Tough times require tough measures.
I'm going right back to basics this month. Annabel and Helens thread on wartime practices has inspired me to reignite my passion for doing the tough stuff and loving it.
For many years, this was a necessity as I struggled to raise three sons on my own. These days it's more of a choice as my sons have all grown and left home, and my husband and daughter and I lead a somewhat different life to those struggles of old.
These days it's more about preserving our lifestyle as we edge towards retirement (ten years away) and ensuring that we can weather financial crises of all kinds. We are so fortunate that we've weathered the recent dark financial times, when many we know of our era, have not. The words 'share market' and 'investment portfolio' were never in our financial vocabulary. Instead it was hard work, living frugally when we could have been spending up big, and delaying purchases like new cars until we can pay cash for them.
We've been laughed at to our face, and behind our back. But who's laughing now?
It means prioritising differently though. And I mean just on a day to day basis.
It means accepting that you get up early to get the washing out on the line on coathangers, so you don't have to iron, which leaves you time to bake and prepare meals ahead, which means you don't have to buy convenience food or takeaways.
It means making do, and using Google and the forum to find new ways to stretch the dollar and the ingredients further.
It means trying new ideas, new recipes, new cuisines, even if they're not what you'd usually do, try or eat. Because for every three that aren't for you, you'll find three that suit you perfectly.
It means saying no to shopping centre coffees and yes to coffee on our shady verandah with home baked goodies instead of mass produced ones.
It means making an effort to make gifts and present them in such a way that they are welcomed and asked for again, rather than being banished to the back of the pantry or gift cupboard. The word there is effort. Gifting home made products or produce, means you have to make an effort with presentation. It makes all the difference.
It means changing and adapting as needs require, and accepting that in a lifetime of relative plenty, you WILL have times of struggle. Not just once, but many times. No matter who you are.
These days I adore my home made beauty products, my home made laundry detergent and my home made soap. These are all things I've fallen in and out of love with several times in my six years as a Simple Saver, yet drifted back to out of necessity or by choice because I just KNEW there had to be a better way. Several versions of each down the track, and here I am, happily churning them out on a regular basis and loving it, because I finally found the right version for ME.
It's just try, try and try again.
Who wants to join me on a No pain, No gain month?