Words of wisdom

Posted February 20th, 2009 by Penny Wise

I'm still here! Heck, I'm sorry it's been so long, I didn't realise! Following my last confession I promptly went down with a nasty virus, talk about rotten timing. Instead of making an enthusiastic start on my debt busting I could barely lift my head off the pillow for a week. I was a bit fed up about this small setback but gave myself a good talking to, took a look around and made a mental list of everything my life currently has to offer. On the positive side I have:

A wonderful husband who loves me unconditionally for some strange reason (even if he has started calling me Dollar Dumb as he says I haven't been very Penny Wise lately)

Two of the most gorgeous, brilliant, funny kids anyone could ever ask for

A home I adore with a lake view which gets the best sunsets ever

A thriving vege patch and orchard so we always have fresh, yummy food to eat

A menagerie of animals which make me laugh every day almost as often as they trip me up

A fantastic mum all to myself (I don't have any brothers and sisters)

A job I absolutely love and look forward to every single day (how many people can say that?)

A website called Simple Savings which I know I can count on to get me out of my current fix and make the life I love even better than it is already!

On the negative side I have:

About $3,500 worth of credit card and store debt, racked up single-handedly by moi.

Er - that's it. I can't think of anything else at all that's bad enough to add to my list! I can't even complain about the leaky shower and grotty bathroom as we can't afford to do it up now, thanks to me, so I'll just have to put up with it. Yes, I've got $3,500 of debt to pay off and I would really rather not have it at all but it's small bikkies compared to the worries some people have right now. As the old saying goes, there's always someone worse off than yourself and it only takes a few minutes' reading in the Savings Forum to count your lucky stars, whether reading tales of financial triumph over hardship or reading of entire neighbourhoods being burned to the ground. So yep, I'm feeling pretty stupid but I have no right to complain. At least my problem is a relatively easy fix compared to many. Just today Noel picked a load of golden peaches and Ali an armful of passionfruit. Alex couldn't believe we had picked all this glorious food just like that in our own backyard as he and Ali sat and scoffed half a dozen each. Sometimes it's the smallest things which remind you how very lucky you are.

I already posted my thanks in the Forum but I just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to everyone for all your lovely posts, emails and kind thoughts and feedback. Sometimes the exact words or acts of wisdom you need are found in the most unexpected places and it's been a real humdinger of a week for that. I can always count on my SS friends for support, advice and common sense but I would also like to thank the following this week for changing the way I think:

* My mum, who reminded me that honesty is the best policy and that even if Noel doesn't like all my purchasing decisions it is far better to own up about them than let them mount up and weave oneself a more tangled web.

* Alex, whose words about trust I will never forget. At 16 he has been more grown up than me lately.

* My newly-separated mate Warren, who urged me to do whatever it takes to fix my marriage now, rather than end up like him.

* And finally my son Liam, who is proving himself to be a fantastic Simple Saver all on his own.

Yes, I am so proud of Liam lately! He was getting frustrated as he wanted more money in his pocket to enable him to be a bit more independent and afford some of the things he wanted. What he really wanted was a proper job but unfortunately those are a bit few and far between for a 12-year-old in our area. So he had a huge decluttering session and spent half a weekend on Trade Me, selling some of his unwanted goods. In less than two weeks, he had made a whopping $600! True, one of them was his guitar, which he sold for $200 but the rest was anything from old CD's with $1 reserve to Harry Potter books. Better still, he still has two more boxes full of stuff yet to sell! Bearing in mind that this is the boy who has been saving for a car since he was about nine, I don't think I have much to worry about his money skills. As it happened, to top it all off, both boys were offered a modelling contract last week (don't tell them I told you!) At first they turned it down flat - until they learned how much they could get paid. They snapped it up in an instant and Liam was delighted to be able to land himself a proper grown-up job without even leaving the house. Watch this space, who knows where they might turn up in your catalogues or something!

Nasty viruses hopefully banished for good, all that remains is for me to start making a dent in my pesky debts. I haven't been completely useless and have managed to save a bit already. I rang up Sky TV (Pay TV for non-Kiwis) the other day and asked to cancel a channel which they had offered us but we had never used. On further discussion with the lady, it transpired that we had been paying for no less than THREE channels we didn't even know we had, had never watched and didn't want! Just like that I saved us $360 a year! Now tell me, how did they manage that in the first place?

Time for me to go back to the drawing board again. If my savvy pre-teen can raise $600 in a couple of weeks, I reckon I can give him a run for his money (pardon the pun!)

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