If you are new this was the introduction post... The Vicky Challenge 2020
My little way of tracking my savings is to keep a list on the fridge and quickly note things down. Sometimes I will know what I saved right away and sometimes I might need some time to make some calculations or comparisons... but my note on the fridge will at least remind me.
An example on my list this week was something I once would not have tried. My dishwasher was not working and not draining! Oh no, I love my dishwasher! Now we are 40 minutes by road from a town that possibly I could get a repair man to come from. I still don't know the fee but Chloe will tell me as she has had to call out repair man from town. Whatever it is it will be steep!
So I downloaded my dishwasher manual and I watched you tube videos. The first couple of things I tried did not work so I went on and tried more things. But, low and behold, I fixed it! I seriously would NEVER have tried this a few years back. But now I know with you tube etc you can have a go at many basic things. It took me a while but I guess I saved at least a coupe of hundred dollars! And I felt good about it!
I trimmed my hair with Chloe's help. And I colour my hair. I have lowered what this saves me per month as country prices are a bit less. But it still is a huge saving per year.
I made a birthday cake and a birthday Pavlova and I counted the savings there as they were really beautiful and a fraction of the cost of buying Birthday cakes.
I resolved to expand my garden with cuttings and other free ways to add to it and added over 30 plants all up for free! I have to really treat this as a challenge as I love to buy plants. But an average potted plant is $14 at our nursery. What a saving just here!
Being able to pick Mulberries and make jam I counted my five jars of jam as a $20 saving.
My easy pizzas with home grown tomatoes and basil were another pretty good savings.
I am not listing my actual totals or too many specific figures as these all will depend on where we live. I had an incidence of someone not believe how much I save doing my own hair! I think some readers don't realise I live in Australia and prices differ! To figure out your savings though you need to go by what you are really saving. When I worked out my savings on making four dozen sausage rolls I peeked inside the local bakery and checked their current price list. Sometimes I will google prices. Usually I am amazed at the savings of making something yourself! I am recording each saving and a weekly total. At the end of each month I will get a monthly total. And at the end of the year I will have a yearly total! It is totally up to you how you share your savings and what you are comfortable with. The main thing would be if you share what you did as this way we all might get new ideas on things we might be able to do too!
Now the week was full of blessings and opportunities! And I count those! But this challenge is a financial one and I know my week amounted to some very good savings and my efforts seriously added to the home economy!
This week my subject is about the money easily spent at cafes, restaurants and getting together with friends. This can be costly! And it can be hard when friends want to catch up and they suggest meeting at a cafe when you know by the time you have coffee and something to eat and buy something for the kids it all soon adds up. And there can be real pressure to do it too.
My Nan always visited and always had visitors! Actually both my Nans were very social.
Nana L had a weekly spinning group. They took turns at all their houses. So a social day was also a productive day and so much fun! They talked and spun!
I know that Cath and Wendy attend a card making group. Again it is time to socialise and catch up and make lots of cards! This is my idea of a great way to get together with friends. In fact this is how The Tuesday Afternoon Club started. Alison and Rebecca in New Zealand had been following along and decided to meet Tuesday afternoons to work on making their Christmas presents. By the sounds of it they had the most wonderful time and they did produce so many beautiful gifts for Christmas time. Also I know Nanna Chel attends a group that teaches new skills... from sour dough to rug making. So we can turn our social time into something really constructive.
If you have no one in your life that you feel would want to do this with you then join a group. As soon as the weather cools I am heading off to spinning group in my nearby town. It is once a month and I know these ladies will help me get going. I feel ladies in a spinning group are likely to have many other interests I might share too.
Now I want to share with you Margaret's photos. She is a star member of The Tuesday Afternoon Club. Margaret hosts both a sewing group and a Bible study at her house. She crochets, bakes, preserves, gardens and each week you can bet she has produced so many beautiful goods. The other week it was a lot of lovely homemade soaps. Since she joined she has shared some of her afternoon teas for the ladies who come to her house. Everyone comments and says things such as the only thing wrong with Margarets afternoon tea is that we weren't there!
Everyone agrees we would love to be in Margarets sewing group!
This all reminds me so much of my Nan. I would much rather be in this setting than in any cafe. This is warm and homely and so inviting. What a treat.
Mum and I were travelling and we were talking about Margaret and how beautiful this all is. How a sewing group or Bible study at her house would be so heavenly.
I know there is a great revival in home cooking, aprons and cookware, tea and also doing things in a sustainable way. Many younger girls also think this is just gorgeous!
Margaret uses a lot of things from her garden and what she has. She had apples so apple pie it is!
Somehow after many weeks of images like these I thought how I really wouldn't care if I never went int a cafe again. I have a beautiful deck with a big old table and chairs. It is beautiful to sit out there. What could be better? I have old teapots and pretty cups and saucers.
Margaret also always has flowers on the table, from her garden...
This in itself reminded me how a tablecloth and some flowers on the table make a world of difference. Things just seem special.
You are an inspiration and wonderful example of hospitality and how it is just so beautiful.
Ladies we can do our own little versions of this. Much of my prettiest china is from op shops. Some was from my Nans. Things put out in a pretty way to make a lovely table setting just look so inviting!
We can socialise in a way that we can chat, listen, work on some crafts and skills and have a beautiful time. We could pack a little picnic and take it to the park with our children. I remember I would take the girls to the beach and sit and knit while they made sandcastles and tide pools. You could get together with friends at a park or the beach and everyone bring something to contribute.
I think that a lot of us need to find new ways to save. Food prices are really going up. Utilities have been going up so much in Australia it is past a joke. So we need to make a lot of modifications to how we live and find savings from other areas. I hope each week we can help each other come up with new ideas and also encourage each other. Many of life's pleasures are little things. To me having my cup of tea in a pretty tea cup makes me happy! Clean linen on the bed. The smell of line dried sheets. Flowers on the table or bed side table. Jars of preserves I made lined up on the shelves.
There are so many joys that really cost very little or nothing. Sometimes social pressures end up causing us money. Being asked to "chip in" to gifts for the boss or a member of staff, to attend a wedding in the Bahamas! To come to a restaurant for a birthday but you are expected to pay to attend. Some of these are just awkward. At the end of the day everyone would love you to give them your money. Charities who pay high administration fees then don't even pass the money on to the needy.
Actually everyone would love your money and your time! It is ok to say no. Your responsibility is first to your household and making sure you are ok. After that if we have spare money it is up to us how we share it.
I can't wait for next week as I have our subject ready to go! I wondered at first if I could find 52 savings subjects that could really help but I think I have! It is exciting to find things I have never thought of! xxx