Saturday, June 16, 2012

Small Achievements

It's been another busy week with cold dark starts and long days but... this week I have definitely made progress in realigning my activity with my goals.

My business was a little slower this week which, while a concern, freed up some time and energy for other things like, baking. I baked a loaf of bread for the first time in a very long time. Definitely out of practice but it tasted great and smelled... awesome!
Ready for the oven...

Ready to eat!
I also, put the carcase and remaining meat of the organic chicken we roasted to good use by making stock and creating a chicken and vegie soup. I portioned the soup to freeze; ready to take to work for cheap and nourishing lunches.
Chicken and Vegie Soup
Fridays are normally completely dedicated to the business but due to very low volumes this week, I had a day that looked very much like a day off! A rare beast in recent times. To make this miracle complete it was a gorgeous sunny winter day, so I spent a couple of hours in the garden, too.

Today, I will set some more small achievable goals for the coming week. Measurable achievements are not only satisfying, they are motivating, too.

If all goes well, I'll be adding a scrumptious home made apple pie to the list of achievements next week...

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Line in the Sand

My concept of 'patchwork economics' has always been about creating a financial 'blanket' that didn't rely solely on one source of revenue or benefit. So, earning money from multiple sources is one aspect of its construction and finding ways to reduce expenditure another.

Over the last eight months, I've been busy. So busy working on the first part of the equation that the second (reducing expenditure) had gone to hell in a hand-cart! 

Working four days a week in an IT company, plus running my online retail party supply business and supporting my daughter in her final year of high school left very little time for art of creative non-spending.

As we move into winter, my vegetable garden is overgrown with weed, stray cherry tomatoes and a self-seeded pumpkin that looks as though it has only produced two stripy green pumpkins. There's more grass in the garden beds than the lawn and the gravel paths are looking quite jungle-ish... The only highlights of my garden are the lawn (because someone else mows it!) and the fruit trees although the Eastern Rosellas have enjoyed most of the apples this season.

Again I'm reminded of the adage about time and money; you usually have a surplus of one or the other. The trouble is (for me at least) it's very hard to ignore the allure of convenience when you're working 60+ hours a week. I've found takeaways have become common place for us. Food I used to always cook from scratch like bread, soups or desserts now come from the supermarket in shiny plastic packaging.

Other than the extraordinary cost financially, I've noticed physical effects, too. We've both put on weight and feel sluggish most of the time.

This then, is my line in the sand. It's time to go cold turkey on convenience. I know I have another seven months of IT work but beyond that, I'm not sure. So, there's no time to waste. I have to get myself back in the swing of spending (and living) consciously. Not just for my financial well-being but physical and probably psychological, too.

Wish me luck!