A couple of years ago my husband and I were in a really tight spot financially. It was so bad we honestly did not know from week to week how we were going to pay for everything. We were in debt and the only way we were going to be able to clear it was with the baby bonus as I was pregnant.
Our tough financial spot continued for 18 months. It started when I was pregnant and continued well after our daughter was born and into my 2nd pregnancy. We went from living in our home with our nieces and my sister to moving interstate, renting a very small, old and scummy 2 bedroom unit and my husband changing careers.
During a lot of this time my husband either worked casually or in not so well paid positions. He eventually did a course and got a much better paying job, so it was ok.
This week my husband reflected on the fact that we aren’t as good with our money as we used to be, meaning during that tight spot. There are a few reasons for that.
1.) We are renovating, so obviously we are spending money
2.) We just bought a new (to us) car (old one was dying)
3.) We now have 2 kids, so more food is consumed as well as much higher food prices
4.) I have no oven to cook with. A frying pan and slow cooker only go so far
I’ve had some big projects happening here, so frugality has been the last thing on my mind. When we were completely broke I did lots of things I haven’t been doing but would like to get back to doing because I enjoyed them. A lot of it takes time, but I loved it and loved the results.
I used to buy big boxes of apples, oranges, berries, tomatoes and things and make preserves such as jams and sauces. I used to make my own bread. I used to stretch a chicken from being one roast to being a roast, soup, risotto, arancini, curry and pasta bake.
I tried to grow a few little herbs and things. I never got to grow much as we didn’t have the space, but I tried. I dehydrated what I could and stretched everything as far as possible.
I made lots of things from scratch as well as sewed a lot and made gifts instead of buying lots of them.
To be 100% honest I really don’t know how we managed financially. It was certainly tough, but I learnt some fantastic skills I really want to teach my daughters.
And now that my big projects are having a little break, I am free to go back to doing things I enjoy such as cooking and sewing. I just need to get my oven connected...
Instead of looking at frugal living as having to cut back everywhere, I look at how things I enjoy doing can save me money. It certainly makes a difference