Having a hard time this year

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11 years 4 months ago #445907 by daerfamily
OK sounds great Simkin, thanks!

I will go back to work one day, but for now, I would like to be the person my children come home to after school and that is the decision we made right from the start.

DH only puts in $60/week diesel (plus road tax), so perhaps you are right, I use his as I drive less therefore road tax isn't going to come round as often.

I dont normally skimp on food, we all eat well in this house, and we eat healthy (mainly). Hardly any fizzy drink etc, I have one coffee a day as I can't handle anymore lol, I dont drink alcohol (gosh wasn't that a different scenario from the uni days lol).

DH also gets a bonus each year, and we have also decided to get his 4th week holiday paid out, now that you can, so that will come in aprl.

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11 years 4 months ago #445908 by kindajojo
I make my own washing powder most of the time recipe is on this site, use it for towels,sheets etc....cheap as chips and does a great job .....commercial laundry powders are so expensive

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11 years 4 months ago #445909 by muri
Replied by muri on topic Having a hard time this year
I have read this thread with interest.
For the 15-20 years the kids were living with me, we lived at so far below poverty level, that poverty level looked positively luxurious to our income.
There was no car, no tv, no dishwasher, furniture was very basic, kids had no extras, no gizmos but some basic quality toys.
Eating was a safari through our garden, I taught them how to grow their own and how to be hunters and gatherers in their own back yard. We grew fresh herbs and traded these for food we didnt have at the local store [ the herbs sold well and thats how i ended up getting into horticulture]
Pre packaged food was never bought, everything was made, we organised a co-op with others for buying in bulk.
I taught the boys to start cooking a meal each one night a week from about 7 years. they had to do everything from scratch, the pizza dough to make the pizza etc. Both my kids became very proficient cooks who could whip up anything from a 3 course meal to a delicious cake well before they were teenagers
Clothes were recycled from others who knew we werent well off
all presents were hand made, including gifts my children gave to others.
While at times they felt hard done by, the house was always a thriving buzzing place of activity.
Neither of my sons owns a car today oddly enough in this day and age and neither seems to be damaged by the paucity of material things in their formative years.
Both are very activite, 'get out and do it' types doing interesting things with their lives.
It took until the kids left school and I could start work again to climb out of the poverty trap.
For some, its a lifelong struggle with no way out, but when you know it is temporary because you choose not to work but look after the children, then its just a matter of making the most of what you have, for all of the family.

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11 years 4 months ago #445910 by daerfamily
Heartfelt words there Muri, thank you.

Sometimes things do seem to feel like they are going to overpower you, but in the end, you know they wont, and we have each other still and the kids are pretty happy with what they've got (currently sitting on the floor for the last two hours with lego from previous occasions!).

They will learn to cook, I had to do the same thing, and my mum was the same, she always tells me they never saved a cent when the kids were at home !! Whoops!

I wouldn't say we are in poverty, we aren't poor but we just seem to have bad luck with bills and it all seemed to happen in one year which of course sets you back.

Things have a funny way of turning around though and I have my fingers crossed 2013 is a better year!

In other news, we managed to inject our steer with his meds, so hopefully he starts to feel better and I will feel better knowing he is on the road to recovery!

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11 years 4 months ago #445948 by wandering free
It's very interesting reading and shows most of us struggle when starting with a family, you go from being single and carefree with all your money for yourself to one wage and a family to keep with a mortgage, it's wow what happened there, don't no how we will cope, but we do somehow.

I remember my wife making a list of outgoings against what I earned, and more was going out that coming in but somehow with a good garden we managed to feed the 2 boys, and the eldest is closing in on 50 but still remembers the happy times when he was young, it's the things you do together that kids remember not the toys that break after a few weeks and finish up as rubbish.

When I think back to my childhood, we would have pobs (bread and milk) or my favorite jacket roasted potatoes with the potato scooped and mixed with cheese and put back into the oven to all soften until the cheese was all stringy, and the crispy potato skin with butter, all my friends had similar meals so I didn't think it was because we were poor, but I never went hungry, and I think back to those times with love for my mum and dad, so take heart you will be loved by your children for doing your best and giving them your time.

Just me and the cat now, on 2 acres of fruit and veg + hazel nuts, macadamia, chestnuts and walnuts,
www.youtube.com/user/bandjsellars?feature=mhee

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11 years 4 months ago #445965 by RayH
Replied by RayH on topic Having a hard time this year
Wow what good suggestions , im a social worker and your guys advice is so refreashing. Kep at it you need to have a plan and others have given lots of great advice develop a plan and stick to it ..
Its hard especially showing city children what can be eaten and how things can be used and resourced for free or next to nothing. My nice was here yesterday with my cousin and i sked her to go and pick some lettuce from the garden ...she looked at me and said what does it look like !!! ...omg.... I love the fictitious pig idea !!! im going to try this tomorrow....kia kaha you will get through !!

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11 years 4 months ago #446097 by thevarneys
Muri you would probably have laughed when you saw the 'living below the poverty line' challenge a few months ago. The challenge was to live for $2.25 per day per person. We added up what we spent on food/nappies/non edibles in the shopping/pet food and it was still under the challenge level! We spend the threshhold on all our shopping/all animal food/, and that includes our larger family size of 10 every now and then as well.
And I certanily would not want to think people living like us are living in the poverty zone. One just has to budget carefully, make your own, and be creative!

I read an interesting article on Stuff a month or so back about 'poverty' in this country, and the author was saying that one of the problems is that people are living well above their means, and are still thinking they are entitled to afford 'luxuries'.

Some people are so poor, all they have is money.

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11 years 4 months ago #446134 by morioka

daerfamily;445914 wrote:
The kids all take sandwiches to wherever they go, perhaps I need to think about buying muesli bars less often and getting into the kitchen more!
!

These are good and cost much less than store bought muesli bars. You can change the ingredients a bit once you have made them a few times :p

www.allthecooks.com/kylies-muesli-bars.html

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11 years 4 months ago #446141 by Andrea1

thevarneys;446160 wrote:
I read an interesting article on Stuff a month or so back about 'poverty' in this country, and the author was saying that one of the problems is that people are living well above their means, and are still thinking they are entitled to afford 'luxuries'.

Yeah. This is a rather sad indictment on society. Heck, when we were growing up a luxury was the TV dinners we got to have when the parents went out and we got a babysitter. Which was rare - not more than a couple of times a year!

We had a rather unique experience as youngsters growing up. My dad was a high school Spanish teacher (this was in the states). One year he did a summer school session at the university in Mexico City, and we all went and spent 4 months there. I was only 6 at the time, but it was my real-life awakening. We saw children living in cardboard huts with tin roofs and playing with rocks and sticks, and they were laughing and happy. We stepped over a dead guy in a doorway (and then my dad called the police when we got back to our apartment) in a poor neighbourhood where we were visiting a former exchange student of my dad's. I remember all this stuff like it was yesterday, and it's helped me not take things for granted and appreciate what I have.

Oh, I'm rambling a bit this morning, sorry... been sick again the last few days, and reading various threads and posts has given me lots to ponder.... and now I will ponder some breakfast.... not a lot of appetite....

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11 years 4 months ago #446142 by Andrea1

morioka;446201 wrote: These are good and cost much less than store bought muesli bars. You can change the ingredients a bit once you have made them a few times :p

www.allthecooks.com/kylies-muesli-bars.html

Or just make bikkies! A 5kg bag of flour, a 5kg bag of sugar and a couple of blocks of butter make far more bikkies, cakes and slices than the same spend will make if you bought ready-made/packaged stuff, and without all the added crap.

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11 years 4 months ago #446147 by gemini kiwi
Every summer in the next village there are kids who grow and sell sunflowers, plums lemons walnuts etc, they set up this small table outside their gate with a big sign, I think its a great idea. You could give the kids a small raised vegetable plot each for them to grow veggies or flowers etc. Do a flyer at your local kindy other young families are in the same boat, network, form a green dollar exchange so you can swap an excess of fruit and veggies etc even kids clothing. you always see heaps of fruit just falling off trees up this way just left to rot on the ground, so wasteful. lots of ideas.

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11 years 4 months ago #446161 by LESLEYH

daerfamily;445548 wrote: Thanks for your comment Swaggie.

RE pre-school, both chidren were at kidsfirst in Kaiapoi before we moved out here, and I couldn't justify the commute to Rangiora 3 days a week just to go to kindy, so we go to Oxford and yes, it's free, and they only do 15 hours each a week. My son will be at west eyreton school next feb with his brother .. and my daughter will soon enough be 5 though I am not wishing away those precious years.

I actually called our power company yesterday as we are on smooth pay, to see if they were going to adjust our weekly amount to reflect the credit we have accumulated, but apparently we are not enough in credit for them to do this! So we continue to pay $80/week. How much credit do you have to be in for them to drop your weekly amount? We are in credit only a small amount (maybe $150?). How do you get the rebate? I dont think trustpower do that??

DH is pretty terrible when it comes to running cars etc, like on Friday we went out for dinner (with vouchers mite I add!) and I met him there he went from work, then he decided to drink and couldn't really drive home, so I drove my car home, then the next day we had to go get his car which meant an extra trip in my car! He doesn't really seem to think very well at times lol.

I have thought about selling chooks as there seems to be high demand, and our girls are probably ready to be 'mums' ... they are 1 year old now, and we get consistently 4 eggs a day no problem. The chooks dont get my garden, they are not allowed into it, we have netted them out after they destroyed my lawn!


Have a look to change power companies and see what deal you can get from them, some offer credit to start and fixed pricing etc. If you are in credit with your current supplier and you close your acct the credit will be sent back to you. Give them a reading first to ensure you don't owe them.
Ring around you may get a credit/fixed pricing offer or if you have a smooth pay type of payment arrangement you will be able to start at a lower rate with your new power company. Even $20 less per week is a start, just bear in mind when you are reviewed you need to keep in mind your payments will be adjusted.

The power is definately something you can save on

LESLEY

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