3 Home Hacks That Help Put You In A Positive Mindset

Self-care should start in the home. If you have a home that makes you feel positive, then every day will begin and end on a positive note. A lot of people struggle with self-care because their home is a manifestation of negative energy. Then, the negative energy keeps piling more and more negativity on their shoulders every day. We want to stop this, so here are a few very simple home hacks you can try that will put you in an extremely positive mindset.

Get More Sunlight In Your Home

Sunlight is incredibly beneficial, and it works in more than one way. We know that we can get some Vitamin D from the sun, but unfortunately, it’s not possible to absorb this through windows. However, the main benefit I’m concerned with is how the sunlight makes us feel. It instantly puts us in a good mood when sunshine/daylight is entering our home. This isn’t some crazy scientific discovery, it’s common sense! You will feel far more positive when you let sunlight into your house compared to if you have all the curtains closed and live in darkness.

So, I have two tips for you. Firstly, open the curtains or blinds in every room as soon as you wake up. Secondly, think about maybe getting some replacement windows so you can upgrade them to bigger and wider versions. This will help your home bring in more light, putting you in a much better mood. You could even consider those windows on the ceiling that really bring loads of natural light into your home. Trust me, this little trick will definitely help you get into a more positive mindset while you’re at home.

3 HOME HACKS FOR A POSITIVE MINDSET

Use A Diffuser To Create Relaxing Scents

The smells in and around your home will play a significant role in how positive you feel. This is something that you perhaps don’t think about until you actually make efforts to create nice smells. My idea is to help bring relaxing scents into the home, so you smell them and feel a lot calmer and more chilled out. Get a diffuser of some sort – it could be an electronic one or a classic reed diffuser – and pick your favorite smells. Place the diffusers throughout your home to really bring it to life and make it smell a lot nicer and more relaxing. Slowly but surely, your house becomes somewhere you actually like being in, and you become more positive.

There are other ways of bringing nice smells into your home – such as candles and incense. However, I prefer diffusers as it means you don’t have to burn anything and let smoke into the air. Plus, the oils you use with diffusers are often used in aromatherapy practices and when people are meditating. You don’t need to have one in every room, but I think the bedroom and living room are great places to create these relaxing and soothing smells.

3 HOME HACKS FOR A POSITIVE MINDSET

Bring More Space To Your Home By Decluttering

I think too many of us create negative energy in our homes by letting them become overcrowded and cluttered. It’s hard to feel positive and upbeat when your house is a bit of a mess and you feel very claustrophobic. Every morning will begin with you wanting to get out as soon as possible, being stressed that you can’t find the things you need, and creating more clutter in the process. In your head, every day will be the thought that you have to clean your home at some point, and this lingers all the time adding more stress. So, why don’t you tackle the problem head-on and have a massive decluttering session?

Yes, it can take a few days, but the benefits outweigh all the effort that goes into doing it. I’d genuinely suggest taking a day or two off work so you can declutter your home thoroughly. You will get rid of any junk and mess that you don’t need, freeing your house up and creating loads more space. The result is quite staggering; it will feel like you’ve moved into a new home. With more space, more room to breathe, and increased organization, your house becomes a much more positive place to live.

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I’ll end how I started by saying that self-care starts in the home. If you can get yourself in a positive mindset at home, then this will generally help you live a more positive and happy life. You need to have a base where you can relax and feel satisfied, not somewhere that adds to your negative feelings. With these three ideas, you will turn your house into an ultra-positive place!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



3 Financial Hurdles Everyone Needs to Know

If you want to remain financially organized, then you ought to be aware of major financial hurdles in life. I’m sure there are many things you’re not aware of, which means they come as a surprise when you have to deal with them. So, I’ve created a list full of concepts and terms that everyone needs to understand in more detail

Retirement & Pensions

Everyone needs to keep their retirement in the back of their mind. It doesn’t matter if you’re in your twenties or fifties; think about your retirement. Mainly, you need to concern yourself with raising a retirement fund. This helps you save money for those years where you no longer work full-time and need to remain financial safe and secure. As it shows on https://www.usa.gov/, retirement plans are often offered by your employer. Not only that, but you can create a private pension fund too. Pensions are basically funds that you contribute to every month, and your contribution is aided by either your employer or the private pension company. The earlier you start contributing to a pension, the more beneficial it will be when you retire.

How to Become a Financially Strong Millennial

Mortgage Loans

If you don’t know what a mortgage is, then you need to do some research real quick. It’s something most people come across, and as it states on http://mortgageloans.co/, it’s basically a big loan to help you buy a house. There are different types of a mortgage loan, but they all have the same premise attached to them; you borrow money and use it to buy a house. To get this loan, you need to apply for it through a lender. Then, if approved, you normally need to put a deposit down to secure the loan. After this, you’ll have to pay it back over the course of a few years; simple, right!?

Retirement presents the problem of a reduced income along with the problem of potentially increased financial obligations, such as medical procedure payments. A standard mortgage will not help you solve those problems because you will be adding a regular mortgage payment to your financial obligations. However, as a retiree, you have the right to apply for a reverse mortgage, instead. The available home equity you can borrow will be determined using a special home equity formula. Then your lender will dole that amount out to you according to the loan terms. This might include a lump sum, line of credit, or monthly allotment, in most cases mortgage lenders allow you to decide which structure you prefer. You can then spend the received money for any necessary or preferred purposes. You can do this without repayment obligations as long as you stay in the home.

Money

Credit Cards

Last but not least, we have credit cards. Most people have heard of these, but are you all aware of what they are and what they do? A credit card is basically a card loaded with money that you can spend. Everyone’s card will have a specific amount on it that they can spend every month – and this is determined by a credit check, and how much your bank believes you can be trusted with.

At the end of every month, you have to pay your credit card bill. This is all the money you spent on this card for the last thirty days. Pay off your balance in full, and you incur no extra charges. But, if you take the minimum payment, then the rest of your bill is added to next months – with interest. This is how a lot of people end up in credit card debt, as they keep making minimum payments and racking up more and more money to pay. Generally speaking, they’re great financial tools, but only when you use them properly and responsibly!

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These three financial hurdles will definitely cross your path at some point in life. Hopefully, by now being aware of them, you can go away and do some extra research to ensure you’re all clued up and ready when your paths cross.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

How to Cope with Test Anxiety | Step-by-Step Guide

It’s normal to feel stressed or anxious about different things that come up in our lives, and having these feelings surrounding tests is nothing to ignore. No matter if you are in grade school, college, or getting your doctorate, test anxiety can affect anyone. Our education can hold a lot of weight, and knowing that something is measuring how much you know is a pretty daunting idea. Wherever you are in your education, know that you’re not alone! Here I’ve compiled some tips and steps to help you cope with test anxiety. You’ve got this!

Before The Test

Tip One: Study

Make a study plan. Prepare and write down your plan of attack. How much time will you spend each day studying? What topic will you cover on which day? Be sure to spread the studying out over time to allow yourself to soak up the information while you are feeling most relaxed.

Tip Two” Relax

Find a way to relax and take your mind off the upcoming test the night before. Maybe a hot bath, reading a book you enjoy, or simply going to sleep early. Taking care of yourself and your mind right before the test will help you be in a positive state of mind and ready to take on the world!

Tip Three: Eat Right

Eat a meal before. Don’t let your test anxiety stop you from keeping your body fueled and hydrated. Drink water, coffee, or tea to help you feel awake and ready to go. Eat a meal that has a good balance of protein, fiber, and fat to keep you full.

Tip Four: Breathe

Before you go in, take a deep breath. Remind yourself that you’ve prepared for this and that you took care of your body and mind to make sure you are ready to do your best work possible. Take one last look at the information if that helps you, but you know yourself best. Avoid this if you think it will make you feel more stressed or anxious.

How to Cope with Test Anxiety
Photo by Brad Neathery on Unsplash

During The Test

Tip One: Stay Positive

As soon as you get your test, take a few deep breaths. Affirm yourself with positive self-assurances such as “I can do this,” “I have prepared for this,” and reminding yourself that your worth does not come from your performance. Close your eyes and take another breath before you open the test.

Tip Two: Look It Over

Before you start answering, flip through and read the question types and understand what lies ahead. This way, nothing on the test will surprise you, and it will help you to realize that you will tackle it one question at a time. Read through the directions, read through all answer choices on each question, and if it is open-ended, take your time. You are smart, and you are capable!

Tip Three: Read It Through

Once you have finished the test, read through it once or twice. Be sure that you answered each question and check your answers again to be sure that you feel confident. Hand in your test with confidence knowing that you did your best.

How to Cope with Test Anxiety
Photo by Wadi Lissa on Unsplash

After The Test

Tip One: It’s Out Of Your Control

First off, you’re done! It’s important to recognize that you’ve completed the test and that at this point it is out of your hands—it is no longer something you can control.

Tip Two: Stay Distracted

Distract yourself if necessary. If you can’t stop thinking about how you might have done, or still feel anxious, distract yourself with activities such as spending time with friends, exercising, or watching your favorite TV show. Try to keep your mind off the test and focused on what lies ahead.

Tip Three: Reflect

Once you feel completely at ease, try looking back and assessing how it all went. Ask yourself, “Is there anything you can do next time to help yourself feel more prepared?” “Were there any tools that helped you, in particular, to retain information or feel more confident about it?” You can also prepare for the next test by coming up with a new study plan based on what worked or did not work before.

Thanks for reading!I hope this helped you as you tackle your next big test. Don’t let your test anxiety win! Good luck, and you’ve got this!

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This post was written in collaboration with Caroline Pitarque Johnson. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Improve Your Well-Being With These 4 Home Hacks

Our home is a place that is always there. We come back to it at the end of each day, and we spend years raising our children in it. But, it is quite often a place we take for granted, and we shouldn’t. You might not be aware of it, but your home can actually have a huge bearing on your health and well-being, and this is why it is so important to look after it and care for it.

In fact, the condition of your home can do a lot to impact on your physical and mental health, your confidence, and your drive and determination. There are so many things you need to consider at home, and self-care is one of the big ones. Turning your home into a place that promotes self-relaxation and self-improvement is so important. Check out these 4 hacks that will help you improve your well-being by enhancing your home.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Have a Mood Wall

A mood wall is a fairly uncommon concept for a lot of homes, but it’s one that can have a profound impact in yours. You’ve likely heard of mood boards, and this is a similar concept, except that you are choosing one entire wall in your home and making that the mood wall. You can do this with color, pictures, and writing, and it all combines to give you the best possible outcome. A striking mood wall can improve mental health, and make you feel more happy and confident.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Introduce Some Plants

One of the most important aspects of improving your well-being is to introduce some plants into the home. There are a lot of ways to make the home a better place, but plants are excellent because they breathe life into the place, and improve air quality as well. Plants can transform your property into a greener, healthier, happier place, and that is so important. Start shopping around for some great houseplants – they will make all the difference to the way you are feeling.



Make Sure You Sleep Better

Getting a good amount of uninterrupted sleep is so important for keeping your fresh and alert and making sure you are operating at the best possible level every day. There are so many things to keep in mind in this respect, and you need to look at getting the best pillow you possibly can so it feels like you’re sleeping on air. A mattress topper might also be a good idea in order to improve comfort and support in bed.

4 Home Hacks to Improve Your Well-Being

Get a Pet

It’s amazing what a profound impact a pet can have on the home. Even if you already have kids, introducing an animal into the mix can really make things much more impressive. There are so many ways in which you can benefit from a pet, and having that relationship will improve your sense of purpose and self-care. Definitely, think about getting a cat or a dog for the home right now. If you do not have the time or finances for these animals, a fish is a solid substitute! Elizabeth, the blog founder actually has a gecko and has had bearded dragons as her home pets!

These are some of the best things you can do to improve the home going forward and enhance your mental well-being as well. So many people overlook the correlation between the home and our personal health, but you need to do what you can to improve this as much as possible.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Budgeting Tools for Those Who Are Scared of Budgeting

No matter what stage of life you’re in, budgeting is something that is essential but sometimes daunting. If you ask me, I put off my budgeting for far too long. However, now that I budget regularly it has been such a positive addition to my life and has reduced my stress immensely. It is extremely helpful to have tools that you can utilize to help you track your finances and spending, especially if you are saving for something in particular or trying to pay off debt.

Different tools will work for different people, and it is important to find one that is easy to use which you know will last over time and not just for a season. Once budgeting becomes a regular part of your life, you’ll never look back! Here we will compile some of the best budgeting tools that can be utilized by anyone, no matter how experienced or inexperienced they are when it comes to budgeting.

502030 budget icon

Tool One: Budgeting Applications

Most of us spend a lot of time on our phone anyway, so why not download an app that can help us budget and keep our finances straight. There are many different budget apps on the market; it is just a matter of which is best for you. My personal favorite app for budgeting is HomeBudget. However Mint and Clarity are also top favorites in the app store. I’ll explain a little bit about each and why they might work for you!



HomeBudget

HomeBudget works for my husband and I as we link our bank accounts to the app as well as to both of our accounts. We are able to create a shared budget and then simply add in each expense into categories we’ve already created such as “gas” or “groceries.” There is a free version of this app, but we pay for the upgraded one to get all of the features. My personal favorite aspect is that you can roll over budget money to the following month, which helps me aspire to save for big purchases. It’s fun to watch your money grow as you start to spend on things you budget for rather than just impulse buys.

Simple Ways to Organize your Life to Make More Money

Mint.com

Mint refers to itself as the “free money manager and financial tracker app”. The makers behind TurboTax are responsible for this app, so you know that it will be effective and user-friendly. Mint allows you to track your bills. They also allow you to add in where you spent money and how much you are able to save. Mint is also linked to your bank accounts and allows you to keep track of their balances. Lastly, it allows you to see your net worth. This is a unique feature to help you see where you are with your finances.

Clarity Money

Clarity follows a similar model to many budget apps. They do this in the sense that it allows you to track and manage your expenses and begin to save. The app also has a very useful feature. This feature allows you to see your monthly subscriptions you may have forgotten about (hello, Netflix!) and cancel them if you realize you are not using them. There may be some subscriptions you’ve forgotten about, and Clarity helps you see this. You can also view your credit score on the app and find credit card offers that are based on your spending habits tracked in the app.

Tool Two: Excel Spreadsheets

For those that are computer savvy, this is a free way to track your finances and budget from your computer. There are many templates available online to download and modify (I personally looked at Pinterest and found tons for FREE!). Depending on where you are in life, your budget will be different from year to year. Excel will allow you to change these sections and dollar amounts as well as create charts to track your spending habits over time.

Budgeting Tools for Those Who Are Scared of Budgeting

Tool Three: Paper Budget Planners

Some people prefer to keep their budget planning “old-school” with the old pen and paper method. There are so many printable templates to print out and keep on the fridge, in your planner, or in a binder. This method will help you keep all your bills compiled in one tidy place. Paper budget planners can also be used if you have kids that have an allowance. The binder can help you teach them to budget in an easy and effective way.

Tool Four: Bullet Journaling

If you are a regular reader of Jihi Elephant, you know that bullet journaling is the organization method of choice! Check out the free resources in the Resource Library. In the library, you can get some ideas on how to incorporate finances and budgeting into your bullet journal. A “bills” page will allow you to keep track of bills you need to pay, and you can easily check them off as it is completed. Talk about easy – this method allows you to have your budgeting all in one place with your to-do lists, goals, and everything else!

Remember, it’s never too late to start where you are. Happy budgeting!

More on Budgeting

What Your Myers-Briggs Personality Type Means for Your Wallet

Whether you believe in personality typing or not, tests and types are used quite frequently to build teams at work, hire the perfect candidate, or even determine romantic connections on a first date! Myers-Briggs personality types are widely popular and assign types such as “ENFP” or “ISTJ” to generalize how a person like to interact with others and how they perceive the world around them. If you don’t know your MBTI, or Myers-Briggs Personality Type, you can take quick a version of the test here.

So how does personality have anything to do with how you manage money? Well, since our personality determines how we take in information, analyze risks, and make decisions, it has a lot to do with our relationship with our money! Knowing your money tendencies can help you make better financial decisions when it comes to spending, saving, and investing.

Whether you’re an impulse spender or a frugal saver, there are always ways to improve your money moves. Mint created this infographic to highlight each Myers-Briggs personality type and ways they can reach success both personally and financially.

This post was written in collaboration with Caroline Pitarque Johnson of Line Writing Co. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Improve Your Kitchen, Improve Your State of Mind

Could your kitchen be causing you to feel frustrated? A chaotic kitchen can cause a chaotic state of mind. Whether you need an entire kitchen to remodel or you simply need to get your kitchen into a more organized state, achieving this will help you to feel much more at peace in your home. Let’s take a look at some of the signs that your kitchen needs to be improved so that you can unlock a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction in your home.

The Dated Design Is Dragging Down the Value

Is the dated design of your kitchen dragging both you down and the value of your property? If you are planning on selling your property any time in the near future, this could hold you back. Not only will it drive down the value of your house, but also it could put a lot of buyers off because they do not want to fund a kitchen model themselves. Instead, you would be much better off upgrading your kitchen yourself and reaping the rewards when your property does go on the market.

Improve Your Kitchen, Improve Your State of Mind

Your Electricity Bill Is High

If your electricity bill is too high, your kitchen could be the culprit. If you have old appliances in your kitchen, they will be consuming huge sums of energy, and you will be paying for this every month when your utility bills come in. Investing in energy efficiency appliances now can save you a lot of money in the long run. After all, we all know that there is nothing like money worries to cause concern. Eliminate this worry with new appliances.

Cleaning Your Kitchen Is the Definition Of Hell

Another sign that you need to invest in the services of a kitchen remodeler is if cleaning your kitchen is nothing short of a nightmare. Some of the main culprits are mottled linoleum floor tiles that never quite look clean and deep grout lines.

Improve Your Kitchen, Improve Your State of Mind

The Layout Is Awkward

An awkward layout is something that plagues many kitchens, and many thoughts, and it is a reason to consider a new kitchen. Not only is this important in terms of making your life more convenient and more peaceful, but some of the layouts that were popular 30 or 40 years are dangerous! Sit down with a contractor and find out what you can do to make the layout of your kitchen more functional!

You Have No Storage Space or Counter Space

Last but not least, do you feel like your kitchen is always chaotic because you simply do not have any room left for your appliances and kitchen items? As mentioned, a chaotic kitchen makes you feel like you have a chaotic life, so changes need to be made. A remodel can help you to maximize space and get more from your kitchen.

So, there you have it: some of the most common signs that your kitchen needs some TLC and requires a bit of renovation. If you have noticed any of the indicators that have been mentioned above, you need to give your kitchen the upgrade it deserves. Not only will this make your life easier and cooking more enjoyable, but it will bring you inner peace and boost the value of your property by a considerable degree in the process too.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Improve Your Kitchen, Improve Your State of Mind

Create Bedroom Bliss for a Peaceful Sleep Every Evening

At the moment, you toss and turn as soon as you climb into bed; you dread the evenings, and it makes you anxious to even think about falling asleep. You haven’t been getting your recommended eight hours recently, and you haven’t been able to pinpoint the problem yet. You have worked hard in creating a functional space throughout your home, but the comfort levels just aren’t quite up to scratch. You want your bedroom to feel like a blissful haven that you can truly relax in. Take some of these handy hints on board and create the ultimate snuggly sanctuary for your room.

Beautiful Bed

Your bed is one of the most important items of furniture in your entire house. If you don’t have a super comfortable bed, then you won’t be able to get the good night’s sleep you really deserve. Most of the time your actual bed frame won’t be the problem; it will be your mattress that needs changing up. Look online at zinus mattress reviews so that you can find the mattress that truly suits your individual needs. You might need extra support because of back pain, or maybe you’re pregnant and are struggling to find comfort in your old mattress. Whatever your personal preference is you will be able to find the perfect tailor-made mattress to suit your needs.

Create Bedroom Bliss for a Peaceful Sleep Every Evening

Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Ambiance and Atmosphere

The ambiance of your bedroom is also going to contribute to the quality of your sleep. You might need to invest in better lighting solutions, blinds or drapes in order to solve your sleepless nights. If you work shifts, then you might need to sleep more during the day. If so, you will need high-quality blackout blinds which will allow you to rest well and block out any natural sunlight. Equally, when you do get up to go to work, you want as much natural light streaming through your window as possible so you can get up more easily. Open up your curtains when you wake up so that your body knows it is time to start the day.

Inspirational Home and Furniture Changes to Make in 2018

Scents and Smells

Discover a scent that makes you feel calm and relaxed so that you can drift off to sleep without a care in the world. Lavender and chamomile are proven smells to help you switch off to consider lighting a candle or spraying a natural scent onto your pillow just before you go to be. Make sure you don’t fall asleep when the candles are lit as this could be dangerous. Your bedtime routine is also paramount to a good night’s sleep, so turn off your mobile phone, dim the lights and read a book to relax you before bed.

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So many people suffer from terrible sleep, and they don’t know what the underlying causes are. The ambiance in your bedroom, the coziness of your bed and the correct evening routine will set you on the right track. Try to relax before you go to bed and don’t make it a stressful situation in your mind. You will soon be able to get a high quality sleep as long as you make these tweak to your boudoir and change up your habits.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

The models of kids’ rooms we see in most glossies or furniture stores are all well and good, but often they prioritize aesthetics over functionality. If you have children, we don’t need to tell you that in the battle between appearances and utility, the latter always wins out! However, you don’t have to totally let go of the interior décor of your dreams – it’s just a case of maneuvering to create a space that works for kids and their parents alike. Here are some easy organizational tips you can follow to strike that perfect balance.

This post was written by Johanna Cider, scroll to the bottom to learn more.

Repurpose A Room

Let’s start with the first and biggest hurdle: finding space in the first place! Chances are that in the average bustling family home, there won’t be much spare room lying around – but the good news is that there are plenty of solutions to a lack of space.

The first is to repurpose an existing room. You might, for instance, find that younger children might prefer to have a playroom rather than separate bedrooms, in which case you can move the kids together in one room and repurpose the free space. Another great option is garage conversion (you’d be surprised how much space there is to play with once your mancave or she shed is decluttered). Lastly, consider building a new structure altogether as another room in the house or a separate area in the backyard. Shipping container structures are a low-cost way to create a whole new house extension.

Make ‘Space’ Your Mantra

The three-word organizational mantra for kids is ‘storage, storage, storage.’ To create effective storage, you need to make intelligent use of your space. This means ensuring that seats and ottomans double as chests for toy storage, as well as utilizing vertical space (think bunk-beds and tall shelving units).

Tips for Creating a Functional Space for Kids

Divide The Room Into ‘Stations’

Kids have various interests, and their dedicated space should reflect that. Setting up stations in each corner of the room for different activities or purposes (such as Play, Homework, Arts and Crafts, and Reading) is a clever way to cater to your child’s – or children’s – diverse set of hobbies. Creating stations is also an organizational winner, as you can ensure that each station has its own defined ‘zone’ from which items cannot stray.

Utilise The Walls

Covering the walls in chalkboard paint or fun wallpaper (with a world map on, for instance) both facilitates play and pleases the eye. Plus, you can then write clean-up checklists on the blackboard to ensure that the kids take care of their functional space!

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Simplicity Is Key

We parents can sometimes be tricked into thinking kids need an expertly-decorated, gadget-filled space for them to have any fun. But modernity hasn’t changed the experience of childhood that much. Kids still find the best fun in their imaginations – which means that if your functional space is airy, spacious, and most importantly, reserved exclusively for the kids – you’ve already done an ace job as an organizer.

Johanna Cider is a New Zealand-based writer who loves discussing travel, home and lifestyle topics. Home design and organization are two of her greatest passions, and she spends many of her weekends working on new DIY projects. Find more of her work here.



A 3-Layered Study Plan to Green Light Your Education

The fact you’re reading this post suggests you’re struggling to get your head around college organization. Fear not. A shocking number of students feel as though they could drown under that pressure. And, it’s no surprise when you have teachers telling you that how well you do here will dictate your life. Talk about stress! Read on for more on our 3-layered study plan!

3-Layered Study Plan

One of the main things we struggle with as students are finding the time to study. Sadly, that’s about the most critical part of your college career. Even if you attend all the lectures and their extras, not making time to study could see you struggling to survive your first year of college.

But, that knowledge may leave you asking, how can you find the time? If you’re already struggling (and most students are), how can you create space for even more work? It might seem like an impossible task, but trust us; it isn’t. In truth, all you need to do to get on top here is a bullet journal and a three-layered study plan like this one.

Layer 1: The Time You Don’t Have

The blank page is the most daunting thing about starting a bullet journal. How do you even begin to section your life into a workable plan? Well, jotting down the times when you know you’re busy could be a good start. This will help you develop at least some idea of your timetable, and that’s most important of all. So, step one is to create pages which outline everything from your class times, any educational trips you have in the pipeline, and even planned social occasions. After all, meeting up with friends is also essential if you want to keep your sanity. Use a red pen for these areas to show that they’re no-go’s. You won’t need to worry about those hours because they’re taken and accounted for.

laptop notebook candle

Layer 2: The Time You Could Have

Next, move onto the time you could use for study. By this, we meantime which isn’t strictly free but could still be put to good use. You know the type of stuff; lunch hours, commute times. These are periods of your day which are taken, but only loosely. Fill these in yellow. Then, you can leave aside quick-fire study tasks for occasions like these. If you have an activity which will only take half an hour, set it aside and don’t pick it up until there’s a yellow square on your study horizon.

Layer 3: The Time You Do Have

The hard part is out of the way. You’ve separated the time you spend doing stuff in your day. Now, grab a green pen and get into the body of your study plan. If there are white squares left on this journal page, consider using them for your studies. Of course, we all need downtime. Make sure to leave yourself at least one blank space a day. But, the rest of your schedule should be used to get your studying done!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

How to Make Your Home A Happy Place

If you care at all about your own mental and physical health, then making your home a happy place should be high up on your list of concerns. The truth is that it is relatively simple and straightforward to make your home happier to be in. As long as you know what you are doing, it is always entirely possible to ensure that you are going to be happy within it if you are careful about making that happen. In this article, we are going to look at some simple yet powerful things which can easily make your home as happy as can be. Consider these if you want to be happier in your life, and you are keen to start in the house.

Animals

If you don’t yet have many animals, you might sometimes feel that the home feels a little empty. The truth is that animals are often great for feeling happy, and if you want your home to be more welcoming and better for you then having one or two is a great way to get the ball rolling on improving your mental health.

If you’re not sure about pets, you can still bring more animals close to home by tending to your garden. For a start, this will help to bring pollinators close by – and even that can help to make you feel better. But you could also get hold of a birdbath from garden-fountains.com and attract some birds that way. With more animals visiting your garden, you will find that you are likely to be much happier on the whole when you are at home – and this will bleed over into the rest of your life as well. Not interested in animals? Try getting a houseplant! If you are not a fan of plants, you can try to get some flowers to your living room or even kitchen. There are many benefits of having flowers at home according to this website.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home house plants houseplants

Colors

Brighter colors really do make an enormous difference in your mood, so this is worth thinking about if you want your home to be a much happier space to be in. changing up the decor or the pain will ensure that you find it easier to be at home and that you will be happy being there, so consider this if you want a fairly easy and risk-free means of improving your own happiness at home. Changing the colors is easy and simple, and something which you will find makes a surprising difference to your mental health. For more on this, see http://www.colour-affects.co.uk/psychological-properties-of-colours.

Company

Of course, one of the best foolproof methods to be happy is to make sure that you have plenty of good people around you, and this is something you can make happen in your home pretty easily too. By bringing more company over, you will certainly feel better most of the time, and you will be able to ensure that your home has a better atmosphere about it as well. Remember this if you are not sure what is missing – as the company is generally the answer there, and in any case, it will always help you to feel better about yourself and your home.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Get Stress-Free Living at Home With These Tips

You may not realize it, but the environment that you live in plays an awfully big part of your wellbeing too. If your home is an unpleasant, messy place to be in, then your mind is going to pan out that way too, and that’s the last thing you want. So make sure that you put some energy into ensuring your home is what it needs to be. If you’re not quite sure how to de-stress your home, here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

Oh, stress… We all experience waves of stress in our lives, yet, it can cause us so much harm. Often people don’t realize the severe impact stress can have on our bodies. Stress can really take its toll. What may start out as a generally bad day, can quite easily turn into a bad week, a bad month, and then all of a sudden you find yourself with some serious health conditions and mental health struggles.

Depression is no joke. It’s a very slippery slope to go down with no easy way out. This is why it’s so important that you take care of yourself and make sure that you seek help when you need it before you end up too exhausted and low to even get out of bed in the mornings.

Repair the Damage

If you’re aware that something isn’t working as it should, this is bound to make you feel worse. This is because you will get the impression that nothing seems to function properly. But rather than allowing yourself to drown in those negative and harmful thoughts – find a practical solution. It can be as simple as calling in a plumber to fix the constant overflowing shower, or vacuuming. While it seems like such a nightmare for you to do simple things like taking a shower – it’s a very easy job for the professionals, so never refrain from giving them a call when you need an extra set of trained hands. It’s perfectly okay to ask for help.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home couch living room

Declutter the Chaos

Mess is never a good thing to have around you. Little by little it will build up until you come home one day and realize that you can barely see the worksurfaces anymore because there is so much junk filling up any blank space that you originally had. This can make you feel trapped or claustrophobic in your own house. That is not how its supposed to be, so don’t let your home get to this stage. Have a big sort out and get rid of anything that you no longer use or look at. Make separate piles to help you organize your things. The first pile should be things you’re keeping, the second is things to throw out, and last are things to be sold or donated. As difficult as it may be, sometimes you just need to let it go.

Etsy Ad Printable Downloadable Quotes Inspiring Decor

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



How to Organize and Decorate a Minimal Home Office

If you’ve decided you want to start the move towards a more minimalistic and organized lifestyle, a good place to start is in the home. For those who do a lot of work or projects in the home, a great place to start is in the home office. A home office is a place that needs to be an environment where you feel relaxed and productive (or if you’re me, it sometimes turns into a place of clutter…oops!). Anyone who has ever dealt with a cluttered home office knows it’s almost impossible to feel relaxed and productive when you’re working in a cluttered space. The accumulation of “stuff” can leave you feeling like you’re drowning in post-it notes. So how do you achieve this organized yet appealing minimal home office space? Read on below to find out!

Step One: Decide Purpose

Think about your main goal for the space. Different types of jobs may require different furniture, and only you know what the goal of your home office is. Do you just need a desk and computer? Do you need a craft table? Do you need extra chairs? Think through what you will actually use the space for, and make sure you keep it that way. This will also help you keep clutter or extra furniture and decorations out to maintain the minimalistic look. Stick with the basics, and only the necessary items and décor.

Step Two: Establish a Workspace

The workspace should be the most important focus of a minimal home office. Try and find a desk with extra drawers and storage, that way you can put extra things in the drawers rather than on top of the desk. Desk organizers can also help, as well as possibly trying to go paperless. You will also want to find a simple but comfortable chair, so be sure to browse around for one that matches your color scheme as well as makes you actually want to work. Sometimes minimal designs of chairs tend to be “too” modern and consist of sleek and plastic materials with a little cushion. Opt for something that falls in between, because who wants to work in an uncomfortable chair!? Find your workspace cluttered? Learn how to declutter your desk!

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Step Three: Decorate

Now that you’ve established the basics, the fun begins. Decorating a minimal home office should reflect your personal style while still keeping a simple and organized look. Perhaps you may add in pops of color, or you would rather keep it neutral. Whatever your look is, some decorations that shouldn’t be overlooked are area rugs, a lamp, and some simple desk decorations. Some ideas for tabletop décor can include unique paperweights, cups for writing utensils, small plants, and photos in frames. Wall decorations could include a mirror, a geometric wall hanging, or a bulletin board to post inspiration and ideas for your work. Framed prints are a great way to add color and variety to brighten up space and make it inviting.

Overall, the ultimate goal in this space is making sure the space is somewhere that relaxes you and helps you feel productive and at ease.

Now, time to get to work!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



How to be Productive When You Don’t Want To

Being productive when you do not want to be is one of the hardest obstacles to overcome. Finding the motivation to complete the tasks you need to might ultimately come down to one thing: taking care of yourself. A lack of motivation might also be a lack of interest. This article will give you everything you need to be productive when you do not want to be. This post may contain affiliate links

Routine | Create Habits

One of the most effective ways of being productive when you don’t want to is to create a routine and build habits. If you wake up at the same time every day for an extended period, it will become natural, and after a while, it will be more effort to vire from your routine than to wake up as usual.

Create a regular routine. For example, every day I am up between 7:30 and 8:30 AM. At this point, I get up, use the restroom, wash my face, and get ready for the day. Once I am dressed, I make my bed and open all of the blinds to let in the fresh sunshine. At this point (Usually approaching 9 AM), I make myself breakfast and boot up my laptop. I go into each morning with one large task in mind to complete, I then finish that task first. I then close out my day with dinner around 7 PM, yoga for 20 to 60 minutes, and a shower.

Having this routine for a long time, I have begun doing this without even thinking about it. Before I know it, I am productive and following my regular plan. Building this routine was not easy, it was hard, but one day something just snapped, and it was more uncomfortable not to follow my routine than it was to be productive. Create a routine that fits your needs and practice it until it becomes a habit.

Self-Care | Take Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is essential to being productive. If you do not take care of yourself, and as a result don’t feel good, you will not want to work. I am at my least productive after eating a bunch of junk food, not having slept well, or skipping my regular exercise.

What makes you feel most sluggish? Whatever it is, cut it out—Do NOT do it anymore. Make a point to find a replacement. For me, I replace candies with yogurt and fruit. I replaced soda with carbonated water. Find alternatives that work for you.

Additionally, it is essential to have a self-care plan. You need to work this plan into your schedule. Some items on my plan include washing my face every morning and night, eating a healthy breakfast in the morning, doing daily yoga (even if it’s only for 15 minutes), watching YouTube videos before bed, and getting to sleep at a decent time. Create a self-care plan full of things that make you feel better, and implement it into your routine!

Need more self-care ideas? Check out my 30-day challenge or these 10 quick self-care ideas!

Positive Quotes to Brighten Your Mood

Enjoyment | Positive Outlook

One of the biggest hindrances of productivity is a lack of interest in what you are doing. If you don’t enjoy what you are doing, you won’t want to do it. Makes sense right? So what do you do about this if what you need to do is your job or required? Try to look at everything you find aweful with a positive twist. Reward yourself for completing these tasks. If you have boring paperwork to complete, try telling yourself that once you complete the paperwork you can get up and take a lap around the office, or you will get that raise you’ve been waiting for. Set up a reward system for completing boring or menial tasks.

If you think that you might be burnt out of your job or if you hate your job as a whole, consider talking to a career counselor about possibly changing up your career. Finding satisfaction in work is incredibly important for a fulfilling and happy life. People spend a large majority of time at work, more than they spend doing anything else. If you hate it, perhaps you need to find a different place to work or look into going back to school in a field that you will actually enjoy—there is absolutely no shame in this! It is essential to find a positive outlook about your tasks to be able to complete them productively and if you just can’t be positive, look into changing up your career!

If you just don’t want to be productive, combat it by creating a routine, taking care of yourself, and looking at your work with a positive frame of mind.

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Promote Relaxation At Home With These 5 Tips

Does your home make you feel relaxed? Is it a haven you long to retreat to at the end of a frantic day? For many of us, our home is the place we feel happiest, but it doesn’t always provide relaxation. If you’re on a mission to promote relaxation and calm at home, keep reading!

Decluttering

Clutter can affect the aesthetic of your home, but it can also interfere with the vibe and ambiance. If you walk through the door to be confronted with stuff everywhere, you’re not going to feel relaxed. Clutter makes your home look small and cramped, and it can contribute to stress. The best course of action is to have a clearout.

Let Go Of What You Don’t Use

Most of us are guilty of hanging onto things we don’t really need or even want. Over the course of time, molehills can become mountains. If you’ve got piles of boxes, or shelves and racks stuffed full of clothes or shoes you haven’t worn for months, now is the time to pull your sleeves up and get organized.

Go through each room one by one, and create separate piles. Make one mound of items you want to keep. Then, make one pile of the things you could donate or sell. And finally, make one pile for the trash. Box up anything you plan to sell or give away and then find a home for everything you want to keep. Fold clothes and keep them in a wardrobe, chest or closet and store your shoes on racks or in boxes.

Next, move to another room and repeat the process until your home is free from anything you no longer want. Gather everything you want to dispose of and take a trip to the dumpster.

Storage

If you’re short on storage once you’ve tidied up, it’s worth considering your options. You could put up some shelves for books, DVDs, games, frames or ornaments or you could buy a new chest of drawers or wardrobe to store clothes. If you don’t want to buy new, you could save money by upcycling a second-hand piece of furniture. You might even try storing items meant for a different season in a garage or storage space out of sight. Decluttering isn’t a fun job that most of us look forward to, but you’ll feel a lot better once you’ve ticked this task off your list.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home couch living room

Setting Up Relaxing Spaces

There are certain parts of a home that are geared towards activity and engagement, but sometimes, you need peace and quiet or time to reflect, chill out, and spend a bit of time alone. Your home should cater to your every mood. You may want a kitchen that is a thriving hub of the house or a relaxed and peaceful office space. Just as you want your living areas to deliver when you’re cooking or socializing, you also want other rooms to satisfy your needs. Where do you go when you want to read a book, listen to music, draw, paint, or knit? If you haven’t got any places where you can just kick back and unwind, you need to. It’s a good idea to think about how and where you could set up relaxing spaces in your home.

Using Space

There are various options you could consider. If you’ve got a spare room you never use, why not convert it into a reading room, a creative studio, a tranquil office space or a music room? If you haven’t got a ready-made space, you could section off an area of an existing room. Consider a guest room, for example. If you rarely have visitors staying over, you could create a dual-purpose room. This room could cater to guests, but also give you the space you need to relax or pursue your hobbies. If you enjoy writing, for example, you could place a desk and chair in the bedroom or swap the bed for a sofa bed. Likewise, if you love reading, trade the desk for a bag chair and fill your shelves full of your favorite books.

Space & Value

Alternatively, if you’re looking for ways to add space and value, it may be possible to convert the loft or the basement. If this is an option that you’d like to pursue, get some quotes, talk to real estate agents, and create a budget. If the numbers add up, you can then turn your attention to interior design and start styling your relaxing new space.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home bedroom

Getting Your Bedroom Right

The bedroom is the most important room in the house for relaxation. If your bedroom isn’t a comfortable space, you may find it difficult to switch off which could affect your sleep patterns. For a serene, soothing boudoir, stick to light, neutral shades or pastels. These shades are proven to have a calming effect. Add textures to create a cozy vibe, and avoid bright lights. If you like to have a lot of light, for example, for applying makeup, fit a dimmer switch so that you can soften the mood when you’re ready to get into bed.

When you walk into your room, you should feel your shoulders relax, and tension leave your body. If your bedroom isn’t delivering at the moment, consider a mini makeover. You don’t have to spend a fortune or hours painting and decorating. Altering the colors, adjusting the lighting and adding throws, blankets, rugs, and cushions could make all the difference.

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Lighting

Lighting has a real impact on the feel of the room, as well as the way it looks. When you’re shopping, think about the kind of mood you want to create. Do you want bright lights that will illuminate a large space and perk you up? Or maybe do you want soft lighting that adds a romantic vibe?

Lighting by Room

In rooms like the kitchen and study, you probably want a lot of light, but in the bedroom, reading room or snug, it’s best to go for softer options. Dimmer switches are a great idea for multi-purpose rooms like the living room. You can adjust the lighting to suit your mood at the touch of a button. For the ultimate in relaxation, switch off lamps and wall lights and light some candles. Scented candles are particularly beneficial, especially if you’re running a bath or you’re getting to ready to curl up and chill out with your bedtime playlist or a book. If you have children or pets, and you’re worried about safety, use LED candles.

Choosing The Right Colors

Let’s pretend you were presented with a series of colored flashcards. Then, somebody asks you to choose a word that represented how you feel when you see that color. You’d probably find that you have different words for every shade. Color has an impact on our mood, and it can also affect our energy levels. Bright shades of yellow, for example, make us feel energetic and happy. More subtle tones like pale blue and gray can make us feel calm. When you’re decorating or planning a room-revamp, think about how you use color. Additionally, think about which shades you use in each room. If you’ve got garish colors and prints in your bedroom, for example, you may find that swapping them for more understated tones will help with relaxation.

5+ Ways to Promote Relaxation At Home house plants houseplants

De-stress with Plants

If you’re a fan of interior design, you may be aware that the natural look is popular at the moment (I am obsessed with it). This is great news for plant lovers, not just because potted plants look fabulous, but also because they have calming properties. Studies show that plants can help to make you feel less stressed. They also purify the air.

You can use plants of all shapes and sizes to decorate rooms. Don’t be afraid to bring the outdoors in, and add a fresh, clean feel to your home. There are hundreds of different types of houseplants, but popular options that are proven to de-stress include aloe, English ivy, rubber trees, peace lilies, bamboo and spider plants.

If you have pets, take care when choosing plants and flowers to display indoors, as some plants are poisonous to cats and dogs. Ask your vet for advice. Many people assume that it’s hard work to keep plants alive, but most houseplants are very low maintenance. All you need to do is find a sunny spot and water your plants on a regular basis.

Conclusion

Most of us dream of a home that makes us feel safe, secure, happy, and relaxed. If your house doesn’t quite feel like a homely haven yet, there are lots of ways you can set the tone and create spaces that enable you to unwind and chill out. Before you turn your attention to a revamp, declutter and clear some space. You can then think about changing colors, furniture, and adjusting lights. Use the space you have available to indulge your interests and enable you to enjoy some time out.

Focus on creating the right atmosphere in your bedroom. Think about how different colors affect your mood and don’t be afraid to try and hone your green-thumb skills and introduce some greenery and foliage.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here



 

How to Make More Money and Organize Your Life

You’ve probably read the title of this post and thought, ‘but making money is anything but simple.’ This is the mindset that a lot of people tend to have, and it is the very reason those people don’t make more money. If you’re looking to increase your bank balance and have a little more money to spend on yourself, check out these simple ways to organize your life to make more money.

Change Your Mindset

The first and most important thing, which so many people fail at when it comes to making more money, is changing their mindset. They think it’s the least important because you’re not actively doing work to make more money. However, the reason we are not making the money we want to make is that we are letting our limiting beliefs around money run the show. It is your responsibility to change this mindset. Start working on them now, as they can take a while to change. Affirm the things you want to believe regularly, and do your best to stop negative thought patterns in their tracks. Watch all your ‘I am’ statements. If you constantly say, ‘I am broke’ you’re reinforcing that belief.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

Invest A Small Amount of Money Each Month

If you want to become wealthy, then you need to invest a small amount of money each month. Figuring out where to do that can be the hardest part, but some apps and advisors can help you if you just want to get started. You don’t even need a lot of money to begin! You’ve probably heard of cryptocurrency. Nobody expected it to blow up the way it has over the last few years! There are different platforms you can explore and learn more. Have a look at Coinbase vs. Kraken to see if investing in cryptocurrency is right for you. Another way to invest is through banks and investment firms. I use Aspiration for my investing. Aspiration have various investment accounts to choose from and the best part is that you can set it to automatically invest for you! I invest $10 a month and have already seen gains!

Utilize Passive Income

In an ideal world, we would not have to put in hours and hours of work make a lot of money. People are already doing this with passive income. You can make money passively in numerous ways, these ways could include:

  • Becoming an affiliate
  • Writing an eBook
  • Making YouTube videos
  • Drop shipping

These techniques may take a little work upfront, but soon enough, you won’t have to do much at all to make money.

Are Your Finances Ruining Your Life?

Rent Out Your Home

If you’re going away for a while, you could use a site like Airbnb to advertise your home and make some cash. Alternatively, you could consider renting a spare room, or even just your driveway space. Keep your mind open to all the ways you can utilize things you already have to make some extra cash!

Start A Side Hustle That You Enjoy

If you enjoy doing something, such as voice over work, tutoring, knitting blankets or creating websites, you could start a side hustle. This could be a great way to top up your income while enjoying yourself. I started my blog because of a love for writing, bullet journaling, and organization. With my blog following, I have been fortunate enough to open an Etsy shop where I sell products that I create which interest my readers. Check out my stationery and planners over at the Jihi Elephant shop!

hand painted, hand drawn, stationery

Sell Your Old Stuff

Now is the time of year everyone is cleaning out their closet and homes, getting some spring cleaning in. Go from room to room and try to sell all of the things you never use or the clothes that you never wear. Advertise your stuff on eBay, VarageSale, Vinted, or another selling platform. Facebook can even be used as a selling site these days! Do some research and see if your area has a Facebook page dedicated to selling stuff! If all else fails, try a garage or yard sale out!

Have more great ways to make money on the side? Let me know in the comments below and your ideas might be featured!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here  

22 Financial Tracking Layouts for your Bullet Journal

Keeping track of your bills, payments, and money can be so incredibly difficult, particularly if you have more than one account. Thanks to my bullet journal I have been able to keep up with my bills, payments, subscriptions, loans, and more! Scroll down to find over 20 bullet journal layouts to help you with your finances! This post may contain affiliate links

Bills & Subscription Tracking

Bills and subscription tracking layouts are essential for me to track my payments. I can keep track of when they are due, how much I paid, when I paid, if it is autopay, etc. If you don’t use these layouts already, I highly recommend bill or subscription tracking layouts!

Expenses

I love this incredibly minimal expense or bill tracking layout. I created this one for a client, but I almost wish I used it!

bills, subscriptions, tracking, bullet journal, money, finances

Bill Tracking & Subscriptions

This is my current bills tracking layout keeping bills on one side for 12 months and subscriptions on the other, again for 12 months. This layout uses Tombow Dual Brush pens.

debt, finances, bullet journal, bills, tracking, loan payments

Bill Tracking & Loan Payments

This one includes bills, subscriptions, and loans. The bills and subscriptions are separated by color and utilize Tombow Dual Brush pens. This tracker lasts 5 months.

Blue Bill Tracking

This layout tracks 12 months and utilizes a light watercolor blue. I’ve also added cute little corgis and kept it to bills only.

Bright Blue Bill Tracking

Similar to the previous layout, this one uses Tombow Dual Brush pens instead of watercolor and takes up more space on the page.

Pastel Bills & Subscriptions

This one includes over 12 months of payments, uses many pastel watercolors, and combines bills and subscriptions

Subscriptions

This layout is for subscriptions only, lasting 12 months and utilizes Tombow Dual Brush pens.

Bill Tracking & Subscriptions

These two are very similar in that they both track bills and subscriptions on two pages for 12 months. They both also utilize Arteza watercolor brush pen coloring.

Bills & Subscriptions

This financial tracking layout is a minimal layout with a simple title, a quote, and 6 columns.

2018 Bills

This layout was created by @CraftyEnginerd and features monthly bills, Bi-monthly bills, quarterly and semi-annual bills. This is a beautiful black and white layout with several visual tracking aspects.

Utility Bills Tracking

I love this bullet journal bill tracking layout found on Pinterest. I am unable to find it’s creator to give them credit, but I love the imagery and visual tracking aspects of it!

Bills & Textbooks

This final bill tracking layout was the very first one I used. I would use it monthly to track my bill payments, and when necessary, my textbook purchases.

Financial Savings Bullet Journal Layouts

Saving is a great financial habit to build! If you don’t already track your savings, I recommend one of these bullet journal layouts to help you out!

Financial Goals

This first layout created by @honeyrozes uses bars to track saving and other financial goals. I love the simple and clean look of this layout.

Money Saving Plan

How cute is this layout by Life’s Carousel? I love the piggy bank an the way she fills in the bank with different shades of green!

Savings Monthly Tracking

Check out this “savings jar” bullet journal tracker I created for a client? I love that it tracks your saving over time and allows you to set a monthly goal! Even better, this is an A6 layout!

Home Fund

This home fund by Life’s Carousel is also a fantastic savings tracker! I love that it has mini goals which look like bricks, so as you reach your goal, it appears as if you are building a wall!

Loan and Credit Pay-Off Layouts

These layouts help you to pay off your loans and credit cards!

debt, finances, bullet journal, bills, tracking, loan payments

Loan Payments

I already briefly mentioned this layout, but it helps me to track how much of each of my loans I have already paid off!

Credit Card Tracking

I love this layout created by the Petite Planner because of the graph! I am a huge fan of graphs because they really give you a visual of your spending and saving!

Bullet Journal Spending Logs & Catch-All Layouts

Spending Log & Budgeting

I created this layout for a client, and I love the minimalistic design! This layout tracks spending and other regular spending categories that might now qualify as bills. Additionally, it provides a place to track your saving!

Blog Finances

This layout is one of my first financial tracking layouts. I never kept up with this one, but a simple spending log is always a simple option.

December Spending

Love this spending love by Chasing a Better Life that incorporates spending, bills, income, and debt payoff!

January Budget

This layout is an elegant and compact catch-all finances layout! It tracks income, spending, saving, and debts!

If you love these layouts and want more bullet journaling ideas check out my own plan-with-me posts and my Instagram where I post all my layouts!

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Spring Cleaning | A Guide to All the Little Places to Remember

It’s the season for cleaning! Around this time of year, everyone is cleaning out their homes, putting away winter clothes, planting their gardens. Spring cleaning can be a daunting task, and it is easy to forget to clean various little places. Read on for tips when you complete your spring cleaning. This post may contain affiliate links

Kitchen & Dining Room Cleaning

It’s relatively common to wipe down the dining room table and the kitchen counters, clean the moldy leftovers out of your fridge and call it good. However, there are a ton of other little places in these rooms that need to be attended to. Cleaning out appliances like the blender, microwave, toaster, and oven are essential more than once a year, but spring is the perfect excuse to do a deep clean of them. Wipe down all the food residue, empty the crumb trays, refresh batteries, clean out fans, etc.

In addition to the appliances in the kitchen, I highly recommend cleaning under the table, inside the cupboards, and under the countertops. These are places that don’t get much attention and like to collect spider webs.

Mental Health, Physical Health, and Your Home

Living & Family Room Cleaning

The living or family room of any home is generally the most used room in the house. Because of this more dust and debris is likely to collect here. Every spring move your furniture to clean the carpet or floor underneath. You might also try cleaning beneath and between the couch and chair cushions. Fluff the carpet under any tables or chairs. Additionally, I highly recommend doing a thorough carpet or rug vacuum and clean at least once a year—perfect for spring cleaning season! Getting your furniture professionally clean might also be a good idea. It would also go without saying that dusting all surfaces in the living room is essential regularly.

Bedroom Cleaning

You spend nearly every night in your bedroom, but it can often be the most neglected room in the house. Springtime is the perfect time to take care of your bedroom. Go through your clothes and donate all the clothes you have not worn in a long time, organize your closet and dresser drawers, donate or sell old jewelry. If you keep appliances such a dehumidifier, humidifier, or diffuser in your bedroom, you might also thoroughly clean them out.

The last spring cleaning item I recommend that might often be forgotten is to clean sheets. It’s good practice to toss old worn sheets and invest in a clean new set of sheets on a yearly basis. Not only should you change and wash sheets regularly, old sheets should be tossed once a year or so to keep your room clean and health intact.

Bathroom Cleaning

It is easy for dust to collect in the bathroom because cleaning supplies and other stored supplies don’t get touched regularly. I recommend going through all the supplies in your bathroom, throwing out expired products and dusting all the other ones off. Clean your mirrors, drawers, countertops. Scrub your shower curtain, all grout in your tiles and tubs, and toilet. Keep your bathroom clean this spring!

Other General Spring Cleaning

In addition to regular spring cleaning and the tips mentioned above, there are several other places that should be cleaned this spring. These other items include vents, windows, and storage closets. Getting a professional to clean your vents is the most ideal, however, if you are unable to do so, do your best to clean out the dust and debris that collect here. Removing the vent top is essential for a thorough clean.

Windows also need attending to. The corners and crevices or small hidden areas in windows collect dirt and grime and will need a deep scrubbing each spring.

Similar to the bathroom and bedroom closet cleaning mentioned above, all other storage and closets need to be dusted, organized and cleaned. Throw out anything expired, broken, or unused. Look in all storage boxes for signs of animals, bugs, dust, or mold and clean them out if need be.

Keeping your house clean has a huge influence on allergies and general health. Doing and deep and thoroughly clean each year can have a huge positive impact. Follow this guide when you are cleaning this spring to keep your home in tip-top shape.

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How to Make Your Home Zen

Your home should be a peaceful sanctuary. It should be a place where you can relax and de-stress. If this is not the case, it is time to make some critical changes. But, where should you begin? Read on to discover some mindful ways you can make your home more Zen.

Eliminate Clutter

There is only one place to begin, and this is by getting rid of clutter. Clutter makes it impossible to unwind. Start with one room at a time, and get rid of as many items as possible. Only keep the essentials. Everything should have its own space – and this space shouldn’t be a random corner of the room or the coffee table. To stay on top of this Zen-like clutter-free space, operate the one in, one out rule. Whenever you buy something new, something else has to go.

How to Make Your Home Completely Zen

Add Some Plants

Indoor green plants are a must. Not only does their soothing green color look amazing, but also plants provide oxygen. They improve the indoor air quality, which ensures a more comfortable living environment. However, choose your plants carefully. Don’t go for plants that emanate disturbing scents or those that need special maintenance. Good options are hanging terrariums and bonsai trees.

Keep Decorations & Ornaments To A Minimum

Simplicity is key when it comes to wall decorations. Avoid overly congested collections of photos and paintings and don’ fill your shelves with decorative statues.

Focus on All Senses

To create a state of Zen, you need to focus on all senses. It’s not just about what you see. It is also about what you smell and what you feel. Layer a room with different textures. Also, make sure your house has a relaxing, sweet yet subtle smell. Vanilla and lavender are good choices.

Mental Health, Physical Health, and Your Home

Keep Furniture Natural & Simple

Clear and simple lines characterize Zen style furniture. Avoid excess ornamentation and complicated detail. Also, avoid a plethora of patterns and styles, keep it plain and simple.

Let in the Light

Natural light is a feature of any Zen home. You cannot expect to relax if you are merely relying on one harsh overhead in a room. Changing your window or investing in a skylight may be a significant investment, but it is well worth it. You can read this home renovation e-book for more advice. Regarding artificial lighting, make sure you have numerous sources per room, rather than lighting a space with just one overhead bulb.

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Go for Earthy Colours

Last but not least, natural colors that are in soft tones are a must. Suitable examples include beige, dusty pink, white, and grey. Choose harmonious colors that have the power to induce a sense of calmness and relaxation. Everything needs to tie together naturally. Each room should have a good flow to it.

As you can see, there are many different ways you can make your home completely Zen. From buying some indoor plants to eliminating clutter, it does not cost a lot to make your property more relaxing.

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here 

What is the Minimalist 50:20:30 Budget System (and how to use it)

The 50:20:30 Budget is gaining popularity, particularly among minimalist populations. This budget helps you break down your goal spending into 3 categories making it easier to keep to your budget than a budget which is broken down into 5 or more groups. Keep reading to learn more about the 50:20:30 budget and how to use it!

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What is the 50:20:30 Budget?

The 50:20:30 budget is a simplified budget utilizing 3 categories: essentials, savings, and personal. I have been using this strategy on and off since I graduated high school and it has been the most effective budget strategy I have used yet! It is not only easy to use and simple but encompasses all possible spending without much categorical overlap to worry about. There are no excuses.

50 | Essential Spending

The first rule or spending category is essential spending. This category refers to your bills and any other expenditures that cannot be avoided and occurs regularly. This might include topics such as housing, utilities, groceries, transportation, insurance, electricity, internet, phone bill, etc. These bills do not include pleasure subscriptions, or anything extravagant and unnecessary. Remember that your essential spending is half of your income, so spend it wisely!

20 | Savings

The second budget rule is that 20% of your income is to be saved. This might include a savings account, emergency fund, retirement fund, or it might go toward paying off debt. Building up a savings is incredibly essential in case of emergencies, debt issues, retirement, etc. I can personally attest that my savings have saved me, financially, on several occasions! If you aren’t currently saving money regularly, open a savings account and get started today!

30 | Personal Spending

The final rule of 50:20:30 budgeting is that you get to spend 30% on anything else. This includes all recreational or entertainment purchases. This money can be set aside to go on vacation; it can also include clothing, hobbies, home decorating, gym membership, recreational, and entertainment expenditures. Here is where you can go crazy (so long as you remain within your budget) because this category is all you. Whatever your heart desires, this is the part of your budget you utilize to get it. Be responsible, but so long as you remain within 30%, you’re golden!

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How do I use the 50:20:30 Budget?

What makes the 50:20:30 budget so successful is the fact that it is minimal and simple. It’s easy to remember the rules, and it’s easier to keep track of, regardless of how you track your spending. My favorite way to track my spending is through Mint. Mint connects to all of my accounts, allows me to set my budget, savings goals, and even pay my bills. I highly recommend checking out Mint, its free!

Another great way to use this budget is to keep an excel spreadsheet of your spending or keep a written record in your planner or journal. Just knowing what the budget is, is not enough, you must now track your spending and be sure to adhere to the budgeting rules.

Get started on your budget, I’d love to hear how well it works for you!

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Having A Home that Feeds the Senses

When it comes to our homes, most people design them solely with one thing in mind: how they look! But remember, that sight is just one of the senses you’ve been blessed with. As such, you can add a lot to your home just by having additions that feed the other senses. Below, we take a look at a few easy to incorporate features that’ll make your home the ideal space to unwind and relax in; and your whole body will agree.

Set the Mood

You probably already know just how important lighting is to your home, but it’s worth repeating; because so much of how we feel is related to lighting. On dark days, we’re prone to melancholic introspection; on bright sunny days, we’re in love with everyone and everything! The question is, what does your home do for you? You should have different approaches for how you light your home, depending on the season. In the winter, you want to invoke that Danish ‘hygge’ concept, and keep things atmospheric and cozy. In the summer, it’s all about letting in as much natural light as possible.

Adding Nature

Most of us spend the majority of our time inside but keep in mind that humans are supposed to be out there, living with nature. Of course, few people would really sign up for that these days, but you can still get your fill of nature – and have a feature that seemingly speaks to all the senses all at once! Look at buying some plants, and place them around the home. They’ll brighten up the place when it’s raining outside, and will boost your mood regardless of what’s going on out in the world! And if you need some convincing, just take a read of the New York woman that filled her home with plants – she doesn’t regret it!

Self-Love Ideas

Aromatic Scents

A home can look terrific in photographs, but when you get in there? Oh dear, there’s an odd smell that seriously undermines the otherwise gorgeous aesthetic. And what’s worse is that homeowners often get used to the smell, but their guests don’t! If you notice your home has a funky smell and you can’t figure out why, get the help of plumbing services; chances are, it’s because of something that’s happening in your drains. Once the problem has been taken care of, take your home in the opposite direction by having a candle, aromatic diffuser, or incense burning throughout the day.

Sinking In

You might think that touch doesn’t really come into play in your house, but it really does! After all, what are you sitting on? How are you getting cozy? Where are your hands when you’re chatting with your friends? Buy blankets, throws, and the like with your hands and body in mind, and also remember to keep everything nice and clean. Nothing will make you feel “gross” more quickly than sticky, dusty, or otherwise dirty surfaces.

Our homes affect us in so many ways, and this includes our senses. Get it right!

This post was written in collaboration. Collaborative writing means that while I have contributed to this post and edited its content and formatting, I am not its original author. By posting this content on my blog, I receive financial compensation. Want to guest post for Jihi Elephant? Learn more here

Having A Home that Feeds the Senses