Flying blind

Posted September 6th, 2013 by Penny Wise

Oh dear, the time has run away on me again! I wish I could say we've all been too busy having fun but the boys and I all got knocked out with the flu - and we're not just talking man flu here, this was the real deal! Poor Liam missed weeks of school, I missed heaps of work - and now I'm panicking. You see apart from my car conking out (which already happened as you know!) my only other great dread was getting sick. Now I have a mortgage and bills to handle on my own, I absolutely CANNOT get sick because being a contractor if I don't work, I don't get paid. And I got sick. It's going to be one hell of a tough month and I'm not sure how I'm going to get through it to be quite honest. I know it's going to get better, but right now it's pretty grim.

Thanks to my SS knowledge I can survive pretty well on spending nothing day to day, that's no problem. It's the bills! I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to pay them and this is why I'm being my usual frank self in this post. I'm not trying to be 'woe is me', I'm hoping that some of you will be able to share your experiences and give me some tips. What do you do / have you done when you really can't make ends meet? My feeling is that as long as I can pay my mortgage, that's the most important thing, right? I don't want to renege on my house payments only two months in! So this needs to be a priority. As for everything else - I'm hoping that if I just pay everyone what I can - SOMETHING - it will keep them happy until I can catch up next month. Is this OK, do you think? Has anyone else done this? For now it's about all I can do - that, and to get on Trade Me and sell a heap of stuff. I have a dog kennel, a bike, shoes... every little bit is going to help! It's a little hard to keep positive at the moment but I know that every extra cent we can make is one we didn't have before and that rewarding feeling in itself will go a long way.

Liam bless him has made the decision to change back to his old school; he has lost so much energy due to being sick and general upheaval he just isn't up to the long days and travelling at the moment but he is looking forward to starting next week and seeing all his old friends again. He also soon realised that filling his petrol tank up twice a week at $80 a time just to get to school and back, really wasn't helping the family budget so wanted to do his bit to help reduce costs. It's not all bad though, as well as an extra hour and a half in bed each day he has also been offered a building apprenticeship which he can undertake through the school careers program so he has plenty to look forward to.

Sometimes it gets the boys down that we don't have as much money as we used to - the funny thing is, I don't think it has affected their quality of life in any way whatsoever as yet! OK so we can't afford the $6,000 worth of braces that Ali needs but I honestly don't feel they miss out on anything; they still have treats and they also have more of my time and attention now. We have some great times and they don't cost a thing! I think it's just maybe my mindset rubbing off on them 'have to be careful, can't afford it' like a little cloud above their heads. I don't think that's a bad thing, I know they appreciate what they have far more now than they used to.

But still, it's a big learning curve for all of us. I try not to let it show when I'm really feeling the pressure. I just have to be pro-active. When it comes to saving money, the biggest thing is mindset. It was the biggest thing when I discovered Simple Savings way back in 2004. I was a Sad Sally of the highest order - sometimes I still am! But back then I didn't know any other way to be; now I do. And I honestly don't know where I would be without that change of mindset. I have no doubt that my marriage would have still fallen apart but it would have been for very different reasons and there is no way either of us would have both come out of it being able to buy our own houses!

So the next few weeks may indeed be tough but attitude is all. Recently I have met some wonderful new friends and strengthened friendships with existing ones. I have a lovely group of friends at Zumba, another lovely group to have dinner with on Friday nights and I even have a new running buddy who is also a Hidden Gem! Mind you, it did get to the stage where the kids were virtually pushing me out of the house to get out and meet people but now I have I'm really glad. Seems like I've been in hibernation for a long time but it has cost nothing to change it!

And as always I have Simple Savings to motivate and inspire me. As I mentioned, the boys have been feeling a little hard done by but I found the perfect antidote to that in the Forum! Being Harry Potter fans, the thread 'Being a Weasley' instantly jumped out at me a couple of weeks ago. Who doesn't love the Weasleys! A super close-knit family who barely have two cents to rub together but are happy and content and a force to be reckoned with. It only took one glance at this thread and the heartwarming tips and recipes within it and I knew what I had to do. We had to become Weasleys! We might be one parent and a couple of siblings short but that's what we are aiming to be and funny as it sounds, it just makes us feel so much better; more lighthearted - more solid if you like. So instead of channelling my inner Uma Thurman and being all 'me against the world' I have swapped the catsuit for a cardigan and am channelling my inner Molly Weasley! I think we have much more in common anyway - we can both yell pretty loud and my hair looks just as crazy as hers in the morning! It's the vision of Molly in my head who gets the pies in the oven, the soup on the stove and always puts a smile on my face for my boys.

So thank you so much Nik C for all the inspiration, your Weasley way of life has come along right when we needed it! I would also like to thank Helen and Annabel and the 50c Army for getting into my head with all your gorgeous ideas and creations. The last seven months have been a pretty solitary existence. Sometimes we don't always need other people around - sometimes we don't even WANT other people around - but your delightful way of bring a little beauty and indulgence into each day as rubbed off on me and made me smile inwardly through even the toughest, loneliest days. Thank you from the bottom of my adorable little $3.50 glass bottle that sits on my dressing table with my macadamia oil in it!

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