Tag Archive | budget

Budget, bunny bottoms and an occasional shop

I’ve just been on a trip. It wasn’t planned. My foot got caught in a bramble and catapulted me down a bank side. Not enjoyable, although I did have a nice view of a bunny’s bottom as it bundled for cover in terror.

It’s my own fault. I go about gawping at all the natural delights without watching where I’m putting my feet. Rabbit holes have caught me out before now, and trails of ivy across the wooded path where I sometimes walk.

But I still love being out there. Now the weather’s improving it’s all the nicer and I get out often, looking for both inspiration and soul refreshment. Over winter there’s been times I’ve often resorted to coffee shops and city centres for this purpose. But the snag with that is the expenditure and the hoards of people all shopping. cafe books 002

When did shopping become a pastime, rather than a necessity? Probably when corporate politics saw the potential to fleece people without them even needing anything!

We used to shop out of need. Now we shop out of greed. For, let’s be honest, much of what we shop for is non-essential. We could do without much of it.

I’m not against shopping as a pastime if it’s what you like. I like charity treasure seeking with the girls! But as long as it is what you like and not something you’re doing as a slave to commercial trends and con merchants.

We can be so conned and from so many sources. Conned into believing we need much more than we do, or we’re not as good as others if we don’t have stuff, or if we haven’t got that kind of ‘disposable income’ we’re somehow inferior.

I’ve decided to resist this. I’ve decided to look seriously at anything I’m tempted to buy and ask; do I really want this or am I conned into believing I do with clever marketing? (Supermarkets are masters at this). What can I use/do/create as a solution rather than buy as a solution?

The beauty of this approach is that it lessens my dependency on the expensive antidote to doldrums that shopping can become making me a slave to big income when moderate income will do, it makes me far more resourceful and stretches my mental skills, it’s a good example to my young people and shows them how to be thrifty and I also find I’m not as poor as I thought because not only am I keeping money in my purse, I’ve changed my attitude as well.

For once basic needs are met; food, shelter, warmth, etc, feeling poor can be as much a state of attitude as a state of finance. We can be rich in love even without money, for example. Rich in what we already have, without needing anything else. And if life feels flat and we’re thinking about buying a solution, creating a solution or seeking an experience instead of shopping can change that feeling by giving a sense of achievement far more fulfilling that a quick shopping fix. I think so many young people are dissatisfied because of slavery to shopping fixes that soon wear off.

And of course, the less we buy, the less we pollute the earth. So not only does it make us more resourceful, it pays greater respect to the resources the earth already has given, and lessens the impact on what’s left of it.

So, I’m on a drive to minimise spending and maximise resourcefulness.

Although I’m not sure how many brambles and bunny bottoms will be involved! I’ll keep you posted.

Creative solutions for January!

January and good old gales and rain.

Am I the only one who feels it’s a bit of a challenge to get through it? Especially when there’s a need, after maybe too much indulgence, to spend less, eat less and sit on backside less as well as endure the weather. I want to be a dormouse and hibernate. My inspiration seems already to have curled up and gone to sleep.

Seeing old things in new ways

Seeing the light

My daughter and I swap notes on how to get through it. We’re people who struggle with motivation at this time of the year especially when SAD kicks in. And both being involved with creative work this can be quite daunting.

‘We need some creative solutions’ I say as we chat on Skype. I know from experience, of both myself and them as children home educating, that creating or achieving something promotes energy and enthusiasm….if we can just crank ourselves up enough to find the light!

We’re both believers in creating answers to life’s challenges, rather than buying answers, which it’s easy to fall into the habit of doing. But making your own solutions gives you such a buzz.

She wants some new clothes – she’s going to create some with what’s already in the cupboards. I need a new diary – I’m going to invent a way of putting one together with whatever comes to hand. My study needs a bit of a makeover too. Again, that’ll be achieved with re-thinking old spaces and pieces rather than spending. I’ll make my mind do the work rather than money.

It’s not always possible to create solutions in this way. But once you get your head round that way of thinking it’s amazing what you can come up with, how much you can achieve, what resources you can save, what pennies you can keep in your purse and what rewards you can reap in that personal sense of achievement.

We will not be beaten down by January!

How about you – have you any ideas to share? I need as many as I can get! 🙂

Imagination: The brighter side of budgeting!!

charley and beanie 006Christmas over, belly bulging over waistbands, present-buying binge finished, back to budget now.

It’s a bit of a gloomy prospect that – on first thought.

But on second thoughts, budget doesn’t have to be like that if we look at it differently. We can instead look at it as a pro-active way of organising our resources to our best advantage. What could be better than that!

I was thinking that being on a budget doesn’t mean that we have to be on a downer if we look at it like this. So many things we treasure are free anyway – love, for a start. We don’t have to budget our love. Nor our best friends. Or some of the beauties nature gives us. Nor learning about the whole range of resourceful ideas like on Superscrimpers. Don’t let your budgeting mind spill over into everything – we can still feel the riches in other parts of life.

Just because we’re tightening our belts doesn’t mean we have to tighten our attitude – we can expand our attitude – we can be generous – we can swap skills with others offering to do something for them in return for something we need help with. This is the fundamental idea behind the justfortheloveofit website and creates the community spirit we sometimes miss.

Budgeting also helps you grow as you get to exercise your little grey cells and become more creative and resourceful; it’s a great exercise in creativity.

Budgeting doesn’t mean you have to stop doing the things you love – it just means that you have to start thinking differently and creating the means yourself, in entrepreneurial ways. Creating something by your own means fulfils you in ways that shopping can’t. For example;

–          Next time you think of buying something, rethink whether you really need it. Instead, create new ways to use what you already have.

–          You can create a new room by changing round the one you have, looking round the house and seeing what else you can use where.

–          You can create new meals with basic ingredients that cost far less than Take Aways – there’s some fab websites that help. Here’s one for a start.

–          You can create social occasions with a great group of friends that can cost nothing as you rotate the venue round each others’ houses.

–          Make using your imagination more important than using your credit card – that’s a great exercise for the kids too. An important life-skill.

–          And forget gym/swimming/class fees – exercise for free outside and show the children how important it is and reconnect them with the earth and the air.

And what is even better about buying less as you’re budgeting is that it also means that you are saving the earth more. As the more you buy the more you pollute through industry and waste.

So look on the bright side of budgeting and see where it takes you. I’m hoping it’s going to help me take my bulging tummy down and creativity and fulfilment up!