How I Reduced Clutter by Switching to Paperless Bills

I hate having paper bills pile up. They take up space and if you want to throw them out you have to shred them first for security reasons. The shredding part I’m always lazy to do so the bills just pile up as a result.

Pile of bills

So sometime last year I noticed that more service providers were offering email bills, so I decided to look into it and make the switch.

I have setup the following bills to be sent to me via email rather than post.

  • Electricity
  • Internet/phone
  • Water
  • Car (roadside assistance)

Unfortunately all the service providers allow only one email address for the bill to be sent to and no alternative address. Therefore, to get around this I setup forwarding rules in my email so that whenever I receive a bill it gets forwarded to my husbands email as well. At least this way we both get a copy.

I have a few bills that are direct debits so I don’t get monthly bills for those. The amounts for these bills remain constant so I don’t mind them being direct debits. The above bills however vary so I like to know the amount owing before I pay.

It’s not only bills though…this also applies to bank, insurance and superannuation statements. I have all of them setup to be emailed to me rather than posted.

The only bills that I still receive by post are for:

  • Council rates
  • Annual car registration

Once these providers offer paperless bills I will definitely make the move.

Switching to paperless bills and statements has been very effective for me. It’s reduced clutter, reduced the need to shred sensitive documents and to top it off its eco-friendly! It’s always feels good to help out the environment in some way.

Have you gone paperless with your bills and statements?

Image: (Woman’s Day Magazine)

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It’s the simple things that lead to happiness

"The most simple things can bring the most happiness" - Izabella Scorupco

“The most simple things can bring the most happiness” – Izabella Scorupco

I saw this quote on Twitter the other day and it really rang true for me. That made me wonder what simple things make me happy.

Having a Clean House

When I have a clean house I’m usually in a happy mood. My mind isn’t racing a million miles an hour thinking about what chore needs to be done around the house.

Waking up Early in the Morning

I wrote about this recently and waking up a little earlier every morning has brought upon several positives in my life such as less stress and more time.

Blogging

My motivation goes up and down in regards to blogging however I have been blogging more regularly the last few months and it seems to lift my mood every time. I enjoy documenting what’s happening in my life, sharing things I have learnt and I also love it when people like and comment on my posts. It’s a great feeling to know that people have taken the time to read and acknowledge what I write.

 

What are the simple things in your life that always lift your mood?

How waking up earlier has made me happier

happy

I love my sleep and for most of this year I have been struggling to wake up at a more suitable time in the morning. Pregnancy has brought upon a fair bit of fatigue, I remember my first trimester being particularly tiring in the mornings.

I needed to make a change, so a few weeks ago I decided to start getting up early. When I say early I don’t mean 5am, I’m talking more like 7am 🙂 However when the baby arrives I’m sure this will change completely!

My mornings are always a rush, I honestly don’t know where the time goes. Hence, to make things easier I have started to prepare my breakfast and iron my clothes the night before. These two changes have really helped to speed things up.

It’s been over two weeks now and as a result of waking up a little earlier and being more prepared in the mornings, I’m actually feeling a lot happier. And I think there are several reasons for this.

Arriving at Work on Time

I am getting to work at a more respectable time now. This gives me more time to settle in the morning and most importantly more time to get my work done which means less stress.

Feeling More Organised

I feel more organised because I’m making the effort to prepare the night before.

Getting Home Earlier

As a result of getting to work on time, I can also leave work on time without having to stay back.

The Week Slows Down

It feels like the week doesn’t rush by like it usually does and I guess it’s because I have more time. Some people might see this as a negative but I’m definitely seeing it as a positive as I like things moving a little slower.

I have to credit my husband for giving me the push I needed to get started on this. It really does help when you have someone supporting you to achieve your goals.

I’m really happy that this routine change has brought upon so many positives, I really wasn’t expecting it to. What small changes have you made in your life that has brought you happiness?

Image: (huffingtonpost.co.uk)

4 Simple Eco-Friendly Things I do

Here are a few things I do to help the environment. None of these things took much effort, it was all a matter of changing a few of my habits. I like to think it makes some difference to this planet, I figure something is better than nothing.

Tea Towels

When I am in the kitchen I always use a reusable cloth tea towel to wipe utensils and most importantly my hands. Previously I would always grab a tissue to wipe my hands or sometimes I would use paper towels to wipe utensils. Since I changed this tiny habit I have found that I go through a lot less tissue boxes and paper towels than I did before. This most definitely reduces waste and also lowers the grocery bill a little too.

Plates

This ties in with paper towel usage. Previously if I was grabbing a snack or just having a piece of toast for breakfast I would just grab a paper towel instead of a plate. No more! Again I found that changing this tiny habit has reduced our usage of paper towels and hence reduced waste.

Recycle

I have recycled for many years but now I am even more conscious of it. I always check the label on the back of a product to see if it can be recycled. Some packages don’t tell you but things like glass jars, bottles and aluminium cans can always be recycled. Previously I would throw out aluminium cans but now I rinse them out with water and recycle.

Plastic Bags

I reuse plastic bags that I get from the supermarket to line one of my garbage bins at home. Plastic bags are bad in general and I am working on trying to bring less of them into the house. However this is one small thing I do to reuse them. I figure it’s better than nothing.

I have noticed that some supermarkets offer a recycling bin for plastic bags. I have only seen them in Coles supermarkets so far. I collect all my plastic bags and once I have a reasonable amount, I drop them off in the recycling bin. This is especially good for bags which I can’t reuse because they have holes in them.

I read this book back in February which has loads of tips on how to reduce waste in your home. It’s not very long and it’s also easy to read. I was lucky enough to get the Kindle version for free from Amazon at the time.

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The Zero Waste Home: 101 Ways To Reduce Waste & Save Money In Your Home by Kate Anderson

Have you made any changes in your routine which has helped you be more eco-friendly?

Image: (GoodReads)

For the Love of Movies

Movies

I love watching movies, however for the majority of this year I just haven’t found the time to watch as many as I would have liked to. Last year I managed to watch several movies. My commute to work everyday was about one hour on the train, so watching movies and TV shows on my tablet during the commute was a nice way to pass the time. I kept a list of every movie I watched too, just for fun. Here it is:

Movies Watched in 2014

  1. Oceans 11
  2. The Dark Knight
  3. X-Men: First Class
  4. X-Men: Days of Future Past
  5. Confessions of a Shopoholic
  6. Star Trek (2009)
  7. Star Trek into Darkness
  8. Edge of Tomorrow
  9. He’s Just Not That Into You
  10. Knocked Up
  11. Transformers: Age of Extinction
  12. Up in the Air
  13. Silver Linings Playbook
  14. The Heat
  15. Lance Armstrong – Stop at Nothing (documentary)
  16. Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
  17. Bridesmaids
  18. Easy A
  19. Pacific Rim
  20. Divergent
  21. Begin Again
  22. Marley & Me
  23. Guardians of the Galaxy
  24. Boyhood

I managed to watch quite a few films in 2014. Looking at this list, I would say I enjoyed the majority of these films. The only disappointing film for me was Boyhood. I really didn’t understand the hype around this movie. The film took 12 years to make, they filmed every year with the same actor playing the role of the young boy from when he was 6 years old till about 18 or so. There was plenty of hype about this, however most of the actors were the same, including the actress who played the young girl. But generally speaking the movie was very blah for me, it was nominated for several awards however I just didn’t understand why it was popular.

Coming back to this year, well I moved towards the end of last year so it now takes me about 30 minutes to commute to work. My journey is also broken up into two parts, so there is just no time to watch anything. Hence my movie list for this year has been considerably shorter. Don’t get me wrong though, I love the shorter commute to work 🙂 Anyways here’s the list for 2015.

Movies Watched in 2015

  1. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
  2. Interstellar
  3. Mocking Jay
  4. Mad Max – Fury Road
  5. Captain America – The First Avenger
  6. Captain America – The Winter Soldier
  7. I am Legend
  8. Ant Man
  9. Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation
  10. The Avengers – Age of Ultron
  11. The Martian

Looking at this list, I loved all of these films except for Mission Impossible – Rogue Nation and I am Legend. Mission Impossible wasn’t terribly bad, it just didn’t have a good story line. The previous Mission Impossible film – Ghost Protocol was so much better. I am Legend was just OK for me, the story wasn’t thrilling and the ending was a bit sad too. I definitely didn’t love this movie.

What movies have you enjoyed watching this year?

(Image: Offer Pop)

What’s on TV?

The Ashes Cricket TrophyThe 4th test in the 2015 Ashes series started tonight and here I was hoping that Australia would get off to a good start, win this test and then level the series 2-2. Cmon Aussies!

But that wasn’t to be 😦 Australia all out in their first innings for just 60 runs. Unbelievable! I couldn’t believe what was happening before my eyes!

I love the cricket, I have been watching it since childhood. I love test match cricket too, especially when Australia is playing. They say test match cricket is dead, not to me! It’s a great atmosphere and Australians are really passionate about their cricket. The test matches hosted here in Australia during the summer are usually sold out in some states so test match cricket is definitely not dead!

In other TV, the latest season of Project Runway (US version) is about to start airing as well. I love this show and have watched all seasons to date, including the All Stars seasons and a few other spin offs. I would definitely classify myself as a die hard fan. Looking forward to this season and I’m sure it will be as fantastic as the others. My favourite designer last season was Amanda Valentine, she was so nice and super talented!

To be honest I hardly watch TV these days. But I do manage to watch a few sporting events and shows that I love like Project Runway, True Detective and any type of lifestyle property show.

What are you watching on TV these days?

(Image: The Guardian)

First Blog Post

So here is the first blog post.

Here I will be sharing my random thoughts on a variety of topics, such as personal finance, fashion, television and travel to name a few. As in life we learn and experience many things, hence the title of the blog. Along the way I hope to improve my writing skills too.

I tried doing this blog thing a while back but it didn’t stick. I forgot about it and it didn’t go anywhere. Hoping this time it does stick and I actually post on a regular basis.

Let the journey begin!