Why Being On Camera Isn’t For Me

In late 2016, after being inspired by the ever-growing world of the personal finance YouTube community, I thought it’d be a good idea to jump on board and share my own ideas and passion about this topic.

I had a mixture of feelings about this experience; from excitement to fear, but after a few months of trying it, I decided that it wasn’t for me.

Fast forward to Summer 2017 and I felt that I was missing creating videos in an area of interest that I feel passionately about and so decided to give it another go. I did lots of research (research is my thing) and off I went again.

Throughout the first and second attempt at becoming a YouTube creator, despite enjoying the process, for the most part, I was always a little uneasy.

Now, I’m not for one minute knocking YouTube or any YouTube creators. I rely on YouTube on a daily basis for education, instructions, and entertainment. What I want to explain is why what I was doing just wasn’t for me and why I switched my videos from ‘public’ to ‘private’.

  1. I’m very private. (I know that I write about some personal things here, but it seems a much safer environment and there’s something about the medium of writing that allows more anonymity than video does.)
    I’d rather not have my face and voice out there for everybody to see. Yes, I could’ve created videos that didn’t show me, but this leads on to my next issue…
  2. I can’t seem to master video editing. – I’ve put, at least what I consider to be, a LOT of effort into really trying to learn this skill. Granted, the various apps or software I used were all free and therefore somewhat limited, but I just couldn’t crack it and frankly, ran out of patience!
  3. It takes up too much time. – I may not be a paid employee but on the days that I’m not bedbound, I’m busy being a housewife and being a frugal housewife often means that things take longer, due to cooking from scratch, etc. Housework also takes me a lot longer to do than your average person, as I have to frequently stop and rest. All that to say, that time, as it is for everybody, is very precious and I’m not okay with spending it doing something that isn’t completely enjoyable to me.
  4. I’m very sensitive – Now, I was too small a channel to experience any ‘haters’, ‘trolls’, or negativity in the comments section of YouTube, but it was always a possibility. The longer I made videos and the more my subscriber count grew, the more likely it would’ve been that I would’ve encountered this sort of response. I know that it’s possible that it could happen on this blog, but people are less likely to stumble upon this blog (they’re more likely to find me due to sharing an interest in what I write about) than they would have stumbled upon any of my YouTube videos, plus, there’s a culture on YouTube that seems to make people feel entitled to write hateful comments to perfect strangers. I’m a highly sensitive person and just don’t deal well with that sort of behaviour.

So there it is! My YouTuber days are over, but I learned a lot during the time I did it and let’s face it, no knowledge is wasted knowledge.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Vegan Friendly Frugal Tomato Soup

Credit must go to Mr.B for this recipe, which he created last week from a wonderful gift of tomatoes grown by my out-laws. 

I’m a pretty good cook but unless it’s something I’ve made many times, then I have to follow a recipe. Mr.B, on the other hand, is a wizard at rustling up delicious meals out of what appears to be nothing in the kitchen (and I’m eternally grateful for this!).

Soup is a usually always a frugal winner and as we were so impressed with how this particular creation turned out, I thought I’d share this cheap and cheerful, yet healthy recipe with others 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil.
  • 1 large onion (roughly chopped).
  • 6 garlic cloves (chopped).
  • 1.5kg of tomatoes.
  • 2 tablespoons of mixed herbs (or basil, if you prefer).
  • 4 tablespoons of tomato puree.
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes (dissolved in 1 pint of boiling water).
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

Method:

  1. Grab a large saucepan, add the oil and heat on a low to medium temperature (the temperature remains the same throughout the recipe).
  2. Add the chopped onions and garlic and cook until soft.
  3. Meanwhile, wash the tomatoes and remove their cores.
  4. Add the tomatoes, herbs and tomato puree to the saucepan and stir. Put the lid on.
  5. Cook for approximately 15 mins, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes begin to soften and break down.
  6. Add the vegetable stock.
  7. Put the saucepan lid back and cook for approximately 30 mins, stirring occasionally.
  8. Allow the mixture to cool slightly and blend it until it’s smooth.
  9. Return the soup to the heat and simmer until it’s your desired thickness (if too thick, add boiling water).
  10. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  11. Enjoy!

(N.B. If you don’t want the tomato seeds in the soup, then pass the mixture through a sieve before serving). 

Make this recipe even more frugal by growing your own tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and by making your own vegetable stock (which can be made from leftover veg and kept in the freezer for whenever you need it for recipes).

You may also be interested in: Easy Carrot, Orange, Coriander and Ginger SoupChunky Autumnal Vegetable Stew Slow Cooker Recipe, and Frugal And Healthy Spicy Lentil Soup.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Frugal And Healthy Spicy Lentil Soup

Wait! Don’t be put off by this recipe title!

I know, I know, ‘lentil soup’, even with my strategic inclusion of the word ‘spicy’ (and don’t let that put you off either, as you don’t have to have it spicy) isn’t particularly appealing, but even my meat-loving husband gets excited when I serve this, which tells me all I need to know. This is one of the two soups that I make most often and we eat it as a main meal, either with sandwiches or yummy bakery bread.
It’s so quick and easy to make. Try it and let me know!

Ingredients:

200g dry red lentils
100g carrots (peeled & diced)
120g onion (peeled & diced)
1250ml vegetable stock
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Seasoning: Salt, pepper, cumin powder & chilli powder.
(N.B. I recently ran out of cumin and chilli powder, so used curry powder and some cayenne instead and Mr.B actually preferred it, so I think the key is just to add any spice that adds some heat. If you want that).

Method:

Put the lentils, stock, carrot, and onion into a large, lidded saucepan.
Simmer for 25 minutes until the lentils are disintegrating. Let the mixture cool and liquidise.
Add seasoning and lemon juice to suit your taste and reheat.

This soup freezes really well, so I make a bigger batch of this than the recipe above. It can be reheated on days when we can’t be bothered to cook. Which, let’s be honest, are most days…

You may also be interested in: Easy Carrot, Orange, Coriander and Ginger SoupChunky Autumnal Vegetable Stew Slow Cooker Recipeand Vegan-Friendly Frugal Tomato Soup.

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Are You Jealous Of The Joneses?

‘Too many people spend money they earned..to buy things they don’t want..to impress people that they don’t like’. –Will Rogers

Making comparisons with people is a common thing. We all do it to some extent, but some people find themselves not only consumed with wanting to see what other people own and do but trying to keep up with this self-imposed standard of what is ‘crucial’ to have for themselves.

In our material world, success and wealth are so often confused with what we own.

Let me make two fictional examples:

Your friends, Mr & Mrs. Jones have a brand new luxury car, they take two luxury holidays overseas each year and their home is like something from an interior design magazine.

Your other friends, Mr & Mrs. Smith have driven the same car that was already a few years old when they bought it eight years ago. They go camping in the UK for a long weekend each year and stay with family occasionally, but hardly ever seem to go abroad. Their house is clean and tidy, but it’s filled with second-hand, mismatched furniture and their kitchen and bathroom are both a little dated.

So which couple is ‘successful’? Who is earning a good salary? Which couple is struggling with debt and arguing about money when nobody can hear? Which couple has a greater than average net worth for their age? Who has the most in savings and which couple have their retirement investments on track? Who has the highest Credit Score?

The answer is, we just don’t know.

Mr. and Mrs. Jones may have worked their arses off to pay cash for those expensive holidays, or that brand new car, or they may have an expensive car payment each month and they may still be paying off a holiday taken five years ago as they sun themselves on their latest dream destination.

Mr. and Mrs. Smith could be raking in fantastic salaries and investing 70% of their incomes each month so that they can retire really early and travel the world or they may be paying off crippling debts and about to split up due to one of them having a secret gambling habit.

There are so many variables to each situation in this fictional set-up and so too are there when observing the lives of others around us or on social media. Unless a person chooses to tell us how their personal financial situation is, we’ll never truly understand the real picture and frankly, it’s none of our business.

Finally, not everybody measures success by material, financial, educational or vocational factors. For some people, a contented marriage or happy and well-adjusted, kind children are much more of sign that their hard work (in spending quality time with loved ones) has paid them dividends. To them, these are the only dividends they’re concerned with.

Have you ever tried to live up to the Joneses? Have you ever been surprised what you’ve discovered in other peoples’ situations? Do share!

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

A Fistful Of Frugal – Beauty Edition

‘A Fistful OF Frugal’ will be a regular semi-regular feature where I share five (five fingers equals a fist, right?) frugal things that either my husband or I do to save money. I’m going to kick off with those that I use in my personal grooming and I hope that even if they’re not things that you’d choose to do, that you’ll at least find them interesting.

  1. I cut my hair (with the help of Mr B!)
    I looked for videos on YouTube and found one that kept instructions simple. Granted, I keep a simple haircut, but there are tutorials for many styles, dependent on how brave you are!
  2. I make my deodorant
    I really don’t like the idea of repeatedly smearing dodgy chemicals onto the skin near my lymph nodes and breast tissue and so did some research and lucked out on a fantastic recipe, which just so happened to use ingredients that we already had in the kitchen. Once made, it lasts me many months and works better than even such brands as Mitchum worked for me. My husband tried it and though he said it worked more effectively than regular deodorant, he didn’t like the oiliness in his underarm hair. (N.B. It has never left oil stains on my clothing). Here’s the recipe.
  3. I use a homemade exfoliant.
    Now, there are many recipes using a combination of ingredients, either using sugar or sometimes salt, as the main ingredient, and I have tried many of them, but I always go back to the thing I’ve used since I was a teenager, which is plain old granulated sugar! If you want something less abrasive, then use a recipe that mixes it up with an oil, for instance.
    Using sugar gives me really soft skin and must have saved me a fortune (not to mention all of the plastic that was kept from landfill and nasty chemicals from my skin) over the years and, as we take sugar in our tea, we always have it in the house!
  4. I use a homemade face mask.
    I’ve experimented with homemade masks over the years, but always went back to my beloved clay masks, but when my favourite clay mask was discontinued recently, it was the kick I needed to look into homemade masks once again.
    I have an ongoing battle with acne. Yes, I’m 40 and not only do I have to contend with wrinkles but spots too. Life’s cruel.
    I really want to make my own clay masks, but the initial outlay is a little bit much for me to justify right now, but I found a recipe that is working very well for me and, you guessed it, everything required was in our kitchen.
  5. I do my manicures and pedicures (though not as often as I probably should).
    My fingernails aren’t particularly high on my list of priorities, but when I do decide to look after them, I can do a pretty good job with some very simple and inexpensive tools. Even if you’re the type of person that likes those amazingly creative fake nails, with jewels and charms, there are tutorials for free on YouTube and not only do you save a fortune by doing it yourself, you’ll be learning a new skill. Hey, maybe you can start earning money by offering your new skill to others!

What frugal things do you do? Please share so that we can all learn from each other!

Fistful of frugal Pinterest Pin - Bunchy the Budgeteer

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa a.k.a ‘Bunchy’

Money – Where on Earth Should I Begin?

'Relax' sign

Or ‘How to Sort Our Your Money Mess’

Where on earth should I begin?‘ This is something I’ve been asking myself when thinking about starting this blog. It’s also something most people ask themselves when they make the decision to get a handle on their finances.

Mr.B and I don’t use credit cards or any sort of credit. We do have debt, however, in the form of a mortgage. This is often referred to as ‘acceptable debt’, but to us, we won’t fully relax until that bad boy is paid off. It’s going to take a long time, but we’re determined to get it paid off early-(er). That being said, in the past, we have each taken out loans, have bought items from catalogues and thankfully, we didn’t encounter any problems that caused us to get behind on payments. It could so easily have happened though.

You may have credit card debts that are mounting up or you may be having sleepless nights due to being behind on your electricity bill. So where should you begin?

Difficult Choices

Ok, so let’s get real. Getting behind on any bill is a worry and will have to be addressed at some point. I’ve had many close family and friends dealing with debt. Growing up, it was a way of life. I remember as a little girl, having to hide and keep quiet when the debt collector was knocking at the door. I remember having to answer the door at times, after being told to lie and say that my mother wasn’t home. I also remember having our gas and water cut off. Sort of tells you why I’m passionate about personal finance, right?

Some debts appear to cause more problems than others, such as those debts that cause the phone to keep ringing, with creditors hassling you to pay up, and you may be tempted to address these first, to the detriment of other areas. Robbing Peter to pay Paul? Yeah, sometimes Paul’s going to have to wait.

If you find yourself having problems with unsecured debt such as credit cards and loans, but you’re also behind with your mortgage or rent, you need to prioritise paying to keep a roof over your head, no matter how many times those credit card people are calling you each week.

Get Your Basics Covered

One of the great voices in personal finances; Mr Dave Ramsey calls this sorting out your ‘Four Walls’. These are the areas you must take care of before anything else:

Food

We all have to eat. This is priority number one. Potatoes and bread are needs. Biscuits, crisps and eating at McDonald’s are wants. Sorry, I love junk food too, but you know it’s true.

Housing 

This comes next. If you can’t keep a roof over your head, then you’re stuffed. Talk to your landlord, mortgage company or council, make an agreement and get up to date on those rent or mortgage arrears. This section also refers to your Council Tax and your basic utilities, such as gas, electricity, and water. Internet and TV subscriptions aren’t part of this, as, though it may be painful to cut them out, they obviously aren’t a need.

Transportation

If you work, you need a way to get there so that you can keep earning. This may mean making sure that you can put fuel into your car every month, or be able to afford your bus fare/travel card.

Clothing

This means covering the basics to keep you and any children warm and with adequate shoes.

Once you have all of these areas covered, then you can begin to look at what you have remaining each month. Only then should you begin to address your other bills. I’ll cover tackling unsecured debt repayment in another post.

Please never lose hope. There is always a way out of debt, but it needs careful thought, planning and to be thought of as more of a marathon and not a sprint. If you ever find yourself feeling desperate, please consider using Citizens Advice and National Debtline to talk to somebody about it. Finally, if I can help in any small way, please send me a message.

'Relax' sign - Money – Where On Earth Should I Begin? | How to Sort Out Your Money Mess
Original photo courtesy of Dreamstime.com

I love hearing from you and want to grow this community that is gradually getting bigger. Don’t be shy! Comment, contribute to the Facebook page, send me a private message or all three! I will always try to help you.

Lisa aka ‘Bunchy’