I counted the lunches all week plus the fishing day picnic as $150.
The IKEA shelves would have been $180 to buy.
I took in a top for myself and repaired another. They were both good tops so I am counting $100 there as they do not need replacing.
Then there was painting $300
And all the succulents I potted up. Chloe valued those by what she thinks are bargain prices she sees at the market. She said $120.
So I wrote $850 in my savings book! Very happy!
The photos in this post are ones I wanted to include somewhere!
This one is from Rachel, it is glorious!
My savings subject this week comes from the news and discussions that resulted from this over the last week. I saw for many of our US friends their medical insurance costs are going to rise incredibly. One of my friends faced massive increases in costs last year. I was dumbfounded that the monthly cost for medical insurance was going to be something like $1400. I could not even fathom this.
I came to understand that not paying this was also expensive as then medication would be a massive cost and it was a no win situation.
When I heard it is going up by a lot again I asked how would this be for them? My friend said now they expect it to go up to around $2000 a month. I felt quite heartbroken about that as I knew some of what they went through to manage to pay the bills this year. Without even asking I pretty much knew they won't be able to meet this new amount.
I do not want to get political and that is hard as I have strong opinions! I know not everyone will be affected by these increases but many will.
This is also a tricky subject. I do not want to make it sound that everyone can cut back on things and afford such huge increases. There are times and circumstances when there is nothing left to cut.
What I do want to do is see if we can look at what can we do when facing big bills. The kind of increases or even one off bills that make you feel sick just thinking about.
I asked Vicky what she thought of this. She already knows someone impacted by these rising bills and she wrote:
I just had a discussion with a friend of mine who said at the first of the year their insurance cost was going up again and that after everything household wise was paid they would only have $25 left to last the week. She flat out said it will be like The Great Depression at my house! She said she is not sure how they will be able to live on this small amount and is having anxiety and frustration from it already.
Many of us will be facing massive increases of some sort in the next year. More month than money and for some more week than money. So let's have a look at this situation and see if there is anything we can do. First of all don't wait! Plan ahead now so that when the time comes we can be somewhat prepared and not at a loss as to what we can do or be a help to someone else if we are fine. Let's not wait for a financial crisis to hit us hard if we can do some things now to stay ahead of it.
If anyone is participating in the savings challenge we know there are so many ways to save and have a little bit more and a little bit more money. I visited a nursing home recently and talked to women who lived through all that we have talked about and oh the knowledge and experience they have! Such inspiration from ladies who had to make a home and live in drafty chicken coops or move around to follow the work taking the woodstove with them and living in a tent. One lady cried and said that if she could have fed her children until they were actually full instead of having only spoonful's to give them at each meal she would have felt like a better mother. I cried with her and told her I am sure she did her best. Let's do our best to make sure that we can try to stay ahead of things if we can. So let's:
Revisit the household budget! What bills do we have and how do we pay them? How can we reduce them again to help with new rising costs?
Revisit our eating habits and menus! We need to continue stocking up, but what are the most economical meals we make that require the least ingredients? Make a list!
How is your pantry? How long can you make it last if you had to? Do you need to stock things? Make a list!
How are the utilities? Can they be reduced again and how?
Are you making the most of the gas or petrol you put in your vehicle? Can you reduce it?
And really let's ask ourselves now if it would come to it can we live in the extreme ways that others have and how? How will we do it?
What kind of extreme can we really do? Let's think about the possibilities and should it arise have the mindset that we can and will do what we have to until the situation is better. If anyone is interested I can write more about my chats with these special ladies.
This is my photo of a young Kookaburra in our yard recently.
Where ever we live most of us have faced large unexpected expenses or bills that are seemingly out of control. In our state I would put electricity bills in that category. So this discussion can apply to anyone anywhere. A one off big bill is still not as terrible probably as the prospect of a massive bill monthly! But most of us will have faced one or the other at some time.
Vicky makes the point that the sooner we act the better.
This is a crisis for many people. We can hope it is temporary. Some families will find the extra money and some simply will not be able to and then what I don't know!
What can we do to prepare for big price rises? If you are facing giant increasing costs or have survived them before and have any encouraging words and ideas then please share them.
The neighbours behind our house this year turned a room at the end of their house into a flat and rented it out. Other neighbours over the road are looking at doing the same thing as international students in our city pay a really good amount to rent a room.
Some people in the city rent out their driveway for someone to park in all day.
I have heard of families with big yards or sheds earning an income from allowing someone to use the shed for storage or even park a boat or caravan in their yard.
Another friend has started an Easy shop to see the lovely things she makes at home.
Lets get our heads together on this!
This is a photo of a Galah from Rachel's Dad!
These are one of my favourite birds.
How did you save or do with your Vicky Challenge last week? I hope it was a really good week.
My niece was here most of the weekend and we painted and painted! The Garage is almost complete and the high sections of the back of the house are all finished too. Over the next fortnight I have quite a few bits and pieces to finish off but this will not be hard and then I am done! The finish line is close!
And today is the last day of the month! Tomorrow I am getting things out of the present cupboard and surveying everything I made all year! I can't wait!
Keeping at things all year long really adds up. It is amazing. If there is a really big job that is daunting for you think of it as a few minutes a day or what ever time you think you have available per week. Over a year you will be shocked at how much this achieves. The decision to do it is the hardest part!
Have a great day! We have Show and Tell on Wednesday and it is going to be good! xxx