If you have read my last post I wrote about my summer clothes and what else I needed to complete my summer wardrobe.

Well I ended up taking advantage of a sale that Katies have on at the moment and I also had a voucher for $20 off I received from them for my birthday.

So I ended up getting a summer dress and 2 crop pants for $62.92.

So that's it clothes shopping for me.


I just had a read through the "buy no clothes for a year" thread and it got me thinking that I wont be needing to buy any summer clothes this year as I have heaps. Last week I put all my winter clothes away and took all my summer clothes out. I have a heap of beautiful summer tops and blouses that I must have bought last year and completely forgot about. Anyway I gave it all a wash and hang out in the sunshine. I now own a complete summer wardrobe that looks completely new. I only have to buy 2 pairs of 3/4 pants and maybe 2 summer dresses and then I'm done.

So my challenge from now till the beginning of the cold season is to not buy any clothes apart from -

* 2 pairs of 3/4 pants (I think that's what they are called)

* 2 summer dresses

How is your summer wardrobe and what are some things that you will be needing?

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2 comments!


I'm starting early with our Financial goals for next year. I have a planner in which I'm going to use solely for money matters but I thought of using this blog as well to keep myself accountable. I really need this plan to work as I really want to have money peace by the time I'm 50 which will be in another 6 years.

Both hubby and I work full time, we have 3 kids, no debt other than the mortgage. I am a recovering gambler so the temptation is always there but I need to prove to my self that I can manage money and this is what I'm going to be proving to my self next year. Hubby knows about the gambling but not that I had a problem with it as I was only gambling my own pocket money and it wasn't really affecting our family finances. I still want to prove to myself that I can save and be money savvy. I hope not to let my self down as I have done in the past.

So here is my plans for next year -

* PAY AN EXTRA $6240 INTO OUR MORTGAGE

* NO MORE ONLINE SHOPPING

* DO REGULAR NO SPEND CHALLENGES

* $5 NOTE CHALLENGE, BANK MONTHLY (already started)

* SAVE ALL COINS AT THE END OF THE DAY AND BANK MONTHLY (already started)

* 52 WEEK MONEY CHALLENGE

* COLLECT FLYBUY POINTS AND USE FOR CHRISTMAS NEXT YEAR

* EDUCATE MY SELF ABOUT PERSONAL FINANCE THROUGH READING BOOKS, BLOGS AND MONEY WEBSITES

* START SAVING $200 A FORTNIGHT (I WILL START THIS IN FEBRUARY AS JANUARY IS NOT A GOOD MONTH FOR ME TO START SAVING)

* STOP GAMBLING

I have looked at our budget and we have more that enough to be able to do these challenges but its just up to my will power. I guess that's why I'm posting this here so I can have a bit of cheer squad behind me to kick me up the bum when I fall down.

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6 comments!


So I normally start my week on a Monday, but I will use some creative licence here. Note, I've had a pretty exciting week, so I'm going to be incredibly verbose. You have been warned :)

The death of apathy

It all kicked off on Sunday afternoon, when I had some kid- and husband-free time up my sleeve. So after a read and a snooze, I jumped in the car to do the grocery shop. On the way there, I thought I'd nip into the Warehouse and try on some exercise clothes.

So I found some things I liked, and took them into the changing rooms and most of them didn't fit. Even the ones where I had looked online and use the sizing charts and everything. I ended up having to go up TWO sizes for most of the items in order to get a fit I was happy with. But I WAS NOT happy. I had a pile of about $60 worth of clothes and I was pretty disgusted with myself, to be honest.

The demise of diet and exercise

Since heading back to work three years ago, I have PILED ON the weight and I'm somewhere around mid-pregnancy level now. With my mum being obese for a large part of my life, and eventually dying of bowel cancer, I don't want to be the person who just ignores their health until it can't be fixed. Before she died, I had started running during my lunch breaks and even managed to do a full 5kms without stopping (big hill in the middle). The following year, I intended to do the same, but she passed away and I gave up.

After having my son, I walked a LOT with him, just to improve my mindset. Maybe I had post-natal depression, even if only mildly, but I needed the movement and fresh air to feel even the slightest bit sane. When we learned he had a dairy intolerance, I then cut dairy out of my diet. I subsisted on rice and lamb for several months until I weighed a paltry (for me) 65kg (my ideal weight according to the BMI guys). But once he was weaned, I was able to get back into my bad habits (only with much less dairy, because apparently I'm intolerant to it too, and just didn't know!) During this time, I was able to keep the house really decently cleaned, inside and out (with some help from the nephew living with us at the time).

But once money got tight and the maternity leave ran out, it was back to work part time. Part time hours meant shorter lunch breaks, which meant little opportunity for exercise. And the burden of trying to work, parent, AND maintain a house (DH is still not the most helpful in this department), combined with a desk job meant that my snacking:exercise ratio was getting seriously out of whack.

With the state of the house deteriorating, my waistline expanding, and the budget a bit tight until DS hit three (20 free hours childcare!), I eventually got to the point where I didn't like myself very much and I told DH I was going to find a counsellor. I didn't end up doing that, but the shock was enough to render him at least temporarily more helpful.

A lightening of the darkness

I've been a vault member for a while, and I had already read "the 12 week year", so when I stumbled on to Helen's thread, I was keen to give it a go. It's taken a few rounds for me to start seeing some real progress, but I am starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel.

Calling in the big guns

I have read a couple of books that have also helped with this process. One book, by Asheritah Ciuciu, is called "Full: Food, Jesus, and the battle for satisfaction". This one helped me to see that trying to find satisfaction in things other than God is a harmful behaviour that I have indulged in since childhood. Now I don't expect that to feel true for everyone who reads this, but to me, it is incredibly true. In the book, Asheritah has a little prayer, which I started praying regularly. Along the lines of "I'm not trying to find my satisfaction in You, help me to do better."

Holistic de-cluttering

The other book, (which I still haven't actually finished), is "Lose the Clutter, Lose the weight" by Peter Walsh. He explores the correlation between clutter and obesity and outlines an eating, exercise, and mindfulness plan that is to be implemented in conjunction with his de-cluttering plan.

He starts off gently, with several lists of acceptable foods with the guidelines as to how much and how often - so basically an easy diet plan that involves no calorie counting or points system. The exercise is not intense, but he does insist on 30 minutes per day of walking as well as strength exercises (often incorporated into the de-cluttering process: wall push-ups, bicep curls with trash bags etc).

He also recommends at least five minutes of mindfulness meditation - where you practise just letting thoughts pass through your head without dwelling on them. Also, that when you eat, you practise mindfulness - no phones, no books, no multi-tasking. Just concentrate on the food and its flavour and texture etc.

With the de-cluttering, his first task is that you create a vision of what you want your kitchen/dining area to look like. Then you pull out the "malignant" items - things from failed relationships, or failed cooking experiments, or the super whizzy as-seen-on-TV gizmo that was going to make you an all-start cook, but has just gathered dust in the cupboard - ANYTHING that makes you feel bad when you look at it - and take it away. Put it away somewhere for now, and move on. You then de-clutter and clean the other seemingly innocuous stuff, and finish of the week by tossing the malignant stuff.

He's very reassuring in that the timeframes may not allow for you to achieve everything in that zone that week, but the idea is that you move on each week to the next zone, in order to get into the habit. Then, when you've done your nine weeks, you can head back and do the things that you were unable to complete.

So, I'm a sporadic implementer, and really I've just done a bit here, done a bit there, eaten salads for a week then binged on brownies etc, but the trend is generally upwards.

The master plan

I had this idea a while ago, that in order to save on transport costs and incorporate more exercise into my daily routine, I would (once DS starts school) bike to and from work. So I did a few rides on my 20+ year-old bike (unridden for 10+ years), before taking it in for a service. The bike cost about $400 originally, and the service was going to cost $320. I wasn't too keen on that, so we left it for a while. We bought DS a new bike (old one was way too small) and then decided to buy new ones for ourselves. I believe it cost $321 for two new adult bikes. Since then, we have been for a few family rides, which has actually been really nice.

Drowning in H2O

My workmate that I had previously been going for afternoon walks with (but we got too busy at work), suggested that we challenge each other to drink water. So each day, she starts with her 1.5L bottle and I with my 2x 750ml bottles, and from 9-4 (my hours), we remind each other to drink. Results have been intermittent, and we both fail at the weekends (Fri-Sun, for me), but we've been doing generally okay.

The 12 week year

The thing I like about the 12 week year is that instead of making new resolutions every 12 MONTHS, you make them every 12 weeks. But not just resolutions. A plan. Each week you lay down what you intend to achieve and when you intend to achieve it by. And each week, you assess how you did the week before. Now, you could be negative and look at it as a way to fail to achieve so many more goals, but I've found that it's awesome because every week is a fresh start. You don't have to wait until January. You don't have to wait until next month or whatever. At most, you're seven days away from wiping the slate clean and trying again. And as you get more and more wins, you are able to achieve so much more than you would have if you fell off the wagon in February and figured you may as well give up until next year.

You're also holding yourself accountable by measuring your level of success (% of tasks achieved) and aiming to beat it next time. AND you set rewards in place for when you do achieve your goals.

So what's the point?

The point is that I made a goal at the start of October to lose 3kg by Christmas. The reward I had laid out was to buy some essential oils, but as I looked at that pile of nice exercise clothes in sizes two times larger than I was willing to accept, I realised that I had no right to buy new clothes for myself. If I bought these clothes, I would be telling myself that it was OKAY that I was this size and shape. Now, you might want to tell me "oh don't be so hard on yourself", but your kindness would not be kind. I am OVERWEIGHT AND UNHEALTHY. I can not keep lying to myself. I want to see my boy grow up and have his own family. I want to be there when he asks "hey mum, what did you do when I was teething?" I don't want to be food for worms within two weeks of my 40th wedding anniversary and a month before my 60th birthday. I DON'T WANT TO BE MY MOTHER.

So I made a decision in that changing room. IF I lose 3kg by Christmas, THEN I will buy some new exercise clothes. But I am literally going to have to work my butt off to achieve that.

And in making that decision, I must have just unlocked something incredible, because this week has been a whole different level of eating better and exercising and a desire to do those things. For me, it starts with prayer. I still pray Asheritah's little prayer almost every day, and I ask God to guide me in my decisions, and most critically, I make a real attempt to actually listen to what He says. Then I workout and get ready for work and do some housework before taking DS to daycare, where I try to spend some time before heading to work.

I hit the water straight away and have my first bottle knocked off by 10am, then have a coffee for smoko and a tea for lunch, before finishing my second bottle by 4. Food has been minimal and light on the snacking.

What about your arch-nemesis: the weekend?

Today was always going to be the challenge, because I usually take a flying leap off the wagon at this point. I didn't do a workout this morning, and I did spend a bit of time on the computer, but once I got my A into G, I went outside and picked a bunch of pretty weeds and put them in a vase on my dining table (Peter Walshing it), then spent the remainder of the day doing housework and spending time with DS. I did eat a bit more for lunch and dinner (I cannot let sleeping leftovers lie), and I had a little bit of brownie for pudding, but overall, I'm really happy with how the house looks and how I feel.

DH works tomorrow, so groceries with DS (tight, tight budget to stick to) and hopefully I'll be able to stick a long bike ride in there somewhere. With my office much more user-friendly, I should be able to make cards for birthdays and anniversary coming up.

Church on Sunday, where hopefully my other workmate will turn up again, and maybe a coffee or something with her after. DS has the sniffles, so we can't go out in this Southerly, but we will see what Sunday brings.

All right, enough rambling, wrap it up already.

So it's been a week of wins for me, and it's looking to end on a much higher note than the one it started on. I'm crazy excited to smash out some goals and I really hope that when I weigh in on Monday, the scales will tell me promising things.

But if they don't? Well. Monday is another new beginning.

Day One

8 comments!


So last week I posted about being the UN-organised housewife. I am definitely working on that and trying to put strategies into place so that I have more free time in the weekend.

I remember ages ago reading a joke about an individual contract and it said everyone gets 104 days annual leave a year they are called Saturday and Sunday. So with that in mind, who wants to spend their annual leave days doing housework? Usually we apply for annual leave to do something fun, yet here, we are given 2 days each week and end up spending it slaving away in the house or the kitchen to get the next week organised.

Well I am over that a bit. So I am trying to incorporate little changes each week so things are a bit more organised around the home.

Things I have learnt over the last week:

Little and often wins the race - doing small things often helps keep things organised.

Put away, dont put down

If you have 2 minutes use it to do something useful like wipe the bench down, empty the rubbish bin, put on a load of washing, clear a hot spot or put out a fire as FLY lady likes to say.

Slice and dice veges and leave in the vege crisper ready to use during the week. Then grab a handful and put in the pot before heading out the door so its ready to turn on when you get home. Honestly if it is all prepared in the morning it only takes 10 mins to boil potatoes etc and the veges are done. Then normally meat depending on what you have usually takes the same time to cook also. Getting started at the end of the day is usually the hardest part, but if you start in the morning then its done.

So instead of spending weekends where I am trying to catch up from last week and plan ahead for next week, I would like to be more mindful during the week and actually be a bit more pro-active and achieve things so that the weekends can be a good time to have some fun.

Life is too short to not have a fun thing planned for the end of a busy week.

There was also another hint that I read somewhere and it said to write down things that you would like to do and put into a jar and then you draw out from the jar the idea and go with that for the following weekend. So this week I need to sit down with DH and think about some things that we would like to do (outside of going out in the boat each weekend because basically we cant do that if the weather is not right) and put them into a fancy jar so we can have some alternative things to look forward to.

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20 comments!


Well, this year has been a roller coaster of a year.

I started studying at the end of last year (Certificate 3 in Community Services) and it has been interesting as well as challenging. It definitely has been a stretch, not just in learning the content, but in managing my time and working under pressure when an assignment is due and there are crises happening all around me. I've learned a lot about paying attention to the little things so that they don't turn into big problems later.

My 17 year old lost his part time job at McDonalds last year and has been looking for work ever since. To be honest, I am not sure how hard he has been looking but that is another story. I have not been getting any payments for him anymore, so that has been a bit of a pain. But the financial stress I anticipated didn't really come to pass; we adjusted, and I am still saving.

And I didn't need to go back to getting fruit and veges from the community food pantry either. It is so liberating being able to afford to buy our own food and still save money.

I feel like my self-confidence has really taken off over the last year. And I am starting to hope, dream and plan for all sorts of new things.

This year I have saved $7000 to buy a car and get my licence. I NEVER thought I would be able to afford to do that, let alone learn to drive (okay, I still haven't learned to drive, but I will)

Now I have decided to save up for a house deposit. On the pension! YES I CAN!

I have set myself the ambitious goal of $40,000 in the next 3 years. Ive been looking at houses in regional Victoria and I have found plenty under $100,000. I figure with my deposit, the first homeowners grant (we can't get it in Qld for existing houses) I should end up with a mortgage that really isn't any more expensive than the rent I pay in Public Housing. And then some other family who really needs their rent subsidised can reap the benefit of us moving out.

At the moment, I am aiming to save the child support, and the family tax benefit. Which comes to a bit over $1000 a month.

That leaves $659 fortnight AFTER rent and contents insurance (taken through CentrePay)

My budget looks like this:

CASH EXPENSES

Church $20

Support Group $10

Food $120 (add extra if I have it/need it)

Chores $40 (I pay kids to mow lawn/do some cleaning)

Emergency money $30 (this has been used for taxis in the middle of the night and phone credit for a young homeless friend in recent times) Sometimes it isn't used and gets rolled over

Transport $20

Miscellaneous $20 sometimes isn't used

BANKING TRANSFERS

Bills and School $190

Christmas $40

Birthdays $20

Pocket Money (DD16) 80

My Pocket Money $40

Netflix $7

Leave in Bank $20

TOTAL $657

This budget is good for the rest of the year and I will look at it again in January.

I am really keen to get as much saved as I can while I have child support and FTB coming in. By the time that goes I hope I will be working at least one day a week.

As of today, I have $136 saved towards my house. The great Australian dream is alive and well!

I am so excited to be doing this. I thought that home ownership was totally beyond my reach until I found an SS who talked about buying in regional areas. Hopefully I will save what I need in 3 years, then I imagining finding somewhere in the next couple of years after that. What a great way to be spending my fifties! Thanks SS!

110 comments!


New post, old one got LONG

Purging and decluttering has been a major focus in my life for a long time. I am finally getting to a point where I struggle to find some things but as I tell others its a constant and revolving process.

I decluttered books fully over 2 years ago, we reduced from three huge bookcases to three shelves of one of those bookcases. However, I did put the picture books into storage and I have found over time more have crept in and as I went back to uni my textbooks would come in and have not left, some cookbooks have crept in.

Now textbooks was easy, I went through my booklists and took out the ones for the topics I have finished and passed and have them on my desk to post for sale.

Harder was cookbooks... now there is some irony here because I DONT USE COOKBOOKS! So far I have pulled out 7 books but there is at least another 5-8 I should get rid of.

Kids books, oh boy. I will go through those this week and see how much I can get rid of. Bubba has half of under her bed full of books and she sticks to the same 5-10. I will keep some but I think the bulk can go. My sister can take some for her son or they can go, we just dont need it all!

NEXT

Craft.. ugh so hard to deal with. It creeps and creeps and then all of a sudden there is a box under the desk, an over flowing cupboard behind the desk and never time to do it all.

This weeks purge goal is to reduce the space enough to get rid of the box of fabric under my desk. I want nothing but my laptop case stored under my desk anymore, drives me crazy.

AND ONTO

the playroom :( Such a hard area as I feel guilty getting rid of gifts but honestly bubbas favourite toys are my gadgets draw and our camping headlamp. I could easily reduce her toys by 90% and I dont think she would notice but then i feel guilty. HELP!

THEN

DUN DUN DUUUUUUNN the kitchen.

As my kitchen gadgets thread I need to clean out some gadgets. But not only gadgets but the pantry prob needs a quick purge, its not too bad in there but always pays to check.

The cupboard could use a quick clean through as well and reduce by hopefully 10%

My goal by september is to have my house and garden 90% of the way to where i want them.

I have a gardener who takes care of my yard for me now, he is on top of getting things cleaned up and contained. My job is just to source a really nice family table and chairs to eat at outside, we never have as a family since bub was born as I had to leave my tables behind when we moved here.

The house... is mostly there. Like I can safely say there is NOTHING in my lounge room to go, it is perfect just needs a couple of cushions for the couch and a new blanket.

Our house is set up with a sunken lower area. So when I say upstairs its literally 3 steps LOL. But downstairs we have our lounge/play room. The main lounge faces the tv and then off to the left in what used to be a bar area nook is now my kids play area. THen through the big french doors is a huge dining and kitchen.

Upstairs is the second lounge which is my 'office' it has my desk and craft cabinet etc. No couch or anything up here. Then off the entrance (other side of office) is 4 bedrooms, bath and laundry. My goal is to literally start at one end with the kitchen/dining and work my way room by room through the house removing as much as I can and get rid of it ALL by the middle of september when we have everyone come for bubbas second birthday

Lets get ruthless!

167 comments!


A recap on our savings journey so far:

Oon 17 May 2015 DH told me that he wanted us to save $100,000. Always up for a challenge I agreed. We had $17527.64 at that point when he said this. We reached our goal of $100,000 on 16 November 2016.

We then decided to put the money towards a launch (we were going to put it towards a house LOL - so I guess you could say we have in a way, just a floating house). So we were lucky enough that our friend owned a launch and his wife wanted to sell it. So to start off with we went halves and paid him $80,000 cash for our half. On 16 May 2018 we had saved the other $80,000 to pay him.

So I am really stoked that in just over 3 years we have saved $160,000 for DH to have his dream (and now mine too as I really enjoy the boat) and we did not have to take out a loan and pay the bank any interest.

The next challenge I am setting us is to save $10,000 as a buffer for the maintenance account for the launch.

And then I want to start saving for a house again :) Actually the 1-52wk challenge is my starting point for the house so I can do something towards this goal along with the maintenance goal.

Talk about big challenges, but hey why not aim big. Its what keeps me motivated and doing the things we do to try and get ourselves ahead.

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67 comments!


This is my year to start my retirement. Definitely the start of the rest of my life.

I was told on 11 December 2017 that I was to be made redundant sometime in March 2018.

I was in shock, grief etc for a week. Then I sat down with the estimate for my payout and did a budget until December 2018 to see if we could live on the payout. JUST!!

I didn't count the LSL or the Annual Leave money as that will change due to having to take days off for this and that, not to forget the Christmas break. That money is being put aside to be used for any dental work that I need to have done to make my mouth more Pat-friendly. I have lousy teeth. At present I cannot bite soft noodles!! Had a tooth extraction and a bridge put in last year and it still does not 'fit'. I reckon that the dentist doing the extraction bumped the crown that has been there for over 30 years and never caused me a day of problems, apart form the initial injury, I feel that it is moved and putting pressure on the gold post. --That is a whole other blog post (whinge) that I will not do.. :-(

For my retirement spending plan, I put in amounts for using public transport for days out shopping or to just get out of the house. Included my sewing days and my current lot of crafty lessons. That was for the fun things.

For the compulsory things: rent, water rates, etc all there.

The money just lasts with my current amount of Transition to Retirement Pension and the Carers Allowance for looking after DH until I reach Age Pension eligibility. Will talk with my super funds and my accountant before I change anything. And need to check with Centrelink to see if I should apply (am eligible) for the Carer Payment. That one is means tested and would be a similar set-up to the Age Pension.

So not being extravagant or missing out on anything except going to work 5 days a week.

I am looking forward to finishing work, but for some reason, I am stressing about it... Why?!?!

I am clenching my teeth at odd times during the day and during my sleep. So now I wear a mouth guard to protect my teeth at night and make an effort to check my mouth posture for clenching.

DH is researching what sort of car we will be buying with one lot of super money. That is his job to keep him out of my hair and busy. Now he wants to buy a camper trailer too... What?!?! He makes a Couch Potato look active! How on earth would he be up to going camping??

He is in a great deal of pain all the time and I will be doing all the setting up and pulling down of said trailer.... a-n-d the money he wants to spend on the trailer was to have gone to replacement of the sewing machine and the embroidery machine.

The sewing machine has a computer fault that only I can see and it drives me nuts when I try to sew. While the embroidery machine was never meant to be kept for as long as it has. It was my 'trial machine' to see if I liked machine embroidery and I do. So it was supposed to be replaced five years ago. That didn't happen as I had to pay for us to move house when the house we were renting was suddenly put on the market and then sold to someone who wanted to move in. Can't blame them, it was a nice house.

Things that I must do in the first week after I finish work:

apply for the Senior's Card, then a Gold OPAL card

withdraw the super money that is to pay for the new car (DH does not fit behind the current car's steering wheel & it hurts him to get in and out of the front passenger seat)

check out effect of a redundancy on my ability to apply for a Carer's Payment

Check with 2nd super people about the best use of that money in my new situation

Cross check that information with my accountant's assistance

& S.L.E.E.P - I am so tired

finish owl cushion for DFriend's birthday in beginning of April.

test drive some cars

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57 comments!


Wendy F ((Formerly Still Learning WA)) - 3 Jan 2018

So, another year. I have been blogging on SS since 2013 when I felt my world crumbling under family issues but I came out the other side stronger. It has been a constant struggle since then with everyday full of medical issues, juggling life, work, my own mental and physical health.

Emily, I loved your suggestion for a title but I did a quick search on Pinterest and saw Life is tough, but so are you and that is one of my long time favourites.

For those that continue to lurk, I feel blessed that you want to read about my whinging but some days there are wins too. SS makes me feel safe and supported.

For anybody new, my annual blog is about my daily struggles with DD13 who has always had sleeping and eating issues but was diagnosed with ADHD in 2013 and since Aspergers has become more apparent. We juggle medical appointments as we seek to get assistance and support and last year she had braces which was hard for a child that refuses to eat quite often and then we stick metal stuff on her teeth and hurt her teeth and mouth and give her more headaches. But we got through it and is down to a retainer. We thought DD10 would require orthodontic work later but has already started last year and is already draining us financially and giving her grief with sore mouth when ain appliance has not yet been fitted.

I have fibromyalgia so live in a daily world of pain and tiredness, but am grateful that most days I can push myself to get stuff done. I might pay the price afterwards and I am not good at pacing myself. I have tested to a high possibility of the motor neurone gene that killed my sister in 2014. And she was a rare case having fronto temporal dementia as well and I fear both. I have consult with her neurologist on 31st January when we find out what symptoms we need to look for and how to be prepared if I show symptoms. I am 46, she died at 46.

DH and I have been together for 25 years and married for 22 come this April. He is my rock but in recent years hasn't been able to always give me the support I need or ask for. Problems are ignored, I feel ignored. He works long hours, earns most of our income, has medical issues of his own, currently with shoulder bursitis and lower back pain. We find it hard to sit down and talk about money and joint issues. After a really rough patch before Christmas, we are strong but it only works when I take the load of this family.

New Years Eve we went to beach thinking it had been a hot day so would not be windy in the evening but we were wrong. DD10 paddled in the low water and I walked a bit up and down a small stretch of sand. DH and DD13 were cold so I sent them back up to sheltered grassed area and DD10 and I soon followed. Had picnic dinner but it was still windy and girls were cold and weren't warmer with layers of towels and blankets from the car. I couldn't eat most of what I had brought so told DH we might as well pack up and go home. I was craving toasted sandwich which I hadn't eaten in a long time. For many months, I have struggled with taste of food and I had to go off cheese and had hated melted cheese long before that. I recently found I could eat Bega brand. So DD10 and I had toasted sandwiches and it was good. So another thing back on the regular menu.

I am still on leave from work. Supposed to return next week but desperately want to quit. I do like my job well enough. I feel proud of what I do after it took me months to figure out a schedule and get to know what was what. I still hold a grudge that DH wanted me to return to work because he wanted to quit his job and not work full time but nothing changed there so I found myself juggling work plus home life. TI only work 15 hours per week give or take but that is enough to increase my pain and tiredness then I come home and try to deal with tired DD13 to push her to do homework and be the high academic, self-motivated student she is expected to be in the Academic Extension Program that she was in for year 7 and year 8. In reality, all she wants to do is sleep. Or play electronics. No self-motivation whatsoever.

Nothing changed with me working, but my stress levels as I tried to deal with the housework, paying bills, medical appointments, following up proposed treatment, shopping etc etc. I yell more. I had 2 panic attacks last year, which are a new thing. First one landed me in hospital and I was surprised at the diagnosis but second one I knew what was happening. I have another new symptom of my right arm begins to shake sideways back and forth. Just before Christmas, it was really bad and I had a day of 2 total meltdowns and crying because it scared me so much. I think it is more stress related that motor neurone but sitting in the car in heavy traffic with a left heel with plantar fasciitis that was hurting terribly and I started shaking and I couldn't calm it down.

So this week I am trying to stick to my routine of cleaning days. Monday was still a holiday with everyone home so routine was out the window. Tuesday did more money and paperwork than other days. Today is bathroom cleaning day but deferred that to tomorrow as we needed to find a receipt in DD13's room and DD10's bedroom is more of a mess so I made both girls clean up. DD13 realised receipt was in car but her room is tidier. Wasn't too bad for her usual standards. I sorted her wardrobe which holds linen and out of season clothes and found the usual pile of dirty clothes thrown in and dresses and cardigans fallen down but not hung back up. I have given up straightening her clothes drawers. Her problem, not mine. So hers was relatively easy. DD10's is overwhelming but she has more small toys and bits. She has one box of out of season clothes but that was overfull so I found a matching plastic box, washed it and filled it so she has 2. At 10, she is only in size 7, so there are boxes for size 8, 9 and 10 handed down from DD13 but currently only enough room for 2 boxes of size 8 and I plan to move 9 and 10 to another area of the house. Plans to vacuum might not happen today but I will go back into battle shortly.

Last year I discovered decluttering. I knew what it was. I knew the theory of it but couldn't put it into practice. Felt for years our large house was bursting at the seams. Last year something clicked and we have carted car boot after car boot to op shops. Still got too much but I am proud of how much I achieved. Still working on it and I find some days can't let go of something but a few days later I wake up and say yes, I am ready now.

I also wanted to create a business last year but lack of time and energy pushed that aside. Still want to. I became a Doterra consultant over 12 months ago and I could just keep going, using it for my own personal use with no pressure to sell. I am not a natural sales person but I have been a software trainer before and I want to run workshops and share these wonderful products. My cousin said to me on Christmas Eve, you need to believe in the products and I do. I have loved aromatherapy for many years. Not sure why I think essential oils help but my belief has been made stronger. Don't always find the right solutions and we still rely heavily on regular medications but I crave learning more and I love mixing up potions and my own cleaners and toiletries although I still haven't got that right. But I don't want to give up. I have pulled back the money I am spending on it but I still want to push forward and work at it and see what happens.

So 2018 will be a challenge of orthodontic appointments and expenses. Childrens hospital OT for DD13 whom we can give up if we want to but our paediatrician tried so hard to get us in to get extra assistance that she could not provide so I am pushing to stay. Go back next week. I also have day surgery next week for cortisone injection in my heel. At first, I did not want the injection, but once booked, I am wanting it in my right foot, my right shoulder, my lower back. DD13 began seeing a psychiatrist last year and I was horrified that my 12 year old needed to have a physchiatrist but she has been the best medical specialist of all. Not just looking at the food but looking at all the issues together. Sleep, stress, family life, I saw her for myself before Christmas when my anger was out of control but at $350 per visit with maybe $150 back from Medicare, I don't know that I can continue. I will be okay. It worries me juggling work with medical appointments. Both manaqers PA that I report to and other bookkeeper have thrown their hands up knowing which days I will be working. I am grateful for the flexibility. But family comes first for me and if I am not coping, then the whole family unit crumbles. I have to be the strong one in this family.

Should be trying to trying to get tax sorted this week while I am not working. Got one family trust that needs whole year processed. And new data file created. Emailed accountant before Christmas to ask if he could take over processing at his office but no reply. Not unusual. But if I am not working, I can do it. I can focus on DD13's medical issues. I might get more depressed because I am home dealing with everyone else's mess but if I carve out time for Doterra and get that moving, I won't be lonely and I will have another challenge to be motivated for. At the moment, I receive small comissions which I can credit against orders but can also choose for that to be physically paid so I should create a business banking account.

Okay, enough waffling. Girls have just disappeared down the road for a quick swim. I told DD10 yesterday, no more afternoon swims because she gets so tired but it doesn't seem fair to not let them swim. I have no idea of what to cook for dinner so am procrastinating on that. I had a rest and short nap before I got on here so should get on with finishing DD13's room, tidying kitchen, sorting dinner, but might yet duck next door if best friend is home.

Bye for now.

Luv W

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Well here it goes my first blog post here, here we are almost two weeks into the new year ( 2016) and I am aiming to tackle my grocery budget for once and for all, I am pretty good at sticking to a budget on my initial shop for the fortnight but it is the " top up shops" in between that I struggle with. I am meal / menu planning regularly but the things I generally buy are milk, fruit and veg, um.... dark chocolate, stationery items on sale , Christmas gifts on sale etc , it is the $2 here and the $3 there that really add up.
The thing is my initial shop for the fortnight could be improved and my budget lowered but I am allergic to fish/ seafood, eggs, nuts and pork and possibly lamb so I end up buying a lot of chicken breast fillets, sausages, mince and steak , it can get expensive but I am not giving up!.
My pension day is next Wednesday so I have been :
Going through my pantry , fridge and freezer to do an inventory of what I have on hand
Revising my budget

Thinking of snack ideas.

Researching new recipesusing what I can eat and what I have on hand

Writing a meal plan using what I have first

I am saving for my holiday for my 40 th Birthday this year, I have paid for my share of the accommodation and have a small start to my spending money. I hope to put any savings I make from my grocery budget into a slush fund but I hope to save more money overall not just on the grocery budget this is just the first step . I have tried before to cut down my grocery bill including once a month shopping but I need to work on it.

Thank you for reading this.

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396 comments!