Monday, June 30, 2014

Getting Serious about Money

Yesterday afternoon, C and I had a conversation about money, jobs and life, not unusual when we are on a long car trip. This one was different though.

This one was less "I wish" and more "we should". It was about how other people seem to be getting ahead in this crap economy and we aren't. About how different decisions made earlier in our lives could have made a big difference to our current finances. And about how big decisions now could help change things for the better.

Basically, we both decided that it's time to pull our finger out and stop settling. Stop settling for our white- and blue-collar wages. Start focusing on how we can earn more, and sow the seeds of some future passive income.

"But it all sounds so greedy!" I said at one point, stricken with conscience because striving for more money seemed a little Wall Street when people less fortunate than us are struggling to keep the power and water on.

But hubby pointed out that there is no shame in wanting something better for ourselves, and our future family. Plus we're both totally sick of being poor. Poverty being relative of course - I am not living on the breadline, or below it. But the constant worry about money is just exhausting. And I don't want to be a billionaire. I just want to be able to buy a magazine when I fancy it and not feel guilty.

So now remains to be seen whether we will actually take action, or keep talking about taking action. I'm a very hard girl to get out of my comfortable rut, so stay tuned. Will we look at the mining sector? Will we consider 2nd jobs? Will we start up a side hustle? Who knows.

Do you want more income? Have you done any of the above and how has it turned out?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Why I Like Going to Camp

Every year, Mum and I and our scrapbooking “mob” go to Camp. Well, strictly it’s cabins in the woods (minus the horrible dying) but it’s at lovely Lake Perseverance.
As it’s June, it’s usually cold, so we take along electric blankets, scarves and fluffy socks. The accommodation is basic (bunk beds with foam mattresses and an ensuite) and we share three to a room but it’s clean and sufficient for our needs. When we leave, we sweep and mop the floor, though this doesn’t take long.

Because we’re not there to sleep! We’re there to scrapbook. For two nights and two days. Some ladies are there to escape their families for a few days. Some are there to socialize and chat with their friends. But all of us are there to just Get Shit Done.

Because when you’re a scrapbooker, blocking out time at home to do it can be tricky – without a dedicated space, it is very hard to get motivated to get all your stuff out, then tidy it away again afterwards.

But at camp, you get an entire table to yourself, and you can leave your stuff lying around all weekend. You can borrow other people’s tools, and walk around chatting and getting inspiration by having a Nosey Parker at what they’re doing. Sometimes they run quick talks or classes, so we can learn a new technique too.

And one of the best parts? Once every few hours, someone cooks and serves us food. And then washes up everything. Paradise.

Mum and I like to walk in the mornings – she bullies me awake at dawn and out we go into the crisp (well, sometimes freezing) morning air. The bush is quiet, the air is clean and the scenery amazing. It’s so nice, even though generally I hate walking.

So, to sum up – scrapbook camp is awesome because:

  • You get to do heaps of scrapbooking with people who also love it. It’s like therapy.
  • You don’t have to cook or clean up afterward
  •  It’s surprisingly cheap, given what you get
  •  It’s a weekend in the country, with very little mobile service

Do you ever go on any “retreats”? What for?

Friday, June 6, 2014

It's Oh So Quiet

It's oh so still...

After six weeks, our house guests are now gone. It was a long stay by anyone's standards - but a good one all the same. However, I am ecstatic about one thing - the quiet.

The house is quiet again. When I get up, there's no noise. No one talking to me. When I come home, the same, unless hubby is there and he doesn't say too much most of the time. It's pretty amazing how much the noise level goes down when the number of people in a small house decreases. Or maybe not so amazing at all, when you think about it.

It's kind of the same feeling I get when I go to the farm, where the absence of traffic and background noise becomes noticable. When you can stand under a clear sky and marvel at the stars shining above so clear and bright and absolutely silent above.

I'm not comparing my house to the silence of a still winter's night in the country, but I never realised how much I missed the quiet until the noise was gone.

Are you a seeker of quiet moments? How do you achieve it in your life, noisy or not?

Monday, June 2, 2014

Being the Older Woman

My dear husband celebrates his 30th birthday this week. He had a party on the weekend, the first since he was 21. (I'd never really thought about throwing him one before, as I dislike having people over so much!)

He hasn't really confided in me whether this milestone and the start of a new decade of his life bothers him, but it did serve to remind me that I am 33. 

Yes, I'm the Older Woman. Cradle-snatcher. Cougar. Ha! 

Which doesn't really bother me at all. It's never been an issue really, except for when that measley 3-year age gap means he can't remember things like Fraggle Rock or I have no cultural reference for kids tv of the early 90s. Or I remember that my little brother is older than him. 

What other people think of it I have no idea. Perhaps I have been lucky in that friends and family have offered no unsolicited opinion!

Are you the eldest in your relationship? At what point does the gap become odd or creepy?


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