Next week signals a big milestone being reached for us. Next week we pay the last payment on one of our debts we have been paying off!! Don't get me wrong we still have a lot to go on the others, in fact we have a little list of other debts we are working towards ticking off. We are no where near to being debt free yet, but the last payment next week on this one is a BIG achievement for us. The best thing about paying this one off, is unlike in the past, we haven't accumulated more debt to follow it, we are just dealing with what we had already :)
We have been diligently working towards paying this off, (and the others) and living as frugally as we can manage. We've made absolutely certain our budget and spending stays well within our means, and we have been using our pocket money/allowances to get all the little things we have wanted for over the past few months. We also wouldn't be where we are now without our grocery surplus which we can save from making everything we possibly can and growing the few veges we have coming along. Things haven't been easy at all, but we have gotten ourselves there. What an empowering feeling that is!
I read through this and think, it sounds like we have never paid things off before, well this isn't true. Many a time we have paid off a big credit card bill or hire purchase, to be honest most of the things in our house we only have because we financed it, but in the past either just before we finish paying said debt off or after it's paid we have always been excited at having completed this task, and gone and gotten some other thing we have wanted (and most of them have been wants not needs) .... but we have gotten it on finance - arghh! Oh well this has been a lesson in our lives that we have learnt very well now, and I am grateful for this experience, albeit a very expensive life lesson. We wouldn't be entirely where we are today living our simple, frugal, make whatever we can ourselves lifestyle if it wasn't for the past 10years of being on the debt running wheel.
We now have a couple of toes off that running wheel and it feels fabulous! We have a hunger for it now, I can see the end in sight. I constantly run through my head different ways we can save more to put more towards what we have left that we owe, and different strategies we can use to do it. Much to MrW's amusement at yet another idea coming from me :) Our aim is this time next year we will be debt free....I am so excited!
So if you are in the same situation we are, and paying off debt, or you are saving really hard for something, or you want to be able to live off one income to be at home with your children or by choice, keep going. The key is to work out what MOTIVATES you, and think about that motivator every day. My motivator is to be debt free, so we can then save save save. We want to take the family on our first overseas trip, and then it's knuckling down to build a deposit for our own place. I am constantly dreaming up what sort of place we will own one day, and this personally keeps me motivated, I love imagining the chook yard, the few sheep in the paddock, the dog wandering around always after snuggles and the huge gardens for us to enjoy and to nourish our family. This picture makes me hold tight to what we have now and makes me work harder at what I do in our home. Everyone is different we all know that, so everyone will have a different motivator, but the key is to find it and hold onto it tight. When you are having a hard moment, lets face it we all have those, and feel yourself falling backwards, grab hold of that motivator, dig your heels in and say NO to going backwards. There is always another way.
It will take hard work, but it is worth the work! I hold onto a phrase from Rhonda at Down to Earth that a dollar saved is better than a dollar earnt. It is very rewarding to me that from all the hard, consistent work we put into our house with frugal cleaning, baking, cooking, mending, creating and of course now the vege gardens, I can then go around the supermarket and shop frugally. MrW goes to work everyday and works very very hard to bring in a wage for our family and my job is to then use the money from this wage and make it work for us. It is a priority for me to spend well below the budgeted amount particularly in the food bill. It is important to me that I shop in a way that gives us a grocery surplus at the end of the shop. This money is money we wouldn't have if I wasn't putting in everything I can to SAVE it. If you like, it feels like the wage I contribute back to the family budget. That grocery surplus that I work hard towards having, has saved us on many occasions with unexpected expenses for school/kindy. It's paid extra amounts towards our debt when we have needed it, and it helped us with our camping trip, and to get things to help out and grow in the garden. All of these things we wouldn't have been able to do had I not been able to save it from the grocery bill...............A dollar saved is much more rewarding than a dollar earnt to me!
I guess with all this rambling that I have done in this post I am just trying to get across my point of, in the end all the hard work pays off. Set a goal, budget appropriately , make a clear plan and you will one day you will GET THERE :)
|Our first salad made of entirely of food from our garden|