Thursday, February 25, 2021

Budgeting and Insourcing...Plan ahead for everything....

Here's a topic that some of you might think dull, but for those of us who love Insourcing, it's a fabulous kind of game. Like a Scavenger Hunt of a sort.

Believe it or not, Insourcing won me a competition that allowed me to purchase my dream oven. Thankyou to those who participated in that event. I remain eternally grateful for your support. And all I really did was make a posh salad! So there's gain to be had on many levels!

Planning ahead

Planning ahead is part of life here.

We plan ahead for next seasons clothing needs, for birthdays, for Christmas, for Easter, for holidays for staycations, where you stay at home and entertain yourself and the family with planned activities, instead of going away. 

Husband built this fire pit a couple of Winters ago. That made a Staycation in the middle of the cooler months, pretty attractive!

Planning ahead means you can put what little money you have, into snapping up bargains or buying fabric from the remnants bin, or buying a sewing machine or overlocker or a robot vacuum cleaner, or setting it aside for something worthwhile, rather than frittering it away on random purchases that do little to enhance your life in the longer term. 

We renovated an old van for daughter to have her own mini-vacations, using only what we had on hand, and a few remnants from the discount bins at the local haberdashery. It turned out pretty well we thought!

And don't just look ahead one year. Try to see 5, 10, 20 years ahead. This helps keep things in perspective. That pair of shoes, or jeans or bag or coffee will mean nothing in 5 years. That money on your mortgage or into superannuation or just into the bank for a rainy day, could have the power to have a significant impact on your life.

Let's all just get on with what needs to be done. It's what our Mums and Dads did, it's what their Mums and Dads did, it's just what has to happen.

On the Home Front

One thing that I did this morning to plan ahead, was make up a huge batch of home made laundry detergent. This sounds mundane, but has the potential to save us literally a couple of hundred dollars over the next few months.

I use the one in Rhonda Hertzels book that's also on her Down to Earth website. This is my doubled up recipe for a huge batch.

One box of Lux flakes (8 cups) I have sometimes grated Sunlight soap, as its cheaper again. But the Lux flakes are particularly nice, and have a soft, comforting scent.

1 1/2 tubs Borax (4 cups)

1 packet Lectric Soda (4 cups)

Mix together well and store in a large container. I use a Hurricane lantern with a little scoop in it, that's actually a tea bag holder I got at the thrift store. It just makes doing the washing feel nicer. And the Lux flakes make the linen smell gorgeous.

This costs about $14 and at one heaped tablespoon per wash, will give me about 180 loads of washing. The other great thing about it is, I don't need fabric softener to scent or soften our laundry (another saving), and it's the only thing that doesn't give the family eczema (a further saving on creams, lotions and potions to relieve the eczema). So sometimes you have to look at where other savings might occur due to making your own. The up front cost might be the same, but other costs might be significantly reduced by using home made.

Making a house a home

I'm not an investment adviser by any stretch of the imagination. All I can tell you is that we've never bought a new home. We've always bought the house (some might say the fixer upper, or 'the dump') that no-one else wanted in suburbs that weren't yet trendy, renovated and landscaped slowly and gradually, doing almost everything ourselves from patching and painting to building kitchens to polishing floors by hand to pouring concrete, then sold for a profit and done the same thing again. 

This was sometimes a three year, but often a 7-10 year project. During that time we would live in the house, without floor coverings, without a kitchen or bathroom or other creature comforts for weeks or months. We managed. Lots of people used to do this but it's not so common any more from what I understand despite the plethora of DIY television shows and YouTube videos.

When we couldn't afford new, we bought second hand and made do. Husband built things, I painted and patched them. We made thrifting an art form in many respects. There are literally dozens of posts here on my blog about our upcycling efforts.

It can be daunting if it's not in your DNA that's for sure. Buying cheap and new often seems the simplest solution. All I can suggest is that you need to be flexible in what you think you can do, and where you think you can live. We kept an open mind and often lived in or invested in areas that made our friends think we'd gone mad, but guess who's laughing now.

The Rewards

We didn't get to where we are in our 60's by living the way many people do now. And it has nothing to do with technology or the absence thereof. It's just a different mindset. You can be frugal when you're young in order to live comfortably later in life, but most don't see that far ahead.

Do cost of living expenses nowadays make a difference? Well almost certainly, yes. But it's all proportional in the end. Your mortgage should still be no more than 30% of your income, savings should be 10%, the rest is negotiable according to your situation.

Adopting this mindset can mean that you're out of step with popular opinion. But if you do, it means that you can weather tough times in your life and not crumble in a heap, because you've practiced making the best of a less than desirable situation, whether it's illness, financial troubles, relationship challenges or job losses.

For my part, I practiced that mindset. From trying every alternative therapy on the planet when my gorgeous little son was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy, to hand painting my terminally ill Mothers casket for her funeral as a last loving gesture to her, I've always remained determined to maintain a feeling of purpose in my life, even when placed in sad situations that were completely beyond my control. This actually GAVE me a sense of control, where none existed. I think thats kept me sane. It can do the same for you.

Tell me about your planning. What creates financial freedom and a feeling of being in control for you?



  1. Thanks for an inspiring read Mimi. It will be nice to focus on living well after last year when every day in lockdown was a something to get through. Have you finished work? Will there be more blog posts? More fashion posts? Barb

  2. Hi Barb. I finished my ‘job’ in November last year. Now I am about to open my own business. I’ll keep you posted! More blog posts for sure! Mimi xxx

  3. Enjoyed reading your above post Mimi .You are a very planned and energetic lady and hard working lady . I think we have gone more with the flow of life here although DH has planned ahead for us financially . I do have a working plan monthly for gifts, holidays , Christmas, my health (small not large) , and several other categories , those are the things I deal with while hubby does all other bills .
    WE have lived in our home 30 + years , although originally we aimed to be here no more than 10 years . But life and our location has meant we stayed on rather than move on with all the costs of such a move and upheaval to our family .WEve worked as a team and planned for retirement and savings , just as well as we now have family in need of our help because of health issues .
    Now we have our daughter and family living with us indefinitely, there is no room for any more who might have descended upon us , at times like these we could do with a bigger house but then when there is just two of us the place is big .
    All the best with your new venture Im sure it will be a great success !
    I love your daily posts of outfit of the day and brooches . Thankyou ! Love Maria xxx

    1. Dearest Maria, I too am learning to go with the ebb and flow after Husband had a surprise health intervention over the weekend. It's a lesson. I hear you on not moving. For us, it is the opposite. Our home is large (built for son in a wheelchair who now lives independently), and we may be soon at a crossroads as to whether we stay put or downsize. Time will tell. Lovely to hear from you. Mimi xxx

  4. I was just over on Annabel’s site and thought I’ll pop over and see if you’ve posted. Last time I checked it was well over a year ago. How delighted I was to catch up. I look forward to more and more of your posts I have been a long time reader

    1. Oh Tootles! Lovely to see you too! Mimi xxx

  5. How glad I am to find you here again, dearest Mimi!!!
    After so much time, I can write a comment to an amzing post of yours, those posts I’ve never forgotten!
    I’ve been away from the web since the reseraches and the drafting of the history essay I wrote for an Italian publisher about the Habsburgs took up all the time I had.
    But I’ve finally come back.
    Sending blessings on your Sunday and new week ahead
    Daniela at ~ My little old world ~ (Dany)

    1. Oh Dany! How lovely to 'see' you too! I worked fulltime for two years and only returned to home life last November, so we have both been absent. I will pop over and say

  6. Not boring at all. Sort of a key to life. I hate chaos. It wrecks my nerves. Planning ahead is just the best. Not that I always succeed but it helps life so very much! xxx

    1. You do brilliantly week in, week out Annabel. All those little things really add up! Mimi xxx


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