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Friday, June 02, 2006

Cheap, chic and (mostly) sane

The Bargain Queen has a strategy to keep herself reasonably sane no matter what life throws at her. Since it's a lot cheaper then pills, counselling, retail therapy, excessive drinking or any of the other things you might try to get through a difficult time, she thought she'd share it.

A quick disclaimer though: The Bargain Queen is totally not qualified to advise anyone with an actual, diagnosed mental illness. She's mostly sane and this works to keep her that way. If you're also just going through a tough time, this might help; if there's something more serious happening then you probably need more qualified help than The Bargain Queen! But enough disclaimer...

The Bargain Queen's strategy is really just about maintaining a sense of hope at all times. It's not complicated or difficult and you don't need to buy anything to do it. You don't even have to attend meetings or read the right web sites. All you do is make a small step towards one of your goals every day.

Of course, that means you have to have some goals. For some people that's really easy (The Bargain Queen always has goals; she's a little avaricious) but some people find it hard to work out what they want from life. The only advice we can give is to pick something and give it a go. Noone is ever 100% sure that they're shooting towards the right thing, so it doesn't really matter if you're not completely certain. Working towards something gets you a lot further than not working towards anything. Plus whenever The Bargain Queen's got what she wanted only to find it's not so great, she's been able to trade it for something that's a better fit.

So what are The Bargain Queen's goals today?
  1. Live a happy, fulfilled life despite having a nasty incurable illness
  2. Live overseas for at least a few years of her life
  3. Be financially secure enough to not have to do work she hates ever again
  4. Be surrounded by beautiful things
  5. Create stuff she's really proud of (and ideally get rich and famous along the way, but that's probably too much to ask!)
The next part is to do something little towards those goals each day. It doesn't have to be anything dramatic, although if something significant presents itself, of course The Bargain Queen jumps on it! Most days, it's something like these though...
  • To have a happy life, The Bargain Queen makes the best of each day. If she's not well enough to get out of bed she reads a good book or works on her laptop. On a good day, she tries to squeeze some fun in between catching up on all the practical stuff she hasn't been well enough to do.

  • The Bargain Queen's best hope of living overseas right now is to get Mr Bargain Queen through his degree - he'll be a qualified English and Japanese teacher when he's finished. She mostly just keeps out of his way when he needs to study, but she does encourage him to try to teach her Japanese even though it makes her brain hurt.

  • To be financially secure, she sticks to the budget Mr Bargain Queen calculated and does what she can to contribute financially when she's not well enough to work... which mostly means finding cheaper sources for everything she ever has to buy.

  • In terms of creative output, The Bargain Queen has her blog, she's re-designing the apartment and when she's not well enough to do those, there's always cross stitch!
While that's all pretty specific to The Bargain Queen's goals, there's plenty of little things that can be done to help you creep up your goals too. For example, you might become better informed about the things you want by borrowing a book from the library, reading a newspaper article or checking out the blog of someone who's where you want to be. You could learn new skills by taking a short course, or you could strengthen your existing skills by practising for a few minutes each day. You can also spend time keeping in touch with people who know things you'd like to know, or looking for cheap sources of any supplies you need. It doesn't have to all follow a grand plan, it just has to offer some chance of helping you get where you want to be.

The point is, you can turn those "gee my life sucks" days into "life sucks but I'm really enjoying the book I'm reading" or "today ain't so great but I've almost got enough saved for that holiday in Spain" or "I hate this town but I'm moving soon", which makes it all a smidgen more bearable. It's stopped The Bargain Queen from sliding into depression a couple of times when things weren't going so well, and helped things come good again at the same time; maybe it'll work for someone else too.

But enough of the serious stuff - back to the fun fashion frivolity tomorrow ;)

  Want more? Visit The Bargain Queen's new site.


  • At 11:58 am, Blogger wordsonwater said…

    Thanks for your positive comment. I have no idea why I was surprised that someone in Sydney would have read my blog, after all, it’s the Internet. I’m intrigued by your blog too, but I must warn you, I have no fashion sense, but I somehow raised a daughter who knew how to accessorize by the time she was 8 months old. Be sure and drop by and visit if your desire for world travel brings you anywhere near the east coast of the US. We’re 100 miles from Washington DC.

  • At 6:46 am, Blogger Scarpediem said…

    Wonderful advice. I will try to remember it next time I'm in a slump--which happens ever so often. Thanks, and you have my admiration for your grace, resilience, and wisdom.

  • At 8:57 am, Blogger The Bargain Queen said…

    wordsonwater: Wow! I'll definitely look you up when I make it to the East Coast!

    scarpediem: Thank you! I'm glad my hard-won sorta-wisdom is useful :)

  • At 9:27 am, Blogger wordsonwater said…

    Great,email me when you want to come. You can pick up that address on my blog profile.

  • At 9:57 am, Blogger Miss A said…

    Love the blog!

  • At 9:57 am, Blogger Miss A said…

    Love the blog!


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