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Happy Wednesday, Dear Readers.

Pardon me for complaining, but unless you’re a polar bear, winter in this part of the world really sucks. It’s at about this time every year that most people I know are done with windchill, done with freezing drafts, done with bundling up like astronauts just to take a two minute bus ride. It’s ridiculous…it’s already March. People in British Columbia and Oregon have flowers in their gardens, and where are we at? A balmy -30C with windchill. Talk about depressing!

So, how do the winter blues affect one’s budget, you may ask? Well, in addition to scary utility bills and desperately-needed vacations to hot climates (which I didn’t take this year, by the way), there’s transportation costs. Those who have cars are probably driving them to destinations that are only a block away, while many others rely on taxis. I’ve been trying to cut down on my taxi use. Since I already have a monthly bus pass, it’s an unnecessary expense. But when you wake up to a weather report of -37C, it’s hard to face the idea of waiting for a bus that can never manage to be on time. Taxi!

I also suspect more frivolous items are purchased in the winter. When it’s summertime and you can bask in the glorious sun or putter in the garden, and just going for a walk is a wonderful experience, it’s easier to be satisfied with what you have. I’ve been so good about breaking my spending pattern, but even I’m finding that I’m having cravings lately…the craving to buy something new, just to cheer myself up. Thankfully, I haven’t succumbed, but if you’re dealing with weather like this and you have given into temptation, I don’t blame you one bit.

How about you, dear readers? Do you find that weather really effects your mood? Or spending habits? Or both?

What are your best tips for beating the winter blues when you can’t go somewhere else to escape them?

Thanks for reading!
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  1. Mystic_Mom

    I tend to withdraw in winter, I want to just stay by my fire and not venture too far. With animals (livestock and pets) escape is something that has to wait, and we watch the weather…and every single day where we are close to warm temps and single digits we are outside playing and waiting for spring. Winter costs more with feed, energy costs but we travel less and make each day out count more. It’s a more serious time of year with time for inside things like reading, scrapbooking, playing and watching tv.

    This time of year is brutal for me mood wise, I am SO ready for spring, and SO tired of winter I’m like a grouchy bear who wakes up too early. I cringe at the US stations with their flower ads and their gardening shows – I have literally FEET of snow and a spring flood to get past before I can start gardening and calving.

    I say to myself every year – If I can get through March I’ll be good. If it wasn’t for my hubby’s birthday and Monster Jam I’d skip the whole dang month…grrr 🙂

  2. Life As I Know It

    Yes, I agree. I find myself driving to my kids’ school bus stop in the winter so I don’t have to stand out in the cold.
    Spring is coming, right?!?

  3. saysladonna

    I can’t imagine that kind of cold being here in Florida but this winter has been getting to me. Thankfully, it’s pretty warm now. I don’t have a lot of winter clothes and since I don’t have to go into an office everyday, I have been spending way too much time inside. It has thrown me off because I like to wander outside, walk and think about things I need to do. I think it has really affected me, I’m trying to get back on track now. Knowing that you are going to through a colder winter and still being super productive inspires me. Once again, I’m happy you’re around. Winter will be over soon and I have no doubt you’ll survive. Great job resisting the urge to spend. I haven’t been so lucky. I’ve added Netflix to my monthly expenses over this winter, bringing other seasons and fun stuff into my house. I’m not a movie buff so I imagine cancelling my subscription soon. 🙂

  4. Angela

    My relationship with winter is more of a before and after story…

    Now that I have toddlers, winter is something that happens outside my window. Stepping out into it is a battle of long johns, mitts, boots, ski pants and screaming, writhing kids who want nothing less than to be bundled up!

    Before I had kids, winter was my favourite season! I would actually start preparing for it in August! When someone invited me out for a ski, walk or snowmobile adventure, not once did I ever say, “I dunno, how cold is it out?” The weather was of no consequence!

    O.k., so it did require a lot of gear: skis, snowshoes, snowmobile, toboggan, camping and fishing equipment and all the clothing and accoutrement that goes them. But, I lived for the weekend and whatever adventure came with it! Before I resettled in Winnipeg, I spent 7 years living in Norway House and in the Manitoba Interlake. A winter walk outside the city is absolutely silent save for the sound of ice crystals tinkling and the far away buzz of a snowmobile. At home, I would warm up next to a wood stove. The smell of wood smoke against the cold air is intoxicating. It’s pure magic!

    C’mon Holli! You’re a northern girl! Where’s your intrepid spirit?! Do bundle up and take that walk! Pack a picnic of hotdogs and cocoa (maybe a little brandy!) and go to Birdshill! Make a campfire and roast those frozen dogs! Go tobogganing and scream all the way down the hill. Build a snow fort, or dig a quinzee. Go ice skating at the Forks. Plan an winter urban hike and end up at a great bistro/restaurant with a fire place for comfort food!

    The key to surviving a Manitoba winter is play, play, play! I can’t wait until my kids start associating bundling up with having fun, so I can start taking my own advice!

  5. Lisa

    Winter doesn’t really affect my spending habits but it definitely affects my mood. Like you, Holli, I am absolutely DONE with winter. (And I even had a week away in the Caribbean!)

    I try to tell myself that spring is around the corner, but it gets hard to convince myself of that when, like you said, you wake up to a -32C morning.

    I do have to admit that I persist in my walking to work daily – even when the cold seems unbearable. I bought a couple of pairs of long underwear to use (under my regular pants AND wind pants) but I got them for $5 on sale so I can’t say I broke the bank ;0)

    I always find a nice bottle of red wine, a good television show and a warm blankie tend to make things bearable.

  6. Laura Best

    Love the photo!

    Winter here in Nova Scotia didn’t start until late in December and it just hasn’t quit. Lots of snow, wind, and even rain. I am so ready to see the snow disappear and for signs of spring to start emerging.

    And yet, I try not to focus too heavily on my dislike for winter and try to at least see its beauty. In the country there are many beautiful sights to see. But I’m telling you, if spring arrived tomorrow my heart would be soaring.

  7. Kim

    I tend to avoid shopping when it is like this. Especially grocery shopping. Just open my refridgerator door and find out.

  8. Story Teller

    Thanks for all the comments!

    @ MM – I can so relate! At least you have a fireplace to curl up to. 🙂 How badly do you get flooded, usually?

    @ LAIKI – I certainly hope so!

    @ LaDonna – thanks so much for your kindness. I’ve heard it was unseasonably cold in Florida and Texas this year. Even though we’d love to have some of your “cold” up here, it’s even harder when you’re not prepared for or expecting it. At least up here, we KNOW it’s coming.

    @ Angela – I figured I’d get at least one winter-lover on here. I may be a northern girl, but it isn’t by choice. I’m much more suited for warmer weather, but I agree that playing winter sports makes it a little more bearable. I just couldn’t afford the time this year. We did go to the zoo in -50, though.

    @ Laura – hang in there, it’s coming (hopefully!)

    @ Kim – very smart.


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