The grass is only greener cause its fake.

Hi all. I’ve been thinking a lot about this blog and about how people might perceive this life from what I write and what I choose to show. A few things have prompted me to do this. One of them is this recent Facebook post by artist Tracy Verdugo:

And also this one by blogger Kate Ulman:

and I realized that I can never show the truth of this life through my blog, because you’ll only ever get the benefits of what I choose to include, and from my perspective. Often that’s the highlight reel – because not often do we sit down and feel inspired to write about the aweful days, the boring days, the days we yelled at the kids, had no money, sat on the couch all day and did nothing because we felt sorry for ourselves. Those don’t make good blog posts!

But as I sit here, having just paid $900 on a surprise car repair, not sure how we will survive the next fortnight with petrol and food and bills and feed for the animals; and I want to express this to you:

We FIGHT LIKE HELL for this life.

Everyday, we fight like hell, for the life you read about on this blog. you might not see it. It might look idyllic, and tranquil, and creative and colourfully carefree. Do not – DO NOT – for a second think that that’s how it is 100% of the time.

What you wont see is the days I couldn’t pay the bills. The days I overdrew our account – AGAIN. The days Ben sweated all the way home from work with the fuel light on because we had no money to fill the car. The nights I woke at 4am having a full-blown panic attack about how we would get through this fortnight. The days I was so stressed I snapped and yelled at the poor bewildered girls because I just couldn’t deal anymore. The day I kicked the goat because it yanked the chain through my tired, chapped, freezing cold hand and it HURT. BAD. The day I STOLE 5 cent pieces from my 6 year old’s money box to buy an 85 cent loaf of bread.

You wont see any of that.

But it’s there. I promise you, it’s there. Our life is no different from yours so don’t you ever – EVER – envy us and wish we could swap lives, ok? It’s a bloody good life, but I have 99 problems JUST. LIKE. YOU. I promise. When we moved here, I gave up a job I adored, our family support network, a nice little house we owned, and THOUSANDS of dollars, to live here. In a rented cottage that’s falling down around our ears, on one income, on my own a lot due to Ben’s demanding work hours, on this bloody farm with all these bloody hungry animals and these two bloody wild kids.

And I love it. But I struggle EVERY DAMN DAY to do it.

So I wont often write posts like this, dear reader, because it’s not what this blog is about for the most part! But don’t you ever forget: We’re real. Just like you. Our life aint no fairy tale. We’re flawed and we’re broke and sometimes we eat junk food and feel guilty that we’re really shitty parents and “what-the-hell-have-we-done?!”

Somedays it’s sun-drenched paddocks, and warm happy kids on the hearth infront of the fire. Somedays it’s final notices, and cracked radiator hoses, and tantrums, and sweat and tears.

That’s life. That’s the truth.




Reducing waste and saving money

My wife and I undertook 10 in 100 challenge earlier this year. Basically this is about reducing the clutter in your life by removing 10 things each day for 100 days.

We did pretty well, reduced a hell of a lot of clutter and junk, some things went in the bin (or recycling), some we sold on Ebay and some we donated to charity. We actually didn’t get to the 100th day, after our move to Melbourne only a year before we had already reduced a lot of stuff, still amazed at how much we had that was extra!

I think thought that we might need to do this again on a smaller scale, after all we should only have the last 12 months or so to build up clutter.

I think I might make this the 10 in 30 challenge and once again find 10 things a day to remove from our life for 30 days. I think 300 things would be a great investment and certainly reduce once again the clutter and streamline our lives even more.

Like last time I will post this via Instragram to show you all what I have reduced (maybe even let you know where it will be going). So keep an eye out for the #10×30 you are most welcome to do your own #10×100 or #10×30 I highly recommend it.

A recent post from the MillennialMoneyHack is on a similar line but for wastage in expenses, the model there is cut 3 for 3. It’s simple, cut three expenses each month for 3 months. Key here is to start small, cut the easy stuff, the things you really won’t miss or those expenses that you had been meaning to cancel or change.

We recently re-newed our phone contacts (mobiles) and saved ourselves over $30 a month, most of the rest of our expenses are pretty close to the bone or are our one vice (like coffee out etc) so while I applaud and support this challenge and can see a benefit, for a family like mine on 1 and a bit income I just don’t see the extra expenses we can live without.

Our focus is removing the debit of personal loan and credit card, while continuing to reduce the mortgage and keeping on top of bills, for us that is a win. Long term we want to start to save for an overseas family holiday – but that is a few years off but that vision is there and in the mean time if we can see waste we need to remove it.

Let me know your ideas or similar challenges and check back to see how I go with the #10×30 challenge this year.

Image from Andrea Decker