Friday, 5 April 2019

FIVE FINANCIAL IMPROVEMENTS I MADE WHEN I MOVED IN LONDON

There will always be a correlation between how you feel and how you spend your money. To prove a point, try to remember if you've done food shopping when you were hungry compared to when you were full. Or you'll probably notice your desire to curb your overspending appetite is nearly impossible when you're stressed or depressed. I was a totally different person when I first came in London. Not that there's a wrong or correct version of me but I really appreciate how I changed through the years. This holds true even on my financial affairs.


1. I simplified almost every aspect of my life. 
Living in Europe, I'd say, is very different from what I've grown accustomed to during my teenage years. A couple of years ago, I've stumbled upon a documentary called Minimalism and it was a breath of fresh air. It's comforting to know that I am normal into thinking that so much unnecessary stuff does not guarantee happiness. I slowly adapt into a concept of a capsule wardrobe and using high quality but minimal stuff. I still shop but instead of doing it every week, I do it each season. I don't impose it strictly on myself, I still have some lapses but overall, my decreased inclination to shop mindlessly allowed me to save and spend the money on things other than fleeting trends (or worse, just an impulse desire to tame my boredom).


2. I made it a mission to take good care of my health and therefore reducing medical related costs.
I won't lie, my primary goal is to lose weight. Yet, as I peel out layers upon layers of facts around how our body works, what fuels it and how to love it the best way possible, I am all the more convinced that this body we carry every single day deserves care and attention. This warrants another blog post but as a gist, I try to eat healthy and exercise. I also make a conscious decision not to stress over the littlest of things and to get proper sleep and not to use my time on social media or watching films when my body can benefit from a good rest. Sometimes it's easier said than done but hey, all these things paid off because I don't have any health concerns at all. I took a health screening test (we call it MOT here) and I'm pleased to report that the results are very good. The report even says my body age is 29 - I'll take that, ha!

3. I dipped my toes into property development and stock market investment (NYSE and LSE in particular). Not to be confused with my other POST when I said I liquidated my stock market investment back home, this one is a stock market investment into NYSE and LSE. It's not a massive amount but I'm happy I made the proverbial leap. Property development investments abound in London but as always, please research, ask questions and do what you need to do because it's your future and money. Remember, if it's too good to be true, it's probably not true.

4. I do online grocery shopping. I wasn't a believer of online shopping before. Generally, I love doing food shopping as a stress reliever and a way to pass time. However, I realised quickly enough that time is a constraint. And I noticed that if there are ingredients in the fridge, I'm likely to cook homemade food. My favourites (not sponsored as usual) are OCADO and SIMPLY COOK. Ocado gives you the flexibility of having a one stop shop. I like my meat and veggies to come from Waitrose but there are other stuff from other shops that they don't normally stock. They also get delivered to my door so it's a win. Simply cook is a recipe-but-spices-only subscription (you can, however, choose how frequent you want to get yours). It just gives me new inspiration on what to cook next plus I like the fact that I can choose my meat and veggies and not rely on them. These two, combined, massively cut down our take-away tab.

5. I make homemade coffees on a typical day. Before, I was a hard core Pret a Manger fan. I drink their coffee almost every single day so you can imagine my horror when one time I added all my Pret expenses from last year. It was crazy! However, the addiction didn't stop when I looked at the grand total, instead, I justified myself with the usual, I work hard so I deserve it. The shift came later down the line when I discovered Innocent Hazelnut milk. Oh-la-la, this is life changing! I don't drink cow's milk anymore and non-dairy milks taste awful on my coffee (when I make it). Miraculously, Innocent hazelnut milk is different. It's creamy and combined with Grumpy Mule's Sumatra ground coffee (brewed using a Moka pot), it's heaven in every cup! -CMK 



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