This month I get to put a couple of feathers in my nest.
A couple of quid, set aside for rainy days, although we tend to get through the money faster on sunny days in our house, ever ready to make hay while the sun shines and head to the beach at a moments notice.
- Why is this noteworthy?
- Because it has never happened before.
It is a first. An inaugural nest feathering.
It’s a testament to waiting long enough for the blessings to roll in, to have most of what we need and some of what we want.
Now, who knows how long these particular feathers will last?
Not me, that’s for sure.
Cars break, shoes are grown out of, anything could happen.
I have a budget running out another 3 years hence to match the 3 years prior but you never quite know what is around the corner.
How did we get here?
- Priorities: knowing what to pay first and doing exactly that. Ecclesiastical responsibilities aside, I am thankful to my former manager, Samantha N, for telling us quite forcefully one time about when she had some challenges…. In her East London accent she told us with force and gesture “First priority, keep a roof over your head, you can do without electricity if you have to, use all them candles laying around the place!!!, you can sleep on the floor, you can eat cereal for a year but keep a bloody roof over your heads, I’m tellin’ ya now …”
- Blessings and the generosity of hand me down items from friends and acquaintances.
- Selling every single superfluous item that wasn’t nailed down.
- Cutting our coat to match the cloth. Apart from real emergencies, we tried really hard to use what we have.
- Make do and mend. I became proficient at fixing things rather than replacing where possible. YouTube tutorials coupled with the internet for downloading manuals have been invaluable and I highly recommend this as a money saving approach to staying on budget.
- Never pay retail.
- Eating cornflakes, breakfast, dinner and tea, on the really tight months. Sometimes adding milk! <Joke> <not really joking!>
- Budgeting. There is not a regular bill comes in to this house without me having had the time to fret over it for months on the spreadsheet. Who knew worrying ahead of time would be a blessing? We budget for groceries, utilities, birthdays, Bar Mitzvah’s, Christmas, services such as breakdown cover for the car, tax, insurances and so forth.
- We make the “running money” count: a day at the beach, do we get hotdogs or visit the aquarium? There’s often only budget for one or the other and generally I find packing up a lunch means we can still get ice cream and do the activity.
We lost several groups of friends during this period because we couldn’t keep up with the Jones’ or go to “Somewhere nice” and good folks got tired of asking, so to them, sorry, we had to do what we had to do.
When your calculator key most frequently used is the Minus button, it makes you pay attention.
We’ve never been frivolous, and the feathers in the nest I spoke of are calling my name and burning a hole in my pocket for a completely irrational purchase but I’m going to try and be strong and try and add to it next month.
Knock on wood and wish me luck.