Just Frances

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All entries tagged with “budget”

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    The buck stops here - Oct 27th, 2016
    That’s it folks: the buck stops here. Actually, I suppose I should say the pound stops here. Why? Because my last PhD stipend payment was today, and that means I have no more money coming into my bank accounts—bucks, bobs, quids, or otherwise—until I am finished with my PhD and I get a job. [more...]

    Affordable vintage - Jan 30th, 2016
    Judy’s Affordable Vintage Fair was in Edinburgh today, so I went out with my lovely friend, Susan, to find some affordable vintage flare. I had hoped to find some fabulous 1950s tea dresses or some fantastic handkerchiefs, but those things didn’t seem to be in ready supply. But I did manage to find a few lovelies to bring home! [more...]

    Halloween brews - Nov 1st, 2015
    Yesterday was Halloween. And Halloween means playing dress up. It was also the Alloa Real Ale Festival. And that means drinking beer. And as I love dressing up for Halloween and drinking beer, I spent the day in costume at a beer festival. [more...]

    The brew master - Aug 9th, 2015
    I love beer. But I bet you probably knew that by now. Especially if you follow me on Untappd. I also love cooking and making edibles from scratch. I love learning, too. And I really love a good adventure. So yesterday, I combined all of those loves together for one great make-your-own-beer adventure. [more...]

    Making plans - Jul 28th, 2015
    I’ve talked a few times about my desire to build healthy routines for myself, to get out and be more active, and, of course, to prioritise myself a bit lot more. And I’m pleased to say that I’ve been working on all of those things over the past few weeks. In fact, I’ve been making all sorts of plans to ensure I keep filling up my diary! [more...]

    Weekend jazz - Jul 19th, 2015
    The Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival started on Friday, setting the tone (pun intended) for my weekend. I admit that the weekend has been slightly less active than originally planned, but the jazz quantities have been maintained, thanks to a well-stocked iPod. [more...]

    Juniper girls - Jul 16th, 2015
    Last night, I did something I (almost) never do: I enjoyed mid-week cocktails with “the girls”. Or rather, with a random group of girls, some of whom I had never before met. All thanks to an online voucher deal and Facebook. (See, the Interweb can be a very good thing!) [more...]

    The jazz plan - Jul 9th, 2015
    As part of my plan to have more adventures—even if I have to have them alone—I picked up a programme for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival. And I’ve marked some gigs I’m interested in attending. And I even added them to my calendar. Now, I just need to find the courage to actually go to the various shows on my own. [more...]

    Polka dots and beads - Jul 8th, 2015
    Once again, my work day saw me walking to-and-from my office for all-important errands. And, once again, I seem to have stumbled into a charity shop (or two) along the way. [more...]

    Lost and found - Jul 6th, 2015
    I had a meeting in town today, and on the way back to my office I managed to get a little lost when I took the wrong path through The Meadows. I didn’t realise it until I emerged at the main road and the crossing was different than what I’d expected. [more...]

    Tasty tots - Jul 5th, 2015
    I love tater tots. I love, love, love them. They are an amazingly delicious treat and I would eat them all the time if I could. Only I live in Scotland. And Scotland doesn’t do tots. In fact, they don’t even know what tots are. So if I want tots, I have to make them myself. Which is what I did for the first time today. (Yum!) [more...]

    A dress-down skirt - Jan 11th, 2015
    When I was back home in America on my holidays, I was offered a couple of dresses that didn’t fit just right. But as the previous owners were happy for me to experiment on them, I gladly brought the garments back to Scotland with me. [more...]

    Every penny counts - Jan 7th, 2015
    What’s a penny worth to you? Is it worth stopping what you’re doing so that you can bend over and pick it up? What if I told you that one penny could make a real difference in someone’s life? [more...]

    The charity exchange - Dec 30th, 2014
    I like to start the New Year with a fresh, clean start (as much as possible), which means doing a bit of de-cluttering and organising. I’ve spent the last couple of days clearing through various cupboards and dressers to help with that fresh start. [more...]

    Berry nice; bargain price - Dec 28th, 2014
    There’s something berry nice about a wee nip of flavoured vodka on a cold winter’s evening. Only if you’re a starving PhD student who is working hard to trim her budget, it’s difficult to justify the extra costs. [more...]

    Groovy new shoes - Dec 27th, 2014
    As any runner knows, shoes are an important part of the kit, but I’ve always been a shoe-deny-er, hating to part with my hard-earned money for something as silly as a foot cover. Which probably explains why my two pairs of running shoes are six and seven years old, and each have hundreds and hundreds of miles on them—far more than their recommended distances. [more...]

    Hand-me-downs - Dec 13th, 2014
    Growing up in a large family, hand-me-down clothing was a regular part of life. It wasn’t necessarily something I hated (after all, I really wanted some of them!) but it certainly wasn’t something I was immensely excited about. I mean, everyone else got brand-new clothes all the time. Everyone. All the time. [more...]

    Poster parcel pizzazz - Jul 19th, 2014
    I’m heading to the iFutures: Research into Practice Conference in Sheffield early next week to present a poster. It’s the same poster I presented at the SICSA Conference in St Andrews in June, but I’m pretty excited about the opportunity to share my research plans once again. [more...]

    The reward system - May 14th, 2014
    I decided a while ago that I would start rewarding myself for various milestones along my PhD adventure. In part because treats make things a bit more special, and in part because I would never treat myself to something otherwise. [more...]

    It’s a wrap! - Mar 3rd, 2014
    Last month I set myself a simple goal of doing some shopping at a charity shop or two. And I failed miserably. In fact, it was such a failure that I didn’t even manage to walk through the door of a shop, let alone spend money there. [more...]

    Finding money - Feb 18th, 2014
    A year ago, I was excitedly talking about applying for PhDs and how I wondered how I would ever afford to actually study if I was accepted somewhere. My first offer wasn’t a funded position so I knew in my heart that it would never happen. But the next two offers included studentship, making my PhD dreams more realistic, indeed! [more...]

    Just four years - Feb 15th, 2014
    Just Frances is four years old. Wow! Can you believe that I’ve been spewing this utter nonsense for that long? And if you thought I might be nearing the end of rubbish things to talk about, you’re wrong. (No apologies. If you don’t like it, you can just stop reading!) [more...]

    Sew what? - Jan 25th, 2014
    After several weeks of mulling the idea of purchasing a sewing machine—but hesitating because my meagre budget wouldn’t allow for anything decent—I lucked out and sourced a used Toyota 8002 through FreeCycle. [more...]

    Counting every penny - Jan 18th, 2014
    It’s time to start counting pennies again. Only this time, every little penny will count so much more than they have for the past decade. [more...]

    Stretching budgets by un-stretching skirts - Jan 14th, 2014
    About two years ago, I bought a lovely skirt for about £5 at a charity shop. It was ever-so-slightly too large, but it was pretty and I was certain that it would be OK. Sadly, after a few wears and washes, the elasticised waistband lost its remaining stretch and the skirt became un-wearable. [more...]

    Fashion confessional - Jan 10th, 2014
    For most of my life, I’ve felt as if I’ve lived on the wrong side of fashionable. And, I’m sure, most of the people I know would agree with that statement. It started when I was in elementary school when I wore mostly hand-me-down clothes and never had the cool accessories that my friends had. [more...]

    The Christmas star - Dec 15th, 2013
    I decided to get a bit crafty this Christmas, but wanted to attempt projects using only supplies I had on hand. So, I dug through the boxes of crafty bits a friend gave me a while back then I took to Pinterest to see if I could find some pinspiration. [more...]

    Skirting the issue - Aug 14th, 2013
    Last year a friend of mine passed on a lovely summery dress that no longer fit her and I happily accepted. After all, it was free and I really liked it. Only it didn’t quite fit me, either, so it just hung in the closet. [more...]

    Who ate all the pies? - Jun 13th, 2013
    I have finally had my first pie. Well, my first Scottish meat pie at least. Pies are a pretty big deal in Scotland—in the whole of the UK, really. They’re served at sporting events much like hotdogs in America. [more...]

    Stumbles along the PhD path - Apr 23rd, 2013
    I have just learned that I was unsuccessful in my application for a full-tuition scholarship from the University of Glasgow. I am, to say the least, gutted. I had really wished and hoped that I would be able to waltz into my PhD without financial worries, but it seems that God thinks I’m stronger than that. [more...]

    My ballooning PhD fund - Apr 1st, 2013
    When I was accepted to my PhD programme, I went straight to work trying to determine how I would pay for it all. After all, the three-year journey will cost me a minimum of £75,000—and I just don’t have that kind of money. [more...]

    All about the money - Mar 6th, 2013
    Right now, my thoughts are all about money; lots and lots and lots of money. Not in a materialistic way, but in a practical way. I need to find £75,000 and I need to find it fast. Or, at the very least, I need to find £13,000 in the next few months. [more...]

    Things found by accident - Jan 15th, 2013
    A while ago, I shared with you the found things I pick up when I’m out and about; every time I find something new to add to my collection—it brings a smile to my face. So when I saw that the Brooklyn Art Library's newest project was titled Things Found ... By Accident, I knew it was right for me! [more...]

    Bonus! - Dec 20th, 2012
    Back in August when I started my new job, the biggest bonus was that my employer was actually willing to sponsor me for a work visa. Those of you who’ve attempted to live in a country other than your native one will understand what a tremendous bonus this is. [more...]

    Downgraded - Nov 30th, 2012
    Remember when I told you that I moved into a lovely new flat? And how I went on about how massive the place is? [more...]

    Yellow-sticker snacks - Sep 6th, 2012
    If you asked me what I thought of Marks and Spencer Food Halls 10 years ago, I’d have turned my nose up and tsked a bit about the up-market feel to the place: the perfectly-parcelled apples, the ready-meals designed for two; and own-brand packaged poncy treats. [more...]

    August under budget - Sep 1st, 2012
    At the start of August, I shared with you my plans to develop a strict grocery budget of £200 per month. And now I’m pleased to say I’ve come in under budget by £20! The best part about it, however, is that I’ve still eaten really well. [more...]

    Tasty tortillas - Aug 11th, 2012
    Today we’re going to have a wee cooking lesson. But it’s also a lesson in budgeting and in ridding ourselves of un-needed preservatives. And as the topic of tortillas has come up a few times in the last week, that’s what we’re going to play with today. [more...]

    Cheap eats - Aug 5th, 2012
    I like setting budgets for myself because it keeps me accountable to, well, me. And, because I used to have to budget every penny or risk bounced checks, I’m pretty good at it. Better, because I like to come in under budget, it makes me spend less! [more...]

    Spent pennies - Jul 27th, 2012
    As you may know, I like to save all of my ‘spare’ change so that I can cash it in for something fun and frivolous. So when I am out shopping, I never give the cashier exact change, I keep those jingly-jangly coins to feed my coin jar! [more...]

    Gadget Girl - Jul 26th, 2012
    Yep, that’s me: Gadget Girl. OK, I admit that I’m not the most gadgety of all gadget girls, but I’m certainly the first place contender in my little bit of the world. And I would guess that if I had the income to support it, I would probably be a contender for the world as a whole. [more...]

    Pinching pennies - Mar 12th, 2012
    As I walked to the bus stop today, I stooped to pick up a two pence coin. It took two seconds—tops. But it made me smile for several moments. It also got me thinking more about the stigma some people put on the act (art?) of picking up loose coins found on the ground. [more...]

    Random thoughts: Last of the big spenders - Mar 10th, 2012
    Random thoughts—Week 5: List the top 12 things you can buy with your last $20. This challenge all comes down to interpretation. So, here’s how I’m interpreting it: My assumptions for the list are that all of my basic needs are being met (food, shelter, clothing) and that it’s my last $20 until my next budgeted allowance. [more...]

    Poor man’s casserole - Feb 29th, 2012
    Growing up, I loved it when I was informed that we were having Poor Man’s Casserole for dinner. It was such a basic meal, but it was rather stodgy and really yummy. It never would have been named as a favourite food, but it never would have been on my ‘don’t like’ list either. [more...]

    Random thoughts: Simple pleasures - Feb 26th, 2012
    Random thoughts—Week 3: List 31 simple pleasures; pick one and write about it. Last year I was challenged to write a list of 30 things that made me smile and I imagine that this list may include a few duplicates, but I will try to keep those to a minimum. [more...]

    Splashing out - Feb 19th, 2012
    Today I finally broke down and bought a new set of sauce pans. They are light-weight, cheap aluminium pans but, despite that, they are considerably better than the pans that my flat was furnished with. It’s something I’ve been thinking about doing since I first moved in, but I’ve been a bit uncomfortable with the idea of spending my limited budget on something that was more of a want than a need. [more...]

    Coats and cupcakes - Feb 11th, 2012
    When I was in town earlier in the week, I saw a nice light-weight coat that I really liked in a charity shop. But when I tried it on, I wasn’t quite certain about it. I mean, it looked nice and it fit, but it’s the same colouring as my wool coat, so I wavered. In the end, I put it back on the rack and walked away. [more...]

    Cheap [or free] booze - Feb 8th, 2012
    I used to buy expensive booze. I had a collection of fine wines and expensive whiskies. I had top-shelf Cognacs and the best small batch Bourbons. And I wouldn’t have thought twice about opening a $40 bottle of wine for no reason other than I wanted a glass of wine. [more...]

    One down - Dec 15th, 2011
    Well, today marks the end of my first semester as a postgraduate student. It’s been a crazy and hectic journey to get to this point, but I got here and I’m alive to tell the story! [more...]

    Making do; Part 2 - Dec 13th, 2011
    Back in November I talked about the practice of ‘making do’ in my efforts to host a Thanksgiving dinner for friends. I was really pleased that all of that making do worked out, especially since I’ve found myself needing to make do again. [more...]

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