Monday, February 16, 2015

Mimi's Savings Secrets....Insourcing tally for the week #2

Hello everyone! Thankyou so much for sharing your insourcing efforts last week.
This is such an important idea for me. Once I realised that I could save more money for my family by insourcing, than I could at my daytime job, I was off and running! And for anyone thinking 'I can't do that...I could never replace my income', I will say that I was in a senior management role in media, my time was charged at $300 an hour, and I thought I was at the pinnacle of career girl life.
However, I was exhausted, stressed, and never seemed to get to the end of my ever growing list of tasks. Weekends were spent shopping and cleaning and by Sunday night, all I wanted to do was flob on the couch.
Socialising was more about outdoing one another than enjoying each others company, and what I spent on wardrobe, hair, and parking is no doubt the reason I never got ahead financially!
My decision was thrust upon me with my youngest son's diagnosis of Cerebral Palsy. Suddenly, I had other priorities, and damned if I wasn't going to give my son the best life he could possibly have. It's amazing how events beyond our control, sometimes change our lives in ways we could never have anticipated. Suddenly my wardrobe full of designer corporate gear was irrelevant. You can't shimmy around in a bashed silk two piece suit, doing therapy on the floor with a two year old that can't sit up by themselves.
Whilst I miss the wardrobe of pretty clothes and high heeled shoes now and again, I've never regretted my decision to put my energies where they were most needed. And the older I get, the more proficient I become at insourcing and challenging myself to find new ways of saving money. And FYI, my son is now nearly 24, lives independently with a team of carers who are remunerated by way of a hard won funding package, and is the envy of other people with similar disabilities. This was only achieved by treating the planning of his life with dogged determination and the belief that it could be done, no matter how many times we were told 'no'.
But I digress.
The other idea that is really key here, is accepting that no matter how much money you have, everyone's (well, nearly everyones) income is still finite. I have two good friends who have frittered away their career earnings on a bigger and better this or that, and find themselves approaching retirement with far less than they had planned...if anything at all. It's heartbreaking.
So...without further ado...this weeks insourcing included:
Sourced some new optical frames on eBay saving anything up to $1000.
Gifted my daughter a pearl pendant inherited from my Mum, for Valentines Day, saving $150 on a similar one. She loves it and I think Mum would be thrilled.
Made school lunches saving $100 and probably my daughters good health.
Made a seafood dinner for Valentines Day saving up to $400. Our meal included oysters, crab, and salmon, so that's not out of the ball park at all.
Made onion confit for my sons for Valentines Day.
Held my sons team meeting at his home instead of at a coffee shop, and had the pleasure of seeing him chair the meeting in an admirable fashion, whilst saving me $65 in coffees and cake. I provided my coffee machine and my lush chocolate cake instead and everyone was happy.
That's a total of around $1700. And really that's conservative.
If I added in the snacks and lunches I packed for my daughter for her weekend of rehearsals for theatre and school musical, the cake I baked for the cast at theatre, and the meals I made for the week with no takeaway or restaurant meals sourced, I'd really have to add another $200-$400.
And again, that's not unrealistic when a cake of a similar size would be $40 at least, sushi and snacks would be $15 a pop multiplied by four, and meals like 'Seared rump roast served with roasted garlic mash and seasonal vegetables', 'Chicken Florentine with wild rice and steamed garden greens', and 'Souffle omelette served with caprese salad' graced our menu last week. I'm nothing if not a proficient cook! BUT, I only got to be so, through not having to devote time to an external career.
I feel good about my week.
How about you?


  1. Wow, you have saved so much money, Mimi! I am impressed. You certainly must have worked long and hard to get that lifestyle package for your son. I have heard they are as scarce as hens' teeth. Well done! I am so pleased to hear that someone has been successful with securing one.

    1. Nanna Chel, you have no idea what we went through to get that package. It took twelve years of telephoning, emailing, mailing and lobbying public servants and politicians at every level of government. I calculated once, that someone in government had said no to me about 1,630 times, before we got that funding. Seriously. My husband and I just refused to take no for an answer. If someone said 'no', we just hung up and rang back and hoped to get a different person. Someday you and I should have a coffee and I'll tell all :)

    2. That would be nice, Mimi. I might need to get onto one of those packages one day. Glad you got it eventually. It shouldn't have to be so hard especially when just being a carer takes such a huge tool.

  2. Mimi, you are a darling, and I do know that for sure! Don't digress we love hearing about the things you and your family have achieved for disability! I can just imagine all the events you have coordinated and catered for - chuffed your son held his network meeting at home! That's brilliant. Keep the Diva eating well, too. Just read your comment to Nanna Chel re the lobbying work....phew. Total respect, Mimi. Xx

    1. Thankyou Flora. I really appreciate that comment. You have no idea how much. It was a long, tough, often heartbreaking and tear filled road. But we kept our eye on the prize and never lost faith. And what a reward in the end, not just for us as parents, but for Mr A, who is living a life that most people with disabilities (actually most people!) can only dream

  3. Mimi what you have said is so true for me. I couldnt have made outside the home what I saved in it. My good friend came to stay with me once, she had two small children. She was stressed and worn out and working long hours. I sat with her and we worked out her wage less tax less daycare and less all the things that work cost her and all the things she now spent more on due to lack of time (like takeaways, buying gifts as no time to make them and groceries costing more as no time to shop for specials etc etc) I am not great with maths but we did this and she came up with the fact she was actually earning under $3 and hour. And missing her kids! So we came up with how she could make or save a few hundred a week instead. This is what can easily happen.
    When the girls were small people constantly said to me to open a shop. It was meant to be a compliment I think as I crafted lots of stuff... but I thought hang on ... rent a shop, pay for staff when I cant be there and pay people to look after my kids? I would have to make a fortune to cover all of these alone. Later I have known two ladies with shops and small children. Both have closed them now... both never ever made one cent profit! They did all that work... and ran overall at a loss. That is just heartbreaking.
    So I am a with you on this, it suits me to make a cake rather than work 6 hours to get the money to pay someone to make the cake! Much quicker. And there are so many ways to do it.
    Hard work does not always mean much profit. Many people have worked so hard and will come up short for retirement. The world is seeing a lot of broke economies. I think ok we all need to simplify. More and more I appreciate the simple lovely things and think how lucky we are!
    Lovely post. It warms my heart. And I cant imagine what you went through with your son but you give hope to others that is for sure! xxx

    1. I love that you 'get' it Annabel. It took me many long years to arrive at the same conclusion. I believe we are lucky as well. To have the luxury to be home where we love being, doing what we love to do, is a blessing in so many ways. And yes, the economic situation in many countries is very frail. Thank the stars for where we live! As for my son, well we are so very proud of him :)

  4. Just think of all the money we save by cleaning our own homes. I'm a domestic cleaner and charge $25 - $30 an hour. If I did two hours of cleaning duties of any description in my home each day that adds up to $1500 a month in savings.

    1. Oh Wendy, you are a girl after my own heart. I mention that one over and over. I have loved having a cleaner at certain times in my life, but the thing is, the cleaning always needs doing again, and again, and you would know. When we had cleaners after I had some major surgery a couple of years ago, it was $180 each time for three hours. So I treat my house cleaning as my job too. I watched them do it and I employ the same tactics, and I whizz through it in about three hours flat! And save myself the money to boot. Excellent point, thankyou!


I love hearing from you! I always respond to comments, so don't be shy! Mimi xxx