Hello Dear Reader,
For some of you, it's already New Year. Some of you will be heading out this evening. I love the new start, the new beginning, the fresh page of a new diary and stepping out on a brand new year. I've had a wonderful year.
Now back to my resolutions and maybe they can be seen as hints as to how to stay frugal over the coming year. 1. Fix broken things. 2. Make good use of the things I have. 3. No spend days. 4. Have a plan.
and finally, my last resolution for the year.
5. Stick at it.
I'll be honest with you and tell you now that life, mine in particular can be a difficult and often an uphill struggle. Throughout life, I've often not stuck at things. I certainly don't have the breaking strain of a kit kat but I'm not made of steel either. However, I'm getting better at sticking at whatever I started as I get older.
Frugalling along through life, doing what ever I can to pay for my house before I retire can be utterly miserable at times. I could give in and say at any junction, lets go on holiday, I look like crud and I'm going to buy new clothes and whilst I'm at it a facelift! The hardest part of anything is the sticking at it.
When I hit the credit wall in 2009, I had no choice but to pay back every penny of debt I owed. The more I paid off, the easier it got. It became a challenge and then a game. I enjoyed making do, I enjoyed being thrifty and finding bargains. I enjoyed learning new crafts to keep myself amused. Those are the bits I still love. I love the peace and so often hate the isolation. I know, as you tell me, I am really lucky to have the unshakeable support of Dearly Beloved and he and I are together every step of the way. His needs are no greater or lesser than mine and both of us have to remind the other every now and then that we have money and we can spend it.
Some of you have a very difficult road ahead of you, I know, I walked every step. Some of you have walked the walk and you are now debt free and mortgage free. Now you save for holidays and travel. You go out on hiking holidays, go on far flung long haul destinations and you earned every minute of it. I'll be there one day. My bucket list is a long as yours and I'm sure similar in many ways. I will, like you, achieve some of them.
In the meantime, to make sure that I get there, there are many things that I'm going to have to stick to. I'll have to put up with the contents of my house and fix them if they're broken. I'm going to make good use of everything I have including my surroundings and get out into them more and spend a lot less time at home but out in the open. I'm going to walk on beaches, clifftops and coastal paths. I'm going to the library more and will make better use of my garden. I will carry on having no spend days and use my time more productively and have more to show for 2013 than I did 2012. I'm going to carry on having financial plans and goals and working towards them. I will remind myself every day that new year resolutions are not a to do list for the first week in January but a year long change in habits. Nothing ever gets any better if we just carry on with life as we've always lived it.
I have to remind myself, that for some dear readers, that all this is new to you. Some of you have been with me throughout all of my journey and continue to come with me. I know you are there and I truly appreciate your support. You will be able to share me fixing up what I have as I renovate my home. I will be making good use of my sewing machine and you are welcome to come and share with me as I do so. I will be planning not only how to save money but days out and you, of course, can come with me. There will be plenty of time at home when we'll just be chopping wood, weeding the garden, recycling, digging, cooking and mending things and you're welcome to peep through the window whilst I do so.
If you've had to set yourself a stiff budget and have to stick at it, sticking at it will get you to your mountain top. Menu planning, budgeting, shopping with a list, packing lunches the night before, mending clothes, altering clothes you bought at a charity shop are all feasible but all require sticking at as none of them are the easy options. Anyone who has ever given up smoking, drinking, lost weight, got fit or learnt a new skill knows the easiest part is starting, the hardest part is sticking at it and the best bit is achieving what you set out to do.
However you spend the New Year, it's yours to do what you please with.
Love Froogs xxx