It's been so lovely to have rain this week and the lawn has gone from dead brown to thriving green again. Sadly there are still bush fires in Australia however some parts of the country have their first rain fall in a long time. Not enough rain to declare the drought over however any rain is good rain for farmers and land owners. Here's hoping we don't get a big flood now like we do late January each year.
This week I went to a new hairdresser after 15 years of a using the same mobile hairdresser who comes to your home. It was great when the kids were small as once they were in bed I could get my hair done at 7pm while they slept however that's not so important now as they are teenagers. Changing hairdressers or doctors is a difficult thing because we get used to someone knowing us and finding someone new is scary and will I like what they do, will they know what suits us etc.
I did some research last week and picked 3 hairdressers near me that were possibles. An acquaintance I know goes to one of them and her hair always looks lovely so that was the front runner until I discovered a more local to me London trained salon who's staff do training and enter competitions to keep up with the latest styles and colours. In other words, fresh eyes and salon experience. I went in to chat to the owner to discuss my hair and then booked an appointment. All I can say was they are very professional, friendly and the experience was great with great customer service. I got an email today welcoming me as a new customer and a gift voucher for $5 off my next visit. I love the colour and the cut even though in the photo you can only see the front. The sides shape down to the front on an angle and the back is shaped as well which you can't see. Here's my before and after photos taken on my iPhone so it's a bit blurry.
I also came across this post from Vicky at The Bluebirds are Nesting
which I found great. I still believe there is a perception in our society that stay at home mothers don't contribute any money because they don't bring home a wage. As you can see in Vicky's post that her friend went to work full time however when they did the numbers she was working for 50 cents an hour. People only think of the salary and not about the tax, the enormous cost to put kids in childcare, petrol/bus or train fares etc. and work out how much money they are really making. If it's worth it then yes, however money can be earned by the things you do at home in lieu of that weekly pay cheque.
I took the time to work out how much money I had saved by making the kids school lunches. In primary school from Prep to Grade 4, I gave the kids 50 cents each on a Friday to get an ice block however this was not the entire year and I think I only started it from Grade 2 maybe. From Grade 5 to Grade 6 the school had special meal deals about 2-3 times a year for the swimming carnival or sports day which was about $5 for subway and a drink or pizza hut pizza and a drink. So in any one year it was only 2-3 days I didn't make school lunches for my kids.
Let say $5 for an average school lunch however it could be more $6-$8 however we'll call it $5 for this calculation.
1 child x 5 days a week x 40 weeks = 200 days in one year - 3 days meal deal = 197 days
Therefore 197 days x $5.00 = $985 per year for one child
Therefore first child at school for 11 years x $985 = $10,835
Therefore 2nd child at school for 9 years x $985 = $8,865
Total $19,700 during their school years.
So one year of $5 per day per child for two children only having 3 tuckshop days would be $2,000.
Therefore by me making school lunches I have saved $19,700
during their time at school. This does not take into account 1 year of kindy for each kid because there is no tuckshop at kindy even though I made their lunches 3 days a week for kindy for both kids.
Whilst I have saved $19,700 on making school lunches it does not mean I have $19,700 sitting in a bank account [oh I wish I did]. It does mean however that I didn't have $20,000
to spend on school lunches when there are living expenses and bills to pay like house and contents insurance, rates, water, electricity, car insurance, maintenance, food, petrol and other standard living expenses. It also means that my kids ate healthy home made food without lots of artificial chemicals and flavours as with quick supermarket lunch box snack items that are promoted for busy working Mums'. Even if I had lots of money to pay for school tuckshop for my kids I wouldn't because I know the food I provide them is better for them. So whilst it's about the money, it's not about the money.
So in The Vicky Challenge
she encourages you to work out how much money you are saving/contributing to your family by doing things at home. This does not include housework, goodness me we would all be rich by now if that was included. It's more about making pizza at home on a Friday night rather than spending $40 on the Friday night pizza meal deal. Pizza can be made at home for a few dollars and most people have these ingredients in their cupboards, flour, yeast, ham and veggies.
When it comes to growing your own veggies we all know that it may not necessarily be a money saving task, it's more the fact that we know where the food is grown with no chemicals and we can walk out into the back yard and pick some herbs or lettuce. My garden is bare at the moment so that is my next step to weed and get some lettuce, spring onions, coriander and tomatoes planted. Herbs are very expensive to buy because a recipe may call for 1 tablespoon of rosemary and to buy a packet at $3 and the rest is wasted. Luckily I have rosemary and oregano growing in my garden however I need to get other things going again as it's such a feel good thing as well.