Also I realised the things I do save other households especially the girls. Babysitting and homemake crock pots of baby food and all kinds of cooking etc must also help Lucy's household and I don't count those savings but I am very glad of them. We can really contribute to someones weekly budget with the gift of help or a meal or surplus produce.
My Nan always said that an ounce of help is worth a pound of sympathy. I always remember that!
This week I am going to include a letter from Vicky about some of the things she counts in her savings. She has opened my eyes to a lot of possibilities and you might find some ideas or have a moment of revelation as I did!
Last week two things helped bolster up my savings. One was picking peaches from a tree in the back lane. I picked about 25 kilos (double that plus a bit equals pounds) and I was beaten. Even on a ladder, with a broom, I couldn't get the high up ones. Andy headed off to the shed and made me a fruit picker with a very long stick! So I then immediately picked about another 7 kilos and even more today. I think I am at around 35 kilos. This stick took a little practise but highly motivated as I am about fruit I treated it as a sport and if it was only an Olympic event I could represent Australia as I got pretty good at it! :)
At the moment in the shops peaches are on special down to $3.50 a kilo so I will go by that price and say our efforts produced $122.50 off peaches!
Like everything this will become more as I turn them into peach crumble, pies, cobbers etc much of which I will freeze. We will also not buy any fruit so another saving. Much of this week will be spent on dealing with peaches. But how fantastic!
My next saving was painting the laundry. I used the found paint as it was white interior wall paint and I tinted it yellow with a sample tin which gave me lemon. So the whole laundry repaint cost under $20. It is really hard to work out the savings. There are online price guides to painting if you hire someone and going by them I saved around $300. So that will do! It took a day and was fiddly as there were lots of things to paint around the edges of! But it was worth it. It looks so fresh and clean and nice. I have the door to go which will be white. Pictures coming soon!
Otherwise my savings are usual i.e. lunches and a few good specials from the supermarket.
I put the weeks savings at $522.50.
In my savings book I have a page to a week and the total at the bottom of the page so it is quick and easy to add up the month, then the year.
I had a sneak peak and the month is up to $2331.50. This has been helped along by a few big things like our day getting out the old carpet, the painting and doesn't count all the work Andy has done in the yard.
So I am pretty happy to see this and it is an interesting experiment for sure!
Now I will let you read Vicky's letter as it is full of things to consider:
Here is a list of things we do that saves that I add to my savings book. Some are not added monthly, but maybe yearly or seasonally. I add any extra income that is not from the paycheck and some may actually save in more than one way so I call that a double dip. Some may be silly to others, but when my ultimate goal was to become debt free I was a determined woman. Even just cutting back on things or stretching them to make them last longer or getting the most bang for my buck all helped achieve that goal. It may be a little harder to do now because of circumstances, but seeing the things we have changed makes me realise how much better we will be later on because of it. Planning ahead is a wonderful thing to implement into each season. Always plan for the next one, get ahead and stay ahead of things if possible.
So here's my list: Ways we save/earn
homemade laundry soap(I get other laundry soaps free with coupons as well)
gardening, canning, freezing, dehydrating
starting our own seeds
accepting used items
paying bills online and over the phone( saves stamps and checks)
recycling cans and metal (makes money)
shutting things off to save electric
hanging clothes to dry
product tests(equals free stuff)
bing points(gave my son 3 months of Xbox Live for free using these so free Christmas gift)
putting ads on craigslist instead of paying for an ad
homemade dog food
if we eat out we have a great coupon (this is rare though)
no renting movies(we used to do this a lot)
using the library for books and movies
some homemade gifts
rewards from stores(free money)
doing repairs ourselves
scrubbing carpet ourselves
hunting and fishing
one tank trips(to save gas)
homemade birthday cakes
cutting back on soda
fuel rewards(saving on gallons of gas)
not buying magazines(I used to be a magazine junkie)
burning wood in winter(we used to spend a ton on fuel oil)
getting free wood
not buying fuel oil
not having a water bill(the water pump is electric so I still try to save on water usage)
yard sales and thrift stores
chickens for eggs(plus the poo is fertilizer)
free plants(either for the garden, flowers or herbs)
cooking smaller, simpler meals
eating fresh veggies from the garden
free produce given to us or foraged
putting the printer in draft mode to print or using only black ink
keeping the air conditioner off as much as possible
using newspaper in the chicken coop and less straw
2 huge rain tanks to catch water off of the barn(we water the garden with it so no running the well pump)
when winter is really snowy I melt snow(free water) for emergency use and keep in a water barrel
blowing out the filters on the vacuum( this has saved me from having to buy filters and keeps the suction like new)
dumpster diving(this a paper only dumpster) and finding free items set out that someone is getting rid of
doing my own mani/pedis
doing the bulk of animal vet care myself
leftovers from parties(if someone offers and you can use it)
homemade cleaning products
cutting back on paper towels (haven't gotten my husband to give them up yet)
negotiated for better deals/interest rates
How did your week go? I really hope you are seeing the enormous contribution financially that your work makes to your life and family. I always want to stress that this challenge is about the financial side of things but that does't make it the most important part of what we do. The most important part is loving our family. We are largely responsible for setting the tone and atmosphere of the home and making it a sanctuary from the world. There is truly no place like home. Home is our little nest, that's how I think of it!
There are so many parts of building up a home and certainly making any money coming in go as far as possible is a big part of it. We can be good stewards of our income. It makes a big difference!
I hope you had a great week and this new week is full of possibilities!xxx