Family,  Finances

Go and ask your Father!

 I enjoyed the car ride to our shopping destinations and loved window shopping, I just did not understand why mum was sometimes grumpy whilst shopping.  Most of the time she did not want you tagging along but at the slightest opportunity, we would happily grab our shoes and sit in the front seat of the car looking out of the window and dreaming about being able to go out by ourselves.
The only time you were allowed to chip in is when you go out Christmas clothes shopping.  “Which colour do you prefer”?  At many stops she would say ‘wait for me in the car’, there was one year we waited in the car even for Christmas clothes shopping and to make matters worse, we ended up not seeing the Christmas clothes till Christmas morning (heavens, there was one year they did not even fit – big enough to grow into so we wore them later in the year)!  On the flip side, we had great times sneaking into our parent room going to the wardrobe, and taking a sneak peek then telling everyone else what’s what!  My hat is pink yours is blue eeekkkkkk!!!  Yes, at one point, their room was out of bounds 😊
By the time we got to our teenage years, you only ask her for money with fear and trembling.  It was not funny when we got our periods and asked for money to buy sanitary towels (embarrassing enough having to do that) and she would say ‘Ask your father!’.
My husband and I have had to make a lot of money related changes since we had children.  Our days of spontaneous shopping are few and far between.  Quite sad how happy I was when I bought my last tub of formula.  Extra £10 on food shopping!  Anyway, my other half laid down the law!  If you want a bigger house, no more allowance for you!  I thought I could get out of it till he decided to implement with a weeks’ notice (in a nutshell, I cried).  We talked and he reminded me that I had agreed (I remembered on this occasion 😊) so I had to accept because he broke down his expenses and it wasn’t sustainable.
I started depending on my salary and found myself dipping into my credit card heavily by the end of the month.  I decided to live according to my means.  I started to budget everything, so I am spending only what I can afford.  Buying just enough food most of the time and not bulk buying anyhow.  Cooking what makes sense not what I feel like all the time; using what I already have for meals and I found that some weeks, I did not need more than milk and a few other things for my grocery shopping ….  Makes sense and you would think we all do it.
So in budgeting, I had a set amount to save no matter what based on what I felt was essential to have saved up by the end of the year not what was convenient and I came face to face with just what we could afford as a family.  This has changed how I approach everything.  In order to be in a better place as a woman, I concluded, I needed a better job so I ended up changing jobs.  Its changed my life because I know what I can afford to do and what I cannot.  In this new year, I hope to continue and to even be  more careful with finances.
It took me a few decades to realize that at the time when my mum was mainly a home based mum, she had to work to a budget and that my dad had to bring home all the bacon so they must have prioritized carefully to make sure we had the important things in abundance and they certainly taught us to live simply, dress simply, study hard, eat well and live within our means. 
Though they had many kids, now that they are gone, the businesses they set up still run the household and this has made me to see being salaried as a means and not an end and I see that considering what the shape I want the future to take, things need to change…  Trying to sort out my finances has made me so grateful for everything I am given; I know and appreciate the fact that it cost someone something.
Proverbs 31 makes me  know that all women were created to earn so for all those earning, I pray God blesses you with growth and continued success and for all those looking to earn, I pray that 2019 will be your year that God gives you success in all things.
My Finance tips;
        Have a weekly budget-.  Don’t spend blindly and expect your resources to stretch till the end of the month.  Plan your weekly spend.
        Save. – Put savings in your budget.  Don’t use a real need as an opportunity to ask around for money.  Save for no reason so you can sort out some unforeseen needs (as much as possible).
        Spend on the important things- Don’t buy asoebi and borrow rent! You’d be surprised how much you can do without when you are clear on where you stand.
        Manage your credit well-  I am one of those who think having Credit is a safety net however, plan your payback with the aim of being debt free.
        Live within your means- Enjoy a good deal with pride (even if you don’t broadcast the fact), don’t spend more that you need to on anything.  –Postpone buying your essentials a few months so you can get a good deal during sale periods (if you can).
        Get organised, plan ahead (budget you Christmas spend, birthday spend, etc)
        Spoil yourself sometimes- (within budget), life is too short.
        Remember it is more blessed to give than to receive (budget your giving sha! Then at least you know what you can afford to give).
        Couples need to work together and support each other.
I am sometimes grumpy in the market too 😊
Happy New Year everyone.
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