How a morning routine is helping me.

I remember listening to a talk about waking up early and having a routine. My reaction to early mornings was pretty much summed up by this emoji 😱. However, although I am still not exactly a super happy early riser I do like the concept of having a morning routine to follow and since the end of Summer, I have been doing my best to implement one. And of course it helps to have children who need to get up and go to school. So far this is what it looks like:

Wake up about 6.30am
Get dressed into work out clothes.
Wake up kids.
Use bathroom.
Put on exercise routine - I go on YouTube and use one of these Walk a mile videos that average only about 15 minutes. Its easy to do and quite fun. 2-3 minutes of weights. Followed with about 10 minutes of stretching and Yoga exercises. This appeals to my frugal nature as it costs me far less than paying for a class and

Make sure kids eat and send them off to school.
Check the meal planner and make a shopping list.
Shower and change into day clothes.

5-2 diet, well if its good enough for TV then....

The BBC iplayer has been showing old episodes of Horizon and I watched the one on fasting presented by the very amiable Michael Moseley. This is of course where the 5-2 diet first became infamous. I was impressed with the effect the diet has on things like diabetes, blood pressure and of course weight so have decided to give it go. Apparently fasting is also good for the brain cells which is even better as I feel like I have been suffering with 'foggy brain' recently.
I also like the simplicity of the diet, basically for two days of the week with at least a day in between, you fast and only eat 500 calories for a woman or 600 for a man, if you are hardcore you can eat nothing at all. You can drink as much zero calorie drinks as you like so lots of water and herbal tea for me. The other five days there are no restrictions, I just eat normally, I do not attempt to diet on those days but at the same time I don't eat six eclairs, one is just fine or two! I started at the begin…

Autumn is here. Let the leaves fall from my eyes.

I haven't posted on this thread for quite a while and I have no reason to justify this, I guess I just kept procrastinating until I simply forgot about it. I would like to say that I have used the last year well and achieved a lot but I think it has been a bit of a write off and I achieved little that could be called productive. Instead I fell into a bit of a limbo feeling sad about the state of the world and a little lost about what to do with myself. I wouldn't say I was depressed, more just a complete loss of focus so I threw myself into concentrating on the lives of my family and friends. I peaked in the summer and perhaps the heat wave we 'enjoyed' finally sweat out this apathy with my own life as with the return of grey clouds and a chill in the air I am beginning to feel myself again.

With regards to frugality, I am still plugging away at it and to rejuvenate my commitment, I am returning to the basics: turn off lights and plugs when not in use; put on a cardiga…

The joy of passive income on the road to FI

For the last two years I have been very interested in the whole Financial independence and extreme early retirement movement. With a mixture of frugality, minimalism and income generation, I hope to be able to generate enough to passive income for myself and my other half to no longer have to worry about working for money in the traditional sense. Instead we would have more time to explore other interests, hobbies and skills, and discover what is important to us! Of course we may find that we hate having more time with each other and have nothing interesting to fill it with and instead should return to a more 'normal lifestyle'. But if we don't try we won't know and I really think it is something worth aiming for! 
I have been saving into an ISA stocks and shares account for many years but have never really tracked how much income it produces. I think partly this is because it has largely been reinvested so I never really noticed it. However, as I have been tracking all…

What do you do with a problem like Merlin?

I have a cat who I've had now for about 3 years, my children love him, I love him and my husband despite loving cats only puts up with him. He isn't a very nice cat. He doesn't like sitting on laps or being picked up. In fact most of the time I wonder why we keep him. If he was a friend I would stop replying to his texts and ignore his posts. But he isn't, he's a white and ginger ball of fur who often wears a face that is either plain stupid or is in a constant state of disbelief that we are crazy enough to put up with his shenanigans - its hard to be sure which it is. He is incredibly fussy about his food and I have wasted tonnes of money pandering to his tastes which are of course expensive so he certainly does not do thrifty. What do you with a problem like Merlin? Nothing as when his highness does come close for a tickle and a lick, all is forgiven. I am pathetic and he knows it! Damn cat!

A midlife rethink - will less mean more

I guess its a bit of a cliche that you hit midlife and start reevaluating your life. I am sitting here by my dining table surrounded by lots and lots of clutter that over the years I have accumulated. Although I am not unhappy with life, I also don't think I am particularly happy with it. I am basically in a rut. Since the start of 2016 I have embarked on a mission to become more frugal and make money online with some modest success. However, I still feel slightly adrift and know that I need to reset or recharge my inner self. I recently watched a documentary about minimalism and I believe there is something of value in what they were saying. The mountains of stuff that sits on tables, in drawers and wardrobes is mind boggling but also feels like a burden. Most of it doesn't particularly bring any joy or even utility into my life, and maybe it is time to get rid of all this stuff and lead a simpler life. I don't think I am ready to only own enough possessions to fit into t…

Progress so far

My transition towards a more frugal life is going well and so far much easier than I thought it would be. Sky TV has now gone and we are enjoying a free trial of Netflix and using our Amazon Prime membership more than we did before. So far the withdrawal symptoms are manageable especially for me as I am a bit of a podcast addict which doesn't cost me a thing. However, the new and final series of Game of Thrones is yet to be aired and that may prove to be much more painful for the household!

I now cook most of my meals from scratch. I already cooked probably about 65% but now its up to about 90%. This means no more weekly take out meals which is a saving about £50 a week. Added to this I have been reading a lot about sugar and decided that as a family we really need to cut back on it, realistically this means buying no biscuits or other snacks as frankly if its in the cupboard we will eat it! Doesn't save us much money but our health will thank us. There will still be ice cream…