“Simon Says” – 12 Months On
12 months on and we are all doing good and life is ticking along nicely. The job I applied for last may unfortunately, was not successful, and it was a big surprise to me and a good lesson in humility. In saying this the Operations Manager of the site rang me a week ago and asked me to reapply for another position that has opened up, so I’m hopeful my second attempt will be more successful.
Our budget is still working very well for us, and it has really become second nature now. It’s funny, when I want something that I know that I don’t need I just don’t buy it! I just tell myself that if I really need it, I can always buy it next week, and so far… next week has never come!
I finally finished the highly modified and terribly expensive engine build on my 4WD. It simply could not have happened if I didn’t spend the majority of the money before we started our budget. It has taken the last 12 months to scrimp and save enough out of the budget to finish it. Due to the high cost of this project I found myself losing interest towards the end, and it was a real battle to actually finish it off! Keep in mind that this project has been 3 years from start to finish. It turns out that I am just no longer interested in wasting money on such things. It seems that my priorities have changed somewhat, in saying this, I still managed to over spend $850 last month to finish the job off and have everything running in the vehicle. By some act of Christ a relative paid a debt owed from a couple years ago, plus I sold a MiG welder I had laying around which covered these costs. Lesson learned… R&D projects on 4WD diesel engines are now banned!
One thing that has changed for the both of us is we no longer throw the “good stuff” out. We now sell it on Gumtree! Gumtree can be your friend… as long as you keep it on a leash, or in a cage! Gumtree can be a great tool to sell the unwanted and excess items you have laying around. In our pre budget mindset we wouldn’t have had a second thought about throwing out something that might be worth $20 to $100 bucks, but now, everything that we no longer need that can be sold, will be sold. Keep in mind… just using gumtree can lead to unnecessary spending… so we use gumtree carefully. As I said… we keep it on a leash or in a cage.
My wife is leading the way in this area. She has been selling the kids toys they no longer use that are still good, clothes and all sorts of stuff. It’s amazing how it all adds up! I have been helping by selling things in the shed that I have been storing and will probably never use. It’s funny, I actually had three good working arc welders, sold off the two that I no longer use and kept the best one. Doing this certainly helps the budget and is good to have a small reserve for those times where meeting the budget is hard.
Bunnings is now a swear word! I sometimes visit, when I miss her, and her sausages sizzles, but I have left Bunnings behind along with a few of my old ways. The good news is that Bunnings isn’t going anywhere and she will still be there for me if I ever need her again.
I have booked 6 weeks holidays starting mid-December to the end of January, and I am looking forward to it. We are going to Renmark for three or four days, staying at the caravan park that has a big water park in it and the kids will love it. Our trip is all budgeted for and has already been paid for in advance. We were even able to budget for the monthly incoming pay shortfall of allowances due to taking holidays. It’s a great feeling when you can plan and budget for these things knowing even with a lower than usual pay for the month everything is going to be fine and the bills are paid.
If I get this new gig, I think we might get you guys back in to look over our budget and give it a tune up after 6 months of working it. Potentially my wages will go down a little and my costs will go up, which is never a good thing for a budget. With proper planning and budgeting, I am sure we will manage just fine!
Your budget has become a way of life now, and a new thought process for us when it comes to our spending. We no longer feel we are missing out due to the change in our priorities. For us this has been the single most important factor in successful budgeting… mindset change. You guys have certainly showed us a new path and I thank you for it.