Keep the Faith!

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This time last year our life took a massive turn for the worst…my husband was without a permanent job! It was a position in the 10 years we’d lived together that we had never faced before! In fact it was a position that either of us had ever faced in our lives! It left us feeling shattered, insecure and wondering if we were able to keep up paying all of our bills! Thankfully Kane has wonderful mates who threw him casual work as much as they could! Beggers can’t be choses in a time like this and I appreciate everyday how hard my husband worked to keep us afloat!

I as the budget guru of our house, managed to keep our head above water. It’s times like this I appreciate my love of saving, because it sure came in handy! I never looked at this situation as poor us, because I knew there were so many more people worse off than us. Thankfully we have a very supportive family who could help us if we needed it and if things came to things I would have had to go back to work more than my two days. But it didn’t get that bad! From Kane’s pure determination and dedication to finding a permanent job, something eventually fell into his lap! It was a ‘not what you know but who you know situation’, but without his skills for the position he wouldn’t have been able to for fill the role!

I’m so happy to say that after going though such instability for months and months last year, we are finally back on track like our lives have always been!!! It’s taken a while, but we’re good, we’re comfortable and most importantly we’re happy and still married lol! Kane is loving the role at his job and November marks one year already! We just bought a new car – a seven seater sports wagon and we are just about to give our house a freshen up with new blinds and carpet and book a two week holiday at Christmas time!!!!!

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For the period that Kane was working casually, we had to watch every single cent we spent. I learnt so much from it and in actual fact it brought the realisation to the fore that we really did waste money! I guess when you’re faced with the situation we were and we still had two mortgages to pay off, plus bills and feed five of us, we had no choice but to prioritise. We gave up things like going out to dinner and takeaway and picked and chose places that were inexpensive and we always took plenty of food when we went on outings! The best thing I’ve learnt in all of this is the art of grocery shopping for 5 people a week for $200!!

In all of this, I haven’t felt like we’ve missed out on anything. Sure we didn’t do everything we normally would have done in that period of time, but never did our children complain or even realise what we were going through! I always live by the belief that as long as we have each other, then we’ll always make it through anything! And that is what I believe got us to the comfortable point we are today! We kept our faith and we never stopped believing. Everyday I would say to myself “it will happen, things will turn our way!”….that belief is finally paying off!

My Budgeting Tips….
1. Save for a rainy day! For us we put as much as we can into our home loan which helps reduce the interest but keeps the redraw increasing and is there when needed!

2. Grocery shop wisely! I have a budget of $200 for groceries per week and this covers 5 well prepared meals (which I have planned before I shop), a scraps night (eggs on toast or leftovers) and one night a week takeaway! I prepare lunches for everyone all week and the kids get tuckshop once a week! I have found myself a really good fruit and veggie shop where I spend $20-$25 a week and get 4 bags full of stuff!

3. Have specific savings accounts! I have a few accounts that I put money into for specific things….Christmas, holidays and the kids have an account each as well. It certainly comes in handy for when the times swing around and the money is needed!

4. Spend within your means! We have a credit card for obvious reasons, but we don’t use it unless we can pay it back! I really dislike owing money and if I have to pay for something on my credit card, I transfer the money straight onto it! We only purchase things that we can afford to without it ‘breaking the bank’…my husband is very lucky that I am the bargain shopper of bargain shoppers!!

5. Have a plan! Most importantly have a budget/plan for your money! Now that we are settled and it’s a new financial year, we have just started our new budget that allows us to pay our mortgage and more, save, pay bills and provide ourselves with some comforts in life!

I cannot stress enough that none of us know what’s around the corner and it’s so important to expect the unexpected or at least be prepared as much as you can be financially! When we were faced with this situation last year, it was a shock! But we’ve picked ourselves up, dusted ourselves off and have learnt so much from a not ideal situation! We are also now insured for loss of income and death…sounds morbid but I’d rather be prepared then lose everything that we’ve worked so hard to provide for our party of 5!

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My Direction Has Taken a Wrong Turn:/

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It’s quite ironic as I read my ‘Power of the Mind’ blog I wrote a week ago and my last few words read…..”I couldn’t be happier!” and now from my sick bed where I’ve layed for the the past 5 days I’m trying to be happy, but really I’m just feeling really crappy……

I was feeling so focussed, in control of everything I needed to be in control of! My job is so busy at the moment with reports and deadlines due before the school holidays. I was at the peak of my fitness and feeling really content in most areas of my life and then Monday night is where things took a wrong turn!

Of course my husband had a week of work to do away in Moree so it was single parent duties for me, but that’s ok I’ve done it before and I’m getting pretty good at it now:) I left work later than anticipated, but managed to pick Sie Sie up, got home cooked a big batch of bolognaise, bathed and fed the kids and myself, cleaned up, got all the school stuff ready for the next day and the kids and I were all sitting down by 6.30 enjoying cuddles and giggles together!

By 7.30 all were sound asleep in bed and then the time of day which I LOVE was about to be enjoyed. As I got all cosy on the lounge with my iPad and remote I suddenly felt cramps in my belly. I didn’t think too much about it as I thought I must have pigged out too much on dinner! I went to bed at my normal time after The Voice and the cramps were still there! Thankfully I fell fast asleep but then 1.30am approached and my wrong turn became a bad turn of events! I took some panadol and managed to get back to sleep until Mia woke up crying her little eyes out at 4.45am! When I looked at the clock I thought “Nooooooo!” Mummy’s cuddles got her back to sleep and I then went back to sleep and woke up feeling like I’d been hit by a bus:( I had an hour until I was to leave for work, so as much as my body was screaming “do not get up!” I knew I just had to do it!!!

So I did I got up did the usual – made the beds, got the kids breakfast, took one mouthful of my cereal and have pretty much been on my back since! I couldn’t stand up. I started shivering uncontrollably and once I made it to the lounge not one bit of soul in my body was able to get up! I was like this for 48-72 hours. I went from shivering to sweating, had severe body aches, fevers, cramps in my belly and of course the joys of gastro! I obviously didn’t go to work and thank goodness for my sweet angel of a mother, who came to my rescue until Kane came back from Moree, otherwise my poor kids would have done a lot of fending for themselves!

It’s day 5 now and I’m still not over this awful virus, better, but not a 100%! I’ve had a lot of time to think this week. This is the 4th time I’ve been sick in the last two months. Prior to all of this I hadn’t had anything bad since winter last year! I know it’s the season for it but four things in two months! And I’m the mum, I can’t keep getting sick. My poor little darlings ask me everyday “are you better mummy?” They are use to seeing mummy leading the pack, running, darting from here and there and the only time I reside on the lounge is after dinner at night!

I’m now left feeling weak, tired, drained and overwhelmed at the feeling of picking myself up and getting things back on track! I weighed myself….I’m down to my wedding day weight! Most people would be excited about this, but that wasn’t my goal! I was 24 back then and carried it better, now I look like a sick stick figure which is not what I was hoping to achieve! I have no reserves left and cannot afford to get sick again! I questioned: why me when I’m so fit and healthy? This is it….people who are fit are at risk to not being able to fight off germs and I look back now and I was always sick when I was younger and at the peak of my fitness! You can’t win really! I’ve gone from one extreme to the next where I’m now facing changing my eating and exercise plan to put on weight so I can get back to the fit and healthy me! So my advice is: when losing weight get back to a nice comfortable weight and have room for reserves if you get sick. I was that at my 60kgs, but I’m now playing with fire and have no reserves left!

I know I can do this and I will do this! My direction has taken a wrong turn, but I’m going to turn things around with all the strength and knowledge I’ve gained over the past 8 months and will be back in the right direction in no time!

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