Sunday, January 31, 2010

The No Spend Week Challenge

Hi there, after a long night of night duty, it's been really hard to sleep today with the heat, so I'm up well ahead of time, hopefully I'll survive tonight ok!

Well It's official, I have not spent a cent since doing the groceries on Friday morning, that is now 48 hours. That totally includes going to work. At 4am the vending machine can be really tempting with chips & Caramello koalas (my fav). But before you know it you've spent $4 or $5 on junk that goes to your backside! 2 down sides here, that's money you'll never, ever see again and also not good for the bootie! (That's a sideline goal this year, just to keep fit & healthy).

Thanks for your comments and I look forward to keeping you updated on my progress. Someone suggested I checkout . I had a qucik look this morning when I got home, but will check it out in more detail tomorrow when I'm functional again.

Keep making & saving,


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Making Day

So, Saturday and I find I have a peaceful day, with everyone out. Time to do some mending, underwear, jumpers, long-sleeve tees and some cooking for dinner tonight.

I feel revived that I can now just hum along with what we have and make things out of nothing!

Have been also enjoying some free advice from my friends at where you can get information on just about anything. 

Off to work tonight and a busy week with shifts next week, so am on a mission to ensure all of what we are going to need for next week is up to date, preventing us from making unnecessary purchases. 

My family love having homemade lunches and one of my son's friends commented once, that "your mum musn't work because you always have great stuff in your lunch box". I guess it's just a matter of prioritising.

Well, here's for a zero spend week next week (with the exception of essentials)! I'll put it up daily and see how I go!

Happy making!


Friday, January 29, 2010

Grocery Shopping Day

Well, a successful day today, with grocery shopping totalling $80.00. That includes everything we need to feed the family (4 adults) all meals, including lunches being taken from home and all dinners until next Friday. I have $20 left for incidental expenses until then. I never do the shopping without having planned what's going to be cooked for dinner or baked for adding to school lunches etc. It's when you don't take the time to do this that you end up  impulse buying. I also never buy pre made cakes/biscuits, bakery items. I ensure I put time aside to do all of these things myself. A good bread maker helps!

We recently had a camping trip down the Great Ocean Road for 4nights. Unfortunately I needed to do the grocery shopping once we got down there. As usual all meals had been carefully planned, although I was unable to bake!
I budgeted my usual ~$100, thinking it would cost a little more than usual, but to my surprise when I got to the register, I had spent a grand total of $230 for only 5 days worth of food. I was in absolute disbelief, but then realised that this was probably the "norm" for a good number of Australian families who buy significant amounts of processed food. Not only is it clearly not good for your bank balance, but not good for your waistline either,(or that of your children).

It was a proud moment for me to see that even though our financial status isn't great at the moment, it would probably be significantly worse if I wasn't a frugal shopper. 

Off now to make some Sticky Cinnamon scrolls and Banana & Choc chip muffins ready for next weeks lunches/snacks!

Happy saving!



Thursday, January 28, 2010

Investing in your children's futures

Well after going into meltdown yesterday afternoon after enrollment information for my son's university course hadn't arrived, I really had to make the effort to sit and think clearly and rationally about how I was going to be able to make this happen for him. You see, his chosen career path is that of a Commercial Pilot and unless you have a spare $115,000 sitting in your bank account, it's not a particularly easy course to fund. 

After spending 6 hours at enrollment with him today all my questions were answered, karma returned and the world was a better place again! He of course wasn't terribly phased and simply said to me, "oh well mum, whatever makes it easier for you and dad". Very understanding our son. He has never consciously been financially demanding. We do place high level importance on education in our house and having just funded my husband's career change, backing up to do our son's is a little more challenging for my meager wage. We were able to defer all fee payments onto FEE-Help/HECS-HELP at least until the end of 2nd year, which by then it won't be an issue as darling husband will have been working again for almost 2 years and my goal for this year being to get rid of the house hold debt!

You see, this is life, it presents you with challenges and it's up to you to carefully think through all of your options prior to making decisions. The right answer is always there, you just have to find it!

Anyway, dear son now also has some saving goals of his own in regard to his study and a lot of very serious study ahead. As for myself, I just have to keep everyone focused on not further damaging the family's financial status and repairing the damage of the past 3 years. 

Together we stand united and working for the common goals of our family!

Until next time


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Day one

Day one actually started on New Year's day, but this new year resolution was not going to be like any other and last a couple of days. Loads of planning and changing of mind set has gone into this "Life Changing" resolution and this is the year that my family's lives will change around financially.

You see, we've always been able to have everything we wanted(within reason), until my husband decided to have a career change at what was probably the most expensive time of our lives (in terms of children's education, mortgage etc). I agreed and increased my working hours to slightly more than full time (very possible in my profession). You see I also thought that everyone would stop spending and asking for things like they did when there were 2 good incomes in the house, but it didn't quite work that way!

So here's the situation as it stands now! $55,000 in debt + a mortgage of $332,000. My husband has 6 months from today of the final phase of his new career (then he'll have a job I hope), 1 child starting university this year and 1 child going into year 10 (private school).

At the beginning of the career change we only had a mortgage, and a credit card we payed off each month. what we lacked was the ability to say no, either to each other or the children! We had never thought of ourselves as irresponsible with money, but clearly with no set plan on paper it was never going to be easy to see exactly where we were headed. Until one day I snapped! And then it was all out! Everything I thought I had been protecting everyone from was finally out on paper!

I intend using this blog to help me stay on track and remind myself of why we as a family all need to make sacrifices. You see what I want to teach my children out of all of this also is that things don't have to cost a lot of money to make you happy! Presents don't need to be bought, they can be made with love and appreciated even more than the bought gift!

So here we go, let the recovery begin!