4 Things To Do To Make This Winter More Bearable

Let’s make the most of this ~strange~ time

Let’s face it – we are probably going to go back into some form of lockdown this winter, and even if we don’t, this winter will most definitely not be normal. Rather than looking at all of the negatives of this, we at the Zillennial feel like this is a great time for us to try some new things and take advantage of these very strange times. 

1. Keep A Journal

This may not be the most exciting option on this list, but it is a really cool and fun way to start and/or end your day and keep track of the wild times we are living in. Easy ways to start off journaling is to find prompts and just free flow with what your mind is thinking. When starting off your journaling, it can be helpful to set-up notifications in your phone to remind you to do your daily entry to help you form a routine of writing everyday.


If you’re not a pen-to-paper kind of person, consider trying a journaling app. We are loving using Journey right now. 

2. Learn How To Cook

Ok not to be rude, and I mean this with the best intentions, but most of us Zillennials cannot cook, or our level of cooking is probably not where it should be at this stage of our lives. I digress, but there are most definitely ways that we can change this! There are SO many amazing blogs across the internet with amazing and easy-to-follow recipes. I have recently been obsessed with Tabitha Brown and her amazing vegan recipes that have blown up all over TikTok. Some of our other fave chefs and blogs to follow for more recipe inspo have been Sohla El-Waylly, Clair Saffitz who recently released her new cookbook Dessert Person and Taste Toronto who has been posting recipes from our fave Toronto Restaurants. 

3. Start Dating

I know this is probably the last thing you ever expected to see on this list but with the virtual world, I truly think that there is no better time to date. Of course, in person dates should be limited, but virtual dates should be explored! Want to go on a date with someone from Denmark? Switch your location to Denmark and do a FaceTime date! Tinder has recently made this feature free on their app and the opportunities with this are truly endless. Who knows, maybe in our post-covid world you’ll be packing up and chasing down your international love on the other side of the globe!

4. Explore a Side Hustle or Hobby

If there is something that you have been putting off because it was not the right time, or you just didn’t know if it was the right thing to do, then there is no better time than now to do it! With WFH continuing into the winter, we all are going to have more free time on our hands so go out there and take on that side hustle. This is something that I really want to do as well, so I will report back on how it goes.

Anyway, that’s all for now, folks. If you have any tips for making the most of this winter, comment below! But real talk, laying on the couch and doing nothing is also pretty fantastic. This isn’t a competition for ‘who can be the most productive rn’ – do what makes you happy!

Xoxo,

Aidan and the Zillennials

Goodbye PSLs: 7 Tips on How to Start Saving Money NOW

Here’s where your money has actually been disappearing to.

Let’s get real. You’re young and broke- or your parents still pay for your expenses. So obviously that means you’re trying to save money as hard as you can… right? Well, a quick look at your monthly credit card statements would probably show something different.

Where is all that precious, hard-earned money going, you may be asking?

Basically, here: 

Okay, so maybe putting all the blame for this on ordering avocado toast at brunch is just a bit over dramatic, but you do have some bad spending habits which should probably be addressed. Especially if your goal for these next few years of adulthood is to be somewhat financially stable, and maybe, to one day even be able to afford… a house! 

So, to help you out, we took a long, hard look at our credit card statements and realized that there is some absolutely unnecessary spending going on. Here are 7 things which need to be addressed RIGHT NOW, so you can stop throwing your money away: 

1. (Sadly,) it’s time to end your relationship with the PSL.

You are probably (very) familiar with the fact that your “grande non-fat-half-sweet-extra-spice PSL with soymilk” costs $4.95. That means, in theory, if you are purchasing 5 lattes a week, you are spending almost $1300/year on coffee. Just imagine what you could do with even some of that money. Now I’m not saying to give up coffee (I seriously wouldn’t be able to function without that sh*t), but start making it at home! Purchasing a coffee machine will save you LOADS of money in the long run (and time from waiting in lines)! You can buy a BEAUTIFUL and easy to use De’Longhi espresso machine on Amazon here for $299.99. 

2. Ditch the fast fashion 

Trends change. And hopefully this is not news to you all. Instead of trying to keep up with them every month by buying lots of “cheap and trendy” items, buy a few high quality items that will ACTUALLY last. Now I’m not saying go out and buy all your items in designer labels, but do a bit of research before shopping, and make realistic wardrobe decisions. Read more about making the right wardrobe decisions here!

3. Have a little check-in with your paid subscriptions

Take a quick look at your credit card bill. You’ll be surprised as to what’s hiding on there. Especially the monthly subscriptions you now pay for since your long-forgotten-about free trial for some photo app (which you thought was cool for a hot minute) ended. When you start a free trial just for sh*ts, set a reminder in your calendar for one day before it is supposed to end. Also, really step back and evaluate how you are using your paid subscriptions in general. If you truly aren’t using the service on a regular basis, or if it is not valuable in the long term, THEN UNSUBSCRIBE FROM IT. 

4. Skip the drinks @ dinner and drinks

Going out to dinner with friends or co-workers is unfortunately unavoidable if you want to keep up a social life. I mean, now that we literally have no time to eat and socialize separately, the multitasking is REAL. Unfortunately, ordering a drink or two will take your bill from 0-100 REAL QUICK.You are not obligated to order a drink each time you go out somewhere just because you are of age. So skip the cosmos, and cut your bill by anywhere between $10-30 on your next meet up with your gal-pals or bros. Lemon water is just as delicious (…kind of)! 

5. Stop wasting energy

You are actually horrible when it comes to wasting energy. Not only are you wasting energy, but you are wasting your precious, precious money. As Nelly Furtado once said: “turn off the lights”! Also, wash your laundry in cold water. And when you have to use large amounts of electricity (aka laundry), do it during off peak hours. Bam. You are on your way to cutting your utilities bill almost in half for the month. You’re welcome. 

6. Cut down on ride sharing

It is so important to always check the price of your Uber or Lyft before you order it! Peak-time pricing can really get you, and that extra cost is definitely not worth it. Unless it is the only safe option, paying a premium to be driven a couple kilometers is not necessary. Better yet, cheaper alternatives do exist; compare the cost of the ride-sharing service to the same route via taxi, try finding a public transit route, or even try *gasp* walking! 

7. Start making your meals @ home

Eating out for lunch, and ordering takeout/delivery are NOT bank account friendly. Seriously though, your chicken pad-thai you got delivered is NOT worth $25- especially with the $5 delivery fee in there. Learning how to actually cook a thing or two, and meal-prepping for the week, will be healthier, AND save you money. PLUS, when you take your lunch to work, all of your co-workers will be shocked at how “healthy” you are, and who doesn’t love a compliment! 

Now I can almost guarantee that from pursuing a combination of these money-saving activities, you will end up with at least an extra $1000 each year. You can then either put that extra moula straight into a savings account, investments, or buy things that you actually want- SO MUCH FINANCIAL FLEXIBILITY!!

You better start preparing your breakup speech to the PSL ASAP! 

XOXO

Olivia and The Zillennials 

No, a Futon is not a Couch → 5 Essential Things For Your First Real Home

If you haven’t already done so, it’s high time that you stop passing of your “Friends” poster as “decorating”.

Let’s face it, your house’s current aesthetic looks a conglomeration of seventies couch patterns and trash. And you probably have a tea towel hanging on the wall…or at least I do.

But despite that fact, approximately 99% of my childhood was spent watching HGTV, more specifically House Hunters- I mean, how can you go wrong with a good episode of a couple people trying to find the perfect flat in Paris with a budget that makes literally no sense? All of this HGTV binge-watching, and the fact that the houses I lived in growing up were under constant renovation (thanks Dad), I developed a passion for everything interior design. I don’t know if passion is the right word honestly – it’s more of a religion than anything. So I think it’s high time to get on the right track to creating a “real adult house”, that still reflects who you truly are, and (best of all) at prices that won’t break the bank! Let’s dive right into it, here are five essential things that you need:

1. A Good Couch

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Much like the title of this article states: while functional, a futon is nothing more than the epitome of college living. Futons are NOT visually appealing, they provide little to no support and are overall just horrible (try and change my mind – you won’t be able to). And if you don’t have a futon, I bet you have an old hand-me down couch with a flower pattern and a few tears on it. But I mean, it does the job, right? No, no, NO – it is still not ok, and you should not settle. You see, the couch is the cornerstone of the living room. It is like what the CN Tower (or Drake) is to the 6ix; without it, there really isn’t anything interesting about the place (whoops, sorry TO). Ok, so back on track, rather than splurging on your non-fat, iced americano with one pump of vanilla, invest in a nice couch such as one from the AMAZING selection from Structube. Their couches are trendy, affordable and will suit anyone’s style! Seriously, these couches are amazing – and they are a Canadian brand! Check them out here, I’d seriously recommend it → Structube Couches

2. Framed Prints

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There is nothing more satisfying than hanging up a beautiful photograph in a perfectly fitted frame- literally, nothing (at least in my opinion). In your first ‘real’ home it is so important to decorate your home by showing off your photos in nice frames, rather than your old, dingy university posters that have seen better days. Nobody wants to see the Friends poster on your walls (you know the one). So basic. However, make sure that whatever pictures you frame truly reflect who you are. Your pictures and artwork tell a story, so what you put up will reflect exactly who you are. Also, just because framing something may seem “fancy”, it doesn’t mean you have to break the bank. To stay low cost, I recommend finding vintage prints from a cool store, and then finding an inexpensive frame from Ikea to house it in- it can cost as little as $20 to do this! Framing your photos instantly creates a ‘wow’ factor for your home, and is SO simple to do. Check out some fun prints and frames here → Society6 Prints

3. A Nice Carpet

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Call me crazy, but I consider this another staple of a nice living space. As I mentioned, your home is a reflection of who you are, so it will be worthwhile to cash-out a little on pieces such as this. A carpet will provide a base for the room (literally), and if you have a gross hardwood or old cat-pee covered carpet, this is the perfect thing to cover it up. Further, they are extremely customizable, for all of you worried about the carpet being too “boring”; playing around with different sizes, colours and textures CAN be fun (I promise). Overall, a carpet can tie everything in a room together, immediately taking an extremely mediocre room to that ‘wow’ factor level. Name another piece of furniture/decor that has the power to do that. I’ll be waiting here for your response.  Carpets also DO NOT have to break the bank! Wayfair has some super trendy carpets at some CRAZY low prices. Stay tuned for their sales because that’s when the prices will literally go out of control. Take a look here →  Wayfair Carpets

4. Real Lighting

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We are not talking about string lights here, or as I like to call them, “house fire starters”. Not only are these things DANGEROUS if they aren’t attended to, but they are, to be
quite frank, FUGLY!! Sure, they were fine for your college dorm or student house, but in your first real house, you deserve
real lighting. Seriously. One of the things that has stuck with me the most from taking a few architecture classes is the effect that lighting has on your mood. So, it is beyond important to invest in proper lighting to ensure your space is allowing you to be in the best mood possible, so that you can adult as best as you can. If possible, and your landlord allows you to, hire an electrician (or DIY, if you have that technical ability) to install a dimmer in the main spaces of your home. The right dimmed lighting can set the ~mood~ for the next time you bring your hot date over, or if you just want to watch a movie. Secondly, replace all the ugly blue lighting in your house with bulbs with a nice white/yellow tone. These tones will create a calm mood and won’t make your home feel like a warehouse. Some lighting elements I would personally recommend adding to your home are a nice table and floor lamp. Lamps can help showcase your design flare, and also provide a great alternative to the costs associated with installing overhead lighting. Check out some cool options here: West Elm Lamps

5. Your Personality

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Last but not least, an important staple for your home is a good aesthetic that represents YOU. Regardless of all the advice I gave, your home is a reflection of yourself- so make it look that way. Utilize décor such as throw pillows, succulents, or a coffee table book- whatever will make your place more personable is critical to truly feeling at home. I know that my home is going to look like it came straight out of a 60s Scandinavian Furniture ad, so apologies in advance to my future roommates. At the end of the day, you are going to be the one spending the most time in the space so make sure you don’t just like it. Make sure you LOVE it.

Whether you are already living in your first real home in the city, or are on the last few months in your crummy student home, there you have it, a starting approach towards helping you shape up the best version of your first home from, yours truly, a washed-up Pier 1 Imports employee and HGTV junkie.

XOXO

Aidan & the Zillennials

(PS- If you’re looking for more content, check out my Pinterest board for first apartments!)