

  • Broom - gets the big stuff into a pile so you can get it off the floor, so you can work on getting anything sticky or greasy off the floor. Helps prevent pest infestations. They sometimes come with dustpans, otherwise, just use an old piece of paper like a flyer or something. They are also good for getting the big messy looking stuff off carpets, just sweep the mess towards a non-carpeted area in order to sweep it up.

  • Wash cloths / rags -these are great for everything from dusting to washing your ass and mopping the floor. Literally, any cleaning job just grab one of these.  Dollar stores usually have them in 5-10 packs for $1

  • at least one spoon and fork, a spatula and one all purpose kitchen knife

  • a cup/glass

  • ziplock baggies - can be off brand. you can store anything in these if you break it down in to small enough bits. great for freezing meals and meats for later

  • garbage bags or plastic grocery bags- personally I get so many plastic grocery bags for free that I don’t bother with garbage bags. take them out as soon as you can to prevent pests.

  • pot - you can’t bake in one but you can cook just about anything in one, also convenient for eating out of and mixing things in before cooking.

  • something to sleep on, whether a camping cot, a pile of blankets or a mattress.

  • a sheet - not only will it make your bed comfier to sleep on but it will A. keep a blanket pile in a more useful shape and B extend the life of a mattress

  • blanket - because it can get cold, especially if you don’t turn on the heaters in your house to save on the electricity bill

  • something to store your clean clothes and dirty clothes in - milk crates and cardboard boxes work well and are usually free/fairly cheap if you ask for them around the backside of stores.

  •  a towel

  • personal hygiene products - because if you smell good people like you more and so on.

  • Toilet paper-  alternately, if water is not a problem in your area, you can use your shower to rinse the waste off instead. 

  • Plunger - because you may never need it but lord help you if you do need one and you haven’t got one. Not only is the clean up disgusting but repair bills are expensive.

  • First-Aid kit - should include bandages of various sizes and types, antibiotic ointment, mild painkiller such as aspirin or  ibuprofen and anything you personally will need in an emergency such as prescribed medication.

  • Shower curtain -  protects floor from water damage which is expensive

  • Period products

  • Light bulbs- if your apartment does not come with pre-installed light fixtures, get a small lamp that you can move from room to room as needed. 

  • small tool kit for minor repairs.

  • Flashlight/candles - for power outages

  • batteries / matches - for the flashlight/candles

  • Emergency Survival kit - pack it yourself if you can’t afford a pre-packed one. 

  • Fire extinguisher- like the plunger better to have and not need then need and not have.

  • carbon monoxide alarm/ fire alarm - these are supposed to be standard in the US but definitely not something you want to mess with not having.

  • your favorite condiments and seasonings
  • eggs
  • milk/ milk alternative
  • bread
  • peanut-butter - if you aren’t allergic this is a good source of protein when you’re on the tight end of your monthly budget.
  • rice
  • pasta
  • tomato sauce
  • fresh/ frozen vegetables
  • lentils
  • fresh/frozen fruit
  • meats
How to Simplify your Life

1. Don’t try to read other peoples’ minds and don’t expect others to be able to read yours. Communicate if it is important to you.

2. Don’t expect to be friends with everyone. We all are different – and we all like different things. Instead, invest your time in a few good friends. That’s all you really need to feel happy and fulfilled.

3. Create a budget and live within your means. Accruing lots of debt will only cause you to feel stressed.

4. Kill off the monster of jealousy – and only compare yourself with yourself.

5. Organize your clutter and get rid of excess stuff. It will leave you feeling calmer, and will save you lots of time!

6. Stay on the sidelines and don’t get drawn into pointless scenes and dramas in other peoples’ lives (unless it’s a crisis – and you know you ought to help).

7. Finish what you’ve started - and then do something else.

8. Treat every person you meet with respect, and err on the side of being gentle and kind.

9. Accept that there are things that you can’t change or control – and focus on those things that you can change or control.

10. Admit when you were wrong, then say you’re sorry, and move on.

Cheaper budget friendly vegan meals

Many people state that eating vegan is too expensive. I have compiled a list and general costs of these meals. I include the up front cost as well as the break down cost. These recipes will give you roughly 46 separate meals for $53.81. Each meal is less than $2.50. You don’t have to buy everything at once. These are just to give people meal options. I’ve tried to include protein, fruit, and veggies in each meal.

1. Tofu and broccoli teriyaki stir fry

This meal includes $2.99 for a 20 ounce bottle of Kikkoman teriyaki sauce. You shouldn’t need to use the whole bottle. I included the cost in case you need to buy it.
$2.00 for 14 ounces of extra firm tofu. I bought it on sale at Safeway yesterday. I used the all the tofu.
$2.30 for 32 ounces of brown rice. I didn’t use all the rice but included it for those who needed to buy it.
$2.50 for 12 ounces of frozen broccoli florets. It’s cheaper if you buy the broccoli cuts but I prefer the florets. I used all the broccoli.
The total cost is $9.79 and I get at least 4 meals out of it. This makes it about $2.44 per meal.

2. Salad
I love salad with black beans. It’s $1.00 for a bag of basic salad mix and $1.00 for a can of black beans. This lasts me for 2 meals making the cost $1.00 per meal.

3. Burritos
I love burritos. They’re easy to make, fast, and can be changed based on each persons diet.
I buy two cans of refried beans. They are $1.00 each. I buy 1 bag of basic salad mix for $1.00. One bag of ten mission tortillas is roughly $2.50. One 15.5 ounce jar of Tostitos salsa is $2.99. One 16 ounce jar of Yucatan guacamole is $3.98.
The total cost for everything is $12.47. I assume since there are ten tortillas that there will be 10 servings. Each burrito is $1.25.

4. Sandwiches and fruit
This is a good quick lunch. Peanut butter and jelly are a wonderful filler.
It’s $1.50 for a loaf of bread which is 20-24 slices. It’s $8.99 for a 64 ounce jar of peanut butter. This jar of peanut butter usually last us two months for two people. It’s $2.50 for 18 ounce jar of smuckers jam. You can find cheaper jam, I just chose this for pricing purposes. For the fruit, I love strawberries and bananas so I chose these. It’s $0.42 per pound for bananas. There’s roughly three bananas to a pound. Ten bananas is about $1.40. A 32 ounce container of strawberries is $3.74.
This is roughly $18.13 for everything. If you can make ten sandwiches, it’s roughly $1.81 per meal.

5. Oatmeal and fruit
I love Quaker apple and cinnamon oatmeal. I buy the single serve packets because it’s easier to portion. It costs $4.88 for a 20 pack. This is $0.24 per packet.
I chose strawberries and bananas again for the fruit. 20 bananas is roughly $2.80. Another container of strawberries is $3.74. This is $0.32 for each serving of fruit.
The total cost is $11.42. I assumed 20 servings due to the 20 packets and 20 bananas. This makes it $0.56 per serving.

Fancy food stores are overrated for 98% of their goods. What they are NOT overrated for is the bulk spice section. I just got 10 different spices (in amounts it will take me months to use) for under $10. These spices are also normally fresher than what you’d buy in the plastic bottles. Spices will also make all the other cheap food you’re subsisting on more exciting to eat.

Never forget the bulk spice section! Just because you’re broke doesn’t mean you have to be bland.

Budget Living: The Ramen Monologues

Now, Ramen gets a lot of hate, which is understandable, because alone it is a salty, sad, crinkly-noodle soup. But there are some pretty awesome things you can do with it.

  • Stir Fry: Boil your noodles until they are just barely al dente, none of that mushy bullshit. Drain and put them to the side. Get your wok or frying pan nice and hot. Toss some oil in.
    When the oil is hot, throw in some minced garlic and onion. Whenever my mom tells me recipes for cooking Korean food, I swear minced garlic and onion in a hot pan is always the first step. Then throw in some firm tofu that you’ve already drained and cubed. (This would also be where you would add your cut up chicken or beef, if you can afford that fancy shit.) Sear it off. 
    Throw in some veggies, whatever you like – for this method I get this really excellent frozen veggie mix from Aldi’s that’s got snow peas and carrots and broccoli and water chestnuts in, all that delicious stuff that is the best part of a Chinese take-out meal.
    Once it’s cooked to your liking, add your sauce – you can use soy sauce and the “chicken flavor” packet from your ramen, if that’s all you’ve got, or you can buy bottles of pre-made sauces perfect for this in the Asian section of your grocery store. I like General Tsao’s sauce, sweet and a little spicy.
    Eat!
  • Egg Drop Noodle Soup/Wonton Soup: This is seriously the easiest thing ever to make, and super tasty.
    For Egg Drop Soup, make your Chicken-flavored Ramen like usual. Take some of the hot broth and whisk it with a fork in small bowl with about a tablespoon of cornstarch, and mix it back in with the soup. Whisk a couple eggs together in the same bowl, and slowly pour the eggs into the boiling soup, which should cook the eggs into those awesome little clouds of eggy deliciousness. 
    Chop up some chives, drop into the soup, and eat like a motherfucker. Slurping totally allowing.
    For Wonton soup, it’s even easier. Cook your ramen like usual, but add your favorite potstickers to the boiling water, and cook until they’re done. I get these adorable teeny-tiny ones from the Asian market by my place. Sometimes I’ll add an egg to this soup too, because I am a glutton. You can add all sorts of things to this – julienne some carrots, some strips of beef, frozen shrimp, chopped onion – but if we could afford to eat like that, we’d just go out. This is great when you and feeling cold and tired and lazy. 

These recipes do assume a modicum of competence in the kitchen, but everyone should learn to cook sometime! Don’t be afraid; if you mess it up, you’ll just end up with either shitty food to eat, or having to throw it out. These aren’t sea scallops and fresh rainbow chard, here, you can afford to make mistakes.

All you need for these recipes is ramen, frozen veggies, tofu, soy sauce, eggs, and some chive and garlic. Most of these things will keep forever in your fridge or pantry, so you can stock up ahead of time for those days when your debit card can’t take a trip to the grocery store.

Canned Soup Ramen

What you’ll need:
-Cheapest Ramen you can find. If you’re in the Ireland, that’s Tesco’s “everyday value” brand at a whopping twelve cents.

-Cheapest Canned Soup you can find. Again, Everyday Value by Tesco. Got them for a little over forty cents a can.

-Whatever vegetable is on sale. I go to Aldi for their weekly savings section, and buy whatever fruit and vegetable they have. Don’t like whatever it is? Tough it out and eat it with things you do like to make it palatable. This week, it’s kale.

-A Frozen vegetable; whatever is cheapest. At the Aldi near me, that’s peas. Freezing saves more nutrients than canning, so get you some frozen whatever.

-Spices: trust me. It may seem unnecessary to shell out that extra fifty cents/pence for some basic spices, but they last a long time and will make your life so. much. better. These include:
Salt
Pepper
Garlic
Basil
Oregano
Paprika


-Tomato Paste: Like spices, you may see this as a waste of money. Trust me; it helps with a lot of dishes, is cheap, and lasts a long while.


Assemble:

Okay, start by opening the Ramen. I used one bag for two people, as my husband wanted lunch as well, and you don’t need a full ramen per can of soup anyway.

The Everyday Value brand is pretty low on sodium, so I add the packet to the meal. If the kind you get has crazy amounts, maybe don’t use it–but salt is good for you anyway, or so “science” says right now, so who even knows what’s real and what’s a fad.

Now, add the spices, however much of each you like, to make it taste like actual food and not sadness in a bowl. Add the cans of soup after that, and a handful of frozen peas.

I used creamy chicken for him and hearty vegetable for me because I like sadness and so became a vegetarian. Okay, cool. Now that you’ve done this, add a small squeeze (do you Brits spell squeeze with an ‘s?’ I’ve only just moved to Ireland–which yes, is not Britain, but y’awl spell things in English the same)…where was I? Okay, yes, add a small dab of tomato paste to your bowls. Yes, even the cream of chicken one. Trust me, fam.

Yeah, that’s the same picture. Shut up. That isn’t a giant blob of tomato paste in the cream of chicken–I added some of my soup bowl to my husband’s because, again, trust me. Plus, I don’t have an appetite the same way he does and don’t need as much, especially when technically having a soup and a half.

Okay, next! Add some torn kale to your soup. I do recommend you tear the kale into small pieces. Big pieces can be hard to chew as kale is one tough vegetable.

Yum. Lastly, pour hot water to the top.

Microwave that stuff for like, three or four minutes on high heat. If you’re weird about using a microwave–because radiation–then I suggest using the stove and adding the ramen noodles two minutes before you eat. They’ll cook quickly, and you don’t want soggy noodles. I suggest the microwave because it uses a lot less energy than the stove. Energy in Ireland is stupidly expensive. Save yourself the suffering of a forty or fifty euro weekly bill.

When it’s done, ta-da.

Enjoy. It’ll be hot and all, so don’t burn your lip. If you’re extra hungry, or eating this for dinner, add some toast, either plain or with a little garlic and oregano sprinkled onto it. Want more protein? Frozen meat is cheaper than fresh, but canned beans go super well in this too. I just didn’t have any. Kidney beans would be my preference, but hey ho.

Eat up. Eat Cheap. Eat Well.

anonymous asked:

What should you look for when applying for your first credit card? What are good but not SUPER risky ways to start building credit?

Credit Cards

What You Need to Know

  • Looking to move out of your parent’s house? Many rental companies will not rent to you if you don’t have credit (in this case you would need a co-signer on your lease who does have credit). Credit cards are also there when your pay check is late or you accidentally total your car and can’t pay the expenses out of pocket. See also.
  • Sitcoms and daytime television shows always led me to believe that being approved for a credit card was such an easy process. Maybe it was back in the day, but nowadays it’s harder to get one. If you have no credit, it’s easier to apply for a credit card through a department store like Sears or Target, than it is to get one from an actual credit card company like American Express or Discover. If you’ve been with your current bank for a long time you might also be able to apply for a credit card through them. This is a pretty comprehensive post about credit cards.
  • Spend lots of time researching your options to decide which credit card is best for you. It’s okay if that means Target for the time being, after you’ve built up credit you can always apply for a more illustrious card. Lots of credit card companies offer different types of rewards, like discounts on gas or Amazon purchases, so look for one that best suits your needs.
  • The most crucial part of owning a credit card is paying on time. If you don’t pay on time, they’ll charge you interest. Don’t let them take any more money from you then they already are! If you’re someone who has a hard time paying bills, set up autopay on your account. Here’s a pretty extensive article about that. And here’s why you should pay on time.

What to Charge

  • I don’t like to reserve my credit card use for only super expensive items. Feel free to use your card for your ever day purchases! I use mine for gas for your car, McGriddles, and any CVS purchases I make that are under $20. There’s no official playbook stating that you can’t put a $1.50 charge on your credit card, and if it’s helping build your credit- why not?
  • It’s super important to never use your card as a replacement for money you don’t have. Don’t drop $150 at Victoria’s Secret if you won’t have that same $150 in your bank account by the end of the month.
  • Use your card in the event of an emergency. It’s impossible to predict when your car’s tire might go flat our your cat may need to be taken to the hospital. As the majority of us get paid on a bi-weekly pay cycle, there may be a time in your life when you’re waiting to get paid, but still have to deal with surprise expenses. This is the time to use your card, in lieu of the money that you know is on its way, but hasn’t arrived yet.
  • I have my credit card set up so that any purchase I make gets automatically paid by my debit card. For example, I go to Starbucks and spend $5 on a coffee, paying for it with my credit card. Instead of waiting until the end of the month, that $5 is charged automatically to my debit card, so my credit card debt goes back to $0. Boom!

Hope this helps!

List of absurdly cheap foods
  • Ramen (of course). The bigger bulk you buy the more ridiculous it gets–the 32-pack is around $7 at Sam’s.
  • Offbrand yogurt cups at Publix are 50 cents a cup. They sometimes go on sale for 40 cents. Great source of not-having-scurvy.
  • There’s a 50 pound bag of rice at Sam’s for $15. That’s utterly bananas. Get you some rice (cheap sauces include sriracha, soy sauce, lemon juice, Creole seasoning; you can also crack an egg in it while it’s boiling and/or just throw in some cheese).
  • Publix brand mac and cheese comes in packs of 6 for $4. The recipe calls for ¼ cup of butter, but you only need one teaspoon at most. If it isn’t flavorful enough, use a little Creole seasoning (also really cheap).
  • Hot dogs. Pretty much anywhere hot dogs are really cheap.
  • Pancake mix. You can get a big bag of it pretty much anywhere for very little money. All you need is water, and if you can’t eat them dry then use peanut butter (there’s a 6lb thing of Peter Pan at Sam’s for I think $4?)
  • 2-liters of Publix brand soda are 99 cents, and they’re sometimes BOGO. That’s insane.
  • Totino’s pizzas and Knorr’s pasta/rice packets are often $1 per at Publix.
  • If you need more protein (I know I do sometimes), cheap meats that I like include meatballs and imitation crabmeat.
  • Really just go to Publix and do a quick sweep of the store. There’s gonna be at least one thing that’s absurdly cheap and/or on sale.

Signal boost and add your own. I wish that I had known all this when I first moved out.

on saving monies

ive been telling all my friends about this, but idk im hella excited so im gonna tell the internet. I think  @yocourt posted something a while ago on not using your debit card, and how it helps save money.

BRUH

IT WORKS

For the past month, on payday after i take care of rent, fill up my tank and buy groceries,  i withdraw a specific amount of money from my account. I make sure that i have enough food on me whenever i leave the house so that I’m not tempted to buy any food while im out. Whenever i think to buy anything, no matter what it is, I use cash. That makes me check myself, because

1. I have a limited amount of cash on me

2. I dont like running out of cash, so im always hesitant to use what i do have

It really just makes me be honest with myself like “Do you really need that?” And it really helps. So if you’re trying to learn how to budget and living check to check, this might help you.  Its really easy to swipe a card until you have $5 in your account and a week left to payday. I hope someone finds this useful. 

2

Hey everyone, as I posted earlier today I’m going to sell several more cameo slots to help with bills. Ultimately the vet trips ate a bit shy of couple thousand out of our living budget so I still need to play catch-up to meet our living costs.

So, here’s a chance to get the character of you or someone you know immortalized in Creepy Castle! These NPC cameos will be similar to the Nicalis staff cameos on Zylindarr- an NPC illustrated by me featuring dialogue written by you. You get to pick where you would like the character to be placed and they will be included in the update going live within the next three weeks!

If you’re interested, please send an email to krystalflamingo@hotmail.com and we will send you a form to get things rolling! Thank you for your time!