My saving tricks for 2020

Hi guys!

Towards the end of 2019 I went to Europe for 4 weeks before Christmas and then over new years I had ANOTHER 3 weeks off.

Because I hadn’t accrued enough annual leave yet I went this whole period unpaid and I made sure I saved enough so that I wasn’t struggling.

We’re now a month into 2020 and I’m now working on saving those funds again so that my boyfriend and I can go to the U.S. next year. So, because I did a swimmingly good job at saving last year, I figured I would write a post about my top 5 saving techniques that did me a world of good in 2019:

  1. Do up a budget

I had to do an Excel spreadsheet course last year after my boss realised I truly am (was) hopeless with the whole program. Truth be told I am hopeless with numbers, as soon as they started adding the alphabet to math I was a goner. BUT, I found doing up a budget of my weekly and monthly expenses in Excel incredibly helpful for saving. Having my weekly pay plus all of my expenses in front of me helped me work out how much money I actually had left over and effectively stopped me living beyond my means. If you are not Excel savvy, there are many free online budget templates that you can download and are easy to follow.

2. The $5 challenge

I came across this challenge a while ago, it was first brought up by Marie Franklin who last reported that she had saved $40,000 USD over the course of 13 years just by saving every $5 note that came into her possession. This saving trick is especially easy if you grab coffees on the reg (guilty) because honestly before you know it you’ll have $50 worth of $5 notes in your wallet and will need to deposit. Last year, I used my $5s to pay for my car rego and insurance and it didn’t feel like I lost any money because my savings didn’t take a hit in the bank!

3. The $2 Coke Bottle Challenge

Can you tell i’m a fan of a savings challenge? I’m still doing this challenge that I started last year. I came across it on this post and I guess only really works for $2 Australian coins. The idea is that you take an empty coke bottle (600ml or 1 litre) and fill it with $2 coins. A 600ml bottle effectively saves you $880 and a 1 litre bottle saves you $1510, How could I say no? I started this challenge with my mum and dad and I think we all thought we would reach the $1510 a lot quicker than what we thought! While I was overseas I’m pretty sure someone took money out of my bottle (My dad thinks his got jipped too). But I am aiming to have it filled by this August-September so that I can buy a plane ticket (go figure).

4. Bringing a packed lunch to work everyday

Last year I started working full time, I would often run late in the mornings and just say to myself (I’ll just buy a frozen meal from Coles). What could be the harm, right? WRONG. I was doing this roughly 2-3 times a week for two months, average meal costs $5.50, we will average the meals out to 2.5 frozen meals a week for these two months, that is $55 gone just because I wasn’t organised enough to make up something at home? I know, $55 over 2 months doesn’t sound like much, but it’s not a good habit to have when trying to save because those costs do add up! Bringing a packed lunch to work everyday can make SUCH a difference to your weekly expenses and how much you can dedicate to savings each week.

5. Take up a hobby

I found last year that going skiing in winter and spending a lot of my afternoons at the gym stopped me from mindlessly spending my money on things I don’t need. I am not saying take up skiing, the only reason this is effective for me is because I do not have to pay for accommodation. What i’m saying is find something that will keep you occupied in free afternoons, whether that be the gym, taking your dog for a walk, reading, whatever it is, just not shopping. And from personal experience, not netflix that you watch on your laptop because that inevitably lead to online shopping for me.

 

Those are my money saving favourites, I hope they can help you out a little as well. Happy saving my friends !

Kathryn x

Lil update

Hello and Happy new year everyone!

I hope everyone had a safe new year. I spent mine with no power or reception on the NSW South Coast while there was bush fires 6-10km away from me. While I was definitely one of the better off people stuck on the south coast, it was still incredibly devastating to see the effects of the bush fires on this small coastal town. Businesses shut over the new year period due to no power (Unable to make money in a PEAK tourist time) and tourists being told to leave immediately.

In Australia and I’m sure many other parts of the world, power outages are fairly common. If we have a bad storm at my house we will lose power for 5-10 hours, so losing that wasn’t a great issue. Losing reception however was hard because we had no way to get information on the bush fires and how close they were to us. We found ourselves setting alarms every hour on the hour to listen to news updates on the car radio.

ANYWAY this isn’t a story about how you should feel bad for me, it has been hard living in Australia and not really knowing when the fires were going to stop and not having a proper summer has been upsetting but I am one of the lucky ones. My new years resolution is to learn how to drive manual and to improve my fitness, so I downloaded the Tammy Fit App. I’ll let you know how it goes!

I’ve been pretty absent on my blog and I promise it’s not through lack of trying! I have sooo many drafts of blogs I tried to post, I’ve just been feeling a bit blegh in myself and have actively been staying off socials to avoid any negativity. I think the fires have to do with this and I think everyone here has been feeling a little blegh. But we are on the mend, Fire fighters honestly are incredible workers.

I went to Europe in November to experience their winter (incredible) so keep an eye out for that post! This was a short post just to say I hope everyone had a great Christmas and New year.

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Image: Smoke barreling towards the ocean. Taken by Me

What’s up with me

Hi guys,

I hope everyone has been well. I haven’t posted in ages and the only real excuse I have is that life just gets busy. During winter I was spending a lot of my weekends skiing and when I wasn’t skiing I was helping around the house to help my parents out. I’ve also been working on my own self care as I resigned from my second job two weeks ago and have decided to spend my now abundance of spare time doing things that make me genuinely happy. Things like watching netflix shows, playing with my dogs, going to the gym and reading, just to name a few.

One of the main reasons I’ve decided that I need to practice self care more is that I was recently diagnosed with Scoliosis Kyphosis. For those who don’t want to read the link, its a spinal curve both as a sideways ‘S’ shape and a forward spinal curve. A couple of my vertebrae essentially didn’t form properly, leading to these curves. It’s something that while it has definitely taken a toll on my self confidence, its not that major. The one relief I got out of the whole process was that there was a reason behind my chronic back pain.

Scoliosis is something that is generally spotted at an early age (pre-teen) but was missed with me. I had a specialist tell me that it was missed purely because I have managed to grow a centred torso, whereas a lot of patients will be slightly off to one side. In the words of the surprisingly blunt specialist “You’re quite centred, so I can understand why this has only been spotted at 22, others are quite unaesthetic”.

Those who are diagnosed at a young age can generally stop it from getting any worse, if you’re an adult though its a bit trickier and I was pretty much told that ‘it cant be fully straightened, but it can be prevented from getting any worse’ (yay me!).

I am in no means trying to organise a pity party for myself. I personally believe that admitting your challenges and discussing them with others is a pillar of self care. This is the card I have been dealt and that’s okay. I did a face mask and watched a rom-com, now I’m ready to face this challenge and move on. How are you practicing self care and what does it mean to you?

I’m off to the THIS THAT festival this weekend, hopefully have some nice pics to share then, for the time being enjoy this photo of me before going to Yours & Owls the beginning of October xx

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Tinder aint so bad….

I often get people ask me how me and my boyfriend met, and they are often shocked when the answer isn’t ‘tinder’ or ‘bumble’.

In regards to dating and such I have never been one to hop on the online dating/ hook up apps. I was single for two years before I met my boyfriend and I only downloaded tinder on a drunken night out in attempts to match with a guy I thought was attractive and pretty much never touched it again.

I think I tried it once more after I was more curious as to how it worked, although without realising how much of a commitment tinder is and I didn’t reply to someone for a week and consequently was left on seen. However, this post isn’t about demeaning the use of tinder and how it’s ‘just a hook up app’. I want to stress that I know many people that have found a happy and healthy relationship through tinder and apps alike.

I think my only issue with Tinder is that it’s become something that many use for when they’re feeling lonely. I know a few people who literally only use tinder for hook ups and it would shock you to find out then when it was created, enhancing hook up culture wasn’t it’s intention. According to psychology today , Tinder’s main function was to make dating easier, but in a study conducted by Leah LeFebvre, 51.5 per cent believe it’s just a hook up app (stop thinking with your genitalia everyone x). Many also use it as a means of meeting people when lonely, you may not necessarily like the person you match with and talk to but the kind comments like ‘you’re very attractive’ and a heart eyes emoji from a stranger turns off the lonely switch somehow.

Gone are the days where you organise a spontaneous lunch trip with your friend when you’re feeling a little down. We don’t walk our dogs if we’re feeling lonely, we don’t go to the pub to meet friends with an hours notice. No, when we’re feeling lonely we hop on an app and talk to strangers to feel desired.

When in the ‘just dating’ phase of my current relationship, I was genuinely so upset when I found out that he had Tinder. I was gutted in that I thought he wasn’t feeling the same way about me and that I should just leave now. I raised it with him later and he said that he doesn’t use it anymore he just has the app, he even went as far as to let me look at who he’s messaged and all that but I didn’t take the offer because I trusted what he was saying.

This whole ordeal genuinely makes me so ashamed of myself that I was upset he had the app and I should have just shrugged it off. Tinder and apps alike has essentially made it easier for people to meet, it’s gotten rid of that awkward middle ground for a LOT of people.

Picture this, you’re at the local ‘Saturday night’ bar/hotel, you see someone you find attractive, you haven’t had enough alcohol to approach them yet, you instead wait for them to approach you. This goes on for an hour, you hit the dance floor just hoping they’ll try and dance with you, someone else does but they aren’t your type.

In the end, you go home disappointed that you didn’t work up the courage to ask them out. You hop on your phone to find tinder alerting you of new matches, and LO AND BEHOLD….. Hot stranger has super liked you.

Of course I am not a tinder extraordinaire and this is all hypothetical, and I have only known this to happen like three times, but you get my point.

So, Tinder, I welcome you to match my friends with strangers.

 

 

What I learned about travelling with my best friend

Recently I’ve been in a big mood of reflection, how did I get to where I am and whether I’m happy with the decisions I made to get to where I am. One big turning point in my life was when I decided to go on an overseas trip with my best friend (at the time). I think doing something like that is a huge commitment and also a huge trust exercise.

The whole trip was incredible and I loved every second, even the not so great moments were memorable. I did two tours, both with contiki (incredible). The main thing that I loved about travelling with Contiki was the other travellers I met along the way. At the end of a Contiki tour and I imagine the end of a TopDeck tour as well, they get you to fill out a survey of how you liked your trip and what was your favourite part and each tour I ticked ‘Other travellers’ as one of my highlights.

I met so many incredible people who I will never forget, all for different reasons.

Now, back to the point;

I travelled Europe with my best friend and when you commit to something like that with someone you connect so great with (but not in a romantic way) its a big deal. You book it with the knowledge you’ll probably argue and you try and decipher what would be the best way to conquer it. We decided that just giving each other space until we were over what we were angry about would be the best move however that wasn’t always the case.

Travelling with my best friend taught me that you may not be as similar as you thought you were. This of course isn’t a problem at all however spending so much time together it can be hard because you aren’t always on the same page.

Travelling with your best friend essentially translates to ‘travelling with your non-romantic partner’ you fight like a couple, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you make up as quickly as a couple. I am quite stubborn, and when I ‘know’ I’m right I won’t necessarily take into consideration what the opposing position has to say. Of course, my best friend knew this trait of mine.

At points of the trip, probably the hardest points for me, we would disagree on things and I could literally see how much this girl was growing to hate me. I’m not sure if I could’ve done one thing different to stop this from happening or what but honestly it was wrenching knowing that someone so important to you was developing such a strong dislike for you that there really was no reversing it.

It’s been nearly two years since this trip and the last time I spoke to this girl wasn’t last Christmas, but the Christmas before, and it wasn’t pleasant. I often think about how our friendship ended on many unanswered questions and how it ended on bad blood and essentially a divided friendship group. I don’t regret not being friends with this girl, but I regret how so many people managed to get involved and left many people not speaking.

Knowing this girl, it’s typical of her to want to make our break of friendship as public as possible. Her close friends don’t like me (which is fine) but what’s not fine is that their reason for not liking me is based on my ex best friend’s opinion of me. I know I can’t please everyone but not liking someone based on someone else’s opinion is absolute rubbish.

What I learnt most from travelling with my best friend is that I didn’t know what this girl REALLY was like at all. If you are planning on taking a trip with your bestie, please either think of a good way to overcome any differences that isn’t just leaving each other alone for a bit (C O M M U N I C A T I O N!!!) and simply think whether you can do it without wanting to rip each other’s heads off (to put it lightly).

I hope this post gives people a bit of help and guidance in whether or not travelling with their best friend would suit your personalities and whether you should do it in general. I know I looked at posts about travelling with your best friend before I went and I wish I had listened to them so if you read this and ignore it anyway, I know how you feel!

Hope everyone has a lovely day and safe travels xx

KathrynIMG_1614

(Mykonos, 2017)

Update on Me and Uni

Hello everyone!

This blog began when I started university and I needed to blog as it was a part of the curriculum. Now, 3 years on and I graduated officially last Tuesday! I graduated with a Bachelor of Communications & Media Studies with a major in Marketing & Advertising (what a mouthful!).

I’m the youngest in the family (Not technically as I have a twin sister and she was born after me, but we both share the role of being the youngest), I am however the first amongst my cousins and siblings to graduate from University. As you can imagine, my parents were very proud of me. It’s been a very big week for me, my twin came down to watch me graduate and so did my big sister. My twin is definitely one of the biggest supports in my life and has always backed my decisions no matter how ridiculous or huge.

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My boyfriend Mitch of course has been an absolute angel the whole time we’ve been together and I’ve been at uni. We met midway through my second year (also his second year) and we of course have both tried to help each other through the back end of our degrees.

He was able to help me more only because he did a Bachelor of Business with majors in International Business and Accounting and while I could help with his International Business subjects, I wasn’t much help in his accounting ones because I really just suck at maths. My way of helping was mainly just making him tea while he did assignments and doing his referencing, whereas he proofread the majority of my essays and research projects.

Anyway! I thought I would talk about where I am at now, as more of an update from my first ever post introducing myself.

When I started Uni at the University of Wollongong I had my heart broken maybe a month before. My first boyfriend had dumped me and I was at a complete loss of what to do with myself. I remember trying to focus on work and picking up any and every shift I could just to keep my mind off him. Looking back now, while we have no bad blood and I am in no means trying to paint a bad picture, he didn’t treat me well. We were very young and looking back now I genuinely think he only wanted to date me so that he get past and have that first relationship. I was willing to move mountains for him when he really wouldn’t move his car for me if I asked.

I started at Wollongong Uni looking for a clean slate, no one knew how much I was hurting and I was able to paint myself the way I wanted people to see me. I fell for UOW pretty quick, even when I hated my time studying at uni, I loved every second.

In my mid year break in my second year I went on a europe trip with my best friend. I love travelling and loved that trip as I met so many fantastic people, a lot of who I still talk to (not the previously mentioned best friend though). I came home and a week later I went to my (ex) best friend’s boyfriend’s 21st, where I met my now boyfriend.

I would like to say that it is an absolute breath of fresh air being with someone who would do anything to keep a smile on your face. I felt more wanted in the space of 2 months than I did in the year I was with my ex.

I think what I’ve learned in my time at uni is to never doubt my worth, both in work and relationships. I wish I had learned this ages ago as I wouldn’t have been with my ex for so long. At least it didn’t take me very long to get over!

Focus on self improvement and self betterment than trying to boost someone else’s confidence.

 

 

Splendour in the Grass

Hello everyone!

What a glorious Wednesday it has already been! I got to work this morning and I already was waiting in the greenroom on Moshtix (ticketing website if you don’t know what it is) waiting to buy Splendour in the Grass tickets.

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I try every year to get tickets to this event and something always seems to get in the way. Last year it was just sheer panic as I had the tickets but my hesitation led to Moshtix giving them to someone else. The year before I was going to be in Greece and the year before THAT I didn’t have anyone to go with. But THIS YEAR was my year!! The splendy gods were looking down on my boyfriend, his sister and I today and we managed to score ourselves tickets to the “Australian Coachella”.

I think one thing that you need to remember when buying festival tickets is to not panic, I’m a definite worrier at best and let my nerves get the best of me. If you remain cool, calm and collected those tickets are as good as yours.

I’m already freaking out about what I want to wear and how I’m going to maintain my skincare regime while I’m camping (I use to do Scouts so I’m not afraid of camping, just don’t want my acne to creep up). But I am SO EXCITED to just experience the whole festival FINALLY. I won’t lie to you though, tickets were a lil pricey and I’m going to Europe in November so no one ask me to do anything because ya girl is saving (again).

I’m excited to finally see Childish Gambino (If he plays, After his disappearing act at Spilt Milk last year I’m a lil nervy). I’m also excited to visit Byron Bay as I’ve never been before. I’m thinking we’ll drive to Byron a couple of days before just so we can have a little explore. Also, when the festival finishes we have to get up super early to drive home straight away as they both have to drive to Jindabyne to go skiing for a week (which i am also very excited for).

Needless to say, with skiing and Splendour, this winter isn’t going to be a boring one! What are you excited for this winter?

 

Kathryn xx

My (very minor) existential crisis

Hi Everyone,

Recently I received feedback from an interview that I had had for a media assistant position and although I had applied for it a while ago and I had gotten another job offer, I still went for the interview. The two girls that interviewed me were lovely, I was late due to train issues and that I was going into the heart of Sydney straight from where I work (about an hour away) but they were fine with it. I think because of my train mishap I was already quite flustered and stressed when I entered the interview.

Anyway, I wont bore you with the details. The interview ended and they told me that they would let me know on Friday if I got the job, they did however mention that they had an important lunch on Friday too so I wasn’t sure it was definitely going to be Friday. I sent a follow up email (employers love this, it shows determination) and part of me knew that I hadn’t gotten the job, which is fine. In my follow up email I asked for feedback, which I believe is important because you can sit through a thousand interviews and get rejected a thousand times but if you don’t ask for feedback, when are you going to get the offer?

Her response hit me a lot harder than I thought it was if I’m honest. She was very lovely!! But she did say I lacked confidence and that it was something that needed to be worked on if I was to thrive in the industry (marketing). I’m honestly quite an outspoken person and am not shy when it comes to making friends but boy does that change in a work environment.

When I first start at any job, I am nauseatingly shy. It takes me about 3 weeks to a month to warm up to everyone and honestly the change is generally overnight. One day I’ll be silent and focused on working and the next I’ll be chatting to everyone, engaging in some banter and looking very comfortable (Pretty bloody different hey!).

I’m trying to figure out how I can combat this social anxiety, I know it has to do with confidence and I often watch others and see how confident they are in their jobs and how they carry themselves. I’ve recently been trying the whole ‘Fake it ’til you make it’ tactic in that I just pretend to be confident in what I’m saying and I’m hoping that I’ll just get to the point that I won’t be pretending anymore.

My boyfriend tells me that I need to pretend I have the same amount of confidence as him (easier said than done as he is very confident). But I’ve decided that I need to believe in my ability more, as if I don’t believe in my ability to do a job than why would anyone else?

Sorry for the weird existential crisis post but I think this post was very much something I needed to get off my chest.

Hope everyone has a happy day xx

Kathryn

PS. If you interview for a job ALWAYS send a follow up email! They love it and it puts you that little bit ahead as it shows how keen you are xx

My thoughts on working after high school & Camp America

Hi everyone! I hope we are well.

I’m just gonna dive right in here. I wanted to begin by saying that I have been reading a lot of camp america blogs recently and one thing that is noticeable in all blogs is that none of them are negative (except one that a girl had to fly back home sick). I also realised that these people who have written these blogs are between the ages of 18-22.

Working on these summer camps is something that I’ve honestly always wanted to do since I learned about it. I didn’t apply when I finished high school because I’d just gotten into my first ‘serious’ relationship and I had been accepted into university and was too scared to defer. This is mainly because my big sister dropped out of uni and if I did defer I think my parents would be terrified that I would never go back (4 years later I’m now a graduate yeehaw).

In conjunction with this, one thing that I’ll never understand is why teachers and parents put so much stress on students to go to university straight after high school.

Being one of those kids who did exactly what was expected of her and went to university directly after high school and who now has completed 17 years of schooling, but no life experience. I had to go vote the other day in the State election and despite all my years in education, I realised I was never taught how to vote. I find it outstanding that there are students who are fresh out of school ready to work overseas for 3 months. It shows confidence, determination and motivation. I just wish that I did it too.

It’s so important to figure out what you want in your own time. Don’t let the thoughts and beliefs of others impact how you want to feel and act. Students who take their time in discovering their passion are honestly students that I look up to. Whether it was a gap year you took after high school or in the middle of your degree, good for you! If you’re thinking about doing either of those options, good for you! If you’re like me and decided to finish your degree and have a cheeky 6 week overseas trip in the break, GOOD. FOR. YOU.

The one year I regret is the year I spent after high school at a university I didn’t want to go to in the first place in a relationship that made me unhappy. I’m just thankful that I’m in a really good place right now and I’m essentially just having FOMO of people who are going to work on the camps this summer.

Essentially, I think what i’m trying to say is live YOUR  best life. Not your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner/parents/friends best life, just yours.

That’s all for today! Hope I didn’t bore everyone, here’s a photo that I took of the Tasmanian coastline just to finish on a nice note.

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Kathryn xx

P.S. On reflection the only reason I didn’t do Camp America is because of my relationship I had just gotten into and of course, you always fall so flipping hard for your first love which is honestly a rip, first boyfriends suck.

 

Belated International Womens Day

So, International Women’s Day was last Friday and the reason I hadn’t acknowledged it was because it was also my birthday so I had the obligatory birthday celebrations to take part in. For my birthday I ended up going to a concert at Taronga Zoo which was nothing short of amazing. I don’t know what it is about being able to listen to some live music, whilst sitting on a picnic blanket with your closest friends, drinking wine and eating cheese but it was a great way to spend my birthday.

It was also hard for me, because I’m a twin and it was my first birthday not spent with my sister. I told my boyfriend I didn’t want happy birthday sung to me because it felt wrong not having my sister there with me, of which he complied and instead got me to sing ’22’ by Taylor Swift at karaoke following the concert.

Anyway, enough of my birthday, lets talk about women’s day!

All day on the Friday I really wanted to write a post in tribute to my sister, as she inspires me to be the best that I can be, so here it is.

Having a twin is hands down the best thing ever as you’re essentially handed a best friend for life. Sure, when you’re growing up you say that someone else is your best friend but you both know it’s each other.

She has consistently taught me to be more caring towards others and to fight for what I believe in. She always stood up for me and continues to do so and she carries herself in a way that only she knows how. She makes me want to be a better person for her and always knows how to pick me up when I’m down. She’ll do anything for the people she loves, including move hours away with her fiancee meaning she was moving away from her friends and family. My sister motivates, she doesn’t put other girls down.

For my belated International Women’s Day I want to be more like my twin sister and hope that I can have as big a heart as she does.

Born together, best friends forever.

Who’s your role model?

Kathryn xx