Thursday, February 3, 2011


Well......The title says it all! What a great way to spend the month of February. Detoxing the body and the finances. My darling daughter has also just started VCE (Year 11) and is feeling a little overwhelmed and needs a little "mummy" looking after, there's a new puppy in the house and to top it off, I broke my toe on Monday and am off work for 2 weeks....oh well it could be worse.

The no alcohol is very refreshing. My husband is also on board with this which is great. It will be interesting to see what it does for our finances also. Not drinking is great as I find I look for alternative ideas. On our very, very hot days I made large jugs of iced tea......just from regular tea I had at home. With black tea I added a small amount of sugar & lemon slices while it infused. Then I strained it and put it in the fridge to chill. Served over lots of ice and a dash of honey, it made a lovely refreshing drink. I was also given some fruit tea for Christmas. This also makes a great icey cold drink. Made in the same way I also added orange slices and a little less sugar (as it's already sweet). The kids also really enjoyed these drinks.

Late last year I had been reading a saving story where a person renamed their savings account the Homeless & Destitute account....because if they took money from it that's what they'd be...homeless & destitute. I decided I would kick this off on the 1st of January. The idea is to put away $1 for which ever day of the week it is; ie the 1st =$1, the 2nd = $2 and so on. What I decided to do however is once the savings amount got to the point where I couldn't afford it, I would contribute to my fund at the level I could afford, this way I was still contributing on a daily basis. For the month of January I managed to save over $400. Normally during that particular month I would never save anything becauseof holidays. I felt very proud of myself and find that I think about it daily. I love seeing that money in the bank account, knowing it will be there for a very long time. My simple savings "WAR ON DEBT" calendar is great for being able to plan how much needs to be put away each week. I am also using the days to track my no spend challenge and no alcohol days.

The unfortunate (but bonus) time off has seen me be able to get some cleaning out of individual rooms done. With the start of the new year, I feel this incredible urge to declutter my life of nonessential items. But also to reconnect with the possessions I do have so that they can be given a new life again. My eldest child is moving out of home (this is a very positive step) and I can forward on to him items which we are no longer using or needing. With all of the natural disasters happening I'm sure there are also many others who would benefit directly or indirectly from donations.

I have found some awesome downloads(free) from to help me plan my month with beautiful planners, to do lists, exercise planners, menu planners and general inspiration. For me this is essential to the peaceful, calm me. It keeps me motivated and gives me focus in my day, rather than just letting the days get filled with whatever gets thrown at me. I have come to the conclusion that I am at my best and my happiest when I can be at home creating, cooking, planning and taking care of my family. They are not chores.....they fill me with love!

This year will be the most productive, positive and fulfilling year to set the tone for the rest of my life.

Happy making & saving!


Saturday, January 22, 2011


Hi Guys,

Finally I am back after a very long break away from the BLOGG! This didn't mean I had abandoned my principles, I was actually working very, very LONG hours and trying to manage my family and keep us on track financially.

I must confess that I didn't always succeed, however we didn't go backwards. We have even managed a 22 day road trip over xmas without using a ingle credit card. The final budget total was only $200 over.

My big news is that my husband now has a job, and although his pay is very low (not on an hourly rate) despite the long hours he works, it is still helping us break through the credit card mountain.

I have been able to drop my hours from 120 per fortnight to a mere 92hours per fortnight. The goal being that this time next year I can just work the standard 72 hour fortnight. What bliss this would be for me!

My comminttment to you; my followers and avid readers this year, is to continue with my plight, in order to achieve my long term goals.....and maybe give you some inspiration along the way. There is so much to tell you from last year, but also about moving forward in 2011.

Until tomorrow.

Happy making& saving


Tuesday, April 6, 2010

The Beginning of a New Month

Hi all, sorry I've not written for a while. Last month was particularly busy in many ways, and I have finally managed to have 2 weeks off work (this being week 2). Last week my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage. It feels like it was just yesterday when we tied the knot. 20 down, 20 to go (or more, depends how long we live). We just spent 3 days away camping in a beautiful part of Victorian coast line. It was a free site, with a well looked after toilet block. Everything else was provided by ourselves (the fun, laughter, entertainment and enjoyment of the natural environment.) Even rain didn't spoil our fun. it just reiterated to myself that the best things in live are free! I think Johanna beach has become my new favourite holiday destination. Pristine, unspoilt, magnificent beaches.

Well there are a few issues again this month! Although it is $21 challenge month, I have been doing it for so long now, that I need to stock up my pantry. Unfortunately that will mean about a $200 shop today. I also intend on having a baking day and stockpiling the freezer with home baked goodies/pasta & bread to help me get through the first few weeks back at work. They will be extremely busy.

The other issue is, the RBA meets today and you know what that means. Another interest rate hike. I have been paying my mortgage 1% higher that what my bank are charging me, that way, I won't quite feel the pinch so much. I certainly understand why they are putting the rates up so much, it just doesn't really seem to be helping. If your like me, you probably couldn't afford to buy your humble abode anymore. In fact, I think the house prices are absolutely ridiculous. Blah, blah, blah!

So, this month I have no significant bills to battle with, just still striving to keep the credit card debt under control and paying it down. I am also counting down the months until my husband starts working again (it will have been 3 1/2 years).

Keep making, saving and don't give in to consumerism. Stay true to yourself and your financial goals. It's worth it in the end! All with a big smile on your face!!!!!!

Happy making & saving!


Thursday, March 11, 2010

Aarggghhhhh!!! The Grocery Shopping

Well, the grocery shopping got done and it was a slight blow out! $83.38 to be precise! Admittedly it was a bit of a stock up on the pantry, however, I now have only $123.09 left to last me until the 31st of March. Impossible i hear you say, I'm determined to make this money stretch as faaaarrrrrr as I possibly can.

On another note, I accessed an online financial planner today to see how I can make sure we are set up for life and how to best use the freed up money I will have once the CC debt is all paid off. My dad has always said to me that my generation seem to be asset rich and cash poor, and he certainly wasn't wrong. However, if I didn't payout $1700 a month in repayments (excluding the mortgage), then we would have so much more to invest for our future. The other important thing that was highlighted, was my lack of emergency fund, indicating that I should have an emergency fund of around $20,000. This does seem extreme, but in reality it is probably quite accurate. So I guess this is something I should attempt to work on whilst concurrently paying down the CC debt. In case your wondering, the emergency fund should represent about 3-6 months worth of expenses. Obviously if you are significantly in advance of your mortgage, you may be able to exclude that amount from your emergency fund, and just allocate the amount for all of your other living expenses/repayments.

Anyway, must go, sun is shining and there is plenty of washing to be done! a new batch of muffins is in order today also!

Happy making & saving!


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pay Week Again!

Well, it's that time again, where the money comes into the bank account as quickly as it will go out. It will be grocery shopping today, may spend about $75 as I need to stock up on a few things, but we'll see how that goes.

This pay period I will increase my mortgage repayment by $70(per fortnight), just to ensure that I always stay ahead in my repayments as well as ensuring that I can always afford the repayments as interest rates continue to rise again. I remember finding it really difficult when they were around 9%, so am trying to keep ahead now by paying the mortgage as if it were at a slightly higher interest rate.

I will also be increasing my savings per fortnight by 10% of what I currently save. It's not much, but by increasing it each month I hope that I get to the point where I can actually save 10% of my pay each fortnight without missing it. At the moment, I would definitely miss it!

We had the long weekend away in country Victoria for our friend's wedding and didn't totally blow the budget. The country side was fabulous and we totally enjoyed the fresh country air and being with our friends to celebrate such a special occasion with them. The bride was glowing and the groom just a little nervous, but what a romantic wedding, full of spontaneity, laughter and pure joy. They are a very special couple! From a financial point of view, we managed to pretty well stay on track and still have a great time. We stopped off at a fabulous Cheese factory and had a small splurge on the way home. Will ration it out over the next few weeks.

The start of this week also sees me well in control of the enormous outgoings that I have. Last week I was feeling very uneasy about all of that, but now I can see that there are no shortfalls and everything will be paid in full, without the use of credit! Over $10,000! I feel very proud of that achievement.

Having all of the bills paid up on time also gives me a sense of security. I can see this year being on track for achieving my very important goals!

Lots of organinsing to do today and tomorrow, before starting 4 shifts of night duty!

Happy making & saving!


Monday, March 1, 2010

A New Day, a New Month

Welcome to March, the last month of the first quarter. How much difference can we make to our yearly goals this month. The results of the Poll were interesting also, and I found it inspiring to see that 49% of people who came to my blog and voted had credit card debt of between $0-$1000. 16% $1001-$5000, 10% 5001- $10000, and surprisingly 23% > $10001. My mission is to be in the first category by the end of this year. Together, we can all achieve this goal and say "NO" to consumerism and "YES" to financial freedom and independence!

Today also marks the day that my eldest child starts his first day of university. He is studying to be a Commercial Pilot and he looked gorgeous in his uniform this morning as he made his way to the Airport for the first time!

After a relaxing day yesterday and a good night's sleep, I feel refreshed and rejuvenated to give this month all that I've got. Just over $10,000 to be paid this month, just in school fees (1/3 of a year) and the last installment on the trip to Borneo ($3900). My hubby contributes most of the school fees money through his part time job.

So, time to knuckle down, now that I'm re focused. And ensure that this month doesn't see us going backwards (that's really important to us making headway). So join me on my journey and lets beat consumerism and bad debt together!

Happy Making & Saving!!

Martha :))

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The Last Day of February

Well, the last day of February has me feeling a little bit daunted. I know I have achieved small steps forward, however March marks the month where I have very large outgoings and 2 weddings. Whilst I was endeavouring to do No Spend February, I feel as though I fell off the wagon in the last 2 weeks. I need to gather my thoughts and refocus. I can't say that I have spent copious amounts of money on frivolous things, it's just how I feel. The smallest of my credit cards has only got $259 left, which will be paid off in April according to my payment plan and the next one up which has $771 will be paid off in June. Small achievements I know, but at least the debts are going down rather than up. By the end of March I will have earned(in addition to my normal pay) the last of the payment for my daughter's trip away ($1365) and gotten our son sorted out at uni. There has been no interest in the car yet, but we are reasonably confident it will sell sooner rather than later. I will be working a lot again next month, which I think is why I feel the way I do right at the moment. Not much time to stop & think about exactly where I am up to financially and look at what I am achieving.

Today I did the groceries and spent a grand total of $30.50, that will get me through until Thursday, when I will do a big shop again (some of which we will take away with us next weekend (all meals will be at the apartment, except the Saturday/Sunday night dinners which are provided). That leaves me a grocery budget left for March of $219.50. That's an average of $50/week. All of the bills are paid and nothing is outstanding. I have $273 in my savings account and $359 available in my redraw. I will endeavour to continue on my "No Spend" mission, but need to go back to writing it down daily.

Hopefully I feel better at the end of next week after some nice relaxing days off. I can't wait for the Wedding. We are all really excited.

Not much making to do this week, as we are still feasting off last weeks big bake up!

Happy making & saving!