Ballin’ On A Budget

As you soon begin to realize that money does not simply grow on trees, you will also realize that you have less money to spend on things you enjoy. For me, my joy is coloring books, candles, clothes, shoes, food and accessories.

All these things can be found at just about any retail chain, however, it all depends on whether the price is right.

I have to ball out on a budget, sort of speak, as I am in college and have obligatory payments that I must make.

I try to make purchases that are:

  1. Reasonably Priced – Who knows how much money you have on you, or whether you are just trying to spend your last paycheck. Make sure that the price is right on what you are buying. Take into consideration the pros and cons of making your purchase. Try shopping at places, such as Amazon, Safeway, King Soopers, Walmart, Walgreens, H&M, Urban Outfitters, Ragstock, PacSun, Forever 21, Crossroads Trading Company, Buffalo Exchange, and/or any “buy, sell, and trade” store. If you are feeling conflicted on whether or not to purchase the item, see how much you truly want it and come back later. Chances are you can find better deals online or in-store, if you look hard enough.
  2. Quality Over Quantity – Check to see the condition of the quality of the product. In this case, less is more. This may not be the case for food, however, the quality of your food, aka what you put into your body, is important. In regards to clothing, accessories, and shoes, quality is of utmost importance. You would rather have an item that is made well and will last a lifetime, over clothes that will fall apart on you quickly. Investments in essentials, such as jeans, pants, and basics, are things that directy correlate with the idea behind quality over quantity. Art supplies are best bought in quality if you are pursuing an art career or are truly passionate about the activity.
  3. Skip The Brand Names – In regards to everything I purchase, brand name does not matter to me, just as long as the quality is there. Food does not apply to this rule as buying brand name items from, Kroger, Safeway, and Walgreens make the purchase much cheaper. In terms of clothing, shoes, and accessories, it is the complete opposite. Brand name products, such as, Free People, Steve Madden, Gucci, Fendi, Yves Saint Laurent, Repossi, and Louis Vitton, to name a few, are not essential to your wardrobe. I find that consignment stores and “buy, sell, and trade” stores, such as Crossroads Trading Company, Buffalo Exchange and Plato’s Closet sell brand name items for much cheaper, at an affordable price to the public.
  4. Head Straight To The Sale Section – Ignore the full-priced items and aim to buy things from the sale section. If you look hard enough in the messy sale section of retail stores, such as PacSun, Urban Outfitters, H&M, Ragstock, Crossroads Trading Company, and even Free People you are always bound to find something that is below retail price and a good deal. Scanning the entirety of the sale section helps your wallet and your bank account. Waiting until things go onto sale is something that I do. Keep eyeing what you want, and hopefully, fingers crossed, the item will be set aside on the sale racks for you to buy discounted.
  5. Mall Employee Deals – Take advantage of any deals and discounts you may receive if you work at a mall or a shopping district. Always mention that you work around the area in case you are able to get a discount on regular priced items. Some malls offer amazing discounts, such as 10%-20% discounts on their merchandise. Always ask and mention that to any employee that you encounter in your shopping district.
  6. Patience – Being patient and looking carefully, all while comparing prices is vital. As mentioned above, weigh out the pros and the cons, and see whether or not this is an impulse buy or not. If the item you wish to buy is still there next time you return, then perhaps it’s fate that you should buy the item.
  7. Only Buy Full-Priced Items If You CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT OR ABSOLUTELY NEED IT – I apply this rule to most of my attire. I refuse to buy anything full price unless I cannot stop thinking about it or actually need the item. Most times, items will always be in stock, unless you wait a few months, especially in regards to retail. In regards to food, do the same. Try to find deals on food items that have a special deal, such as 2 for $7 on an item. Places like King Soopers, Walgreens, Walmart, Safeway, Trader Joes, etc. offer deals on regular priced items. Keep your eyes pealed. Additionally, if you feel as though you will absolutely eat the food, buy it. Make sure to be careful about buying items that you will not eat or use in the future.
  8. Keep Your Eyes Pealed For Additional Discounts & Random Sales – Many retail stores and grocery stores change up their sale and discounted food. Subscribing to online emails allows you to stay updated on current deals that are only for a limited time. Be sure to be aware of them! Shop carefully and smart.
  9. Decide How Much You Want To Spend Ahead Of Time – If you decide a number in your head of how much money you wish to spend a day, you will not only be budgeting, but saving money on the useless crap that fills up our closets, refrigerators, and houses. Shopping is not a sin, however, it is easy for one to get caught up on spending money. Just before you even realize it, all your money is gone. Pulling out a certain amount of cash assists me in budgeting, allowing me only to spend a certain amount of cash.
  10. Sign Up For Their Rewards Program – Sign up for reward programs with as many stores as possible, as you will gain points, while simultaneously spending less money, through the designated program. Most times after a certain amount of money spent at any place, you will receive rewards, discounts, or even gift cards, or free items. Not only are you helping yourself, but you feel less guilty spending money at the location.
  11. Make A List Of Things You Need – This helps, in the case of food, clothing, art supplies, etc. Deciding what you need or truly want is important, so you will not get sidetracked while you are there. All the distractions, especially at the cash register counter, are all items placed strategically so that the customer will spend more money. Go in knowing what you want and need, and always do not hesitate to ask for assistance. A list will allow you to also budget and will give you a general idea of how much money you will be spending. Though this is a little bit harder when it comes to clothing, shoes and accessory shopping, having a general idea of what you are willing to spend and what you are looking for is always key.
  12. Check Out More Than One Store – Look around and be patient with your shopping. Do not just limit yourself to one, single store. Shop around, find deals, compare prices, and find a store that will give you the biggest bang for your buck. I shop around at many retail outlets, being especially selective about prices and the quality of the product. The quality of the product and prices often differ from store-to-store, try to find a reasonably priced retail outlet to get the best deals. Similarly, when it comes to shopping for food, art supplies, interior decoration, school supplies, check out more than one store. All stores are competing with each other to achieve the lowest price for your best dollar. The choices are endless and chances are you will find a place that will satisfy your budget and your needs.
  13. Shop Online – Online stores usually have sales ongoing that most stores do not have. Similarly, the online shops may have more merchandise than that displayed in the stores. Additionally their sale sections are naturally much more organized, with a wider selection. Online sale sections for stores listed above are much more extensive, including more of a variety of the merchandise, than that in store.This list provides a set of rules that you can follow, especially when you are ballin’ on a budget. Save money for all the things you enjoy in life, while also budgeting, and deciphering the pros and cons of the purchase. Shopping smart and hard are always key! Keep your eyes on the prize and realize that deals are out there, as long as you look hard enough.


    xo,Aichan Tewahade

Things To Do When Bored

I get bored so, so easily and have had to come up with some things to when boredom hits me harder than the bricks on the Great Wall of China.

  1. Coloring – Coloring and anything related to art therapy helps soothe my anxiety and assists with stress management. I love coloring and have about nine different coloring books, which are also manufactured for those adults who are interested. They are sold everywhere from your local bookstore to 711. Barnes & Noble is also a great place to find a variety of them. Do not just limit yourself to just using colored pencils, try crayons and pastels as a fun new medium.
  2. Crafting – Coloring and crafting are the two C’s that I thoroughly enjoy. Crafts and DIY’s are my absolute favorite. I personalize and distress my own clothes, and often craft things in my room. My next mission is to be able to make a white and sea foam green dream catcher, with florals and sea shells as ornaments. Crafting can include things, such as, origami, basic DIY’s, tie-dye (one of my personal favorites), plant crafts, crafts to put on your wall, drying out flowers, etc. You can honestly find DIY videos for everything these days, as YouTube and the internet have become so accessible to us. Making jewelry is also something I am trying to learn. Many crafts are fairly easy, but require many items in order to make them. JoAnns, Hobby Lobby and Michael’s often carry amazing supplies and materials, as they are crafting enterprises.
  3. Photography – I may not have a professional camera, nor do you need one, however, I love photography. Nothing makes me feel better than when I finally get “the shot.” “The shot” takes me one million hours to get and about 40 photo bursts on my iPhone, but hey, whatever gets the job done! Channeling your energy into capturing memories is a fun way to exert some positive, and creative energy. Fuji Mini Instax Polaroid cameras are a fun way to get a great photo and have the photos developed instantly. Polaroid cameras are easy to find and retail at places, such as Urban Outfitters, Amazon, Walmart, etc. They are a great investment and the polaroids are a great decor for your walls!
  4. Hiking – Any form of exercise really helps with boredom. You are actively able to exert energy outwardly and forget about all your troubles. I choose hiking, because yoga, cycling, etc. are too much for me to afford. If you are a college student, you usually have a gym included, however, I have never been to mine in the four years of attending the University of Colorado Boulder. I choose the outdoors, because the therapy that nature gives me is unlike any other. Not going to lie, I am a little spoiled with the Flatirons and do not nearly spend enough time exploring all the hikes in my area. I am also a little more spoiled, due to the amount of hikes there are in Boulder. Sorry to toot my horn, but I know there are plenty of places to walk or hike everywhere! Spending time outside getting some Vitamin D is important for your physical health, as it is an essential to keep your immune system running properly. Similarly, when you workout and/or exercise, keep in mind that extra endorphins are released, giving you the ultimate high that is thoroughly enjoyable. Kickboxing, yoga, hiking, cycling, zumba, or hitting your local gym are some extra fun ways to exude your energy and forget about your boredom.
  5. Interior Decorating – Want to make your chill space better? Then, do it! I love spending time mindlessly tacking up every single magazine clipping that I find visually stimulating, and have all my walls decorated with tapestries and drawings.Similarly, I love spending time doing more than just decorating my walls, but other areas of my room. I display candles every where, and try to get amazing decor from local decorative stores in and around the Boulder area. I also love mandalas, so I have plenty of tapestries to cover my walls, as well. For a fun, sophisticated touch, try covering your ceilings or walls, by putting up some Christmas lights. They add a beautiful touch to a bland room that has yet to be decorated. HomeGoods and Target both have eclectic decor that matches the taste of a wide audience. They also have so much variety, including minimalist decor, extravagant decor, etc. These items are also all very affordable to the public. Stop by your local HomeGoods or Target and take a peek at their selection! Chances are you will walk away with something!
  6. Retail Therapy – Hey, I am the worst at budgeting, but love to spend cash. Any one else the same way? Whatever forever is my motto about that. I love spending money on clothes that I absolutely adore. Fashion is always changing, so my taste in clothes is always adapting to the new, and current trends. Shopping, whether it is for groceries or clothes or gifts, are all good fun. It is a great way to get out of your living space, and hopefully treat yourself or someone else.Cash deserves to be spent, and if we are spending money, are we not helping the economy? These are the things I think about, while I mindlessly spend my hard-earned $300 paycheck in a matter of seconds.
  7. Free Events – If you look hard enough or are bored enough, looking up events in and around your area is something fun to do. It’s cheap…dirt cheap. Free events are always happening, and there’s generally not a shortage of things to do. Usually, finding a local bar, coffee shop, etc. assists in the process of finding free events. During one of my most recent job hunts, I visited a local coffee shop and eatery that held events, like karaoke night, slam poetry, etc. This is something fun to do! Similarly, if you attend a university, there are always free events, with free food included. And, the best things in life are most definitely free! Get to know your campus a little more, and look for local listings for free events. There are usually posters for fun events, or announcements in your classes. Free food is too hard to pass up on for a broke college girl like me!
  8. Volunteering – If you are into helping out the community and society, I think that volunteering may be right up your alley way. Volunteering for local homeless shelters, the local Humane Society, retired living homes, etc. are great ways to spend time helping others, instead of being bored. It also allows you to have a perspective on how blessed you truly are, and I am always counting my blessings when I volunteer. Helping out the community not only helps others feel better, but most importantly, makes me feel better. Talk about another head high! It is amazing the people you will end up encountering, during your volunteering. Plus, you can get a good recommendation or two out of it. Whatever helps, right?
  9. Get a job – This is what your parents want from you, right? What does being self-sufficient even mean? My parents have allowed me to learn really quickly the value of a dollar, as I am personally responsible for outward expenses, such as clothes, rent, food, events, etc. I am financially responsible for myself, except for my tuition and part of my rent, which my parents pay. Getting a job not only builds character, but helps you develop essential skills, such as being respectful, being a team player, being outwardly kind, being punctual, and allows you to have a sense of responsibility. Though I moan and groan about having another responsibility on my plate, I love working hard for my money. Spending my money and saving it feels ten billion times better when you have made it yourself. If you are trying to find new outlets to make a new social group, a job will definitely help with that! While working with your coworkers, after just a week, you already feel like you have known them a lifetime. Slowly but surely, they become one of your support systems and friends, just through simply working with them part-time, or full-time. Work is not supposed to be fun, but you can make it fun! Having a positive attitude and an uplifting work environment is hard to find. I usually challenge myself to find a job that makes me feel comfortable, happy, and holds me to a high standard. I also love having a great manager or managers, depending on where you work. This makes all the difference in the world! So, to sum this up, getting a job is one of the biggest blessings and most efficient way to actively combat your boredom. If you are trying to make your parents proud of have gotten cut off financially, take a stab at taking on a career as a responsibility.
  10. Education – Focus on your school! For crying out loud, you are probably not even bored…you probably are just avoiding your homework! Do not just settle for your grades, work hard for them. Attend classes, take notes diligently, get to know your professors, and make friends in your classes. Friends are easily made in class, seeing that you are all on the same boat – trying to pass with the least amount of effort exerted. Studying and school can be incredibly boring, this is why I am currently taking a year off of school. I love double degree in Psychology and Advertising, however, it is a lot of work. Be realistic – every day, if you set aside one or two hours from mindlessly watching television, you could study, revise, and review your notes, instead of feeling crammed and stressed, by the end of the week. I have found that planners help me stay on top of everything and not forget assignments. Also, reviewing your class syllabus is one of the most important things you should do when the class begins. You will then have a more general understanding of the class, and will not feel bothered and stressed when your professor gently reminds you that you have a test next class. Rewriting notes is one of the ways I try to understand concepts from class, and I generally rewrite them the day after the class. This has helped me retain all of the information into my long-term memory, as opposed to cramming and losing all the information. Finals are no joke, and to do well, you need to also be attentive during class. Concepts can be hard to understand, especially when you are vigorously writing notes, however, I found that listening and writing down examples that professors give on concepts assists me in understanding the overall concept. Examples to big concepts allow me to understand the concept more than memorization. In college, tests test beyond just simple memorization, and were created to test your thorough knowledge of the topic.
  11. Journaling/Blogging – With all these technological advancements, I have found solace with blogging and journaling all my thoughts and emotions. Journaling is what led me to making a blog, as I wanted to let my creative ideas out on more than just paper. Journaling has a way of being extremely therapeutic and has allowed me to mature, by using it as a way to identify problems in my life, solutions to problems, ways that I can grow, and a way to celebrate myself and my accomplishments. You do not need to write in it every day, or really at all, I also color and doodle in my journal, because it is your journal and you can use it any way you like it. My journal is something personal to me, and I have already accomplished filling out on whole journal with my thoughts. I used to journal every day, and for hours. The amount of anxiety and stress we, as humans, feel every day is tiring and rigorous. Journaling is where I vent, and is my imaginary girlfriend. Instead of venting so negatively about others to others, journaling is a great avenue for venting about small, petty stuff about your “stupid friends” who are annoying you. Better out of your system, than kept bottled up in your system. I would not spend so much time “venting,” as I use it as a way to make solutions, but I do have a full novel of things I have written about all my wonderful friends. Trust me, I do not need it released to the public. Journals keep you out of trouble with friends, drama, and help with stress-management and self-awareness. Honestly, it is also something to be proud of. Apple Inc. has even released a basic journal application that allows you to take pictures, while simultaneously allowing you to journal about the photograph. Journaling is very accessible these days. Try the old school way and write, if you are really feeling adventurous.
  12. Conquer A Fear – Whether it’s a piercing or a tattoo, it is always good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. My fears of heights and deep waters were tested this past summer, when I went cliff jumping for the first time. The cliff was tall, and was about 40 feet tall. I had about a 16-person audience that would not stop calling me a “pussy.” This went on non-stop for about 3 hours, when the sunrise had slowly begun. So, I just jumped to a song called “Twenty One” and took a leap of faith. Mind you, I was completely and utterly sober. I blacked out for the whole experience, as I hit the water hard. It was cold, not to mention I was under water for longer than everyone had told me. But, I was safe, so who cares, right? After the jump and after I got warm again, I realized how good I felt. I finally had done something that was on my bucket list, and I had done it without the use of any alcohol. My emotions reset themselves and I immediately felt a trillion times better about myself. I also just really could not stand being called a “pussy” any longer, and a bunch of middle schoolers had just pulled up to the scene. I did it for myself, if you look at it from my perspective. Just kidding! Either way, if you are doing it for others or youself, do something fun and adventurous. I would love to recommend cliff jumping to everyone, though I will never do it again. But, things, such as zip lining, skydiving, and scuba diving are all on my list of things I would like to do. For some reason, all of these activities involve my two biggest fears of heights and deep water, but I am always willing to get out of my comfort zone. Be brave and be bold!
  13. Pampering Yourself – When I pamper myself, I usually indulge in a long, hot shower and a face mask. I also get it on with nail polish, constantly changing my nail colors, according to the season and my mood. Similarly, I try to dress better, in order to pamper my ego and feel good. My ego is almost non-existent, but my clothes are endless. I love dressing better and being passionate about taking good care of myself. This obviously goes beyond just dressing nicely (and when I say nicely, I mean what ever makes you feel best)! It goes as far as getting enough sleep, hygiene, exercising everyday, eating better, drinking lots of tea and water, getting all of your nutrients, etc. These are all vital to pampering yourself and being at 110% everyday. Because, we are all functioning at 100% at this very moment, as we are currently the best versions of ourselves to date. Pampering also includes practicing self-love, self-awareness, isolation to a certain extent from stimulation, and engaging in healthy habits. I like to spend most of my days simply pampering myself, and think my overall wellbeing has improved simply from pampering. If Pampers’ diapers pamper babies, why can we not make our own imaginary Pamper’s and pamper ourselves?  I do not think anyone, but yourself is holding you back.Now, do not get too crazy about over-pampering yourself, because hard work is necessary to get places in life. And, the real world is cruel and will not spend time pampering you very often.
  14. Make a bucket list – I call mine my “YOLO list,” aka the things I want to do before I die. I have accomplished quite a few since turning 21, seeing that I did not plan to even make it to this age. I would even go as far as to say that I have only completed about 1/10 of the things on my list. My list includes traveling abroad in Australia, New Zealand, and Asia, going to Europe, meeting a koala bear, which is my spirit animal, going to the Blue Lagoon, going to the white sand dunes, going to a SuperBowl game, attending the Grammy’s, going to the Salt Flats in Bolivia, exploring all the national parks, like antelope canyon, hiking all the trails at Rocky Mountain National Park, getting a nice Nikon camera and a GoPro, zip lining, competing in an eating challenge and winning, sky diving, graduating from college, getting a job in the fashion industry to do fashion marketing and advertising, going to a music festival, landing an ad campaign with Kendall Jenner, Cara Delevigne, and Gigi Hadid, learning to become self-sufficient and responsible, etc. The list honestly continues to grow every day that I am alive, but it makes me feel great once I have accomplished them. One of my things on my bucket list was making a blog, and actually blogging. I finally have gotten around to doing this and it is one less thing I have to do before I die? Bad joke? Probably.
  15. Cooking & Baking- This one is NOT my front running skill, but I still take a stab at it once in a while. I wish I was better at cooking and baking, but this is a great mechanism to learn to kill boredom. Recipes are online everywhere, making it easy for even a beginning to learn how to cook some chicken and pasta. Tasty and Spoon University are two major foodie online websites, that feature videos and short tutorials on how to make amazing recipes.
  16. Text/Call/FaceTime friends & family- Your friends and family are your ultimate support group. In fact, you rely on them more than you know, especially when you are bored. One way to kill boredom is to take a minute or three hours to go through your contacts and text, or call, or FaceTime your loved ones. Random calls and texts from others that you love can only do one thing: warm your soul up. Recognize the role they play in your life and thank them for blessing you with their presence. See, Christmas can be every day? I try to envision myself as Santa Clause. Just like Clause on Christmas Eve, I deliver messages and gifts to my loved ones, just so they know I care. This is a very effective way to stay in-touch with your friends more often, who you probably do not see or talk to enough. Use your technological devices to your advantage!

Boredom feeds my soul, but finding new hobbies also feeds my soul, because through boredom I find new hobbies and activities that I can engage in, in order to live my life to the fullest.