I don’t know if you know, I have buggered up my back again and am spending a fair amount of time recovering in bed, but what you may not know is that there is a big financial loss associated during any recovery time. Because my injury has now been over 12 months, and due to workcover laws in this state, I receive a statutory weekly limit which is reduced by any work that I may be able perform. Suffice to say, my fortnightly take home pay has been cut by 48%. So, pretty drastic measures have now come into play in our budget.
We have had to cancel the extra money we were putting on our mortgage (attempting to get ahead so I can semi-retire earlier), and the money we were saving to buy our hybrid car at the end of the lease in October has come to a screaming halt. We are going to have to redraw from the mortgage to afford it now, which is something I really didn’t want to do.
Everything else is on hold, however we took on a fortuitous challenge last month (before the injury) to see if we could stick to $100 a week to feed a family of 4. Well, the great news is that for the last three weeks we have achieved this goal. Eggs from the chooks, veggies from the garden and frugal grocery shopping have saved the day. We even had $3.50 spare last week. We still receive our $40 sanity money, which is a trick I learnt from Anita Bell’s great series of books. I use mine to by the odd bottle of wine and milk for cheese making, and Kim manages to hold on to most of hers so that she can by craft goodies. Megan pays me rent which equates to about $20 a months which is just enough to pay for the chicken feed so that is covered.
So, so far so good. I am glad interest rates are low or we would be in a bit of a pickle. We are able to cover the mortgage and all other bills, and of course our energy bills are minimal. Gardening will be a bit of a struggle for a few weeks but I am sure I can muster the energy or get help from one of the kids to plant out seeds for tomatoes and other plants that need to be planted in punnets.
Kim is doing a stirling job juggling the budget and looking after me, and we have been keeping each other emotionally strong, with a little sob now and then which helps get us through. But then we snap out of it and realise that it could be much, much worse and that at least I am able to do 20 hours of work a week to keep the bills paid and a roof over our head. I feel quite opptimistic that this relapse will heal quickly, so I should be able to ramp up my hours in September to something a little more reasonable. Until that time though, I will rest as instructed and keep taking the happy drugs that keep the back and leg pain at bay and keep busy buy writing posts to keep me occupied when I am not working in the afternoons. It is amazing what you can do with a laptop in bed! The world is your oyster.
The point of the post is not to gain sympathy, but it is to show that when hard times hit, that we have put in the hard yards and planned ahead, then there is no hurdle to high to jump over for us. Simple, Frugal and Sustainable living has helped us in the past, and will most certainly help us in many years to come.