Friday, July 15, 2011

The age old money dilemma!

On my mind today is money, why oh why does it cause so many issues!
Mr Mel and I are financially comfortable, we have worked very hard to get to where we are at.  We're not flying but we do own about 60% of our home, have stable jobs, and have some money invested.  We are able to go out for dinner, and can splurge on holidays now and then, although I'm not sure if you could call my first proper holiday in 11 years (our soon to be honeymoon!) a splurge!

However we are still sensible with our spending, and we do everything we can to ensure we're not paying more than we need to when we do have splurges.  My friends roll their eyes (in jest) when I bore them with details of a bargain I have found, or a savings we have made.  They are now asking me to help them with their mortgages, insurance, shopping etc, which I love to do.

We hope to have kids soon, and the finances will definitely tighten up, but we are making sure we are building a buffer so to speak, so that when we are blessed with a bubba, we will be financially in a good place to handle the probably time with me not working, added expenses etc.

I have just had a conversation with a colleague who at around 50-55 years old has hardly a cent to her name, she has debt to her eyeballs and yet even being in such a hole, doesn't seem to want to make an effort to fix it.

She is happy to have a pity party of the world isn't fair, how hard done by she is, yet she also spends money on horses that she can't afford, doing up the garden in her rental, etc, while ignoring the mounting debts, and letters from debt agencys that are arriving weekly.

After yet another whinging session from her, she has just finished telling me "Mel you're lucky you have a husband and a home you own, you don't know how hard it is".

My reply, while half biting my tongue, was "Hang on, you don't know my story, you don't know what effort I have put in to get where I am.  I have worked bloody hard to get 'lucky'."

Yet she still seems to think that anyone who is not 'struggling' has been lucky.  What is with that?

I have had similar conversations with friends and family, and other colleagues.  If you're struggling financially you need to look at why and find out how to fix it!

If you can't afford your mortgage repayments - it's not because the world is against you, in the cases I'm thinking of, it's because you have chosen to buy a house in an area you can't afford, and you didn't budget for interest rate rises, that's not really anyones fault but your own!

Of course there are situations where people lose jobs, get sick, etc, but in most of the cases I personally know it's not for those reasons, it's through being stupid with money!

If your grocery bill is sky high every week, it's probably because you're shopping in one of the 2 stupormarkets, buying brand food, and not willing to put in the effort to shop around, and/or make more things from scratch.  Do you really need to buy baby food in a jar or bag?  Go grab a bag of apples, stew them down and freeze it, it's not rocket science!  Don't stop at the bakery, go home and make something if you need to, or heaven forbid, go without!

If you don't know where you spend your money, then do a bloody budget!  Being an ostrich with your head in the sand is rarely the best way to attack things, keep note for a month or even a week, of everything you spend, then work out where you can cut back. Do you need that coffee at Maccas at the weekly girls get together?  You can still go to Maccas and chat with the girls, but have a water, or take your own coffee, or suggest meeting at a park instead.

I love Albert Einstein's definition of insanity - "Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results"

Ok off my soapbox (for now!), blame my colleague for my rampage!

Till next time,

Thanks to Rhonda from the Down To Earth blog for her 'Friday On My Mind' idea, it's a gem, I've clicked through comments on numerous blogs on Rhonda's list, and on my own, and found some great blogs which I'm now following, and looking forward to discovering many more!


  1. Oh yes, I so agree with you.

    Luck is a mixture of bloody hard work and going without most of the crud that others don't.

    If you can't afford to pay me for caring for your kids this week don't show me the new shirt you just bought.


  2. Well said! I think 'luck' is when some distant relative you've never met dies and leaves you a big inheritance! Being debt free and having money in savings takes hard work, planning, and living with in your means.

  3. Oh so true Mel. I've got a girlfriend who's a single Mum, smokes and has a 7 year old boy. She's always crying poor and spent $1,000 on birthday presents for him. I just can't figure some people out.

    Anne @ Domesblissity

  4. I'm hearing you!

    I don't believe in luck - what people call luck is what happens preparation meets opportunity. Finding $50 on your morning walk isn't lucky - it's fortunate - you created your own luck the moment you got your butt out of bed to go for the walk and put yourself in the position to find the $50! The only luck I believe in is the luck that comes when a bird poo just misses the sleeve of your brand new black jacket.....!

    The LOML has a saying - if you always do what you've always done, you'll always get what you've always got. That's our motto and it works pretty darn well!

  5. I know what you mean. Make do and mend, save it up and wear it out. Good on you Mel.

  6. It's funny how like-minded folks understand and credit your hard work and thrifty ways. And the ones not willing or ready to change their extravagant lifestyles, attribute your prowess to "luck".

    I so understand what you're saying. I used to try to share things that helped me get where I am. But, now I just mention to consider "living below your means" (LBYM). If they look at you like you're crazy, it's time to save your breath and go on. They aren't willing to make an effort, and labeling you "lucky" allows them to remain in denial.




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