Author Archives: kimvannie876

About kimvannie876

Jamaican living in Japan.

Cultivating a Healthy Money Mindset is Hot in 2020

Tips for staying on top of our money is trending on YouTube. This is really exciting. Probably it is just what I watch, so such videos are being suggested to me. I am here for it. I watched a YouTuber empty two gallon jugs of US $10 bills that she had saved up over the year. Wonder of wonders, she has saved over $3,000 buy doing this. I love how excited she was and inspired to keep going and challenging herself.

Every small bit adds up. With discipline and saying no to certain wants, we can all save something. I also enjoy the no spend videos and low spend videos on YouTube. If your goal is to do better with your money, get on YouTube and learn from all these people sharing different ways of budgeting that works for them. Much of it is delayed gratification at its best.

I am one who follows different budgeting channels because I like to see people getting out of debt, saving, enjoying life and just being financially independent.

This is a positive thing and I like that this is trending on Youtube and there is so much information out there. Knowledge surely is power.

I hope everyone who has the goal of having a healthy money mindset find success, this year and beyond.

Minding Your Business Contributes to Your Contentment

We don’t need to know everything that is happening in the world at all times. We as people are naturally nosy, I think. Maybe it’s just me.

I know the importance of minding my own business and not prying beyond what others feel like sharing. Respect people’s privacy. Carry each other’s burdens, yes but wait for people to unload when they are ready and in their own way.

I mean minding our own business on a small or large scale really build contentment. Imagine following all the news in the world and taking all the different pathos knowingly and unknowingly. This kind of thing can really weigh on you without you even being aware of it. Sometimes it is necessary to bury your head in the sand.

Focus on your goals and don’t share or over share them with any and everybody. Pour your time and energy into doing things that develop you as a person. Mind your business and be intentional about this. It can be as simple as turning off your phone for a night, reading a book, listening to some good music and eating some scrumptious food.

I know minding my own business is one of the many things that help me to be content. Instead of focusing on what other people think of me and the like, I keep it moving. Everyone has his or own life to live. Don’t let the opinions of others about you and your life cause you to lose your focus.

What is your business? Knowing this in every detail is vital and worth pursuing. If you don’t know your own goals and dreams then how can you mind them?

When tempted to step into other people’s business, remind yourself it doesn’t concern you.

Yes, there are occasions where you may need to help others, use good judgement. This is different from unknowingly being pulled into all kinds of matter because of social media and the like.

Chase contentment and keep your eyes on your goals and your own life.

Try Doing a ‘No Buy’ Month to Save Money

Imagine buying nothing for a full month, that’s crazy right?

A ‘no buy month’ isn’t one where you neglect your bills and other necessities. A ‘no buy month’ is where a person intentionally chooses not to spend money on his or her wants so that he or she can save of save more. These would include the following: eating out, going to the movie, shopping for clothes that isn’t necessary, splurging on snacks, buying coffee or drinks and things of this nature.

Why do a ‘no buy month’?

I think this is a great thing to do in January after spending a lot in December. This will provide a psychological boost that can take one throughout the year. This means that you can put extra money towards different savings goals. Everyone has different wants and needs but withholding one want for a month can add up, so it’s worth trying and making it a challenge of sorts.

Do a ‘no buy month’ to develop fiscal discipline and start saving if you find yourself with no money after being paid. What fat can you trim? it may be as simple as taking a water bottle with you every day and not buying bottled water. It might involve cooking at home more and refusing to eat out at all or 50% less than is your normal habit.

A ‘no buy month’ is useful for everyone

Even if you are not hurting financially, you can choose to do one or more ‘no buy months’. Think about how often you buy a piece of clothing because it’s cheap or on sale. We can all be a bit more intentional about things we consume and the waste we create. Less is often more. We could donate what we save to those in need. There are always people around who we can bless from our abundance.

Try doing a ‘no buy month’ this year and it may just draw you into doing more. All the best with balancing what you earn with what you save. Always prepare for the rainy days.

Preparing for Very Long Flights

Flying from Japan to Jamaica and vice versa is a marathon. This involves flying 12 – 14 hrs to somewhere in America, then around 4 hours from America to Jamaica.

Though I have taken my share of transatlantic flights to the different continents once or twice a year, I am not excited about the long flights. For me, I have to mentally prepare for the journey. I really wish we could beam from place to place like in Star Trek.

Here are some of the things I do to prepare for very long flights:

  1. I have my own entertainment sorted.Yes, on these long flights you have your own screen with movies, music and the like to choose from and binge on. However, technology fails sometimes. I remember returning to Japan on a flight, a few years ago and the entertainment system was down. I was happy I had my kindle with books and my ipod with music. Thankfully, many airlines have charging ports at your seat so your device will stay charged and ready.
  2. I pack snacks, suff that are comforting. Yes, you get two meals and snacks on these flights but it’s nice to have these. Not everyone enjoys plane food. Munch and enjoy the entertainment.
  3. I choose comfy clothes that are breathable and carry some kind of covering because the air in planes can often be frigid. The blankets you get may not be warm enough. You want to be comfortable enough to lounge as much as you can in the narrow seats to get some sleep. Since, I fly economy, my advice is mostly for those who do the same.
  4. I wear comfy shoes and/or bring slippers to change into on the flight.
  5. I take headphones/earphones, these are necessary to hear what I want to listen to well. The ones provided by airlines are not great quality.
  6. I take some chewing gum, it is supposed to help with clearing my ears of the pesky air pockets.
  7. In the nice little transparent baggy for liquids in my carry-on, I pack lip gloss, hand sanitiser, lotion and eye drops (This is essential if you wear contacts). I use these multiple times on the long flights.
  8. I wrap my hair in a scarf for the duration of the flight. My hair is prone to dryness and the air in the plane is oh so dry.
  9. I have pocket tissues ready because I may need them for whatever reason.
  10. I pack my patience and anxiety because time seems to crawl.
  11. I take some water on the flight ( 2 500 ml bottles). Of course, I buy them after going through security. The small amounts they serve on the flights just don’t suffice.
  12. If you need something to calm you down, see your doctor before. I don’t, I pray and learn to leave I all to God.

I am oh so thankful to be able to leave Japan on a Thursday and get to Jamaica on the same Thursday, all because Japan is 14 hours ahead. I do not like losing a day coming back though.

Regardless of the long flights, it is nice to know that I can go from one place so far away to another place a great distance away in a day. Imagine travelling by ship for many months back in the day.

How do you prepare for very long flights?

View from Cusco Airport after a short scenic flight from Lima

Flowers from Kirstenbosch Gardens, Cape Town

This is a beautiful place with exquisite flora and fauna. As we close this decade, I pray and hope that we all will have many days filled with beauty like these flowers.

This is a lovely place to enjoy a day in Cape Town. There is something about being in nature and seeing all the sea of kaleidoscopic hues going on and on because the garden is so vast and huge. Wear comfy shoes to walk and take it all in. It is one of the stops on the City Sightseeing Tour bus, so hop off and explore.

Life, like these picturesque flowers is delicate and fade away so fast. I always try to remember this and it is something I am reflecting on as I anticipate a new year. I am grateful for a good 2019, for family, friends, good health and financial freedom among other things.

What makes your life beautiful? Continue to nurture and water those things.

How do you make the lives of others beautiful? Be intentional about this.

Let’s remember to stop and smell the proverbial roses, count our blessings and be thankful for all we have. Also, let us remember to share with those who are in need.

Balance this because, of course ‘we can’t pour from an empty cup.’

Enjoy the beauty in the simple things and wonderful people around.

Life, is indeed what we make of it. Focus on being proactive and not reactive.

Try to expect any and everything in life, good and bad.

Even with its ups and downs, we can enjoy life and find beauty in many simple things around us. I am always in awe of the beautiful colours in nature, they often lift my mood.

This garden is one that reminded me of the beauty of nature and when I think back on it I feel a sense of peace.

Tokyo has ALL the Bright Lights in December

I always marvel at how much focus is given to lighting up parts of Tokyo for December, since Christmas Day is a working day. A Google search of illumination in Japan or Tokyo will show many areas where people go to enjoy creative and beautiful light shows every year. It is quite fun to go from place to place throughout the month. Many ‘instagrammable’ opportunities are provided.

Roppongi
Roppongi

The display at Tokyo Midtown Mall in Roppongi had me and a friend in rapt attention for a good ten minutes. The lights change and there are quite a number of patterns in the different segments. It’s truly a work of heart and worth checking out. My pictures of it weren’t good. See a peek on this page https://jw-webmagazine.com/tokyo-midtown-christmas-illumination-2018-78648051c128/.

Shibuya Blue Cave Illumination

I like that there are different spots to get out and enjoy with others. It makes the season more festive even though Christmas Day isn’t a holiday. Many malls have massive, well decorated Christmas trees and of course Christmas sales.

The ‘mas’ in Christmas is strong in Japan. Fun facts, Christmas Day is one for couples to go out on a date and many people order KFC, so it is often sold out. I am serious, you actually need to order in advance if you want it.

Even though it’s nippy here in December, there is still much to do and enjoy both indoors and outdoors. I am going to enjoy another Christmas/Winter illumination later with a friend, cause why not.

Visiting Shanghai, Xian and Beijing in December

Travelling in these regions of China during the colder months is not for the faint of heart. It gets very cold. I mean freezing cold. I mean frigid, I will never ever be warm again in my life COLD.

One big advantage is that you can walk the many distances from place to place without sweating buckets. There is much walking as you sightsee, especially in Beijing. Also, no trip to Beijing is complete without a trip to The Great Wall, so even with snow flurries falling from the sky, we enjoyed its magnificent workmanship.

Getting to the Great Wall

I think the most convenient way to get there from Beijing is to go with a tor company. There are tours that take you there and pick you up after you are done. If you don’t speak the language then this is a good option. Someone will be on board to explain everything to you and all the fellow tourists on board in English. It is also reasonably priced. I often buy tours on Viator.com when I travel, so check out tours there. (This is not sponsored, just advice from my experiences with them.)

Schedule a full day because it is quite a drive there and back. Also, it is worth walking along the wall and enjoying the scenery and such. I can imagine it being very beautiful in spring and fall.

Yu Garden, Shanghai
Yu Garden Shanghai

You can still enjoy being out about in Shanghai even in the cold in winter. There is much to do and see in the way of cultural elements. Shanghai is known for its shopping but there are art museums, gardens, an aquarium and other things to enjoy. I enjoyed the different Christmas decorations around the city since I was there just before Christmas day.

In addition, the subway is great for getting around, though you have to be prepared to be pushed by many people. It is all a part of the adventure.

Xian, is where the Terracotta Warriors are to be found. It is worth visiting the Terracotta Warriors Museum to see the beautiful work of art on display. Read a bit about the warriors before going, to fully appreciate what you will see.

Enjoy walking around the town and see the city wall, the bell tower and enjoy street food. Soak up the different experiences and see how people are as they go about their daily lives there.

Dress for the weather if you go in winter. It is a great time to visit because you can have many of the tourist sights to yourself.

Things are affordable, so you can enjoy many experiences and stay in mid range hotels at a good rate. There are many options for good restaurants with affordable prices. Also, with some research you can get from place to place by train. I flew into Shanghai then took the train to Xian then another one to Beijing. Then I flew from Beijing back to Japan. We took the trains overnight, so that’s a great way to save on lodging and wake up in another city. BUDGET TIP!

While Beijing was oh so cold, I did enjoy that city most because of its architecture, museums and historical sites. I hope to visit it again in more palatable weather.