Money. Minimalism. Motherhood.
Savvy tips to help you save money, declutter your home, spend time outdoors and thrive in your season.

Reflections in Spring Part 2

Sunlight coming through a tree

October and November seemed to have disappeared in a flash. I’ve decided to combine these months together. I honestly can’t believe that it is December already.

It has been a positive few months and I hope it has been good for you too.

What has been hard?

Sleep has still been difficult. We often have young children in our bed. It always starts off quite lovely with cuddles and I do like them being close. However, they love to claim space and we end up pushed to the outside of the bed. We acknowledge that it is a stage and they won’t always want to be so close to mummy and daddy. For now though, it is hard.

Adelaide has had a very mild spring. Chilly mornings and evenings and a lot of rain. This has meant a bad season for hay fever and lack of sunshine. We are all looking forward to brighter days to come and more beach weather.

What am I grateful for?

This cooler weather has been wonderful for the garden. My humble veggie patch has grown exponentially without me needing to exert much effort. I’m sure in future years it would have perished but for right now I am grateful for a chance to feel successful at gardening.

We have harvested kale, broccoli, snow peas, basil, coriander, parsley and spinach. It’s wonderful watching my boys wander through the veggie patch and pick various bits and pieces to nibble on.

One of the highlights was a free fire station tour. My boys thought it was the best thing ever, and to be honest, us mums thought it was pretty great also. The South Australian Metropolitan Fire Service holds special tours in school holidays. Click here for more information on how to book.

I had 24 hours away at our annual MomCo leaders conference. It was amazing to connect with the other leaders on my team, network with leaders from other churches and be inspired by the speakers. I spent the night at a friend’s house and was so grateful for a full night’s sleep. It was just what I needed. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to hit the ground running again.

I had the opportunity to attend the Ladies Finance Club Road trip when they came to Adelaide. It was fabulous to be in the company of such motivated, like-minded women. I met some wonderful ladies and came away feeling inspired to keep on doing well with money. I encourage you to sign up to their newsletter and attend any future events that they run.

After writing a poem, I won $500 with FlyBuys and a $100 city shopping voucher through Instagram. I can’t wait to spend these on some clothes when I see a good sale. Here are some tips on how to win competitions if you’d like to have some success too!

I was given the opportunity to speak at my local MOPS group on some money-saving tips. This helped me to realise just how passionate I am about this area. It wasn’t just about saving money but also how to negotiate better deals on bills and our mortgage, the importance of contributing extra to super, making sure you’re covered in case of an emergency, using cash back sites like Cash Rewards and ShopBack and how to earn money through side hustles. It was so fun and I hope I am able to have more opportunities to speak in the future.

Lastly, I had a wonderful day out with my sister. We went shopping at Rundle Mall and had fun trying on outfits. I didn’t end up buying anything this time but have some items in my wishlist for when I do want to purchase.

Money

The last couple of months we have spent money on paving ($4500). We decided to pay someone to do the lot- level the soil, source the pavers, gravel and sand, cut and lay the pavers and cement the edges. It was a huge job and I’m so glad we didn’t attempt to do it ourselves.

It looks fabulous and professionally done. We are learning that sometimes it is better to pay an expert. This means that we get jobs done quicker and keep our weekends free. It is certainly beneficial to keeping our marriage happy.

We saved $500 on skip and dumping fees by giving our clean fill away. We still have a little bit of dirt remaining but I hope this will be collected soon.

I earned $10 from an online survey, $24 from Teachers Pay Teachers (online resources that I sell), $40 from Cash Rewards (affiliate link) and $80 from ShopBack (affiliate link).

After wanting a bike for ages, I bought one through a local community group for $140. This group is run by volunteers who give up their time to fix up old bikes and make them available for refugees and members of the public for an affordable price. I love that it keeps them out of landfill.

Minimalism

These months were big for decluttering and selling. It feels good to reduce the clutter and earn some cash for doing so.

After having no luck with selling some framed Paris prints we no longer needed, I donated them to a local op shop. I also donated a bunch of baby and toddler clothes, teething toys, flannelette cot sheets and sandpit toys.

I listed and sold a toddler slide, an IKEA play kitchen (my boys use the mud kitchen more), the Kmart indoor climbing frame and slide and Timberland boots (to go towards funding a pair of RM William boots). I am currently selling our modern cloth nappies, excess dining chairs (we had ten and only need 8), a sewing machine (I was gifted this and just don’t use it) and three hammock chairs (I went a bit crazy buying so many!).

What am I looking forward to?

I am looking to going bike riding with my boys. I want to be an active mum that participates in outings and know that my bike will get lots of use. I can always upgrade to a mountain bike in the future.

When I think about how I want to raise our boys, I am more determined than ever to keep this in mind in our day to day living.

I want to raise brave, adventurous boys with a love for the outdoors. This means I need to model being outside. This means we buy quality outdoor wear to keep them protected from the elements, secondhand. Means we put aside time to get outdoors.

We have had a quote for someone to build us a treehouse. I think it would provide endless fun for our boys. The quote has come back at $6000. Trying to figure if we can make this work or if we look for a different option. I have been madly entering competitions to fund part of this project!

What have I been learning?

Diane from the Minimalist Moms Podcast talks about habit stacking. This means simply adding onto routines that we already have, for example, doing lunges as you brush your teeth every night. After school drop off, I allow the boys to wander through the natural surrounds near the school. I find that being intentional around school pick up, we save on arranging playdates and petrol and builds up friendships with classmates. We regularly play on the school playground and head to the creek after school with friends.

This has become a favourite part of our week and I hope it will be for years to come.

What have I been reading?

Die with Zero by Bill Perkins

After hearing so much about this book, I had to buy it and read it for myself. Bill raises some important questions and balances the idea of earning enough money while spending it on experiences while you are still young enough to enjoy them. Would recommend.

Earn from Home Mum by Jody Allen

Whilst I think I have some good ideas about side hustles, Jody has an abundance of ideas and wisdom on this topic. For anyone wanting to earn money from home in a legit way, this book is worth a read.

Mothering our Boys by Maggie Dent

This is such a wonderful book by Maggie. She talks about the importance for mums to understand how boys think and behave so that we can raise wonderful boys. For all mothers of sons, this is worth reading or listening to.

Mortgage balance:

-$165,000

Shares balance:

Me: $8200

Hubby: $2500

What has been happening for you and your family these last few months? Do you feel like it’s gone fast too?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments. I post regularly on Instagram and Facebook and would love to connect with you over there. I also contribute to the community section of the WeMoney app (we both receive $5 when you sign up, and they also plant a tree).

Melanie Wegener

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