self-care

The Punk Rock Personal Development podcast is now on iTunes!

The Punk Rock Personal Development podcast is FINALLY on iTunes!

Yes, I hit some technical snafus (who knew my propensity for cussing could get me into so much trouble or that an ampersand could be coded incorrectly?!), so this message is coming to you a month later than I'd hoped but:

It's here! It's here! It's here!

I am over the moon to be bringing this project to you because I'm having SO MUCH FUN creating it and I think it's sorely needed.

Sometimes I get frustrated that so much self-help material contains little more than platitudes and new age jargon. Punk Rock Personal Development is about having real conversations about the practical tools, mindsets, and habits people are using to embrace self-love, go after their dreams, and live life on purpose. I want to talk about their struggles and their triumphs. Their inspiring stories and practical advice. The real nitty gritty ways that they've consciously created their lives.

I talked to Francesca Lia Block about magic, staying inspired, and the catharsis of writing.

Veronica Varlow and I chatted about personal transformations, the power of daydreaming, and creating a magical life.

Mariah Coz gave me the low down on gaining focus, making a living from your passions, and getting more done.

Laura Jane Williams and I waxed philosophical about finding yourself through writing, the art of becoming, & cultivating self-acceptance.

Louise Androlia generously offered all of her best advice for learning to surrender, loving yourself with chronic illness, & tapping into your intuition.

I asked ReeRee Rockette about being your best self, making healthier choices, & leaping into entrepreneurship.

Jayne Goldheart and I drank wine while chatting about dancing through chance, living a nomadic life, & being true to yourself.

Lisa Lister laid down some real talk about loving your body, unleashing your superpowers, & exploring your lady landscape.

Each of these conversations lifted me up, helped me look at things in new ways, and offered me practical tools I could start implementing right away. I hope they'll have as profound an impact on you as they've had on me. And I'll be sharing a new one with you each and every Friday.

Now that the podcast is out there, I need your help!

The first 8 weeks of a podcast are critical. The number of downloads and reviews I get determine whether I'll be featured on the iTunes new & noteworthy list, which can lead a lot of new people to find a show & allowing me to really create the impact I want to have.

Here are a few simple ways you can help:

  • Subscribe on iTunes.
  • Download all of the existing episodes (even if you've already listened to them - you can just mark them as played afterwards).
  • Leave a rating and review. Search for the podcast on the iTunes store and then tap the "Reviews" tab. Then just select a star rating, write a few words, and tap "Send." This can be as simple as "Great work, Sarah!" or "I'm loving this show!" or let me know who you'd like to hear interviewed next. Don't worry, I'm not asking you to write a novel.
  • Tell anyone you think would enjoy it about the show
  • Tweet about the podcast or share the link on (you could direct them to the show on iTunes)

Anyway that you can get the word out will be immensely helpful. Thank you so much for all of your love and support. It means the world to me!

Sending you lovebeams across cyberspace.

And don't forget: you can still register for my free webinar + Q&A with Ebonie Allard, which is taking place tomorrow at 7pm GMT. Even if you can't attend live, you will be able to watch the replay if you've registered and there will be some pretty sweet bonuses just for signing up!

You might also love:

5 Freebies for Designing a Life You Love.

Migrating all of my content over to this site gave me an opportunity to go through all of the content I've written over the past few years. It made me realize that some of my favourite posts could use some updating. I wanted to create tools that would allow you to put these ideas into action by using the exact exercises and strategies that I do. And since these are my most popular posts, hopefully give you more of what you want. So I've created these five freebies for designing a life you love. You can download them from the respective posts by clicking on the titles below.

50 More Ways to Have an Adventure Without Leaving Town

Travel is something so many of us crave more of, but time and budget constraints mean that most of us can’t jet off on holiday whenever we want to. ‘Adventure’ is one of my core desired feelings, so I’ve been trying to infuse my life with it, even when I’m stuck within the confines of my 9-5. We get to choose what our life looks and feels like, so instead of letting it get dull or mundane just because there isn’t an epic vacation on your horizon, commit to spicing up your day to day with endless mini adventures Here are 50 more ways you can go on an adventure without even leaving town.

The Daily Writing Planner

There’s no magic formula or course you can take that will make you a writer. Of course reading a lot, learning the tricks of the trade, and getting critical feedback will push you further. But the simple act of writing day in and day out is how you'll finish your projects. It’s what will make you a writer. Creating a daily writing practice is a personal process based on what inspires and motivates you. I've created the Daily Writing Planner to figure out what will work best for you.

Punk Rock Note Taking Worksheets

Note taking is better when it's pretty AND easy to implement what you're learning. Use the punk rock note taking worksheet to up your note taking game so that you can make the most of a book or course and actually apply it to your life.

Cash Budget Calculator

Using a cash budget means that I never get part way through the month and feel absolutely skint. I always know that I have enough money in the bank to live modestly but comfortably. And if I spend too zealously one week, I never have to wait more than a few days for a little top up. But if numbers freak you out, don't worry: you can download the Cash Budget Calculator worksheets for free.

The Daily Practice Tracker

I think that creating a daily practice that’s realistic and nourishes every part of us is important, as long as we allow for a certain amount of fluidity and check in with ourselves regularly to honour how we're feeling and take care of what we need on that particular day. Keeping track of how you're nurturing each of the pillars of your daily practice will help you figure out what works best for you.

I'd love to hear how these tools work for you, and whether there are any other posts you'd like to see updated with worksheets, mini guides, or additional resources.

Happy Monday!


Savvy Spender: Using a Cash Budget for Fun, Frivolity, & Freedom.

I used to swipe my debit card for almost all of my purchases. That small piece of plastic made life easy. I didn’t have to worry about having enough cash or finding the right change.

Now I hardly ever use my debit card.

In my post on Living a Champagne Life on a Lemonade Budget, I mentioned that I pay cash for almost all of my day-to-day purchases.

My approach to managing my finances used to be avoid, avoid, avoid. I generally had enough to get by but I didn’t like looking at my bank balance and my savings only grew when I had a specific goal, so then I’d wipe it out in one fell swoop.

Studies have shown that we are more motivated by seeing our assets decrease physically (ie. in cash), versus looking at our bank balance or credit card statement.

Plus, limitation fosters creativity. Being realistic about our limited amount of money allows us to be really intentional with how we spend. We end up finding innovative solutions for getting what we want in less expensive ways.

Every week I take out a small amount of cash. I can use it however I want (although it has to feed me as well). If I want to blow it all on amazing dinner or a beautiful new dress, that's fine. But when it's gone, it's gone and I go back to staying in and eating kitchen staples until the following week.

Using a cash budget is simple. I’ll walk you through deciding how much to use and how to make the most of this money.

Start by figuring out how much money you make each month.

If you work at a salaried job, figuring out your monthly income is pretty straightforward. If you work as a freelancer or get paid hourly, you might want to take an average of the past six months and work from that.

Then it’s time to get a clear picture of your monthly outgoings. For me, these include: rent, utilities, phone, travel, debt repayment, and business expenses. I also factor in saving (short-term, long-term, and emergency). I include buying groceries in my cash budget, so I don’t factor in food costs yet. You might decide to add a small around (say £50), to factor in a special pay day splurge and maybe another £100 to add extra wiggle room to your budget. You can track your spending with an app like Wally or Mint, and play with these numbers to find what feels right and works for your spending habits.

Add up your outgoings and subtract it from your monthly income.

Take the amount that’s leftover and divide it by 4.5 to determine your weekly cash budget.

For me, this ends up being £100. Which tells me how much I can afford to spend each week.

But what I’d recommend doing, is cutting this amount down a bit. I give myself a cash budget of £80 a week.

This gives me some wiggle room if I want to make small online purchases, if unexpected expenses come up, or if I want to allow it to roll over so I can make a slightly bigger purchase at the end of the month.

You might decide to lump your food and discretionary expenses into one cash budget, like I do. Or you can split it into two. It just depends on what feels good to you. If you decide to go with the latter, just use different compartments in your wallet for your two cash budgets, or buy two change purses to keep them separate.

If I have cash left over at the end of the week, I just take out less the following week. I can use the windfall to buy a special treat at the end of the month or, preferably, whack it into my savings.

If I were to consistently be having money left over from my cash budget week after week, I’d consider reducing it and saving more each month. It’ll all add up to a fabulous holiday eventually!

Living on a cash budget definitely does not mean having to go without any fun or luxury. In fact, I’ve found quite the opposite. My money goes further now and I feel more secure always knowing how much I have.

Using a cash budget means that I never get part way through the month and feel absolutely skint. I always know that I have enough money in the bank to live modestly but comfortably. And if I spend too zealously one week, I never have to wait more than a few days for a little top up.

Here are a few tips to stretch your cash budget further:

  • Plan your meals for the week. If you plan a few dishes to make throughout the week and buy groceries according to those recipes, you'll buy less food because it won't be going to waste. Try to choose dishes that use some of the same fresh ingredients so you don't have to buy as many items.
  • Keep your kitchen stocked with staples. Keeping your kitchen stocked with the essentials, like spices and canned goods, that you use regularly means that you'll mostly just have to buy fresh ingredients throughout the week. Many cookbooks coming with a shopping list of kitchen staples that their recipes rely upon, so if you know that you want to follow a certain "diet" (and I don't mean that in a restrictive, calorie counting kind of way), use that as your guide.
  • Make your own. Making your own fancy coffee, fresh juice, or lush pastry will always be the more budget-friendly option. £5 here and £5 there will eat away at your cash budget in no time but a little homemade savvy will stretch your money a lot further.
  • Get comfortable saying no.It can be uncomfortable to decline an invite for financial reasons but the more we all avoid talking about money issues, the more they stay mired in shame and embarrassment. It's okay to mention that you can't afford a lavish dinner right now, so politely decline or suggest a budget-friendly alternative.
  • Make your own fun. Bringing a bottle of wine to the park or inviting your friends over for a pot luck can be just as fun as a night out on the town. Add a few DIY frills to make the occasion feel extra special, while staying within your means.

Check out my tips for Living a Champagne Life on a Lemonade Budget for even more tips.

None of this is rocket science but when we practice being savvier with our spending, it becomes easier and easier to stretch a dollar while still having a lot of fun.

Women face a lot of pressure to spend. From expensive skin care products and the latest fashion trends to expensive nights out and premium super foods, it can feel like living the good life inherently costs a lot of money.

And, as women, we face different financial issues than men. More and more, women are the primary breadwinner’s in our families. We’re juggling more expenses and taking on different responsibilities, but we aren’t always learning the financial literacy to make the transition easier. Statistically, women are likely to earn less than their male counterparts and most of us growing up thinking it's wrong to ask for what we want, so we don't negotiate for pay rises as often. Legal & General is appealing to women to consider the financial role they play by taking out life insurance. With premiums as low as £6, per month this is a small expense to add to your outgoings.

Using a cash budget has been the most successful method I’ve tried for overcoming my own financial hurdles. It’s left me feeling more abundant and more secure. And I always seem to have enough for little treats here and there.

How do you manage your money? Do you think you’ll give using a cash budget a try?

Download the Cash Budget Calculator!

Click below to download the Cash Budget Calculator - a simple tool for taking control of your finances.