Saturday, October 24, 2009

New financial perspective

We've been mulling over money for quite a while now. First it involved getting our heads around the new house payments and everything to do with the property. Then we suffered a set-back when Dave lost his job suddenly. Now he's found new secure employment, we've reached that level of comfort again where we don't have to worry.

Still, we can't get money out of our heads - or at least, I can't. Something doesn't sit quite right with me. How much is enough to live on comfortably, without living to excess? The answer to that question came via my daughter. We've always taught her that she just can't have everything she wants. There is only a certain amount of money to go around. Yet, hidden in those words, was the denial that we were spending every spare cent we had on meeting our own desires.

We came to realise that Dave and I don't have any perspective on how much is enough. We don't have a parent in control of our freedom any more, so it's been left up to us. Well, now it's time to develop a new perspective.

We've devised a plan (a challenge) that will last a year for our family. It will be a no spending year. For 12 months we will not spend money on anything we desire. Of course, this is our first attempt at doing such a thing, so there needs to be a few concessions.

Dave & our daughter, mentally prepare for the challenge

I will go into the specifics later on, as we're still in the planning stages, but the general guidelines for concessions will be:

1. We will each receive $5 a week but that's all the access to money we'll get.

2. We need to spend on a few outlays before the challenge, to save money during the challenge.

Like I said, I'll go into the specifics later on, but the intention of the challenge is to limit our desires for an entire year. If something unexpected happened in the future, we would be forced to live like this anyway. Before that happens, we'd like to voluntarily discover how much is enough. It's only for 12 months.

We're hoping to start the challenge from the 1st of January, 2010.


  1. Big challenge Chris - and a brave move. But I can certainly see the sense in it and reasoning behind it.
    Have you read Linda Cockburns Good Life book? She tried to do no-spending for a year, I found it really interesting to follow her story. Lots of inspiration there too.
    I look forward to hearing more....!

  2. Nuts! Blogger just swallowed my last response, LOL.

    I haven't got Linda's book, but I did read some internet snippets from their challenge. I think they also focussed on eating what they produced from the garden, or what they could barter for too.

    We'd starve on what we currently grow in the garden, LOL.

    Our focus is on discovering what we can live off financially, by cutting off the endless wish lists.

  3. We had to do that earlier this year because of a shaky job scenario. It was really interesting as we had never really been in that situation as adults.

    I did find it scary at the time, fear of losing the house etc but I learnt heaps. I never "leisure" shop any more apart from a weekly trip to Vinnies for books and any useful kitchen stuff, and we don't buy anything new that we could get second hand either at Vinnies or on eBay.

    It's amazing what you can do without or compromise on if you have to.

    What sort of things will you have to cover with your $5 a week?

  4. Hi greenfumb, I've outlined the details of the $5 on my newest post.

    Congratulations on making it through your challenging time though. Not losing the house would be a good thing, but it also sounds like it taught you some new sensibilities too.

    Something I need to touch on more in my own life, LOL. ;)

  5. wow that is a huge challenge you guys have set for your selves. i would be very interested to follow your progress if you decide to blog about it.

  6. Love the picture - You can get the goodlife book from the Tmba library. I have read it so many times I can credit Linda for starting my frugal lifestyle change.
    I imagine this will be hard to complete but also a wonderful chance to experience a life with more value. Often money has too much value put upon it, its just money.
    Goodluck with your new 'richer' adventure!

  7. Thanks Nicole & Littlefarm, I will blog about it as long as my computer decides to play nice, LOL.

    The challenge is already proving hard Littlefarm, as we're doing a practice run leading up to next year. Nothing strict mind you, just being very conscientious of not buying stuff we normally would.

    We've also learned some good stuff too which I'll blog about soon.


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