Tuesday, July 29, 2014

29/365 Needing Less Is The Way To Having More

Right On My Doorstep

How Australian

A Very Tall tree

The Way Through the Woods
In my days of buying too much, and in my mini-downfalls of continuing to buy, all I felt was disengaged, disheartened and remorseful. Logic would tell a person that if the actions you are doing make you feel this way, then the right thing to do would be to stop.

And for a while I did.

Then the slippery slope would be soaped up and I would binge buy. At no time when I have binge bought in the past have I ever felt calm, composed and pleased with myself. Like the saying goes, if I am not happy with what I have, how can more make me feel better? And it didn't. I was angry mainly, perhaps because you know what, I think I am OK, I think I can keep a handle on a fair few things, but buying (mainly clothes) was something that seemed to keep getting the better of me. I couldn't work it out and to be honest I still can't work it out why I felt the need to own, mostly unworn, clothing.

I have stopped buying (again) as of 29 days ago and unless I need something (highly unlikely) I won't buy anything else for as long as I can. When I read my fave blog ILONA and find out she is wearing items she has had 25 years, that makes me excited and inspired and keen to be even a fraction like that. Very rarely has an item of clothing really moved me. I love a few items, a few certain colours and styles and some cool boots, but beyond that I really couldn't care less.

So once again it begs the question? Why have I spent the equivalent of a down payment on a house on clothing. I do not know.

I don't care if I look fashionable. I do like certain looks, but I have all I need to achieve these styles, so I don't need more. I don't care what people think of me, in fact current observations suggest I look very much (and dress very much) like an elf! Hahaaa...I have no problem with that! Today I am wearing a Christmas jumper with Christmas trees and snowflakes on, tight purple skinny legs, red elf boots and my hair, is a dark red/black pixie colour...

I simply can't buy any more. The way I feel when I buy is just too disappointing. I think more of myself than to disappoint myself...have I finally got it together...

...computer says "yes".

...watch this space...

Saving Half My Pay Round One

Local Winter Daffs Aren't They Lovely/
Oh my word, it has been blowing a gale all night, siling it down and terrifying animals and people. Streets are flooded, branches and trees down, houses soaked through. My students have wet shoes and socks and the weather, oh the weather, love it, hate it, but today we are all scared by it.

Will capture some pictures for you if I can see through the rain!

Anyway, today is the day. I am about to embark upon my latest challenge, in which I save over half my pay. Now many clever frugalistas can do this with no worries, but I am a work in progress, one which has a long way to go.

So, each fortnight, I will put the sum in my mind in my untouchable account. It will be just slightly over half of my pay. Everything that is left I will be documenting how it gets spent and re-organised in a small memo book I purloined from school

Of the money I spend I will be able to see if there are some leaks that still need plugging. One dyke with a leak in it is that of the spare money I have that I waste on the more junk type food area. I think the key to not spending on rubbish is to not have the money available, (simple really).

My problem with spending on garbage is that I have had leftover money on my debit card and have spent it on crap. Mt tummy feels it and my mind is unimpressed by it.

But I feel fairly strong. I am continually inspired by ILONA on a daily basis. She is who I want to be when I really can get my frugal pants on and fastened. I know I have the willpower, I know how pleased I am with myself when I am frugal. I have paid off thousands in the past with sensible and tempered living...there should be no reason I can't up the tightwad-ness..

Look out...here I come.

In two weeks time I will blog my discoveries, findings and successes. Notice I did not say failures...? Failure is not an option.

Monday, July 28, 2014

A No-Cost Adventure

End of our lane

Walking towards the dog park

End of our road

An interesting house

Child chasing dog chasing child

Ugly but beautiful

Through the trees is the water

Ava and Jazz

Here comes the rain
Yesterday my daughter and her friend and I went for a walk, we took two of our dogs. I always lament the fact that we don't walk around our area enough, so we are making big efforts to rectify this. We live on the river and by lots of dense bushland so it is rather daft not to take advantage of it.

My daughter didn't get dressed yesterday and went out in her sleeping attire (leggings and a tee) topped off with a lime green fleece dressing gown. She didn't care, neither did I. In fact my daughter is so disinterested in clothes it makes me laugh sometimes!

We walked for an hour and played chasies with the dogs as well as trying (somewhat unsuccessfully) to skim stones on the water. Those two little kids and myself, not to mention the dogs, could not have had more fun if we had tried. The kids and the dogs smiled the whole time and when we got home everyone felt satisfied having filled their lungs with air and having a big laugh.

Such fun.

What is your favourite no-cost adventure?

Sunday, July 27, 2014

26/365 Why Zip Lock Bags Upset Me

I woke up this foggy morning thinking about ziploc bags. Yes this is totally true. They have been on my mind for a while now and I am feeling kind of frustrated by them.

You see every lunchtime at school the children I work with often have parts of their lunch harboured in ziploc bags. They remove the contents and immediately chuck the bags in the bin. Well oftentimes the contents they have removed are things like biscuits or very dry and clean based items and the bag, well made and hard to break down, is simply trashed.

I can't see past this since these bags have so much more life left in them and are perfectly good to be used again. Cost aside, what a damn waste of something that has a full life left.

I would love to hear from readers of ideas for re-use. I am happy to wash them out, dry and re-use myself. The bags are not contaminated by biscuits and crackers. They don't hold meat since very few of my kids actually eat that sort of thing for their lunch. It is just such a lot of plastic, a lot of waste and it agitates me.

On a more Sunday note we will be walking the dogs later. It's a damp sort of a Sunday, fog aplenty, but it's not freezing, and even if it was we do have top coats, scarves and mittens to keep us warm. I thought I would leave you with this picture today, whilst it looks like a quagmire of doggy disaster, this is my daughter in bed (face hidden) with three of our dogs, two findable amongst the debris and one who just has to be a big lump under the covers.

What could be nicer?

Saturday, July 26, 2014

For God's Sake Stop Being So Damn Selfish

The Cold Child

The Warrior

Please be prepared for a rant...one is coming...and I make no apologies for it.

My daughter, who is a mighty fine and empathetic human being (and who looks very much like the child in the photo above) has a friend. She is a sweet little eleven year old and has been a good companion for my girl. BUT this poor little lass, let's call her Sophie, lives in reduced, nay quite questionable circumstances.

My dear girl and I were driving to school the other day and she queried whether or not she had a spare coat. I said she did, (she has three- all donated btw). She then asked if she might be able to give one to Sophie (who looks very much like the illustration above). I said that would be fine, but then probed to find out more.

Sophie is one of MANY children in her home. Cool, sounds good. But Sophie is one of many NEGLECTED children who come to school with barely anything to eat, who get left with their mother's latest love interest whilst the mother trots off overseas on a holiday for two weeks. And who also go out into the world in sub-zero temperatures in a light polo top and no coat.

WTF? It makes me so angry. I can barely speak to be honest.

Reports to child services don't help really, because she is not actually being abused physically or sexually. The abuse is different. And also (and I don't blame child services I think they do a great job under budget cuts and other red-tape challenges)- but to me this kid is every bit as abused, in the fact that the mother obviously has thousands of dollars to spend on HERSELF but not her little kids.

I don't mind helping out and giving my girl extra food and clothing to give to Sophie. Some might say I am giving the mother (and I use this term loosely) no reason to step up as a parent BUT when it is a little kid, it's a no brainer. Her needs have to come first. The mother is a dumb bi**h.

My positive from this is that my daughter sees how well she is cared for and she also has a developed, caring, sweet and loving nature. A nature that considers others above herself.

For that I can be very grateful.

- names have been changed to protect the innocent.