I love a post where I can show some of the photos that have come in!
This is from Chloe.
She made Mum's Lemon Butter and Lemon Cleaning Vinegar. 😊
Anyone reading Laine's Letters will see she spoke about this subject a lot. She has a lot of letters on debt, paying off debt, not owing anyone, times when she had to say very hard "no, we cannot afford that" and so many things, some of them quite heart breaking. I remember one time she needed a gift and she only had three dollars left in her purse. She made it a challenge to find a gift with that three dollars and she said that it is more important to stick within her budget to her family than to buy a fancy gift. I have remembered that always as if there is anyone I would like to be like it is Laine.
Rachel's Macadamia Nuts.
She has Macadamia Trees!
We live in a world now where debt is just normal and the US and Australian national debts are mind blowing as is the debt of the average family. And these figures grow daily. They grow so much that many have decided to give up and there is nothing you can do about it. But you can rest assured this all is not going to end well. Kicking the can down the road never ends well as someone has to face the consequences. So we here care about that but you have to understand many people do not.
Also do try to see the times you have to say no as a teaching thing, if your children understand how the money is made that goes into the house, how hard it is worked for and how it has to be managed to pay for everything you are teaching them good lessons and about reality and responsibility and giving and helping others.
Rachel getting ready to make citrus jam.
The next thing that is certain that if you stand for any good thing you are going to face opposition. If you stand for any Biblical thing you are going to get a whole lot of trouble over that in the world today. So that really is the first step, deciding who you are serving and who you want to please.
Rachel's beautiful citrus jam.
Then we have the fact that no matter what you are doing to improve your life you are going to have opposition. This sounds ridiculous on the face of it but it is true. If you are trying to lose weight and get healthier you likely will have someone near you who will sabotage that. I used to teach health and fitness and this was a problem for many people. As soon as they were successful their husband or sister or someone would begin buying them boxes of chocolates or something like this and they would come and ask "why would they do that when they know how hard I am trying?" My answer would be it is just the same as WHY would friends and family smoke around someone trying terribly hard to give up smoking? Why does the alcoholic still get offered drinks?
People might seriously be sabotaging your efforts or they might just think they are being kind to include you. I think it is worth stating clearly and nicely what you are doing and what you can't afford so there is no wondering if they realise. After that if you are invited to expensive events you can conclude they are either lazy and don't care or it is actually a form of exclusion. I certainly have known people to plan events that only some can go to and it is just a form of snobbery and exclusion but more often people are just setting up something that suits them and are not too interested in how it will be for others. But whatever this is it is about THEM not you. Like Laine and the three dollars it doesn't matter. Your job is just to stay within your budget and keep your household on track.
Chloe's afternoon tea for a friend.
There has always been peer pressure around money and possessions. I originally thought peer pressure was a school days thing but I soon found out there is massive adult peer pressure and also adult bullying. There is adult manipulations and things you would not believe of adults!
I was a single Mum when the girls were growing up. I had a lot of help from my parents so I didn't have to say no very much for financial reasons. So I cannot advice on that other than in general. But I did say no a lot on social things as there were a lot of things I would not let the girls attend and sleep overs to homes we didn't know and trust etc. I wrote about the pressures I felt in a few past posts, one of them was Your Time. This came down to the same kind of thing, people placing pressure on you to do things their way!
Rachel sent me photos of bird nests on her farm!
I do think it is much harder when you have to say no to children and certainly from a financial point of view. Once again I would say read Laine's Letters on this subject. I can tell you this all did her children no harm at all as they are all grown into fine people.
One thing I think is to create a lot of yes moments yourself. Some of ours were yes to craft and whole cooking days with a friend coming over, yes to a pyjama day movie marathon, yes to an op shopping day and so on. There are a lot of things that would be wonderful to do that you can say yes to! And this applies to the family get togethers and social things also... yes to a BBQ or a potluck or a family picnic where everyone brings something! Yes to making a cake and delivering it for a birthday! I like to say yes to afternoon teas!
With the big family events that are costing a fortune I am finding I would much rather visit a person when things are quiet and I can actually get to talk to them which you seldom can at a crowded event. Skip the big bash and visit them yourself with something you have baked and with the children. They will love this more!
Jane made Rachel's Ravioli!
She said it was so delicious!
Some families seem to have a social director. This person feels it is up to them to arrange everything and that everyone must obey. haha! I see eyes rolling. To disobey the social director is a dangerous thing. Well, there you go, being the odd one out that the social director cannot control is your lot in life. Seriously, when you see it this way it is almost funny!
Aside of creating ways to say yes that are good and positive work on having goals and rewards. Celebrate achievements and practice gratitude and simple joys. You can inject so much joy into a household without it costing anything. Create atmosphere and memories. Build your nest.
And find support. Counteract the wrath of the social director with savings buddies, craft friends, cooking for someone who is lonely and beautiful things. As we all know we can have wonderful friends that do understand and are doing the same things and distance is no problem!
It is not easy. But it is easier if you know your mission and goals. Last weeks Megs said : "It's beginning to be Fall here, and I was thanking God for all the blessings that He gives. I especially thanked him for the feeling of peace that living within your means brings."
I cannot finish with anything better than that!
Have a very good week! I am hoping for a smoother one. Everyone has improved in health. I have most of the unpacking done!
How do you manage pressures to blow your budget? How do you stay on track? This is a big question! It can be lonely if you have no one supportive around you and the media is basically all advertising. Even our news stories now are often thinly veiled ads. They are all trying to sell you something! Many charities too are not real charities and they aggressively pressure you.
And with children, how do you say no and keep things realistic in your home?
Any tips you have please share! xxx