Saturday, February 20, 2021

Around here

Not much has been happening around here with my teenagers pretty well having their own social lives and working part time.  It's been a big transition of letting go and one that I am learning to adjust to every day.  I do miss the days of being in charge of our outings and spending time with them however I have raised them to be independent confident young people and that's what they are now.  My son finishes high school at the end of this year and my daughter will have another 2 years after that.  It seems like only yesterday I was walking them into their prep classrooms.  Bittersweet is a word that comes to mind.

Not having them around to be in my photos and not wanting to be in any photos anymore is also a big adjustment for me because my photography is my happy place.  I'm starting a 2 week online lighting course which I've been trying to get into for 4 years as it sells out in 2 minutes and the registration time is 2.00 am Australian time.  I'm more than prepared to stay up or wake up at that time if I thought I had a chance of actually getting in, however within 1-2 minutes the seats are sold so out.  This last round you could put your name down on a list and 10 people would be randomly selected to get into the course before the registrations.   I had nothing to lose so I put my name down and I was so excited to be picked to secure a seat so I didn't have to wake up in the middle of the night and miss out again.  Not sure how I'm going to go with no one to photograph in beautiful light, so I'll just have to see how I go.  I am very pleased to be able to do this online course after wanting to do it for 4 years and I like to do one photography related course a year.

Here's a few things around on the internet at the moment.

I came across Sustainable Holly's website and here is a great post on being sustainable.  Here is another post on Natural Pest Management.

How "Burning Desire for Fire" started her "no spend days" and gave herself a coloured box if she didn't spend any money for 3-4 days of the week.

Home Grown Happiness Sourdough Recipe and timing of her process.

Emma from A Simple Living Journey answers all the questions about importing a Yurt into Australia and her family living in it on their 265 acre farm in NSW.

One of my favourite blogs Tales from a Happy House and her new yearly embroidery and this beautiful collection from January.

My new "Lunch Box Edition" of Additive Free Lifestyle Cook Book has been posted to me and I can't wait to get it.  The girls recipes are so simple and all the family favourites without nasty additives or preservatives. 

My friend grew this little pumpkin and gifted it to me.  I've never grown pumpkins myself so I was excited to receive this and I can't wait to roast some for dinner this week.

I ordered the beautiful hardcopy of Susan's Big Patch Quilt.  I purchased the PDF pattern last year and started my quilt and had to put it aside to attend to family health issues.  I need to get back to quilting this and putting a binding on.  If you have never done any patchwork this is a great starter quilt and if you can sew a straight line you can make this quilt.  Susan has the most impeccable taste and talent mixing her fabrics together which makes these quilts.  Here's my post from August when I put together my quilt.

Home made sausage rolls and salad for dinner.

Sold an item on Facebook Market Place so this is going straight into savings.

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Around here - Finance

It's time to get a coffee and have a good read as it's the beginning of the year it's always a good idea to revisit your budget.  I wish I knew all of this stuff when I was 20 or 25 however I still love all things finance.  I have tracked my spending for the past 20 years, firstly in a paper based system and then for many years in an excel spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet tabs are all linked and I balance them back to my bank accounts.  For years I have spoken to the kids about finance and explaining about buying a pair of jeans for $50 cash or $50 on a credit card and explaining the difference and the fact that the credit card purchase costs more than $50. 

A few years ago I got the Barefoot Investor for Families and the kids, in their teens then put on a family dinner party for 7 for a budget of $50. They had to look up online prices of the groceries, check the pantry and then work out how to have a 3 course dinner for $50, buy it themselves, cook it and serve it.  They absolutely loved the whole event and we loved being waited on all evening.

This was my post in January 2020 about budgeting and cutting back on my food budget.

This is my finance post for January 2018 [posted on the last day of 2017]

This was my post from January 2016 which has the big explanation of my excel budget spreadsheet and how I run it.

The simplistic version of a budget it to spend less than you earn, and when put like that it seems like a simple thing to master so why do so many people are scared of the word budget as they think deprivation.  Burying your head in the sand is not the answer and knowing where you are spending your money gives you control.  Even if you are in credit card debt, it's not going to go away by itself.  You need to start paying it off, sell unused items in your home on buy, sell groups and put the money straight onto the credit card debt.  The debt is money you have spent however not earned yet and the pain comes from having to start paying it off.

These days with the "after pay" popularity it encourages people to buy things they don't have the money for yet.  ie spending next weeks pay before you earn it.  If used wisely, I'm sure it is a great thing however it does encourage the "I want it now even though I don't have the money and then that form of spending can very easily get out of control".

Have you heard of the FIRE Community?  It stands for Financially Independent Retire Early.

Going back to spend less than you earn, the Fire Community try and save as much as they can by being frugal and having goals and being committed to a better financial future.  Some save as much as 50% of their earnings or even more.  So with a two person income family they might budget to spend one of them and the other one they would invest all the money.   In the Barefoot Investor he talks about saving firstly your MOJO account or in other words an emergency fund.  That can be as little as $2,000 for emergencies, the car breaks down, the fridge breaks etc.  Having an emergency fund with at least 3 months expenses and preferably 6 months.  So if you need $4,000 per month for your mortgage, food, petrol, bills, entertainment etc. firstly save up $12,000 and leave it in a savings account not to be touched unless for an emergency.  This doesn't include deciding to go away for the weekend or a holiday it is purely to get you through 3 months of expenditure should something happen.  Having six months ie $24,000 would be better however depending on your income and expenditure this is a lot for the average family.

No one thinks an emergency that would require $24,000 would happen, until a pandemic came along and people lost their jobs.  Worrying about paying the mortgage or rent and putting food on the table is stressful however imagine that money was sitting there and while everyone else was worried sick and not sleeping at night, you knew you could get by for 3, 6 or 12 months.  You can't buy that peace of mind.  A lot of people lost their jobs, and just about everybody you know, knows someone that lost their job.  Who would have thought that no planes would be flying, shopped closed, people working from home.  Australia has been so lucky in terms of the cases we have had compared to the rest of the world however many many Australians lost their jobs and businesses have closed.

Going back to the Fire Community, working hard to get ahead financially using investing and compound interest and being frugal.  Keeping up with the Jones is not part of the Fire Community they have a mission to be financially secure well before retirement age.  It doesn't mean that they sit on a beach for the rest of their lives and don't work, it means they do not have to worry about money and they can enjoy part time work, pursue a hobby, do community work or travel.  

This is Burning Desire for Fire who has just retired as a teacher 10 years early.

Family on Fire on the way to financial freedom.

A post on wealth and it's not all about money.

Even thought it's the 2nd of February, 2021 it looks like most January's I do a post on finance.

This is a post from February, 2020 that also might be of interest to you.